You know the drill -- some quirky research team whips up some phenomenal discovery in the middle of nowhere, gloats about it, gets it published in a journal you've never heard of it, and then it all vanishes into the ether, leaving your soul hurt and wondering why you ever got your hopes up in the first place. The Foundations wrote a little tune about this very situation back in 1968, but a UK team from the Center for Quantum Photonics led by Jeremy O'Brien are claiming that their latest discovery is no joke. According to him, most people have believed that a functional quantum computer wouldn't be a reality for at least another score, but he's saying "with real confidence that, using [his] new technique, a quantum computer could, within five years, be performing calculations that are outside the capabilities of conventional computers." The center of this bold claim is a new photonic chip that works on light rather than traditional electricity, and those who built it say that it could "pull important information out of the biggest databases almost instantaneously." Of course, this stuff would hit the Department of Defense long before it hits your basement, but it's on you to keep tabs on the progress. Wouldn't be let down again, now would we?

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UK research team brings quantum computing closer than ever... or so they say