Big Tech & Startups
Stories about tech giants, startups, and venture capital
Ride-hail firm Lyft races to leave Uber behind in IPO chase (2 minute read)
Lyft, last valued at $15 billion in a private fundraising round, is expected to go public as early as the first quarter of 2019 for between $20 billion and $30 billion. Earlier this year, Lyft said it had 35% of the US ride-sharing market.
Tesla's giant battery saved $40 million during its first year, report says (1 minute read)
Tesla's 100MW Powerpack battery has provided South Australia with the same grid services as peaker plants, but cheaper, quicker, and with zero-emissions through its battery system. The energy system cost just $66 million, and has already saved Australians $40 million. Basically peaker plants are power plants that are only run when there is a spike in demand that outstrips supply so they are able to demand really high prices. Tesla's giant battery allowed power to be saved efficiently to prevent these shortages, saving Australians tons of money.
Science & Cutting Edge Technology
Stories about scientific breakthroughs and futuristic
technologies like AI, blockchain, and space travel
DeepMind Achieves Holy Grail: An AI That Can Master Games Like Chess and Go Without Human Help (2 minute read)
DeepMind has published a paper on their system AlphaZero, an AI that can crack any game that provides all the relevant decision-making information. This includes games like chess and go, but not multiplayer games like Dota 2 or games with imperfect information like poker. The system is the world's best ever player of chess, Go, and a complex Japanese game called Shogi. Murray Campbell, an IBM researcher who worked on the chess engine Deep Blue which defeated Garry Kasparov, says "This work has, in effect, closed a multi-decade chapter in AI research."
Walmart will soon use hundreds of A.I. robot janitors to scrub the floors of US stores (1 minute read)
Walmart will be deploying 360 floor-scrubbing robots made by a company called Brain Corp. by the end of January 2019. Their BrainOS operating system uses computer vision to allow the robots to navigate complex environments, and Walmart employees will be able to map out cleaning routes and then send off the robots with the press of a button.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Tools, open source libraries, and other resources
for programmers, designers, and data scientsts
Froala Design Blocks (Bootstrap Components)
Froala has put out v2 of their popular Design Blocks library. It's a bunch of components built on Bootstrap that makes it really easy to make commonly used elements like login/signup forms, headers, pricing tables, testimonials, calls to action etc. It also comes with a simple website builder, that lets you build a quick site with the components and download the html (no signup required!). It's all open source, and there are Sketch/PSD files included for designers.
C# Digest (Newsletter)
C# Digest is a weekly newsletter with news, libraries, and tutorials about the .NET ecosystem.
Random stuff techies might be interested in
Spotify Wrapped 2018 (Web Tool)
Spotify Wrapped 2018 is a fun site put out by Spotify that lets you sign in with your Spotify account and relive the music you've listened to the past year. Full disclosure, you're reading a newsletter by someone who "started 2018 by listening to One In A Million by Hannah Montana".