I was only half listening to the radio on the way home, so I don’t know what computer innovation the reporter was gushing about, or even whether he was talking about software or hardware. I didn’t really focus until he referred to it as ‘light-years faster.’
A light-year is a measure of distance, not speed, or time.
Light-seconds, light-minutes, and light-days are also measures of distance, but I never hear them misused on radio and TV, basically because I never hear them used at all. They have not really entered the public consciousness, but everyone who has watched Star Trek has heard of light-years, even if they are rather vague about just what light-years are. They just know that light-years sound sciencey, and are really, really big.
A light-year is the distance light travels in a year. (Light travels at approximately 186, 282 miles/second. Calculation of the number of miles in a light-year is left as an exercise for the student.) You can, indeed, be light-years ahead of the competition, just as you could be miles ahead of the competition, but it would not be due to being light-years faster.
I warn my students about using words they don’t understand because they want to impress people, and it is a warning reporters should also heed.