Download: Quantum computers have a hype problem

This is today’s edition ofDownload,Our weekday newsletter provides daily coverage of what’s happening in the tech world.

Quantum computing has an exaggeration problem

As a buzzword, quantum computing is probably just below AI in terms of hype. Major technology companies currently have significant research and development efforts in the field of quantum computing. A host of startups have also sprung up, some boasting staggering valuations.

A true quantum computer would have applications unimaginable today, just as when the first transistor was produced in 1947, no one could have predicted that it would eventually lead to electricity. like smartphones and laptops. But even the quantum computer experts are starting to get rattled by some big claims, especially when it comes to claims about how – and how quickly – it will be commercialized.

The systems we have today are a huge scientific achievement, but they don’t bring us any closer to a quantum computer that can solve a problem anyone is interested in. We don’t know how long that will take, but it’s far more than the thriving industry and its marketers would have you believe.Read full story.

Sankar Das Sarma is director of the Center for Concentrated Matter Theory at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Things to read

I’ve scoured the internet to find you today’s most interesting/important/scary/fascinating stories about tech.

1 Nokia tech-enabled digital surveillance in Russia
The Finnish company’s equipment and software is used to spy on opposition supporters. (NYT$)
+ HowPutin became the tyrant he is today.(NYT$)
+Why Europe is still playing catch-up with Russia’s spying efforts.(FT$)

2 China’s covid strategy is collapsing
Xi Jinping’s party faces little choice but to give up hope of a heterogeneous policy. (Economist$)
+Shanghai was closed as cases increased across China.(Guardians)
+Elsewhere in Asia, covid restrictions are being lifted – despite the spread of omicrons.(NYT$)

3 About a third of the NFT collection is basically out of date
Insiders insist the bubble hasn’t burst, but interest is definitely cooling. (Bloomberg$)
+Museums are jumping on the NFT race — but do buyers want masterpieces?(NYT$)
+Turns out buying assets in the metaverse is just as expensive as IRL.(IEEE Spectrum)
+A plain text network is beckoning. (Protocol)

4 Keanu Reeves Has Been Removed From The Chinese Internet
The Canadian actor (and internet favorite) took part in a pro-Tibet concert, much to the derision of the Chinese government. (LA Times)

5 black Tesla workers accused of racial abuse rife in company factories
They said they had to work in absolutely harsh conditions. (LA Times)
Screaming, threatening lawsuits and angry emails are just the tip of the iceberg for auto regulators dealing with Elon Musk. (WP$)
+Musk thinks he can be “useful in conflicts.”(Insiders)
+Tesla’s brothers are making it harder to report problems with the Full Self-Driving software.(The Observer)
+A bait in the parallel parking lot.(Conversation)

6 News of a fake news study turned out to be…fake🤥
Anyone have a headache? (Atlantic$)
+Scientists are using Twitter to track whether their work has been misunderstood.(Science)
+Conservative influencers worry that right-wing platforms are echo chambers. (NBC)

7 Maybe we don’t want the last jetpack
It would be really chaotic when there were tons of them flying around. (Slate$)

Are mental health tech startups making it too easy to take ADHD medication?
The lines between ‘patient’ and ‘client’ look blurred here. (WSJ$)

9 billion genetically modified mosquitoes to be released in California🦟
It is a vast test to control the spread of dangerous diseases. (Guardians)

10 Is this the end of the teen house party?
Smart home technology is hindering Gen Z from letting loose. (Information$)

Quote of the day

“What’s the point of doing politics in Russia if you’re not ready to oppose the war at such a historic time?”

—Ilya Yashin, political activist, tells the Observer that he has no plans to flee Russia despite tens of thousands of people leaving the country amid fears of border closures.

We can still have good things

A place for comfort, fun and distraction during these strange times. (Any comments?Drop me a lineortweet ’em with me.)

+ Taylor Hawkins is not only an excellent drummer, he also enjoys singing Queen songs.This is a real one.
+ Lord of the Rings fans will be delighted for ita new illustrated version of The Silmarillionwill be published in October.
+ All theOscars red carpet movie—Reduce slaps.
+ Interesting fantasy aboutWhat did the Capitol Hill rioters leave?– Camouflage condom, anyone?
+ This interview with Jason Lee of Hollywood Unlockedis a wild ride.
+ This onepeaceful elk familywould be most welcome in my garden.
+ Afoot tickle machinedesigned to cause uncontrollable laughter is my worst nightmare.

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