Cloud Computing

IBM Adds 2 New Processors to Quantum Computing Ecosystem

IBM on Friday announced 20-qubit and 50-qubit quantum processors for its IBM Q early-access commercial systems. The 20-qubit processor — featuring improvements in superconducting qubit design, connectivity and packaging — has coherence times of 90 microseconds, which allows high-fidelity quantum operations, IBM said. The 50-qubit processor is an operational prototype.

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Microsoft promises fixes for several long-standing Surface problems

Microsoft’s multibillion-dollar Surface brand has taken many hits in its relatively short and sordid career, while customer support vacillated between inadequate and non-existent. Now, official posts on the Microsoft Answers Forum lend a ray of hope to those who have specific problems. It remains to be seen if the posts reflect a corporate change of heart, or if they’re just more of the same-old same-old.

Last week I wrote about the apparent bug in the Win10 Fall Creators Update that makes some Surface Pens stop writing. In that article I list 10 separate Answers Forum threads and two Reddit threads, packed with complaints from similarly afflicted customers.

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Scripting languages slip in popularity

Prominent scripting languages, once viewed as the future of programming by offering ease of use, have slipped in the monthly Tiobe index of language popularity. Only Python and JavaScript still have some momentum.

Languages that have seen their fortunes decline include Perl, PHP, and Ruby. Software quality services company Tiobe’s suspected cause is a desire among developers for higher quality than is afforded in scripting languages: “Because quality demands are getting higher and higher, hardly anybody dares to write a critical and large software system in a scripting language nowadays.”

With scripting languages, most errors show up in runtime. And this is a problem, Tiobe says. Developers can write unit tests to compensate for this but it still is “quite dangerous” because these errors can happen while the application is in production. Statically typed languages, meanwhile, have responded to the threat of scripting languages by reducing type verbosity.

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Microsoft previews ‘Near Share,’ an AirDrop clone for nimble Windows 10 file transfers

Microsoft last week rolled out another Windows 10 preview, a regular occurrence in its Insider program, that featured a handful of additions to the under-construction OS. One of those, called “Near Share,” is a simple wireless service meant for impromptu file transfer between devices.

The easiest way to pigeonhole Near Share is to think of it as Microsoft’s belated doppelgänger of Apple’s “AirDrop,” the share service that debuted on Macs, iPhones and iPads six years ago.

Although AirDrop is one of the most under-used tools in macOS and iOS, there’s no reason Near Share has to follow suit on Windows 10. That’s why Computerworld dug up information on the feature now, rather than wait for its debut next year.

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IDG Contributor Network: The business case for an enterprise graph

Microsoft has positioned the Microsoft Graph and its 467M users of the LinkedIn Graph as the “most strategic data asset” which will enable IT departments to deliver AI to information workers. Box has also announced its own enterprise graph to enable intelligent content recommendations for business users. With the announcement of how graphs will enable enterprise AI, it is time to take a deeper look at its business benefits.

What is an enterprise graph?

Since most enterprise users connect to the cloud to perform their daily business tasks using services such as Office 365, Box or Salesforce, these business cloud vendors can, for the first time, build a dynamic map of relationships between people and cloud events. To understand who is working together, traditional software depends on data entry from users, like by building list of favorites or email distribution lists. But how often do you update your favorites on your phone or on your messaging app? Intelligent cloud software senses these events and continuously updates the evolving dependency graph between people and content.

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