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Comment Re: And monkeys might .... (Score 1) 107 107

What a hopeless article. Yes, real quantum computing would be cool, and D-Wave has been doing quantum-y things with investor money for a decade or so, and scientists have developed improved more standard kinds of quantum computers to the point that they can now factor 21, surpassing the record of factoring 15 that held for a few years, and maybe sometime in the future quantum computers will be as far advanced beyond that as today's rockets are beyond the ones Goddard had on paper a century ago or his early flying models 90 years ago, or maybe not (or maybe both at once, because YOU CAN DO THAT with quantum.)

But like most articles about quantum stuff in the popular press, and 99.9999% of content about it in the New Age business, it follows the paradigm of

1. I don't understand quantum!
2. I can imagine really cool things that I don't understand how to make!
3. ????
4. PROFIT! , err, Therefore, quantum is how to make really cool things I want! QED!

Quantum physics isn't a Simple Matter Of Engineering like rocketry (and there are reasons for the phrase "Rocket Scientist" - rocketry's also more than just a S.M.o.E, no matter what you remember from those Heinlein stories you read as a kid about building spaceships in your back yard.) Mathematics and physics breakthroughs don't just happen because you really really want them to or because you pour lots of money into the engineering (though especially for the physics, that really helps.)

And yes, D-Wave might be on to something, or they might be pursuing a dead end, and we'd learn valuable things by helping them do either one, if they publish enough detail about their work, and maybe they can build quantumy computers that are useful for real-world problems even if you can't use them to run Shor's Algorithm to crack factoring-based crypto. But just because rocketry was at sort of a cusp a century ago, and lots of other technologies have gone from "not ready/usable yet" to "useful" that doesn't mean that quantum computing is one of them; lots of other technologies have gone from "not ready/usable yet" to "old obsolete dead ends."

Submission + - Intel and Micron announce "Breakthrough Memory Technology"->

jcr writes: In production now, sampling later this year: non-volatile, ten times the density of NAND flash, and up to 1000x the speed. From the press release:

"For decades, the industry has searched for ways to reduce the lag time between the processor and data to allow much faster analysis," said Rob Crooke, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. "This new class of non-volatile memory achieves this goal and brings game-changing performance to memory and storage solutions."

"One of the most significant hurdles in modern computing is the time it takes the processor to reach data on long-term storage," said Mark Adams, president of Micron. "This new class of non-volatile memory is a revolutionary technology that allows for quick access to enormous data sets and enables entirely new applications."

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Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"