Big Tech &
IBM and Samsung say their new chip design could lead to week-long battery life on phones (3 minute read)
IBM and Samsung have discovered a way to stack transistors vertically on a chip, allowing for electric currents to flow up and down the stack of transistors instead of side-to-side as with current chips. As chip designers run out of ways to add more chips in one place, it only makes sense to start stacking them upwards. The new Vertical Transport Field Effect Transistors design could result in cell phones with batteries that could go for over a week without being charged. It could also mean less energy-intensive cryptocurrency mining and more powerful IoT devices.
Reddit files to take the company public (1 minute read)
Reddit has started the process of going public by filing a confidential S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company has been rumored to be considering an IPO for some time. It made $100 million in ad revenue in the second quarter of 2021, an almost 200 percent increase from last year. Reddit plans to double its staff by the end of 2021 to around 1,400 employees. The site has around 52 million daily users with more than 100,000 active subreddits.
Microsoft’s SpaceEye Uses AI to “See” Through Cloud Cover (2 minute read)
Microsoft's Azure Space recently announced two new capabilities, SpaceEye and Project Turing. SpaceEye uses artificial intelligence to produce daily cloud-free and multispectral photos of Earth from space. It is intended to benefit agriculture, land-use monitoring, and disaster response, but Microsoft believes it could be used for much more. Project Turing improves image resolution and clarifies blurry or imperceptible snapshots. Azure Space began last year as an effort to share cloud computing capabilities with a broader scientific community.
Scientists Discover 'Significant' Water Hidden In Martian Grand Canyon (3 minute read)
A significant amount of water has been found in Mars' Valles Marineris canyon system. It is hidden beneath the surface, but not too deep underground. The reservoir could be easily exploitable for future explorers. It was discovered by the Trace Gas Orbiter, the first stage of the joint ESA-Roscosmos mission ExoMars, using an instrument that maps the hydrogen content of Martian soil. It is unknown what form the water may take, but researchers speculate that it is likely ice.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Pico.css (GitHub Repo)
HTTP/3 is Fast (8 minute read)
HTTP/3 is here and it provides major improvements to web performance. It uses a new transport protocol called QUIC that allows clients to create a series of stateful streams over UDP. This article provides an explanation of the new protocol along with benchmark results comparing site load speeds in various countries.
Embracing a Wetter Future, the Dutch Turn to Floating Homes (7 minute read)
Dutch communities have been building homes on the water for over a decade, creating flood-resistant towns for a region with scarce land and dense populations. These homes can cope with rising seas or rain-induced floods. They usually rest on steel poles and are connected to local sewer systems and power grids. The technology is now ready for large-scale deployment, and projects are being proposed in many countries, including Britain, France, Norway, and the Maldives. A picture of a floating home development in Amsterdam is available in the article.
Scientist Who Trained Rats to Play “Doom II” Says He May Start Twitch Channel (7 minute read)
Neuroengineer Viktor Tóth taught rats how to play Doom II to learn more about brain computer interfaces. His setup included a large ball that the rat could move to control movement inside the game, a reward mechanism, and other parts, totaling less than $2,000. This article features an interview with Tóth where he explains how he trained the rats to play the game. A video showing the rat in training is available in the article.