Quantum computing may still sound like science fiction, but the world’s oldest computer maker has decided to push that fiction into reality. Today, IBM announced that it would begin allowing customers to have access to its quantum computer via its cloud computing offerings.The IBM Cloud will allow developers selected by IBM to access a 5-qubit quantum computer, hosted within its T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. The company claimed that this is a first step toward building and making available a universal quantum computer.(Related: IBM and Pfizer are collaborating on IoT systems for fighting disease) For now, however, these simple five qubits will have to do. Developers can log in to IBM’s Bluemix site and register for a chance to gain access to IBM’s quantum computer.IBM is not the only company in the world with a quantum computer in the works. D-Wave Systems has been building commercial quantum computers since 1999. The company’s first 16-qubit prototype was demonstrated in 2007 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif.D-Wave’s computers are designed only to handle quantum annealing, and as such, their usefulness is limited to only annealing problems. (Annealing is the process of searching for a global minimum of a given objective function. Quantum annealing is used when the problem space for such an equation is discrete.)D-Wave has already found buyers in Google and the federal government, but both entities seem to have, thus far, spent more time trying to prove that D-Wave’s devices actually are quantum computers than actually using these devices in production environments.
Companies need to make sure that their features are going to work on all varieties of devices, and being able to perform automated tests significantly cuts down on testing time and costs, the company explained. Record & Replay works by recording a manual test and then replaying that test on a number of browsers.“After implementing the Record & Replay feature in CrossBrowserTesting, we have received tremendous feedback from our customers—having helped many begin their transition into automation,” said Ryan Lloyd, VP of products, test, and development at SmartBear. “Looking forward, we are going to continue to invest in feature capabilities that will help our customers scale their automation efforts effectively.” SmartBear has announced the release of a new Record & Replay feature on its CrossBrowserTesting testing platform. CrossBrowserTesting enales teams to run automated, visual and manual tests for desktop and mobile browsers. The new feature is designed to help teams transition from manual to automated testing while leveraging a cloud-based device lab. According to the company, the current trend of shifting testing left is resulting in a number of different roles taking place in the QA process. However, not all employees have the technical skills required to keep up with those responsibilities such as creating the necessary automated tests. SmartBear believes the addition of the new feature is the first step of ongoing innovation on capabilities for less technical users. Record & Replay will allow users to transition to automated testing without having to do complicated scripting. “Additionally, while automation engineers have skill sets that are required to be comfortable with automating UI tests… many manual testers don’t. And that’s why CrossBrowserTesting introduced Record & Replay, so everyone can automate their UI tests like an expert, regardless of what technical background they come from,” the company wrote in a blog post.
Recently, some very special concerts were given in the United States. They are part of a worldwide tour of unique instruments which were last played before and during the Holocaust in Europe. This tour, called “Violins of Hope”, has been traveling the world for the last few years with a couple of special purposes in mind: to play these instruments in memory of their former owners, and to keep alive the music that they played, some of which was the “klezmer” folk music of the Eastern European Jewish community.Chief Master Sgt. Deborah R. Volker performs during a Holocaust Commemoration. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jordyn FetterOne of the people behind the project in Amnon Weinstein, a master luthier who has devoted much of his life to finding and repairing violins belonging to victims of the Nazis.One of the things common to the violins of the era is that many of them are inscribed inside. Most of the inscriptions relate to marriage, the birth of a child, an anniversary or other happy occasions.A few, inscribed in the 1930s, record ominous warnings about what was happening in Europe at the time. A colleague of Weinstein’s found a violin with the inscription “1933 Hitler came to power.”Weinstein has a collection of over 45 violins from the time, and in 2012, he found another. This time, the inscription both chilled and puzzled him. Inside the violin was the inscription “Heil Hitler!”, with a deeply engraved swastika in it.Weinstein got the violin from an American violin maker, who in turn had bought it from an Orthodox Jewish violin seller. The man told Weinstein that if he didn’t buy it, the man would burn it. He had played it for years before noticing the swastika and didn’t want to own it any longer. Weinstein bought the violin.76-year-old Israeli violin maker Amnon Weinstein holds a violin that survived the Second World War bearing German writing and a Nazi Swastika sign at his workshop in Tel Aviv on July 15, 2016. Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty ImagesWhen he opened it up, he saw clearly the swastika and “Heil Hitler.” What stood out for him aside from the actual inscription was the force that was so obviously used to inscribe the instrument. Weinstein had a graphologist (a person who analyzes writing) analyze it, and he said that the writer had been a very aggressive person.Weinstein admits that he may never find out who originally owned the violin, but he did piece together bits of its story. In 1936, three years into Hitler’s regime and as the pressure mounted on Germany’s Jews, the owner of the violin went to a violin repair shop. Many if not most violin repairmen – luthiers – were not supporters of Hitler.Portrait of Adolf Hitler. Photo by Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-H1216-0500-002 / CC BY-SA 3.0 deHis banning of the works of so many artists, many of whom were Jewish (Mendelssohn, for example) irritated many in the musical world, luthiers among them. In the Europe of the time, many middle and upper-middle class families taught their children to play violin and piano. This was especially true of the Jewish community in Germany. Most of the luthiers business would have come from Jewish customers.How did the hateful inscription get there then? The owner of a violin shop would never have done this, Weinstein believes. The customer was likely someone known to the repairman, and probably a repeat customer.What Weinstein believes is that a young apprentice, caught up in the hatred all around him, carved the inscription, and re-sealed the lid before his boss was any the wiser. The inscription cannot be seen from the outside – it was a sick practical joke: the Jewish player playing an instrument with a dedication to Hitler inside it.Though Weinstein is immersed in the Holocaust on a daily basis, there are some good stories to go along with the bad. A few years ago, he received a broken violin which had been thrown out of a train headed from the Drancy camp in France to Auschwitz.Read another story from us: The Most Popular Music from Auschwitz Performed for First Time Since 1945The broken violin was handed down, along with its story, from one generation to the next, until it came to Weinstein for repairs. In 2013, this violin, with others from the period, played in a sold-out world tour, bringing at least one aspect of their owners legacy back to life.