mature industries

This may be just me. In fact I’m probably sure it is. But I seem to note a correlation between lawsuits of the sort that make me wonder a bit why they bother and the maturity of the industry in which they take place. And by maturity I mean in terms of industrial growth cycle, and not (necessarily) in terms of developmental psychology. To wit, a claim that had a writeup by Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP:

Hormel Foods has sued rival Campbell’s over the latter’s description of its Chunky Fully Loaded soup as a “stew.”In its lawsuit, Hormel charges Campbell’s with “misrepresenting the nature, characteristics, ingredients, benefits and qualities of its Chunky Fully Loaded soup products in commercial advertising and promotion.”

Which leads me to believe that the soup/stew market is relatively mature. What do you think? Dumb rule?

D-Wave’s Quantum Computing Demo

As I mentioned earlier, there was a Canadian company that announced it would demonstrate a working quantum computer this week. And demonstrate they did. Yesterday. In California. Then they released this press release, which is frustratingly short on details.

There was some other minor press coverage, including a short article in Scientific American. The nub:

For the demonstration, he says D-Wave operators remotely controlled the quantum computer, housed in Burnaby, British Columbia, from a laptop in California. The quantum computer was given three problems to solve: searching for molecular structures that match a target molecule, creating a complicated seating plan, and filling in Sudoku puzzles.

But experts say the announcement may be a bit – er – premature. Even if the computer were to work as advertised, it still would be nearly 1,000 times too small to solve problems that stump ordinary computers. Moreover, researchers do not know whether it will work at bigger sizes.

A similar tone was in most other articles that didn’t parrot the press release – namely, that the demo was not very impressive. That part is rather unfortunate, although not wholly unexpected – the company did indicate (somewhere) that this was intended to be a proof of concept to gain interest.

So I guess at least for the foreseeable future, the cryptography industry will still be around.