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7 investors discuss augmented reality and VR startup opportunities in 2020
Lucas Matney

For all of the investors preaching that augmented reality technology will likely be the successor to the modern smartphone, today, most venture capitalists are still quite wary to back AR plays. The reasons are plentiful, but all tend to circle around the idea that it’s too early for software and too expensive to try to […]

Facebook is building an operating system so it can ditch Android
Josh Constine

Facebook doesn’t want its hardware like Oculus and Portal to be at the mercy of Google because they rely on its Android operating system. That’s why Facebook has tasked a co-author of Microsoft’s Windows NT named Mark Lucovsky with building the social network an operating system from scratch, according the The Information’s Alex Heath. “We […]

The race to building a fully functional quantum stack
Walter Thompson

As we approach the age of quantum computing, it is no longer a question of ‘if,’ but rather one of ‘when’ this technology finally matures and ‘who’ will lead this emerging industry.

[Easy English Blog] Christmas

I live in Japan, but I usually spend Christmas in the UK with my family. I have lived in Japan for 20 years. Every year, I go back to the UK for Christmas. However, this year, because of COVID19, I am staying in Japan. It is my first time to spend Christmas in Japan. I … Continue reading [Easy English Blog] Christmas

Blue Origin lofts NASA and student experiments in New Shepard tomorrow morning
Devin Coldewey

The 11th mission for Blue Origin's New Shepard launch vehicle is slated for takeoff Tuesday morning. The craft will be carrying 38 (!) experimental payloads from NASA, students, and research organizations around the world. You'll be able to watch the launch live tomorrow at about 6 AM Pacific time.

Cochlear Implants
Joe Kissell

With an external microphone and processing circuitry and tiny electrodes implanted into the cochlea, some deaf people can regain partial hearing. But is this a cure or an assault on entire culture?

This robotic arm slows down to avoid the uncanny valley
Devin Coldewey

Robotic arms can move fast enough to snatch thrown objects right out of the air… but should they? Not unless you want them to unnerve the humans they’re interacting with, according to work out of Disney Research. Roboticists there found that slowing a robot’s reaction time made it feel more normal to people. Disney has […]

[Short Story] A wonderful Christmas Eve party

It was Christmas Eve. The small local train was almost empty. It was snowing very hard outside, it was very cold, and it was very dark. Suddenly the train stopped.  Everyone wondered what was wrong. Then the train conductor walked through the train. “I am very sorry,” he said to everyone. “The snow is too … Continue reading [Short Story] A wonderful Christmas Eve party

Have a brainwave

Do you know the English expression “to have a brainwave“? Read the conversation below. Can you guess the meaning? Petra: Have you worked out how to get more money? Fran: Yes, I had a brainwave yesterday. I’m going to start my own business! Does it mean: a) have a good idea b) have a headache … Continue reading Have a brainwave

Founded by former SpaceX engineers, First Resonance pitches tools to make things the SpaceX way
Jonathan Shieber

After operating in stealth mode for about two years, First Resonance, a company founded by former SpaceX engineers, is finally showing the world their software toolkit designed to let manufacturers make things using the processes employed by their former boss. It’s a suite of software products that can allow for more flexible manufacturing processes and […]

Love and Relationships: Affection breakdown - FML

Today, my wife can't be bothered to do anything that isn't work, talk about her work, and sit on the sofa. Then she complains that I don't show any affection, when she can be bothered to even talk to me. FML

XYZ Robotics raises $17M for its pick-and-place logistics robots
Brian Heater

COVID-19 is proving to be a massive driver for robotics investments — and for good reason. Robots don’t call in sick, and they’re far less likely to be disease vectors than their human counterparts. Companies attempting to keep the lights on during this and potential future pandemics are no doubt taking a serious looking at […]

Love, Pregnancy, Awkward and Break-ups: Bizarre Love Triangle - FML

Today, I was told by my boyfriend and best friend that they have feelings for each other. I also just found I was pregnant. We have 16 months left of our 18 month lease. FML

Marriage and Cheating: Run, run now - FML

Today, I discovered my husband of 3 years is cheating on me with another woman. Nice to know he has absolutely zero feelings for me at all. FML

This robot scientist has conducted 100,000 experiments in a year
Devin Coldewey

Science is exciting in theory, but it can also be dreadfully dull. Some experiments require hundreds or thousands of repetitions or trials — an excellent opportunity to automate. That's just what MIT scientists have done, creating a robot that performs a certain experiment, observes the results, and plans a follow-up... and has now done so 100,000 times in the year it's been operating.

Formant is solving the robotic Tower of Babel with a unified platform
Haje Jan Kamps

If you’re building a SaaS company or a web app, you’re not going to roll your own analytics solution — it’s specialized work with lots of edge cases, rabbit holes and, for most companies, it’s so far removed from the core platform, that it just doesn’t make sense. Formant is doing kinda-sorta the same thing […]

Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft is lost during historic lunar landing attempt
Devin Coldewey

Israel's SpaceIL almost made history today as its Beresheet spacecraft came within an ace of landing on the surface of the Moon, but suffered a last minute failure during descent. Israel missed out on the chance to be the fourth country to make a controlled lunar landing, but getting 99 percent of the way there is still an extraordinary achievement for private spaceflight.

Rocket Lab successfully launches rideshare rocket with two experimental USAF satellites on board
Darrell Etherington

Rocket Lab has successfully launched its eight mission, an Electron rocket rideshare flight carrying four satellites to orbit for various clients. The Electron launched from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, at 12:12 AM NZST (8:12 AM ET). This was its second attempt, after a scrub last week due to adverse weather conditions […]

What to expect from WWDC 2021
Brian Heater

All things considered, Apple put together a pretty slick all-virtual WWDC last year. Where other companies like Microsoft and Google have opted for a more live (or live-style) experience, the company was parading its execs through a series of smooth drone shots and slick transitions. And with the first year under its belt, it will […]

Path Robotics raises $56M Series B for automated welding
Brian Heater

Columbus, Ohio-based firm Path Robotics today announced the completion of a $56 million Series B. The round, led by Addition (featuring Drive Capital, Basis Set and Lemnos Lab) brings the robotic welding company’s total funding to $71 million. Adding another piece to the broader automated manufacturing puzzle, the company is focused on robotic welding. The […]

Archinaut snags $73 million in NASA funding to 3D-print giant spacecraft parts in orbit
Devin Coldewey

A project to 3-D print bulky components in space rather than bring them up there has collected a $73.7 million contract from NASA to demonstrate the technique in space. Archinaut, a mission now several years in development from Made In Space, could launch as soon as 2022.

VR workplace training startup Strivr lands $30 million Series B
Lucas Matney

Virtual reality has been two years away from mainstream adoption for the past six years. In that time, huge companies have made big VR bets only to walk away, countless VR startups have faded or flared out and investment has slowed significantly. Building an attractive VR product for large enterprises to train employees remotely has […]

Integrated systems for integrated programmers

One of the great tragedies of modern web development over the last five years or so has been the irrational exuberance for microservices. The idea that making a single great web application had simply become too hard, but if we broke that app up into many smaller apps, it’d all be much easier. Turned out,… keep reading

NASA, ESA and JAXA launch virtual hackathon for COVID-19 solutions
Darrell Etherington

In an impressive display of international collaboration, NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have come together to launch a virtual hackathon running between May 30 and May 31, with the aim of using open data to develop innovative solutions to problems arising from the global COVID-19 pandemic. All […]

Health, Relationships, Relatable and Parents: Thanks for your support - FML

Today, I've been bedridden for 2 weeks. My mother, a very busy woman who lives 30 minutes away, took me to the doctor's office, which is barely 2 minutes across town. Turns out I have strep, and a bad ear infection. My loving boyfriend of 6 years, who lives with me, just told me to take a hot shower and I'd feel better. FML

Special wedding - FML

Today, on my wedding day, when they said "you may kiss the bride", I swung my wife over in the romantic fashion and went in for the kiss. Unfortunately my hands were sweaty as I was nervous and she slipped under my grip. She fell and was knocked unconscious in front of hundreds of people. FML

Work and Sexism: Thanks for the support - FML

Today, I came home upset about the sexism in my work place. I just wanted to be alone, but my husband insisted we talk about it. I noticed he kept looking over and one of his hands was moving. He was playing video games the entire time I was spilling my guts. FML

Masten Space Systems to develop a GPS-like network for the Moon
Aria Alamalhodaei

Masten Space Systems, a startup that’s aiming to send a lander to the Moon in 2023, will develop a lunar navigation and positioning system not unlike GPS here on Earth. Masten’s prototype is being developed as part of a contract awarded through the Air Force Research Laboratory’s AFWERX program. Once deployed, it’ll be a first-of-its-kind […]

Mammoth Biosciences’s CRISPR-based COVID-19 test receives NIH funding through RADx program
Darrell Etherington

CRISPR tech startup Mammoth Biosciences is among the companies that revealed backing from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) program on Friday. Mammoth received a contract to scale up its CRISPR-based SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test in order to help address the testing shortages across the U.S. Mammoth’s CRISPR-based approach could potentially […]

LIV, a startup making VR gaming more interactive for audiences, raises $1M from Oculus founder, and Seedcamp
Steve O'Hear

LIV, a Prague-based company that wants to make VR gaming more fun to watch, and in turn bring players and spectators closer together, has picked up $1 million in funding. That’s a pretty modest raise as far as ambitious upstarts go — and LIV is certainly ambitious. However, the list of backers includes noteworthy names, […]