Big Tech &
Leak reveals Instacart is working on a 15-minute delivery plan (3 minute read)
Instacart is planning on testing a 15-minute delivery service that will rely on human shoppers. It will pay a company that manages couriers to fulfill orders from the same grocery stores that Instacart already uses. The service will be competing with several unprofitable startups. It is unknown where the tests will begin, but an early version of the service may launch as soon as February.
Google is making its first in-house smartwatch that could launch in 2022 (3 minute read)
Google could be launching its first smartwatch in 2022. The watch will have basic fitness tracking features and will be aimed at competing with the Apple Watch. Google is currently working on Wear OS 3 in a partnership with Samsung and is reportedly working on debuting a Fitbit integration into the OS when the new watch launches. Google purchased Fitbit earlier this year for $2.1 billion. The Pixel hardware group is working on the watch separately from Fitbit.
Microsoft's New Molecular Controller Makes DNA Writing 1,000 Times Faster (3 minute read)
DNA storage will help meet humanity's exponential desire for data storage, but it is expensive, at around $3,500 for synthesizing 1 megabit of information. The technology offers incredible storage density at over 1 exabyte per cubic inch and it may have a lower carbon footprint than traditional computer storage. Researchers at Northwestern University recently announced a new method that can write DNA in hours rather than days. The increase of writing throughput will greatly reduce the cost of writing synthetic DNA code and help to enable commercial DNA storage in the future.
Rocket Lab unveils details of new reusable Neutron launcher (5 minute read)
Rocket Lab has unveiled details about its Neutron rocket. The rocket will be made out of a special carbon composite and will be mostly reusable. It will have its second stage inside of the first one, so the first stage remains with the rocket after its fuel is spent. The second stage will be attached to the payload and stay housed inside the body of the rocket. The top of the rocket will open up once in space to release the second stage and payload. The payload will then be released through a hinged fairing. A video featuring Rocket Lab's CEO Peter Beck eating a hat and then explaining the design is available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Karpenter (GitHub Repo)
Karpenter is a node provisioning project built for Kubernetes. It watches for unschedulable pods, evaluates scheduling constraints requested by the pods, provisions nodes that meet the requirements of the pods, schedules the pods to run on the new nodes, and removes the nodes when they are no longer required. Multiple provisioners can be defined for cases like isolation, entitlements, and sharding.
Open Props (Website)
Open Props provides CSS custom properties to help accelerate adaptive and consistent design. It can be easily implemented and it is useful in any framework. Props can be customized from the command line or mapped from JS. Examples of sites built with Open Props are available.
Tesla is now selling a $1,900 electric Cyberquad ATV for kids (2 minute read)
Tesla is selling a mini Cyberquad designed for kids for $1,900. The Cyberquad can get up to around 15 miles on a full charge, which takes five hours. It can reach a top speed of 10 mph, but this can be limited to 5 mph. The Cyberquad is designed for kids 8 and up, with a max weight of 150 lbs. It is only available in the US and there is no guarantee that Tesla will deliver in time for Christmas. A picture of the Cyberquad is available in the article.
Here’s how Google’s experimental 3D telepresence booth works (3 minute read)
Project Starline is a 3D video chat booth from Google that aims to replace one-on-one 2D video conference calls. Google recently released a research paper detailing the tech behind its demo of Project Starline at this year's I/O conference. The system consists of a large 65-inch 8K panel running at 60Hz, three capture pods for collecting imagery and depth data, four tracking cameras, four microphones, two loudspeakers, and infrared projectors. It captures a total of seven video streams. Processing this data requires transmission bandwidth of between 30Mbps to 100Mbps and four high-end Nvidia graphics cards. More details, including diagrams and a video demonstrating the technology, are available in the article.