Quantum: Computer Noveau

Quantum: Computing Noveau ISBN: 9781946139, Prestige Publishing, written by Jason Schenker.

The author has sub-titled this little book “The Technological Step Change that Could Foster Scientific Discovery, Break Blockchains and Trigger a Global Cybersecurity Arms Race.” It’s raison d’être is to present introductory material associated with the Quantum theory and where practical considerations are leading to a ‘need to know’ at least minimal facts about this field that presently is almost totally in the realm of academicians in physics and other fields of scientific endeavor. For the neophyte he enumerates the already existing early attempts at implementation of the processes and postulates with respect to future expansion to a viable and probably even importantly necessary tool for the not too distant future. The discussion begins with a preface explaining his desire to provide “a book that laid down the basics that put quantum in a context that business professionals could quickly grasp and that laid out simply the industries and sectors with the greatest opportunities and risks”. Next, follows an Introduction and chapter 1 – Why I Wrote this Book, both of which expand on pertinent reasons, including “Quantum could undermine the cryptographic value-add of Blockchain, Bitcom and any other cryptocurrency or encryption technology that currently uses non-quantum encryption.” Thirteen additional chapters continue plus a Conclusion, an Appendix: Quantum Glossary; Endnotes; About the Author; Rankings; About the Publisher and Disclaimers.

Discussion: The author has presented material with respect to the present state of Quantum Theory, its plusses and minuses, its present position and future possibilities in a manner that should be easily understood by the average reader. He describes how Quantum differs from the presently used Binary code that operates only at states of whole or entire (non-fractionated) numbers. Quantum functions using qubits (quantum bits – think fractions or decimals if it helps) of the whole numbers 1 and 0 which can exist in varying degrees at the same time. “This is called the quantum state.” The reason he believes that quantum may be most beneficial for future analyses is because of what it has to offer. It has been determined that the amount of new data acquired within the past two years is greater than the total gathered in all previous history. Quantum can handle such large quantities if incorporated into computers because they could run parallel analyses concurrently adding almost innumerable variables. Regrettably however, the author explains that their development has only begun with actually 3 prototypes now under development. He provides brief description of each and presents the main problems facing such developmental endeavors*. Also provided is a list of areas that perhaps can profit most by eventual development of such computers.

Summary: The author is eminently qualified to make this presentation and to reiterate, has provided most interesting postulates in a manner that the newbie can comprehend. The individual new to the subject might find it helpful to first read two parts of the material at the end of the book – About the Author, and the Appendix: Quantum Glossary. This material could provide the uninformed a better understanding of the presenter’s authoritatively personalized position from which he writes and also pre-knowledge obtained from the glossary that will save him/her from possibly repeated need to revert to it for definitions of terms with which they only may be marginally familiar.

5* Enlightening presentation.

*Traditional – qubits function best at absolute zero and are sensitive to noise also, thus requiring a large machine.

Emulated – “Quantum computing is closer in character to analog computing because the computational model for analog computing differs from the standard computing: a continuum of values, rather than a discrete set is allowed. It uses an analog signal-based emulation of a quantum computer for a computational approach using some of the probabilistic attributes of the traditional near-absolute-zero kind of computer” (these attributes allow it to function at room temperature).

Photonic – focuses on using large-scale silicon photonic circuits with the eventual purpose of achieving “full –scale universal quantum technologies using light”. This doesn’t require near zero chips and is not subject to the ‘noise’ of traditional quantum computing systems.

 

Start-Ups & The Tech Revolution

 

Startups & The Tech Revolution, ISBN: 9781946633774, Forbes Books, written by James E. McCann.

Sub-titled “The Essential Guide” this little book presents a pretty comprehensive look at the Technological Revolution starting with an introduction that presents, a perhaps frightening, overview from the bits and pieces that most people have read about robots and artificial intelligence and the purported effect they will have upon employment and life in general. It also sites evidence that the movement from the industrial to the tech. age already has begun. The author follows with the fact that much of the apparent disruption is being driven by young start-up companies and the technology they are developing. His purpose is to provide some basic understanding for the uninformed on how this new system works. He then offers 8 chapters of explanation. First presented is the rather sobering prediction that “we won’t experience 10 years of progress in the 21st century – it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate). The ‘returns”, such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. There’s even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth” because “within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to the Singularity – technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history.” He then provides the reader with an Overview of How Start-ups Get Going; Explains The Entrepreneur: Founders and Co-Founders; How Start-ups Get Started; then an explanation and importance of Incubators, Accelerators, and Growing a New Business; Some Considerations for Working at a Start-Up; A Lucrative Exit that explains that many fail but mergers and acquisitions popularly produce lasting results, as do initial public offerings (IPO), Stock Buy-Backs and that recently staying private for longer periods of time has become effective. Also mentioned is the tremendous growth in prosthetic technologies because of the help provided to veterans and others. The last chapter presents The Implications of All This. A list of Suggested Reading, along with About the Author, and 67 references to conclude.

Discussion: Although part of the material covered with respect to the new company’s culture, i.e. “How do you fit in?” discusses ‘will old employees accept new additions?’, Equity packages’ and similar, all are presented at somewhat greater length by other books, the material provided here is well placed. Furthermore and quite frankly, the author has provided the un- and slightly informed individual with a most enlightening presentation that any and everyone should read if for no other reason than to have at least this basic material to face an advancing revolution that is going to be equally chaotic to the present and future generations as was the Industrial Revolution to those earlier dwellers.

5* Strongly recommended for all readers.