This week’s awesome tech stories from around the web (until April 30)

COMPUTING

This Two-Inch Diamond Disc Can Hold a Stunning Billion of Blu-Ray Data
André Liszewski | Gizmodo
“Using quantum memory techniques, it is estimated that a two-inch diamond wafer will have enough data density to store the equivalent of a billion Blu-Ray discs of data, or about 25 exabytes. This is impressive and could theoretically solve the world’s data storage needs, but despite Adamant Namiki Precision Jewelry Co. planning to commercialize this new manufacturing technique as early as next year, it will be quite some time before you can order a new smartphone with 25 exabytes of data on board.”

ROBOTICS

Impressively strong robot just broke a world record by jumping over 100 feet in the air
André Liszewski | Gizmodo
“It is believed that the robot’s jumping performance reached the maximum possible performance of the materials used. When the tension on the arcs is released, the robot accelerates from 0 to 60MPH in just nine milliseconds, exerting an accelerating force of 315g (most humans can’t handle more than 9gs) and jumping to a height of nearly 100 feet.”

NANOTECHNOLOGY

The world’s smallest gears measure mere nanometers to power molecular machines
Michael Irving | New Atlas
“Molecular machines and nanorobots could be extremely useful in the coming decades, helping to build electronic components, transport drugs around the body, or manipulate individual cells or molecules. To that end, scientists have developed nanoscale versions of many machine parts, such as engines, pistons, pumps, switches and propellers. Now the FAU team has added another vital piece of machinery to the list – sprockets.”

TECHNOLOGY

Why Twitter is more powerful than the press
Jessica E. Lessin | The information
“…those who dispense [Elon] Musk’s takeover of Twitter as just a modern example of a wealthy tycoon buying printers or television stations falls into a dangerous trap. They forget that the internet is unlike any communication technology that came before it; they underestimate the power of technology to scale and control the public conversation.”

GADGETS

MIT develops speaker thinner than sheet music
Haje Jan Kamps | TechCrunch
“This thin film speaker produces sound with minimal distortion while using a fraction of the power needed for a traditional speaker. The hand-sized speaker the team demonstrated, which weighs about a dime, can generate high-quality sound no matter what surface the film is glued to.”

SPACE

Could the key ingredients for life have come from space? Scientists say yes
Will Dunham | Reuters
“A new examination of meteorites that have landed in the United States, Canada and Australia is reinforcing the notion that such objects may have delivered to Earth early in its history vital chemical ingredients for the advent of life. Scientists had already detected in these meteorites three of the five chemical components needed to form DNA, the molecule that carries the genetic instructions in living organisms, and RNA, the crucial molecule for controlling the actions of genes. The researchers said Tuesday that they have now identified the latter two after adjusting the way they analyzed the meteorites.”

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

The emerging types of language models and why they matter
Kyle Wiggers | TechCrunch
“Various types are emerging as dominant, including large, general-purpose models like OpenAI’s GPT-3, and models tuned for specific tasks (think answering IT desk questions). …These different approaches have big differences in strengths, weaknesses and requirements – here’s how they compare and where you can expect to see them deployed in the next year or two.”

AUGMENTED REALITY

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel thinks the metaverse is ‘ambiguous and hypothetical’
Richard Lawler and Alex Heath | On the edge
‘Just ask a room of people how to define it, and everyone’s definition is totally different’ [Spiegel said]. [He] also said the one on the edge Alex Heath that companies making metaverse proposals ‘are really talking about something that doesn’t exist yet’, as opposed to augmented reality, where ‘there are 250 million people involved with AR every day on the Snapchat app alone’. These AR interactions include everything from the goofy selfie effects that Snap popularized years ago to more advanced shopping experiences.”

Image credit: MARIOLA GROBELSKA / Unsplash

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