This week in Tech Reads: micro-entrepreneurship, New Mexico's curious investment in space tourism, and the history of the veggie burger. And so much more!

  • Sarah Kessler goes inside the "gig economy," spending a month doing freelance odd jobs found through sites like TaskRabbit and Mechanical Turk. It ain't the easy life. [Fast Company]
  • Gizmodo alum Brian Lam goes diving with Howard Hall, a master cameraman who's been filming jaw dropping underwater footage for nature documentaries for nearly 40 years. [The New Yorker]
  • Alexander Nazaryan takes a deep dive into cancer research, profiling the mathematicians seeking to refine our understanding of the disease by examining it from the standpoint of chaos theory. [Newsweek]
  • Joshua Wheeler travels to New Mexico, one of the poorest states in the U.S., to see what its $250 million investment to build Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic space tourism hub has actually gotten for the state. [BuzzFeed]
  • Adam Mann reveals how this week's Big Bang discovery was kept secret in an era when scientific milestones are so often leaked months before they're confirmed. [Wired]
  • Diane Cardwell looks at Buoyant Air Turbines, floating wind electric generators that are helping make wind energy more efficient and affordable. [The New York Times]
  • Eric Jaffe examines a research project showing how Twitter could help predict crime on a street-by-street basis, better than the predictive models police are currently using. [The Atlantic Cities]
  • Ben Popper talks with Billy Chasen, founder of the recently shuttered, about how the music industry stifles innovation and discourages startups. [The Verge]
  • K. Annabelle Smith profiles the invention of the VegeBurger by Gregory Sams, a British restauranteur turned businessman whose original recipe was a favorite of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. [Smithsonian Magazine]
  • Farhad Manjoo experimented on himself to see whether a second computer monitor was really helping his productivity. [The New York Times]


Image: This new Hubble image is centered on NGC 5793, a spiral galaxy over 150 million light-years away in the constellation of Libra. This galaxy has two particularly striking features: a beautiful dust lane and an intensely bright center — much brighter than that of our own galaxy, or indeed those of most spiral galaxies we observe. Image by NASA.