Thursday’s Recommended Reads

Some recent saved favorites from Pocket:

Developing robots that collaborate with people: The National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with NIH, USDA and NASA, has announced about $38 million in investment for developing robots that cooperatively work with people to enhance individual human capabilities, performance and safety. –

Top Reviewers On Amazon Get Tons Of Free Stuff: The original version of this story displayed an image that included information from a newsletter sent by Amazon to frequent reviewers. It was not made clear to the person who provided the newsletter to NPR that the information would be published as part of the story. – by Lisa Chow –

DARPA wants drones to have lasers too: Laser pods mounted on drones to shoot down missiles. Yeah, that’s science fiction warfare, right there. And that’s exactly what the US military wants. – by Casey Chan –

The iPad Air: There are so many millions of iPad users that no simple explanation can cover all use cases. But my take, since last year, has been that the full-size iPad is best seen as an alternative to a laptop, and the iPad Mini as a supplement to a laptop. – by John Gruber –

Video: David Bowie: : Combining headlong distortion with radically honest lyrics, Perfect Pussy are one of the year’s boldest new rock bands. –

The Quest to Build a Truly Free Version of Android: You’ve probably heard Android is free and open source. But that’s not entirely true. Although most of the code in the Android Open Source Project is indeed open source, much of the software that interacts with hardware components like GPS chips, cameras and graphics is proprietary. – by Klint Finley –

MIT Wristband Could Make AC Obsolete: Here’s a scary statistic: In 2007, 87 percent of households in the U.S. used air conditioning, compared to just 11 percent of households in Brazil and a mere 2 percent in India. – by Kyle VanHemert –

Android’s Next Targets: Wearables, TVs, Low-End Phones: The launch of Google Inc.’s Android KitKat, the next version of the most widely used operating software for smartphones and tablets, is drawing near. Google executives haven’t announced a release date but people who have been briefed on KitKat say that it is coming soon. – by Amir Efrati –

Bitcoin Pursues the Mainstream: The currency known as bitcoin — a much-hyped and much-doubted type of digital cash that can be bought with traditional money — has mostly attracted attention for its popularity in the black market, and for its wildly gyrating valuation. – by Nick Wingfield –

Stand Clear of Closing Doors! Protect Your Manicure: REMEMBER the vending machines in New York City subway stations, even on platforms? (O.K., maybe not, as it was decades ago.) Among the products straphangers could buy were cigarettes, candy and gum; there were also scales proclaiming, “Horoscope and weight 1¢.” – by STUART ELLIOTT –

Netflix’s next big battle: in-season binge-watching: Netflix, the undisputed king of full-season TV binge-viewing, is now preparing for battle with networks, along with cable and satellite providers, on a new front: in-season binge-watching. – by Search results –

Apple should be like Bloomberg: I’m very glad that the WSJ has published today’s debate between Farhad Manjoo and Dennis Berman on the subject of Apple. – by Felix Salmon – Tags: stocks,technology –

Hello, ladies: Bonobos finally launches a women’s line: Bonobos co-founder and CEO Andy Dunn may be building an ecommerce company, but his role model isn’t fulfillment-obsessed Jeff Bezos. It’s the man most people call the greatest merchant of our time: Mickey Drexler. – by Sarah Lacy –

Spotify-like Solayo plays music and videos from YouTube, Dailymotion and SoundCloud in one place: Want to stream music or videos for free right within your browser without having to open multiple tabs? In comes Solayo, a Web app that aggregates content from YouTube, Dailymotion and SoundCloud, letting you search for and play music and videos from just a single site. – by Kaylene Hong –

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