TLDR Daily Update 2019-01-15

Qualcomm refuses Apple, Facebook Event Stories, blockchain lawyers...

Big Tech & Startups

Stories about tech giants, startups, and venture capital
Apple says Qualcomm refused to sell it chips for the latest iPhones (2 minute read)
In a testimony to the US Federal Trade Commission, Apple's chief operating officer said that Apple wanted to use Qualcomm modems in the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, but Qualcomm refused to sell them after Apple sued over their licensing practices. Apple originally wanted to split its modem order between Qualcomm and Intel but had to go with Intel exclusively, which likely delayed Apple in bringing a 5G phone to market as Intel's 5G chips won't be available until 2020.
Facebook’s new Stories feature for event sharing actually sounds useful (2 minute read)
Facebook is releasing a way to share Events using Stories. The feature is rolling out on both iOS and Android in the US, Brazil, and Mexico. This version of Stories is specifically designed to provide details of Events with tappable stickers for event details and ways for friends to toggle themselves as "interested" or "going" directly in the story.

Science & Cutting Edge Technology

Stories about scientific breakthroughs and futuristic technologies like AI, blockchain, and space travel
Hate lawyers? Can’t afford one? Blockchain smart contracts are here to help. (3 minute read)
Online firms like Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom are experimenting with blockchain smart contracts that could track all the rights and obligations of a given contract and automatically trigger payments without anybody having to chase up payments offline. For example, if a business needed to pay a freelancer for a task, using smart contracts, it's possible to automate tracking the progress of the task and sending payment, all without the need for human intervention. Rocket Lawyer has already launched a beta for Rocket Wallet, a platform for "legal contract execution and payment" on the Ethereum blockchain, all without requiring users to actually handle or interact with cryptocurrency. LegalZoom has begun working on smart contracts as well.
China completes world’s first 5G remote surgery in test on animal (1 minute video)
Doctors in China have conducted remote surgery on a test animal, removing its liver by controlling robotic surgical arms over a 5G connection. This is possible because 5G is so fast that despite the 30 mile distance between the doctor and the patient, the lag time was only 0.1 seconds so surgery was still possible. The hope is that this technology could be used to help people in disaster areas, or for doctors at large hospitals to help colleagues in smaller institutions.

Programming, Design & Data Science

Tools, open source libraries, and other resources for programmers, designers, and data scientsts
Google Earth Reverse Engineering (GitHub Repo)
Some guy reverse engineered Google Earth's API so you can extract 3D images from Google Earth. Pretty amazing, he's still pushing commits pretty fast but it's already usable.
mailtolink.me (Web Tool)
This is a cool web tool that lets you write an email and it will automatically generate the mailto link so you can create a hyperlink that populates the email automatically using href="mailto...".

Miscellaneous

Random stuff techies might be interested in
This is the first truly great Amazon Alexa and Google Home hack (3 minute read)
Two designers have hacked together an open source hardware design called Project Alias that you can build yourself using a Raspberry Pi. It acts as a layer between your smart speaker and your home, so that you can use a custom wake word to turn on Project Alias which will then turn on your smart speaker. If you don't use the Project Alias wake word, then Project Alias uses white noise to disrupt your smart speaker's microphone so it can't hear anything, ensuring your privacy.
How do you motivate yourself to keep working on a project? (Hacker News Thread)
Lots of sound advice for getting over the fear of shipping a project here, from breaking things down into smaller subtasks to utilizing your own existential dread.
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