Big Tech &
Uber will test 'autonomous' food delivery sometime next year (2 minute read)
Uber and autonomous vehicle company Motional have partnered up to provide autonomous deliveries through Uber Eats. A pilot program will launch sometime in early 2022 in Santa Monica, California. Only a curated set of meal kits from selected restaurants will be available. Safety operators will be present in the vehicles at launch. Uber has pursued partnerships with self-driving firms since selling its own self-driving division in 2020.
Apple reportedly wants to make its own wireless chips for the iPhone (2 minute read)
Apple is opening an office in southern California and hiring engineers to work on wireless radios, radio-frequency integrated circuits, and a wireless SoC. The area is home to Broadcom and Skyworks' engineering offices. It appears Apple is attempting to recruit talent from these companies so it can develop its own hardware and lessen its reliance on them. Apple has long-term supply and licensing agreements with Qualcomm and Broadcom that extend until at least 2023, so it will be some time before Apple will have its own chips in its iPhones.
A New 0.4-MM-Thick 'Paper Battery' Can Power a Small Fan for 45 Minutes (2 minute read)
Scientists from Singapore have developed paper-thin biodegradable zinc batteries. The batteries are made up of electrodes screen-printed onto both sides of a sheet of hydrogel-reinforced cellulose paper, coated with a layer of gold foil. They are flexible and about 0.4mm thick. When buried in soil, the batteries will break down completely within a month. The batteries could potentially be used to power wearables, foldable smartphones, and biomedical sensors. A video demonstrating the various properties of the batteries is available in the article.
Elon Musk Wants SpaceX to Reach Mars Using Carbon Capture. Here's How It Could Work (5 minute read)
SpaceX is starting a program to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and turn it into rocket fuel. The technology will be important on Mars, as fuel could be created from the planet's CO2-rich atmosphere. Technologies already exist for capturing carbon from the atmosphere, but SpaceX will still need to find a way to do this at scale. If successful, space tourism could change from an environmentally dubious activity into an inherently eco-friendly act.
Programming, Design & Data Science
HTML Sanitizer API (2 minute read)
Cleaning user input before it is used again is typically done with code or libraries, but it can also be done in the browser. The HTML Sanitizer API allows developers to take untrusted HTML input and sanitize it for safe insertion into a document's DOM. It is not a W3C Standard nor is it on the W3C Standards Track. A link to the draft report published by the Web Platform Incubator Community Group is available.
Harlem (GitHub Repo)
Harlem is an extensible state manager for Vue 3. It features extensions and plugins, a simple and functional API for creating, reading, and mutating state, and more. An interactive demo that shows some of the core features of Harlem is available.
Sidewalk Labs products will be folded into Google proper (2 minute read)
Sidewalk Labs is winding down after six years. The unit had plans to build a smart neighborhood on Toronto's waterfront, but the project was shut down in May last year due to unprecedented economic uncertainty. Its CEO has also had to step down due to health-related reasons. Sidewalk products Pebble, Mesa, Delve, and Affordable Electrification will join Google.
Scientists Have Identified the First ‘True’ Millipede (7 minute read)
While the name millipede means 'thousand foot', no millipede has ever actually been seen with 1,000 legs, until now. A new species has been discovered with 1,306 legs. The previous record for the most legs on a millipede was 750. The new millipede was found over 196-feet below ground in Western Australia. It has no eyes, and its 95-millimeter long body is made up of 335 segments. A picture of the millipede is available in the article.