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Big Tech &
Former SpaceX engineers bring autonomous, electric rail vehicle startup out of stealth (4 minute read)
Parallel Systems is a company founded by three former SpaceX engineers to build autonomous battery-electric rail vehicles. It aims to reduce carbon emissions in freight and solve the supply chain constraints of trucking and railway systems. The startup recently came out of stealth mode with a $49.55 million Series A raise. It will use the funds to build a second-generation vehicle and launch an advanced testing program to figure out how to integrate the vehicles into real-world operations. Parallel will have to convince a legacy railroad partner to let the startup use its rails before finding out if its tech can handle real-world operations.
Radian announces plans to build one of the holy grails of spaceflight (3 minute read)
Radian Aerospace is designing a single-stage-to-orbit spaceplane. The vehicle will be able to take off from a runway, ignite its rocket engines, spend time in orbit, and then return and land on a runway. The current design for the vehicle can take five passengers and carry 5,000 pounds of cargo into orbit. Radian recently closed a $27.5 million round of seed funding. It has already built and tested its first full-scale engine and plans to develop operational capability before the end of the decade.
Silicon-based qubits take a big leap forward (8 minute read)
To make quantum computing more practical will require many more qubits. Several researchers recently announced three types of high-quality qubits produced in silicon, a highly-scalable technology. The approaches will allow for many qubits to be fitted on a single silicon chip. Silicon qubits have always been error-prone, but the new approaches manage to produce gates with a fidelity rate well above the threshold needed for error correction. This article looks at the new studies and discusses the state of each project.
Programming, Design & Data Science
How to create technical conceptual diagrams (5 minute read)
Ask HN: Burned Out. What Now? (Hacker News Thread)
What should you do when you are experiencing burnout? This thread explores what someone should do when they start showing the symptoms of occupational burnout. It discusses the mental and physical aspects of resolving burnout, as well as how someone should approach the issue with their employers and co-workers. Burnout can take some time to heal and the most important thing to do is rest.
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EU wants to build its own DNS infrastructure with built-in filtering capabilities (4 minute read)
The EU is building its own recursive DNS service called DNS4EU. It will be available for free to everyone. The service will feature built-in filtering capabilities that will be able to block DNS name resolutions for bad domains. The data for the filters will come from intelligence feeds provided by trusted partners. The filter will also be used to block access to prohibited content. It is unknown whether DNS4EU will be mandatory for all EU or national government organizations.
Nine-year-old kids are launching DDoS attacks against schools (2 minute read)
A study by the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) revealed that the number of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks launched against school networks and websites more than doubled from 2019 to 2020. Many of the culprits were secondary school children, with the youngest being just nine. The NCA has launched a new initiative to educate kids on the consequences of launching DDoS attacks. Students who search for terms associated with cybercrime will see a page with information about the Computer Misuse Act and some encouragement to use their technical prowess in an ethical career. A video from the campaign by the NCA is available in the article.