This week’s awesome tech stories on the web (until June 4)

COMPUTING

Photon manipulation for microseconds surpasses 9,000 years on a supercomputer
John Timmer | Ars-Technica
“With a few tweaks to the design described a year ago, [quantum computing startup] Xanadu is now able to sometimes perform operations with more than 200 qubits. And he showed that simulating the behavior of just one of these operations on a supercomputer would take 9,000 years, while his optical quantum computer can do them in just tens of milliseconds.

THE INTERNET

Researchers in Japan just set a staggering new speed record for data transfers
Andre Liszewski | Gizmodo
“Researchers from Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) have successfully sent data over a custom multi-core fiber-optic cable at a speed of 1.02 petabits per second over a distance of 51 ,7 km. This equates to sending 127,500 GB of data every second, which the researchers say is also enough capacity for over “10 million 8K broadcast channels per second.”I

AUTOMATING

California allows driverless taxi service to operate in San Francisco
Associated Press | The Guardian
“Cruise and another robotic car pioneer, Waymo, have already charged passengers for rides in parts of San Francisco in self-driving vehicles with a backup human driver present to take control if something goes wrong with the technology. But now Cruise has been allowed to charge for rides in vehicles that won’t have anyone on board but passengers — an ambition that a wide variety of tech companies and traditional automakers have been pursuing for more than a century. decade.

COMING

With Glass Buried Under Ice, Microsoft plans to preserve music for 10,000 years
Mark Wilson | fast business
“Located in Norway, it is part of a cold store dug into the same mountain as the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. While the Seed Vault protects Earth’s Seed Vault, the Global Music Vault aims to preserve sound art for generations to come. …dubbed Project Silica, you might be oversimplifying [Microsoft’s] technology as something akin to a glass hard drive that reads like a CD. It’s a 3-inch by 3-inch platter that can hold 100GB of digital data, or about 20,000 songs, pretty much forever.

HEALTH

‘How do you decide?’ Cancer treatment’s CAR-T crisis is killing patients on a waiting list
Angus Chen | Statistical
“In the fall of 2021, Patel saw only one possibility to save Goltzene’s life: a newly approved CAR-T cell therapy for myeloma. … It’s an approach that is transforming the treatment of blood cancers : CAR-T therapy labs convert immune system T-cells into cancer cell killers by inserting a gene for what’s called a chimeric antigen receptor But the process is slow and laborious, and drugmakers can’t just not follow.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

How to make the universe think for us
Charlie Wood | Quantum
“Physicists are building neural networks from vibrations, voltages and lasers, saying the future of computing lies in harnessing the complex physical behaviors of the universe. …McMahon sees his devices as striking, albeit modest, evidence that you don’t need a brain or a computer chip to think. “Any physical system can be a neural network,” he said.

SPACE

AstroForge aims to succeed where other asteroid mining companies have failed
Eric Berger | Ars-Technica
“…the company plans to build and launch what Gialich called a “small” spacecraft to a near-Earth asteroid to mine regolith, refine that material, and send it back to Earth on a ballistic trajectory. It will then fly through Earth’s atmosphere with a small heat shield and land under a parachute. …Acain and Gialich, respectively veterans of SpaceX and Virgin Orbit, readily admit that what they propose is rather audacious. But they think it’s time for commercial companies to start looking beyond low Earth orbit.

COMPUTING

Listening to the brain with 10,000 electrodes
Barun Dutta | IEEE Spectrum
“Version 2.0 of the [Neuropixels] system, demonstrated last year, increases the number of sensors by about an order of magnitude compared to the initial version produced just four years earlier. It paves the way for future brain-computer interfaces that could allow paralyzed people to communicate at speeds approaching those of normal conversation. With version 3.0 already in development, we believe Neuropixels is only at the beginning of a long road of exponential growth in capabilities, similar to Moore’s Law.

TRANSPORTATION

This is what flying carports should look like
Nicole Kobie | Wired
“It may be years before flying cars take flight, but designers and engineers are already testing the infrastructure they will need to operate. …to hail an “air taxi,” passengers will need to go to a local vertiport, which could be on top of train stations, office buildings, or even floating in water. Determining exactly what these buildings will need is not straightforward. Urban-Air worked with Coventry University on a virtual reality model to test out space before spending 11 weeks assembling Air One, [Urban-Air Port’s 1,700-square-meter modular popup building].”

Image Credit: Bryan Colosky / Unsplash

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