retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Time has a piece about Google's new computer that has achieved what is called "quantum supremacy," which "really just an exceedingly fancy way of saying a super-duper kind of computer, one that not only operates on quantum principles, but masters them so deftly that it actually outperforms a traditional computer."

"Outperforms," apparently, is the understatement of the year.

"The Google computer, known as Sycamore, made the headlines," Time writes, "by doing nothing terribly important on its own: analyzing a random number generator and confirming that it was indeed working randomly."

Which doesn't sound like such a big deal … except that Sycamore did it in just 200 seconds, and "even the most powerful traditional supercomputer would require a somewhat pokier 10,000 years - give or take a century - to achieve the same feat … Google does not pretend that Sycamore is remotely ready for prime time. There is far more refinement to come before it has truly practical applications - though even this first random-number result can have value in cryptography."

I know this has very little to do with retail and business, at least as we now think of those things. But this stuff is so far beyond my understanding that I can hardly grasp any of it … and so, I figured it was the very definition of an Eye-Opener.
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