TLDR Daily Update 2019-01-29

FaceTime's bug, Apple's gaming service, laser whispers...

Big Tech & Startups

Stories about tech giants, startups, and venture capital
Major iPhone FaceTime bug lets you hear the audio of the person you are calling...before they pick up (2 minute read)
A bug allows users to listen to audio from FaceTime calls before the receiver has picked up the call. Users only need to create a Group FaceTime call with the target and themselves, and the audio from the target phone will be heard, even if the person hasn’t answered the call. Apple plans to fix this bug in an update later this week and has disabled Group FaceTime calls in the meantime.
Apple reportedly plans ‘Netflix for games’ subscription service (2 minute read)
Apple is planning to roll out a subscription service on it’s App store. This will allow users to pay a monthly subscription fee to have access to a range of premium games. It is hoped that this change will encourage developers to create more in-depth, serious titles, as the hardware on Apple devices catches up to traditional consoles.

Science & Cutting Edge Technology

Stories about scientific breakthroughs and futuristic technologies like AI, blockchain, and space travel
Lasers can send a whispered audio message directly to one person’s ear (2 minute read)
Scientists have been able to send targeted, quiet messages from several meters away, in a way that nobody else nearby would be able to hear. Using a laser beam, sound was transmitted at 60 decibels over a distance of 2.5 meters. In theory, this technique can be used to directly send messages without any special receiving equipment, and further research will continue to increase range and working conditions.
When seeing is no longer believing: Inside the Pentagon’s race against deepfake videos (5 minute read)
Deep fakes or videos created using artificial intelligence technology and these videos are increasingly common and easy to make. The US government has taken notice of this technology and its potential for abuse and has begun to develop techniques to identify deep fakes. The article contains videos explaining in depth what deep fakes are, how they are created, and how the deep fakes can be identified.

Programming, Design & Data Science

Tools, open source libraries, and other resources for programmers, designers, and data scientsts
Tiny KABOOM (GitHub Repo)
Tiny KABOOM is a teaching aid designed to help with the understanding of raytracing for explosions in C++. It is written in 180 lines of code and it is accompanied by a guide that explains the theory and reasoning behind the code.
x-spreadsheet (GitHub Repo)
x-spreadsheet is a javascript plugin that will install a web-based spreadsheet for your site. Users will be able to enjoy a fully functioning spreadsheet app, with an interface similar to the one used in Google Sheets.

Miscellaneous

Random stuff techies might be interested in
U.S. Charges Huawei With Stealing Trade Secrets, Bank Fraud (5 minute read)
US prosecutors have filed charges against Huawei, alleging that the company stole trade secrets from an US rival and committed bank fraud by doing business with Iran, a violation of sanctions against the country. Huawei has asked for charges against their CFO, Meng Wanzhou to be dropped, claiming that the prosecutors were making a mistake.
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