Page 2 – News Debris For The Week of May 14th
Demo, Joy, Despair, Analysis
• It was just a demo. The demo always comes first. Then, after we settle down, the analysis pours forth. That’s the case this week with Google Duplex.
- Axios: “What Google isn’t telling us about its AI demo”
- BGR: “Is Google’s creepy Duplex AI assistant just vaporware?“
That all said, technology demos are always used to get developers excited about prospects for the future. Whether or not Google Duplex is very immature, it shows us where the industry is going. It shows us Google’s aspirations. That’s par for the course in a developer conference. Enough said.
• Article titles have to be compelling or no one will click. But the question that remains is, does the article have corresponding value? This next article has value because it tells a story about Microsoft’s vision and directions. “Microsoft is crushing Apple at its own game.” In this case, it’s all about the Microsoft Hub 2.
But the Hub is also another sign of how Microsoft’s Surface team is consistently producing impressive, even lust-worthy products. What’s more, it’s one more indication that the company now seems to often be out-innovating Apple in hardware, creating entirely new categories — and surprisingly, making the once bulletproof iPhone-maker look a bit flat footed.
Thats a bold statement, so some explnation is in order. In my view, innovation isn’t just brainstorming cool, new, jazzy things. If you want that, head over to Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Rather, innovation, comes from having a proper, productive vision of the future, then engineering novel solutions that solve human problems in alluring ways. If, for example, a company isn’t deeply immersed in the culture of business, as Microsoft is, then its vision and products will seem out of sync with customer needs. I think this is what the author is trying to communicate. He does fine.
• At some point, quantum computers will be sold to the public. If, for no other reason, they’ll have unbreakable encryption. But, then we’ll have to ask ourselves, “How quantum is it?” Will it be a hybrid passed off as quantum? Physicists have now asked themselves this question. “Physicists Introduce ‘Quantum Fraud’ Detection Tests.”
The first step in developing these benchmarks for quantumness was to demonstrate that they actually exist. So, using an approach rooted in statistical decision theory, the team showed that there is a class of tests that can differentiate between a computer memory that stores information classically and one that preserves the quantum-ness of the input. The tests work for all different kinds of quantum computers.
‘Ironically, classical computers turn out to be very useful in designing the benchmarks they cannot pass…’
• The U.S. Senate passed a net neutrality bill, but it isn’t expected to easily pass in the House from what I’ve read. But just in case you’d like to see how your own two senators voted, Mothernoard published the tally.
• Finally, Apple’s macOS does a lot of things that assist with awareness and security, and we understand why they’re done. But this author, in a charming way, looks at the big picture. Are there macOS notices Apple can do better? Things that don’t keep pissing us off? I was amused to walk through his list of annoyances and found myself also asking, “Hey Apple. It’s 2018 not 2001. Can you do better?” See for yourself: “Dear MacOS: stop forcing yourself on me.”
Yes, the return of joy is in order. Please.
Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page one) followed on page two by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.