Thanks to nanotech venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, we get a sneak peak at the core of a new quantum computer, which will be lovingly unveiled a day before Valentine's Day -- Feb. 13. Yes, you read that correctly. There is real work going on in the mind-boggling multiverse of quantum computing, where a shave and a haircut can cost anywhere from one to 65,536 bits (or qubits) at the same time.
I remember when Jurvetson's firm first invested in D-Wave Systems Inc. back in 2003. I was news editor at Small Times back then, and we just ran a brief on it because even we -- who had chugged the nano Kool-Aid -- found it difficult to believe that a quantum computer would be anywhere close to commercialization.
I also remember my surprise at Jurvetson's investment, since he has long maintained that while he's a believer in the long-term promise of molecular nanotechnology, come to him for money only if there's a short-term commercialization plan.
I should know better than to doubt Steve Jurvetson, who consistently proves the truth of a phrase credited to Alan Kay, whose work at the Palo Alto Research Center in the 1970s can be traced directly to the computer revolution of a decade later. "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
Or, in Jurvetson's case, to fund it.
Einstein's dice and the nano Sopranos