Big Tech &
Waymo’s driverless taxi service can now be accessed on Google Maps (2 minute read)
Waymo One can now be accessed and booked through Google Maps. It will be the first fully autonomous ride-hailing option available in the app. Waymo has about 600 vehicles in its US fleet, with about 300 to 400 of those in the Phoenix area. Waymo One only uses driverless vehicles, so any vehicle that pops up on Maps will be driverless. Users will still need the Waymo app to book rides.
Apple to Announce Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro at WWDC, Says Wedbush Analyst (2 minute read)
Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives sent out a note to investors saying that Apple will be announcing 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros with Apple silicon at WWDC next week. The new MacBook Pros are rumored to have several changes including the removal of the Touch Bar, a more flat-edged design, an HDMI port, an SD card slot, and MagSafe magnetic charging. It could feature an M2 chip, but it is more likely to have an M1 chip. Ives' note also included other predictions about the iPhone 13, Apple Glasses, and the Apple Car.
China's New Space Station Will Be Powered by Ion Propulsion System (3 minute read)
China's Tiangong space station's first module will have an ion propulsion system that will greatly improve energy efficiency and slash journey times to Mars. While ion thrusters have been used since the 1970s, this will be the first time a crewed spaceship is propelled by one. Ion drives use electricity to accelerate ions as a type of propulsion. Using ion thrusters is more efficient than using chemical propulsion, so spacecraft will be able to carry significantly less mass in fuel on missions. While ion thrusters sound good on paper, they so far haven't been used as the thrust created has not been significant enough.
Engineers create a programmable fiber (4 minute read)
MIT researchers have created a fiber that has digital capabilities. Digital fibers have the potential to uncover patterns in the body for use in physical performance monitoring, medical inference, and early disease detection. The fibers are created by placing silicon microscale digital chips into a preform and then using the preform to create polymer fiber, being careful to control polymer flow to ensure continuous electrical connection between chips. They can be sewn into fabrics, washed at least 10 times without breaking down, and store files for two months without power. The fibers have an AI component that can collect and analyze data from the body.
Programming, Design & Data Science
GitUI (GitHub Repo)
GitUI is a git GUI that works in terminal. It features fast and intuitive keyboard-only control, context-based help, a scalable terminal UI layout, an async git API, and more. A GIF demo is available in the repository.
Easegress (GitHub Repo)
Easegress is a traffic orchestration system. It is designed for high availability and performance, observability, extensibility, and integration with other systems. Easegress features multiple protocols, rich routing rules, API management, a pipeline-filter mechanism, and more.
Amsterdam tests out electric autonomous boats on its canals (2 minute read)
The Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions and MIT are collaborating on a project to develop new ways of navigating waterways autonomously. Using autonomous systems would make highly complex port operations safer and more efficient. The Roboats project has developed a 4-meter long electric boat that is steered by a remote computer. The boat is modular, so it can be easily adapted for different purposes. It will still be two to four years before self-steering technology will be ready.
United Airlines aims to revive Concorde spirit with supersonic planes (2 minute read)
United Airlines has bought 15 planes capable of traveling at 1,300mph, with an option on an additional 35 planes from the manufacturer. The planes will carry between 65 to 88 passengers. Seats will be initially priced the same as business class fares. The planes will be the first large commercial aircraft to use 100% sustainable aviation fuel. Concorde currently holds the record for the fastest transatlantic flight by a civilian plane, but the airliner retired from service in 2003.