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Now is the time of year when much of the country listens intently to their local weather forecasts, hoping that they can survive another wintery week without ice and snow piling up too much. Those of us who live in areas that see accumulations know about the rush at supermarkets and other stores that happens following one of those “Snowmageddon” predictions. Even talk of a few inches of powder is likely to cause a run on milk, bread and toilet paper.

In the world of government technology, predictions can also have some sway, though government is often slow to react to emerging trends. That can be a good thing because we don’t want our government wasting resources by chasing all of the latest fads. But it can also be bad if our inaction puts our technology or communications in a weaker spot for not being prepared. For the emerging science of quantum computing, the alarm bells are reaching a tipping point where further inaction becomes less about being cautious and more about being foolish.

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