This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through January 20)


AR Has Inherited All the Promise and Hype of VR
Nick Statt | The Verge
“The full spectrum of AR was present on the floor of the show’s many gadget expos and booth halls, making it easy to see the parallels today with the VR of five years ago. VR these days has largely retreated into the background, with commercial products from three big consumer brands that have set a high bar and brushed away many of the subpar competitors and hopeful but impractical prototypes. In VR’s place, however, AR has taken up the mantle of the exciting new category we once reserved only for science fiction.”


Harvard’s milliDelta Robot Is Tiny and Scary Fast
Evan Ackerman | IEEE Spectrum
“Harvard’s delta robot takes all of this cleverness and shrinks it down into a fearsome little package. The 15 mm x 15 mm x 20 mm robot weighs just 430 milligrams, but it has a payload capacity of 1.3 grams. It can move around its 7 cubic millimeter workspace with a precision of about 5 micrometers. What’s really impressive, though, is the speed: It can reach velocities of 0.45 m/s, and accelerations of 215 m/s2, meaning that it can follow repeating patterns at a frequency of up to 75 Hz. Just watch…”


U.S. Doctors Plan to Treat Cancer Patients Using CRISPR
Emily Mullin | MIT Technology Review
“Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania say they will use CRISPR to modify human immune cells so that they become expert cancer killers, according to plans posted this week to a directory of ongoing clinical trials. The study will enroll up to 18 patients fighting three different types of cancer—multiple myeloma, sarcoma, and melanoma—in what could become the first medical use of CRISPR outside China, where similar studies have been under way.”


The Rocket That Will Take Elon’s Car to Mars Is About to Test Its Engines
Daniel Oberhaus | Motherboard
“SpaceX is scheduled to complete the first static fire of its Falcon Heavy, which the company hopes will one day carry astronauts to Mars. A static fire involves testing the rocket’s engines at full thrust for a few seconds while the rocket is held in place on the launch mount… According to SpaceX, the Falcon Heavy’s 27 Merlin engines pump out thrust that’s roughly equivalent to 18 Boeing 747 planes with their engines at full throttle.”


What’s at Stake With Amazon’s New HQ? Ask Newark
Issie Lapowsky | Wired
“Amazon’s picks for its so-called HQ2 are, with a few exceptions, already thriving. Newark is one of those exceptions. At 7.9 percent, Newark’s unemployment rate sits at roughly double the average of the other cities on the list. It has the highest poverty rate, too, with nearly one-third of its population living under the poverty line…This dichotomy of Newark’s extreme need and the proposal’s extreme generosity provides a striking illustration of what cities stand to gain—or lose—from Amazon’s decision.”

Image Credit: SpaceX / Flickr

Singularity Hub Staff
Singularity Hub Staff
Singularity Hub chronicles technological progress by highlighting the breakthroughs and issues shaping the future as well as supporting a global community of smart, passionate, action-oriented people who want to change the world.
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