Big Tech &
Apple Watch leak offers rare glimpse inside ‘Ultra security program’ (2 minute read)
A video purporting to show an Apple Watch prototype has leaked. The prototype in the video is concealed by a security case that resembles a tiny iPod, and it runs Apple's own internal development apps on a pre-watchOS 1.0 software build. A label on the packaging indicates that the device is a prototype classified under Apple Confidential and that it was designated under an 'Ultra' security program. The two-minute video is available in the article.
Boston Dynamics robots take over the dance floor in latest video (2 minute read)
Boston Dynamics has released a new video showing its entire lineup of robots doing a coordinated dance routine. The company was recently purchased by Hyundai from SoftBank for $1.1 billion. It has three robots: the humanoid Atlas, the dog-shaped Spot, and the box-juggling Handle. Atlas and Handle are still just research prototypes, but Spot can be purchased for $74,500. The three-minute video is available in the article.
3D-Printed Electric Motorcycle Looks Straight Out of Blade Runner (2 minute read)
BigRep has revealed a 3D printed electric motorcycle named the Nera E-Bike. The bike features airless tires, embedded electronics, and forkless steering. It is not intended for production. The only parts on the bike that are not 3D printed are its electronic components. BigRep manufactures large-format industrial 3D printers. Many vehicle companies across the globe are looking into large-scale 3D printing as a possible manufacturing option. Images of the motorcycle are available in the article.
Japan developing wooden satellites to cut space junk (2 minute read)
Sumitomo Forestry and Kyoto University are working together to develop wooden satellites. Space junk is becoming an increasing problem. 60% of the nearly 6,000 satellites currently circling Earth are defunct. Nearly a thousand satellites will be launched every year this decade. Sumitomo Group was founded more than 400 years ago and it is currently developing wooden materials that are highly resistant to temperature changes and sunlight. Wooden satellites would burn up in the atmosphere without releasing harmful substances or raining debris to the ground. Current satellites burn and create tiny alumina particles that float in the upper atmosphere for many years, which will eventually affect the environment of the Earth.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Electronic References (Website)
This website features a collection of links to freely available CS textbooks. It also has a list of papers that are good stand-alone introductions to certain topics, and links to courses for special topics. Subjects include programming language theory, mathematical logic, model theory, software engineering, and more.
Upptime (GitHub Repo)
Upptime is an uptime monitor and status page powered by GitHub Actions, Issues, and Pages. It checks your website every 5 minutes to make sure it's up and creates incident reports if an endpoint is down. Screenshots are available.
Fujifilm Created a Magnetic Tape That Can Store 580 Terabytes (3 minute read)
Fujifilm has developed a new type of magnetic storage tape that can store 580 terabytes of data. It uses Strontium Ferrite (SrFe), a magnetic particle commonly used for making motor magnets. SrFe has higher magnetic characteristics and 60% less particle volume than its predecessor, while remaining chemically stable, making it ideal for long-term data preservation. Data on the tape is stored at 317 gigabytes per square inch. Tape storage is cheap and it requires no energy, unlike hard drives and flash. If stored properly, data on the new tapes will still be readable in 30 years.
Apple, Amazon, and Tesla supplier accused of using forced labor (3 minute read)
Lens Technology, a long-time, major partner of Apple, has been accused of using forced labor in its factories. Apple conducted an independent assessment of its supply chain in 2019 to enforce its standards, but is unknown whether Lens was included in the investigation. The US government is attempting to pass a bill to stop goods made with forced labor from the Uyghur region from entering the US. While Apple has been publicly against forced labor, it has come under fire multiple times for its labor practices in China.