This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through April 30)

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COMPUTING

This Two-Inch Diamond Disc Could Hold a Staggering Billion Blu-Ray’s Worth of Data
Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo
“Using quantum memory techniques, it’s estimated that a two-inch diamond wafer will have enough data density to store the equivalent of one billion Blu-Ray discs worth of data, or roughly 25 exabytes. That’s staggering, and could theoretically solve the world’s data storage needs, but despite the Adamant Namiki Precision Jewelry Co. planning to commercialize this new manufacturing technique as early as next year, it will be quite a while before you can order a new smartphone with 25 exabytes of data onboard.”

ROBOTICS

Impressively Strong Robot Just Shattered a World Record by Jumping Over 100 Feet in the Air
Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo
“The robot’s jumping performance is believed to have reached the maximum possible performance of the materials used. When the tension in the bows is released, the robot accelerates from 0 to 60MPH in just nine milliseconds, exerting an acceleration force of 315g (most humans can’t endure more than 9gs) and leaping to a height of almost 100-feet.”

NANOTECHNOLOGY

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 construct electronic components, transport drugs through the body, or manipulate individual cells or molecules. To that end, scientists have developed nanoscale versions of many machine parts, such as motors, pistons, pumps, wrenches, and propellers. Now, the FAU team has added another vital machine part to the list—gear wheels.”

TECHNOLOGY

Why Twitter Is More Powerful Than the Printing Press
Jessica E. Lessin | The Information
“…those who dismiss [Elon] Musk’s takeover of Twitter as just a modern example of a rich mogul buying printing presses or television stations fall into a dangerous trap. They forget that the internet is unlike any communication technology that has come before it; they underestimate the power of the technology to scale and to control the public conversation.”

GADGETS

MIT Develops a Speaker Thinner Than Sheet Music
Haje Jan Kamps | TechCrunch
“This thin-film loudspeaker produces sound with minimal distortion while using a fraction of the energy required by a traditional loudspeaker. The hand-sized loudspeaker the team demonstrated, which weighs about as much as a dime, can generate high-quality sound no matter what surface the film is bonded to.”

SPACE

Could Key Ingredients for Life Have Arrived From Space? Scientists Say Yes
Will Dunham | Reuters
“A fresh examination of meteorites that landed in the United States, Canada and Australia is bolstering the notion that such objects may have delivered to Earth early in its history chemical ingredients vital for the advent of life. Scientists previously had detected on these meteorites three of the five chemical components needed to form DNA, the molecule that carries genetic instructions in living organisms, and RNA, the molecule crucial for controlling the actions of genes. Researchers said on Tuesday they have now identified the final two after fine-tuning the way they analyzed the meteorites.”

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

The Emerging Types of Language Models and Why They Matter
Kyle Wiggers | TechCrunch
“Several types are emerging as dominant, including large, general-purpose models like OpenAI’s GPT-3 and models fine-tuned for particular tasks (think answering IT desk questions). …These different approaches have major differences in strengths, shortcomings and requirements—here’s how they compare and where you can expect to see them deployed over the next year or two.”

AUGMENTED REALITY

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel Thinks the Metaverse Is ‘Ambiguous and Hypothetical’
Richard Lawler and Alex Heath | The Verge
‘Just ask a room of people how to define it, and everyone’s definition is totally different,’ [Spiegel said]. [He] also told The Verge’s Alex Heath that companies making metaverse pitches ‘are really talking about something that doesn’t exist yet,’ as opposed to augmented reality, where ‘there are 250 million people engaging with AR every day in just the Snapchat application.’ Those AR interactions include everything from the goofy selfie effects that Snap made popular years ago to more advanced shopping experiences.”

Image Credit: MARIOLA GROBELSKA / Unsplash