Weekly Rewind: 3D-printed bones, an AI alliance, Blue Origin's suicide mission

weekly rewind top tech stories 10 01 2016 wr 1 head
In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on that it’s almost impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories from this week. Everything from how Drake celebrated reaching one billion streams on Apple Music to a possible Portal movie announcement from J.J. Abrams, it’s all here.

The world’s biggest tech giants go all in on AI

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The biggest names in tech are teaming up to form a new organization dedicated to advancing the public’s understanding of machine learning. The Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society (aka the Partnership on AI) is a non-profit whose members include Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft.

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Beijing’s silver-plated ‘Smog Free Tower’ turns pollution into carbon cubes

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Beijing residents are all too familiar with air pollution. The Chinese capital ranks 76 in the top 100 most polluted cities in the world. On high pollution days, dense smog permeates the sky, contaminates the streets, and of course, is breathed into people’s lungs. But today Beijing gets a little help from the world’s largest outdoor air purifier — a 23-foot-tall, metal hexagon called the Smog Free Tower.

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You can’t drill a headphone jack into your iPhone 7, but you can use this case

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The iPhone 7 has been a huge hit since its release, but it turns out not everyone’s happy with what it has to offer. The biggest issue? The lack of a headphone jack. Fuze is here to change that, however, with an iPhone 7 case that has a built-in headphone jack. The case is being launched through an Indiegogo campaign, which had raised $19,361 of its $60,000 flexible goal at the time of this writing.

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J.J. Abrams teases possible ‘Portal’ movie announcement at ‘Westworld’ premiere

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In 2013, Gabe Newell and J.J. Abrams teased fans in attendance at their Dice Summit keynote with the possibility of a Portal movie. We haven’t heard a great deal more about the project in the years since, but now there’s word that an announcement should be on its way sooner rather than later. Star Wars: The Force Awakens director Abrams expressed renewed hope in the project in comments he made at this week’s premiere of Westworld.

Read the full story here.

The new Porsche Panamera rights the original model’s wrongs

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In June, Porsche put an end to weeks of teasing by revealing the all-new, second-generation Panamera. We just got our first look at the car in Paris, and we have just one thing to say. Damn. Marginally longer, wider, and taller than before, the 2017 Panamera is equal parts evolutionary and revolutionary. Its front fascia is carried over from the outgoing model with only subtle modifications such as new-look headlights and a re-shaped bumper.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook rewards Drake for reaching one billion streams

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Drake is starting to become the Michael Jordan to Apple’s Nike. Earlier on Monday on Instagram — the default platform for all rapper press releases — Drake released a picture of his plaque for his album Views surpassing one billion streams on Apple Music. Drake’s Views was released April 29 and was an Apple Music exclusive for two weeks. He was presented the plaque by Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Read the full story here.

BlackBerry will begin outsourcing smartphone production to third parties

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The rumors were true: BlackBerry is officially exiting the smartphone business. During the company’s second-quarter earnings call on Wednesday, CEO John Chen said the firm would minimize its involvement in hardware manufacturing as it seeks to redouble its software efforts. “The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in a statement. “This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital.”

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Musician builds awesome Arduino-powered MIDI controller, and so can you

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Making music can be an expensive hobby, particularly if you don’t set limits on the equipment you’re willing to shell out for. That’s the fate musician Alex Coover, aka Glacial Geyser, came close to experiencing when he set out to get his hands on a new piece of musical equipment. Or, rather, it’s the fate that certainly would have befallen him if he didn’t turn out to be so darn good at DIY projects.

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Surprisingly flexible 3D-printed bones could be used for treating fractures

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Scientists have demonstrated a new, 3D-printed hyperelastic “bone” that could be used in future implants and grafts to help mend a variety of bone-related injuries. “This is a very unique material that’s sort of a synthetic analog to natural bone,” Ramille Shah, professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, told Digital Trends.

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Blue Origin has set a date for a crucial mid-air safety test that’ll likely blow up its rocket

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With a test crew set to climb aboard a Blue Origin rocket as early as next year, Jeff Bezos and his team know the system has to be as safe as it can possibly be when it takes that monumental step. Recent calamities suffered by other private space companies have certainly brought into sharp focus the huge challenges involved in such missions.

Read the full story here.

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