The February 2023 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Fouling Our Own Net

The future is far from rosy in Jonathan Zittrain's The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It

4 min read

It would be easy to ignore a book called The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It . First, it predicts the progress of technology, which as every engineer knows is a risky business. Second, it seems to inveigh against one of the most successful and transformative inventions of our time. Has author Jonathan Zittrain, a cofounder of Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, suddenly become a modern Luddite, urging us to abandon the connectivity we have come to love?

Not to worry. Zittrain favors this connectivity and wants us to nurture it. The foundation of his argument is that the Internet fosters creative, collaborative invention—that it is, in a word, generative . This generativity arose in part because of its creators’ architectural principles. One such principle called for the Internet Protocol to be like the neck of an hourglass—slender yet open to all. Another principle was to move, whenever possible, all functions to host computer systems at the edge of the Internet. Together these two principles ensured that the middle of the network didn’t interfere with end-user innovations, such as better search tools or streaming media.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

An IBM Quantum Computer Will Soon Pass the 1,000-Qubit Mark

The Condor processor is just one quantum-computing advance slated for 2023

4 min read
This photo shows a woman working on a piece of apparatus that is suspended from the ceiling of the laboratory.

A researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center examines some of the quantum hardware being constructed there.

Connie Zhou/IBM

IBM’s Condor, the world’s first universal quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, is set to debut in 2023. The year is also expected to see IBM launch Heron, the first of a new flock of modular quantum processors that the company says may help it produce quantum computers with more than 4,000 qubits by 2025.

This article is part of our special report Top Tech 2023.

While quantum computers can, in theory, quickly find answers to problems that classical computers would take eons to solve, today’s quantum hardware is still short on qubits, limiting its usefulness. Entanglement and other quantum states necessary for quantum computation are infamously fragile, being susceptible to heat and other disturbances, which makes scaling up the number of qubits a huge technical challenge.

Keep Reading ↓Show less