Big Tech &
Salad chain Sweetgreen buys kitchen robotics startup Spyce (2 minute read)
California-based salad chain Sweetgreen has announced plans to go all-in on automation with its acquisition of Spyce. Spyce's automated restaurants first opened in 2015 and there are currently two automated restaurants in the Boston area. The two locations will stay open as Sweetgreen works to incorporate Spyce's technology into its restaurants. Sweetgreen currently operates more than 120 locations in the US. It is introducing the technology so that employees can focus more on preparation and hospitality and it has no plans to replace employees outright.
OnlyFans says it will no longer ban porn in stunning U-turn after user backlash (1 minute read)
OnlyFans has suspended its plans to ban pornography. It had previously said it was being forced to prohibit porn due to pressure from its banking partners, but it now says that it has secured the necessary assurances it needs to continue allowing sexually explicit content. Many sex workers had condemned OnlyFans for its earlier decision. OnlyFans' success has largely been due to adult performers selling their content through its platform.
Scientists Reveal World’s First 3D-Printed, Marbled Wagyu Beef (2 minute read)
Scientists from Osaka University have manufactured the world's first 3D-printed Wagyu beef. Wagyu beef is one of the most expensive meats in the world due to its high marble content, with visible layers of intramuscular fat that give it rich flavors and a distinctive texture. 3D-printing the beef was an extremely difficult feat. The scientists used a special method that involved a technique inspired by Japanese Kintaro candy. The team did not say how much the beef costs to produce or how long it would take for the product to reach the market. A diagram showing the 3D-printed meat and its structure is available.
Dawn Aerospace conducts five flights of its suborbital spaceplane (2 minute read)
Dawn Aerospace has completed five test flights of its Mk-II Aurora spaceplane. The spaceplane is designed to fly up to 60 miles above the Earth's surface, although its test flights only reached altitudes of 3,400 feet. It can take off and land from conventional airports and potentially perform multiple flights to and from space every day. Mk-II is less than 16 feet long and weighs only 165 pounds empty. While Mk-II can only carry a payload of less than 8.8 pounds, Mk-III will be capable of carrying up to 551 pounds to orbit. Mk-III will be fitted with a rocket engine to enable supersonic performance and high-altitude testing.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Miller (GitHub Repo)
Miller can edit named fields in CSV, TSV, JSON, and positionally-indexed files without needing to count positional indices. It can add, drop, and sort fields, aggregate statistically, pretty-print, and more. A screenshot is available.
Vulnerability in Bumble dating app reveals any user's exact location (23 minute read)
A vulnerability in the Bumble dating app made it possible to track a person's location. While the app tried to hide user locations by rounding their distances from the server, a dedicated attacker could still determine a user's location by spoofing a location and pinging the app's servers for the victim's location. The server's responses could be collected and analyzed to determine the user's real location. This article describes how the attack was developed and tested. The vulnerability has since been patched, with the finder being awarded a $2,000 bounty.
Feast Your Eyes Upon the World's First 3D-Printed Steel Bridge (4 minute read)
The world's first 3D-printed steel bridge debuted in Amsterdam last month. The almost 40-foot-long bridge was built by Dutch company MX3D for pedestrians and cyclists. Four robots with welding torches were used to 3D-print the structure out of 10,000 pounds of steel. Computer simulations were used to check the bridge's ability to withstand daily foot traffic and damaging weather forces. The bridge is monitored with a system of over a dozen sensors that report data on the bridge's movement, vibration, temperature, strain, and displacement to look for trends that might suggest modifications are in order. A video showing the bridge being installed is available in the article.
I 3D-Printed a Glock to See How Far Homemade Guns Have Come (15 minute read)
Ghost guns are home-assembled firearms that have no serial numbers and thus no easy way for authorities to track down the owner or manufacturer. The most common ghost guns cost a few hundred dollars and come mostly assembled with all the necessary tools. Nearly 24,000 privately made firearms were recovered at crime scenes from 2016 to 2020. The Biden administration has proposed new rules that will require serial numbers on certain unfinished parts and restrict mail order kits. This article follows the author's experience in printing their own gun in order to compete in a shooting competition exclusively for home-assembled firearms.