IBM in the Quantum game

Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
5,048
IBM Reveals a Quantum Computing Breakthrough That Could Revolutionize Technology

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/ibm-reveals-a-quantum-computing-breakthrough-that-could-revolutionize-technology/ar-AA1kZlC7?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=13d28aa3b53b49a5b6cd82017f1a7940&ei=19#:~:text=Follow-,IBM Reveals a Quantum Computing Breakthrough That Could Revolutionize Technology,-Story by Abubakar

The IBM Quantum Heron is a series of high performance processors with the lowest error rate on any IBM quantum facility so far, while the IBM Quantum System Two is a modular supercomputing architecture.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,292
IBM Reveals a Quantum Computing Breakthrough That Could Revolutionize Technology

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/ibm-reveals-a-quantum-computing-breakthrough-that-could-revolutionize-technology/ar-AA1kZlC7?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=13d28aa3b53b49a5b6cd82017f1a7940&ei=19#:~:text=Follow-,IBM Reveals a Quantum Computing Breakthrough That Could Revolutionize Technology,-Story by Abubakar

The IBM Quantum Heron is a series of high performance processors with the lowest error rate on any IBM quantum facility so far, while the IBM Quantum System Two is a modular supercomputing architecture.
Could or could not. The real question is, can you mine or crack crypto with it?

Why you don't really need supercomputers to crack codes.
1701717915613.png
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
18,535
The big benefit from the change to quantum computers will be for their sellers, by vitue of making both previous computers and previous software obsolete. And how many folks will actually benefit from computers thousands of times faster?? Possibly gamers and stock traders. Not normal folks.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,292
The big benefit from the change to quantum computers will be for their sellers, by vitue of making both previous computers and previous software obsolete. And how many folks will actually benefit from computers thousands of times faster?? Possibly gamers and stock traders. Not normal folks.
If you read the hype closely, IBM says usable large machines are, wait for it, are still 10 years away in 2033. These machines, even at large scale, won't make previous computers and previous software obsolete. There is a very narrow sector of computing problems they are theorized to be superior at. The vast majority of computing problems will be untouched by advanced QM computing.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
18,535
If you read the hype closely, IBM says usable large machines are, wait for it, are still 10 years away in 2033. These machines, even at large scale, won't make previous computers and previous software obsolete. There is a very narrow sector of computing problems they are theorized to be superior at. The vast majority of computing problems will be untouched by advanced QM computing.
I am certain that microsoft will do it's best to change that. Given that software seldom breaks or wear out, the way to sell more is to make last month's product obsolete and not support it any more. AND to make the new software so bloated that it takes a much faster processor to deliver the same performance.
 

Thread Starter

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
5,048
When IBM talks, it's definitely about big iron even though it has been drastically scaled down in size while upped in performance. They may have introduced the PC but weren't in the game for very long. It was not a big profit item for them and they quickly dropped it like a hot tater and went back to their Big Business model. With the death of the IBM Selectric, PC, and ThinkPad they have pretty much given up on mass marketing strategies.

They did "rebrand" as Lenovo and are still holding market share there but the IBM brand is back to Business Machines.
 
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Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,168
I am certain that microsoft will do it's best to change that. Given that software seldom breaks or wear out, the way to sell more is to make last month's product obsolete and not support it any more. AND to make the new software so bloated that it takes a much faster processor to deliver the same performance.
@MisterBill2 really now, this is just ”old man yells at cloud” stuff. Microsoft would gain nothing from trying to replace classical computing with quantum computing. The only QC that might appear in consumer products, in the distant future, would be dedicated crypto subsystems (or similar, very narrow, basically hardware accelerators for special tasks).

1701774026153.png

Also, Microsoft is not specially evil. They have the failings of large corporations, of course. They have acted badly in the past, and will probably do it again—but they aren’t some special case. Every corporation in MS’ class engages in some form of the same shenanigans.

Of course Microsoft, and every other capitalist venture expects “growth“ and so is motivated to release new products to add sales—that’s why as much as many people abhor them subscription model schemes are the most honest and the most beneficial to both the provider and consumer of software. They drastically reduce the motivation to produce major upgrades because they provide cash flow without that.

And, properly priced, they don’t cost any more that buying—sometimes less. If the model includes “you can use whatever you had at the point you stopped subscribing” it is even better from the consumer point of view.

As far as “obsoleting last month’s product“ and eliminating support—that’s just nonsense. Even if I consider it exaggeration, it is so exaggerated it doesn’t describe anything that is going on. How many years did MS support Windows 95 before EoL (End of Life)? How about Windows 7? What do you think is a reasonable lifetime for computer industry products that you’d commit a company to support?

While none of these companies are ideal, or even close, the practicalities of the situation do set limits on what is reasonable to expect and having used this technology literally from the beginning I am constantly amazed and thankful for what we have today—it’s like science fiction.

I, for one, am glad that there is constant innovation* and improvement in the information products I buy. As I sit here typing this on my iPad (with a keyboard case) I am reading from a screen far higher resolution, and using a multi-core processor faster and more capable, then my desktop computer only a few years ago.

I am transparently communicating over my LAN and the WAN of my ISP connected to the Internet at speeds that were, only a few years ago, the domain of only large corporations and universities. I am doing all of this for a price that I can actually pay. And there is so much more—like practical voice control and reliable dictation (a pipe dream in the past), rich messaging with text, audio, and video (the picture phone turned out differently than expected), and software with fantastically usable interfaces and almost no gotchas that lead to data loss (a plague in the past).

So, maybe you should reconsider that is actually going on. You might say “I don’t need any of that” which is fine—that’s your choice. But when you tacitly demand that companies like Microsoft indefinitely support software and hardware from which they have no hope of any income stream you are also dooming progress as the system is currently constituted.

Do you have any suggestions for reorganizing the capitalist economy in which this how thing is embedded so somehow MS and others could continue to support almost-completely obsolete products without cannibalizing progress and the much better products the overwhelming majority of customers want?

*I am well aware that not every product introduction or trend is innovation. I am also aware that a lot of genuine innovation is ignored for various reasons and sometimes, after a while, “stolen” by the big companies from small innovators. None of this, and other real problems changes the thrust of what I said.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
18,535
Y certainly has a good grasp, and is correct about a whole lot. But MS has over many years exhibited a nasty practice of eliminating potential competition through the "purchase and dismantle" process that extreme wealth can afford.
And it seems like every new release includes changes that make programs different but certainly not improved. MS word is a prime example of that.
Consider that in general not even half of all changes are improvements, as I have observed life in general over the years. With MS it certainly looks like it is mostly "change for the sake of change", with only a very few being improvements.
Certainly the push to change things is a major reason for the weekly updates and patches to fix flaws that should never have been released. And certainly the flaws were not located before release because checking code operation is slow and tedious, and does not contribute to profits. And for some organizations, profits are the only target on the range, with growth running second behind, and quality not on the same page even.
 

ElectricSpidey

Joined Dec 2, 2017
2,781
I have 2 PCs that will have to be replaced at the EOL of windows 10, at that time I'm pretty sure I won't be able to afford this upgrade and will probably have to take measures such as taking my Work PC (now simply a project PC, as I'm now retired) offline, and hope and pray that I can replace my media PC.

And no, it's not just the hardware it's also all of the high-end software I use as well, that I already know will not run on 11.

" Do you have any suggestions for reorganizing the capitalist economy in which this how thing is embedded so somehow MS and others could continue to support almost-completely obsolete products without cannibalizing progress and the much better products the overwhelming majority of customers want? "

I think a good solution would be to offer a pay service to continue servicing older PCs, but I doubt that will ever happen.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,168
I am certainly sympathetic to your financial concerns. While it is not really a substitute, Linux does offer a viable alternative with some changes necessary. It will run on very old hardware and is well supported by the F/OSS community.

If there was a profit to be made I guarantee you Microsoft would offer pay-to-play legacy support. There just isn’t a way to do it. I suppose they could open the legacy source and have 3rd party companies choose to try but I am pretty sure the level of dependence on security through obscurity makes that a scary non-starter for them.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,292
I have 2 PCs that will have to be replaced at the EOL of windows 10, at that time I'm pretty sure I won't be able to afford this upgrade and will probably have to take measures such as taking my Work PC (now simply a project PC, as I'm now retired) offline, and hope and pray that I can replace my media PC.

And no, it's not just the hardware it's also all of the high-end software I use as well, that I already know will not run on 11.

" Do you have any suggestions for reorganizing the capitalist economy in which this how thing is embedded so somehow MS and others could continue to support almost-completely obsolete products without cannibalizing progress and the much better products the overwhelming majority of customers want? "

I think a good solution would be to offer a pay service to continue servicing older PCs, but I doubt that will ever happen.
This Upgraditis is not mandatory. A huge number of industrial and commercial systems are still running windows 7. (in some cases even older versions)

If the computer has no access to the internet, then no need to upgrade it.
Otherwise, if you are running the latest firewall and virus software on it, then no need to upgrade it.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,168
This Upgraditis is not mandatory. A huge number of industrial and commercial systems are still running windows 7. (in some cases even older versions)

If the computer has no access to the internet, then no need to upgrade it.
Otherwise, if you are running the latest firewall and virus software on it, then no need to upgrade it.
At the university we had a lot of very expensive test and measurement equipment that used a PC with Windows 7 as the interface. After much research and testing, we decided that Windows 7 could not, in any case, be able to access the Internet. There were too many exploits. As long as it was able to call out, it had to be allowed to get something back, and even the best stateful firewalls didn’t provide to be a guarantee against tricking it into self infection.
 

ElectricSpidey

Joined Dec 2, 2017
2,781
This Upgraditis is not mandatory. A huge number of industrial and commercial systems are still running windows 7. (in some cases even older versions)

If the computer has no access to the internet, then no need to upgrade it.
Otherwise, if you are running the latest firewall and virus software on it, then no need to upgrade it.
It's not as simple as that, there are plenty of OS exploits that a good security suite can't protect you against.

And I assure you going without internet access on my "Work PC" will be an extreme inconvenience.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,292
It's not as simple as that, there are plenty of OS exploits that a good security suite can't protect you against.

And I assure you going without internet access on my "Work PC" will be an extreme inconvenience.
Absolutely but those suites won't protect you from new W11 exploits either or things like SE. Social engineering threats are at the top of the list of today's computing dangers. Hackers leverage social engineering in as much as 90% of all cyberattacks.
If you give them the keys, it doesn't matter what OS you're running or how secure it is.

https://www.ibm.com/topics/social-engineering
What is social engineering?
Social engineering is attractive to cybercriminals because it enables them to access digital networks, devices and accounts without having to do the difficult technical work of getting around firewalls, antivirus software and other cybersecurity controls. This is one reason social engineering is the leading cause of network compromise today, according to ISACA's State of Cybersecurity 2022 report (link resides outside ibm.com). And according to IBM's Cost of a Data Breach 2022 report, breaches caused by social engineering tactics (such as phishing and business email compromise) were among the most costly.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,292
...
I think a good solution would be to offer a pay service to continue servicing older PCs, but I doubt that will ever happen.
Here you go.
https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/202...s-of-security-updates-if-you-can-afford-them/
As it has done for other stubbornly popular versions of Windows, though, Microsoft is offering a reprieve for those who want or need to stay on Windows 10: three additional years of security updates, provided to those who can pay for the Extended Security Updates (ESU) program.

The initial announcement, written by Windows Servicing and Delivery Principal Product Manager Jason Leznek, spends most of its time encouraging users and businesses to upgrade to Windows 11 rather than staying on 10, either by updating their current computers, upgrading to new PCs or transitioning to a Windows 365 cloud-based PC instead.

But when Leznek does get to the announcement of the ESU program, the details are broadly similar to the program Microsoft offered for Windows 7 a few years ago: three additional years of monthly security updates and technical support, paid for one year at a time. The company told us that "pricing will be provided at a later date," but for the Windows 7 version of the ESU program, Microsoft upped the cost of the program each year to encourage people to upgrade to a newer Windows version before they absolutely had to; the cost was also per-seat, so what you paid was proportional to the number of PCs you needed updates for.
https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/faq/windows#windows-10
What options do I have for continuing to use versions of Windows 10 that reach End of Support on October 14, 2025?
You may continue to use Windows 10 after support ends; however, it will no longer receive quality updates, new or updated features, security updates, or technical support. We recommend that customers upgrade or transition to a new Windows 11 PC for the best, most secure computing experience.
If you are an individual consumer or an organization who elects to continue using Windows 10 after support ends on October 14, 2025, you will have the option of enrolling your PC in the paid Extended Security Updates (ESU) program. The ESU program enables PCs to continue to receive Critical and Important security updates (as defined by the Microsoft Security Response Center) through an annual subscription service after support ends. More details including pricing will be provided at a later date.
The ESU program provides individual consumers and organizations of all sizes with the option to extend the use of Windows 10 PCs past the end of support date in a more secure manner.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
18,535
I used DOS5 until I was forced to upgrade by an unfortunate lightning hit. I ran windows NT for quite a while.
At one point I did buy RedHat Linux and install it, and try to get to use it. The learning curve is rather steep, and I still had to use windows at work on their system. Without any book learning such a different system is a challenge. Presently I am using win7 because win XP somehow quit working.
and the CAD software I have will probably not even run with win10, and I can not justify spending on a newer version that will.

Air-Gap isolation, with one system for media access and an isolated system for everything else, should be fairly safe, except that files to be sent or received and used still could transfer infections.
One option could be a scheme that would expose every element of a received file for observation, with no possible means of bypassing. Of course, with the current level of bloating, even just looking at an incoming file would rapidly lead to boredom.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,168
Yes, we did subscribe (at the university) for some machines. The trouble is the cost is barely justifiable over upgrades if that. It is for the situation we had, with irreplaceable dedicated systems—and it was only 3 years.

This aging out in the test and scientific instrument space is a serious problem. We had a $100k sensor for metals that worked on a SEM, and it worked perfectly, but the only software available for it was DOS-based. This, in itself, was no problem.

What was a problem cropped up when I tried to preempt a disaster by replacing the original, manufacturer provided PC with a new one in anticipation of an inevitable hardware failure. The original PC was in rough shape and I couldn’t find a direct replacement.

”No problem”, I thought naïvely (though I should have known better), “even our castoff PCs are far more capable that this one. I will just choose the best of them and install the latest DOS (I had an MSDN subscription and so had install files for every version of DOS on hand)”.

Well, first things first. Stupidly I had not confirmed the reports that it was a DOS app. Well, it was… sort of. It was a DOS app running in an OS/2 Warp DOS window.

”No problem”, my pollyanna subsystem insisted—all the while my sadder-but-wiser overlay was throwing exceptions which were ending up in the bit bucket unparsed. Being an IBM not MS product, I didn’t have OS/2 Warp installation media, and attempts to locate it were not fruitful.

So, I proceeded with the original plan. It all went swimmingly until I tried to launch the sensor software. It just didn’t work. It seemed to start up but had no output—blank screen, blinking cursor. Still not acknowledging the “something‘s not right here” alarms coming from the jaded regions of my brain.

I reasoned “the DOS is too new, this DOS must be quite old”, though I didn’t know what the equivalent MS-DOS version would be to an OS/2 Warp DOS emulation, I tried DOS 3.11, that being the OEM distributed version and as close to a universal version I could get. But… no joy. I tried 2.x and 4.x and 5.x and… nothing. It just wasn’t going to work.

In the end I put the AT bus interface card back into the old machine and thankfully it booted and ran. But, I had to tell the PI for that lab “your sensor will work as long as that PC works”. Neither he nor I was happy with that outcome, but that was what we were served up.

This is similar to the fantastic, super high bandwidth Tektronix instruments (scopes, network analyzers, &c.) that ran Windows NT or Windows 95 internally. While I didn’t expect hardware failure for a long time, we had to remove them from the general network due to security concerns. This meant reverting to SneakerNet™ for data transfer—which broke things.

I had to design a network architecture for the labs that included a secured, cloistered LAN in addition to the ordinary campus and Internet routed one. I had to make sure that accidentally plugging in an instrument which was a mandatory cloistered one did not put it on the net, and I had to make sure that a computer with dual interfaces couldn’t forward frames from the cloistered LAN to the open one. It worked, but it was fairly complex and I am sure they reverted to “worst practices” after I left.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,168
I've built several DMZ servers to isolate engineering computing from IT computing using Linux.
The difference in my cloistered LAN case is that the isolation was complete. There was no way outside the lab from the cloistered network. There was no router—only a switch. The devices all used fixed IPs and there was port security based on MAC address. So if your device wasn‘t registered on the switch as soon as you plugged in that port would be blocked.

Since the instruments were all assigned fixed IPs in a network I was guaranteed by our OIT (Office of Information Technology) would never be routed (172.16.16.0/24)*, plugging an instrument into a campus jack wouldn’t make it work on the Internet.

*Each lab had this network in it. While given my druthers I’d rather have had a bit or two more just in case (who knows? Massive array of RPis? Something I can’t even think of?) in practice, while I was there, we never ran out of addresses on a lab LAN.
 
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