The Quantum Graph

Month: September, 2012

Why should your firm grant Noo Corp with venture capital?

This August, David Sacks made a post on Facebook which caused some stir in the venture capital community.

I think silicon valley as we know it may be coming to an end. In order to create a successful new company, you have to find an idea that (1) has escaped the attention of major Internet companies, which are better run than ever before; (2) is capable of being launched and proven out for ~$5M, the typical seed plus series A investment; and (3) is protectable from the onslaught of those big companies once they figure out what you’re onto. How many ideas like that are left?

This blog post addresses Sacks’ three points:

  1. The vast majority of tech companies are focused on creating cool new products – ‘killer apps’. No issue there, but the problem which has resulted is that there is, (a) a deluge of apps/services on the web that don’t communicate with one another; and (b) there is a massive disarray of data generated by these technologies. Noospheer recognizes that in order for the web to make its next leap of usability, data from disparate sources must be fully integrated and apps should tie into one another far more easily. We address the deep challenges associated with these problems from an entirely new angle: classical-quantum computing (performing quantum operations by efficiently utilizing commodity hardware). Our project argues that this is an approach which has ‘escaped the attention of major Internet companies’. — As an additional point, the revenue generation potential associated with a data integration platform is enormous. As yet, there is no eBay of data. See the model.
  2. Our ask is $1.4m CAD. Including the seed we raised previously, we can prove out the design for less than a third of Sacks’ magic number.
  3. Being built on top of battle-tested open source parts, the software is fully protected by the open source paradigm. For an argument in favor of open source from a business perspective, see this.

The search for venture capital has taken this project around the world — North America, Europe and Asia. As yet, we have met resistance and continually refine our tactics. We seek investor(s) willing to take relatively small risk on a solid team for major reward.

Small Data

Big data is big buzz these days. Essentially, there’s a lot of data out there and its a massive, attic-style mess — crap is strewn all over the place!

Companies in this space love to talk about peta, exa, zetta or yottabytes (1 petabyte = 1 million gigs). Yet the entirety of Wikipedia English is ~200gb. Seemingly forgotten in the big data world is the process of normalization, where a data set is compressed without losing the information’s fidelity.

With some simple record deduplication, combined with a generic spatial schema that works with tabular and graph data, noospheer will make big data a lot smaller — thus permitting far greater informational diversity and complexity than currently achieved.

You can download wiki here.

Ghost in the Martian

Total Recall, 1990

Save the Moon landings, Mars Science Lab aka Curiosity is NASA’s crowning technical achievement. The complexity of its entry, descent and landing (EDL), the rugged capability of its large and flexible design, and high ingenuity of its instrumentation; all come together as a complete package for deep exploration of the Sun’s 4th planet. Mars is no longer such a distant frontier thanks to missions like this one.

With hardware that goes to other worlds, there come design challenges such as having to radiation-harden the computer. Since it currently takes many years to plan and build a robotic space probe, the processor and memory specs are well behind the cutting edge back here on Earth. MSL RCE (rover compute element) is equipped with two twin computers (1 as backup): 200MHz single-core processor, 256mb RAM, 2gb flash. The top data transfer rate between Earth and the rover via Mars reconnaissance orbiter (MRO) is 2mbits per second. All quite modest but still damn impressive given Mariner 4 returned a total of 634kb which included 22 images back in 1965.

The Mini Cooper-sized vehicle runs on a plutonium-powered generator that puts out 125 watts – for comparison, a mid-range computer power supply from your local hardware store will channel 5 times that!

Given that computational power and raw electricity are limited, the focus then becomes how you use it. The MSL software team writes and uploads new programs on a sol by sol basis, so the rover is not exactly autonomous – other than its hazard-avoidance capability. It faithfully goes exactly where Earth tells it and carries out precise instructions for imaging, surveying, sampling and so on. Given the one way time delay between Earth and Mars ranges from 4 to 22 minutes, controlling Curiosity presumably consists of sending over long, linear instructions.

As a software development outfit, Noo Corp has tasked itself with squeezing hidden potential out of typical computing hardware by emulating qubits. We recognize that the great challenges of modern computer science are relatively simple problems for quantum hardware. Therefore, writing classical code that takes efficient advantage of quantum math is the answer to many tough and important questions. Such questions include, ‘can Curiosity independently carry out advanced science with only general instructions from Earth?’ In other words, can software alone turbo boost the rover’s intelligence, and thereby transform her into a full blown scientist – not just a lowly researcher? 😉

We argue, ‘yes’.

Mars’ first closeup, 15 July 1965

Mission Updates