This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through October 22)


Chip Can Transmit All of the Internet’s Traffic Every Second
Matthew Sparkes | New Scientist
“A single computer chip has transmitted a record 1.84 petabits of data per second via a fiber-optic cable—enough bandwidth to download 230 million photographs in that time, and more traffic than travels through the entire internet’s backbone network per second. …’It’s an incredibly large amount of data that we’re sending through, essentially, less than a square millimeter [of cable]. It just goes to show that we can go so much further than we are today with internet connections,’ said [Asbjørn Arvad Jørgensen].”


Physicists Got a Quantum Computer to Work by Blasting It With the Fibonacci Sequence
Isaac Schultz | Gizmodo
“In the recent research, pulsing a laser periodically at the 10 ytterbium qubits kept them in a quantum state—meaning entangled—for 1.5 seconds. But when the researchers pulsed the lasers in the pattern of the Fibonacci sequence, they found that the qubits on the edge of the system remained in a quantum state for about 5.5 seconds, the entire length of the experiment (the qubits could have remained in a quantum state for longer, but the team ended the experiment at the 5.5-second mark).”


Technology That Lets Us ‘Speak’ to Our Dead Relatives Has Arrived. Are We Ready?
Charlotte Jee | MIT Technology Review
“From what I could glean over a dozen conversations with my virtually deceased parents, this really will make it easier to keep close the people we love. It’s not hard to see the appeal. People might turn to digital replicas for comfort, or to mark special milestones like anniversaries. At the same time, the technology and the world it’s enabling are, unsurprisingly, imperfect, and the ethics of creating a virtual version of someone are complex, especially if that person hasn’t been able to provide consent.”


Tired of Laundry Folding? AI Breaks the Robot Folding Speed Record
Benj Edwards | Ars Technica
“Using machine vision, a neural network called BiManual Manipulation Network (BiMaMa-Net), and a pair of industrial robot arms, SpeedFolding can fold 30–40 randomly positioned garments per hour, usually finishing each within two minutes. While that rate does not sound impressive compared to a human, previous robotic garment-folding methods reached only ‘3-6 FPH’ (that’s ‘folds per hour’) according to the researchers in a paper submitted for presentation at IROS2022 next week in Kyoto.”


Mechanical Neural Network Could Enable Smart Aircraft Wings That Morph
Matthew Sparkes | New Scientist
“The team built a network of 21 beams, each 15 centimeters long and arranged in a triangular grid. Every beam is equipped with a small linear motor, which can alter its stiffness, and sensors that measure how far each ‘neuron,’ or beam joint, is out of position. This allows a computer to train the network by tweaking the beam stiffness. Once this is done, the structure requires no external computation and the various beam stiffnesses are locked in.”


Aluminum Alloy Could Boost Spacecraft Radiation Shielding 100-Fold
Alex Wilkins | New Scientist
“They found that the alloy was 100 times more resistant to doses of radiation than an alloy of aluminum called 6061, which is widely used in spacecraft. This would make the material well suited for spacecraft that have to spend very long periods under constant irradiation. It could extend the life of missions like the James Webb Space Telescope and deep-space probes. The material could also be used to contain miniaturized nuclear reactors on spacecraft, or in habitable structures on the moon or Mars, says [Stefan] Pogatscher.”


Inside the Proton, the ‘Most Complicated Thing You Could Possibly Imagine’
Charlie Wood and Merrill Sherman | Quanta
“High school physics teachers describe them as featureless balls with one unit each of positive electric charge—the perfect foils for the negatively charged electrons that buzz around them. College students learn that the ball is actually a bundle of three elementary particles called quarks. But decades of research have revealed a deeper truth, one that’s too bizarre to fully capture with words or images.”


A New 3,200-Megapixel Camera Has Astronomers Salivating
Ramin Skibba | Wired
“That’s when the telescope will begin collecting 20 terabytes of data every night for 10 years. With it, scientists will build a vast map of the sky as seen from the southern hemisphere, including 20 billion galaxies and 17 billion stars in the Milky Way—a significant fraction of all galaxies in the universe and of all stars in our own galaxy, [Aaron] Roodman says. They’ll also amass images of 6 million asteroids and other objects in our solar system. Such a gigantic cosmic database would’ve been unthinkable until very recently.”

Image Credit: Alexander Ant / Unsplash

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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