This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through July 9)


Rocket Lab Offers Next-Day Shipping to Space
Devin Coldewey | TechCrunch
“It wasn’t long ago that orbital launches were something that took years of planning and months of tests and careful preparation. But Rocket Lab’s new program will enable customers to show up at the launch site with their payload in the boot and have it in orbit 24 hours later. Premium next-day rates will apply, of course.”


FIFA Will Track Players’ Bodies Using AI to Make Offside Calls at 2022 World Cup
James Vincent | The Verge
“The semi-automated system consists of a sensor in the ball that relays its position on the field 500 times a second, and 12 tracking cameras mounted underneath the roof of stadiums, which use machine learning to track 29 points in players’ bodies. Software will combine this data to generate automated alerts when players commit offside offenses…”


MIT Proposes Brazil-Sized ‘Space Bubbles’ to Cool Earth
Kristin Houser | Big Think
“Instead of injecting particles into Earth’s atmosphere to cool the planet, an interdisciplinary team of MIT researchers proposes we take solar geoengineering to space. …The proposed shield would be about the size of Brazil, and the bubbles for it could be manufactured and deployed in space, possibly out of silicon—the group has already experimented with creating these ‘space bubbles’ in the lab.”


The Robot Guerrilla Campaign to Recreate the Elgin Marbles
Franz Lidz | The New York Times
“While security staff [at the British Museum] looked on, the two used standard iPhones and iPads, as many of the latest models are equipped with Lidar sensors and photogrammetry software, to create 3D digital images. …The 3D images of the marble horse head were uploaded into the carving robot, which shaved the prototype over four days.”


Bacteria Could Produce Powerful and Cleaner Rocket Fuel
Kevin Hurler | Gizmodo
“Because the carbon geometry in a POP-FAME is more compact than those found in preexisting fuels, it allows a greater number of molecules to fill the same amount of space. What’s more, acute angles within POP-FAMEs place stress on the carbon bonds, and this stress, the researchers surmised, could be a major source of potential energy and with a cleaner production process.”


Autonomous Drones Challenge Human Champions in First ‘Fair’ Race
Evan Ackerman | IEEE Spectrum
“Here are some preliminary clips from one of the vision-based autonomous drones flying computer-to-head with a human; the human-piloted drone is red, while the autonomous drone is blue. With a top speed of 80 km/h, the vision-based autonomous drone outraced the fastest human by 0.5 second during a three-lap race, where just one or two-tenths of a second is frequently the difference between a win and a loss.”


3D Printing Grows Beyond Its Novelty Roots
Steve Lohr | The New York Times
“They say 3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, is no longer a novelty technology for a few consumer and industrial products, or for making prototype design concepts. ‘It is now a technology that is beginning to deliver industrial-grade product quality and printing in volume,’ said Jörg Bromberger, a manufacturing expert at McKinsey & Company.”


Crypto’s Free Rein May Be Coming to a Close
Gian M. Volpicelli | Wired
“Regulation is coming for crypto. After more than a decade when cryptocurrencies and related technologies have surged, boomed, and busted in a regulatory vacuum, lawmakers in both the US and Europe are writing new rules for a sector that has grown dangerously large in both value and reach, touching $2.9 trillion at its peak in November 2021. The ongoing crash on crypto markets has only strengthened rule-makers’ resolve.”


Cruise’s Robot Car Outages Are Jamming Up San Francisco
Aarian Marshall | Wired
“For [MIT roboticist and entrepreneur Rodney Brooks], robotaxis getting stuck in and blocking traffic is evidence of the challenges faced by Cruise and its competitors as they try to turn promising prototype autonomous vehicles into large-scale commercial services. ‘A lot of technologists think if you do a demo, then that’s it. But scaling is what kills you,’ he says. ‘You run into all sorts of things that didn’t happen at a smaller scale.’i


Will These Algorithms Save You From Quantum Threats?
Amit Katwala | Wired
“For the last six years, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)…has been running a competition to find the algorithms that it hopes will secure our data against quantum computers. This week, it published the results. ‘People have to understand the threat that quantum computers can pose to cryptography,’ says Dustin Moody, who leads the post-quantum cryptography project at NIST. ‘We need to have new algorithms to replace the ones that are vulnerable, and the first step is to standardize them.’i

Image Credit: Bit CloudUnsplash

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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