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A View to the Cloud

What really happens when your data is stored on far-off servers in distant data centers

6 min read
Illustration: Francesco Muzzi/Story TK
Illustration: Francesco Muzzi/Story TK

We live in a world that’s awash in information. Way back in 2011, an IBM study estimated that nearly 3 quintillion—that’s a 3 with 18 zeros after it—bytes of data were being generated every single day. We’re well past that mark now, given the doubling in the number of Internet users since 2011, the powerful rise of social media and machine learning, and the explosive growth in mobile computing, streaming services, and Internet of Things devices. Indeed, according to the latest Cisco Global Cloud Index, some 220,000 quintillion bytes—or if you prefer, 220 zettabytes—were generated “by all people, machines, and things” in 2016, on track to reach nearly 850 ZB in 2021.

Much of that data is considered ephemeral, and so it isn’t stored. But even a tiny fraction of a huge number can still be impressively large. When it comes to data, Cisco estimates that 1.8 ZB was stored in 2016, a volume that will quadruple to 7.2 ZB in 2021.

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Video Friday: StickBot

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

2 min read
An image of a robot made of a small sticks tied together with a tangle of colorful wires, batteries, actuators, and electronics

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

IROS 2022: 23–27 October 2022, KYOTO, JAPAN
ANA Avatar XPRIZE Finals: 4–5 November 2022, LOS ANGELES
CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Enjoy today’s videos!

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Entangled Photons Can Come Out in Webs Now

Metasurfaces will help simplify quantum information technologies but also enable complex applications

3 min read
Purple toned close up of an object which has many squares on it, covered in green light.

Green laser light illuminates a metasurface that is a hundred times thinner than paper.

Craig Fritz

The equipment that generates quantum entanglement is often bulky and only produces entangled photons a pair at a time. Now scientists have created a device roughly one-third as thick as a penny that can yield complex webs of entangled photons—not just in pairs, but several pairs all linked together.

Now scientists have created a new device roughly one-third as thick as a penny can yield complex webs of entangled photons—not just one pair at a time, but several pairs all linked together. The invention may not only greatly simplify the setup needed for quantum technology, but also help support more complex quantum applications.

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WIPL-D

Handling various complex simulation scenarios with a single simulation method is a rather challenging task for any software suite. We will show you how our software, based on Method-of-Moments, can analyze several scenarios including complicated and electrically large models (for instance, antenna placement and RCS) using desktop workstations.

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