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IBM Says It Stored A Bit Of Data On Just 12 Atoms

This sounds impossible, but here it is:

"Scientists from IBM Research have successfully demonstrated the ability to store information in as few as 12 magnetic atoms," the company says.

Essentially, as Wired says, they created "the world's smallest magnetic storage device." And according to Computer World, "the breakthrough may someday allow data storage hardware manufacturers to produce products with capacities that are orders of magnitude greater than today's hard disk and flash drives."

Before this, it took at least 1 million atoms to store a bit of data. "For those keeping score at home," writes CNET, "IBM's discovery could mean storage could one day be possible at 1/83,000th the scale of today's disk drives."

In the company's statement about the discovery, IBM lead investigator Andreas Heinrich says:

"The chip industry will continue its pursuit of incremental scaling in semiconductor technology but, as components continue to shrink, the march continues to the inevitable end point: the atom. We're taking the opposite approach and starting with the smallest unit — single atoms — to build computing devices one atom at a time."

Heinrich explains more in this video.

As for how this will all play out, Wired writes that:

"What's keeping the atom-scale flash drive from showing up at your local Best Buy? Well, first off, they operate at 1 degree kelvin. That's about -458 Fahrenheit. Bump things up to room temperature and Heinrich thinks it would take about 150 atoms per bit.

"And there's an even bigger problem. Nobody has a clue how to build something this small outside of the lab. And certainly, nobody can do it cheaply, Heinrich says. 'That is something that many people are working on, but nobody has solved it yet.' "

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Cult Survivor Documents 2 Decades Inside 'Holy Hell'

Will Allen directed the documentary Holy Hell, which depicts his experience as a videographer and member of The Buddhafield cult. Allen used his own footage, as well as his interviews with other former members, to make this documentary.
NPR

Evaporated Cane Juice? Puh-leeze. Just Call It Sugar, FDA Says

Companies cultivating a healthful image often list "evaporated cane juice" in their products' ingredients. But the FDA says it's really just sugar, and that's what food labels should call it.
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Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Donald Trump now has enough delegates to clinch the Republican nomination, according to the Associated Press. A State Department review criticizes Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. And 11 states sue the federal government over a transgender bathroom directive. A panel of journalists joins guest host Sabri Ben-Achour for analysis of the week's top national news stories

NPR

After Departure Of Uber, Lyft In Austin, New Companies Enter The Void

Earlier this month, voters in Austin, Texas, rejected an effort to overturn the city's rules for ride-hailing companies. Uber and Lyft tried to prevent fingerprinting of their drivers, and now both have left town. A few other ride-share companies have popped up to help fill the void. NPR explores how people are getting around town without Uber and Lyft.

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