TLDR Daily Update 2019-02-27

Big Tech & Startups

Stories about tech giants, startups, and venture capital
Apple Plans Sleep Tracking Feature for Future Watch (2 minute read)
The main reason that sleep tracking hasn’t been implemented into the Apple Watch is due to its battery life. Currently, the smartwatch is able to last about a day and requires charging overnight. Sleep tracking implementation is planned for the next Apple Watch which may either have increased battery life, a low power mode when inactive, or the ability to quickly recharge in the morning. Currently, Apple sells a sleep tracking device called Beddit, but it needs to implement sleep tracking into the Apple Watch in order to gain more market share over other devices such as the Fitbit.
U.S. Justice Department will not appeal AT&T, Time Warner merger after court loss (2 minute read)
AT&T and Time Warner will no longer need to defend its merger against the US Justice Department after its victory in court on Tuesday. The court ruling denied the Justice Department’s claim that the merger would result in higher consumer prices. Previously, Trump had opposed the merger as it benefitted Time Warner’s CNN unit, which he claimed broadcasted ‘fake news’.

Science & Cutting Edge Technology

Stories about scientific breakthroughs and futuristic technologies like AI, blockchain, and space travel
Former Hacking Team Members Are Now Spying on the Blockchain for Coinbase (3 minute read)
Neutrino, a company that develops technology for law enforcement and financial institutions to investigate and track transactions on the blockchain, was founded by three former employees of Hacking Team. Hacking Team developed and sold software that allowed governments to spy on citizens, and while the founders of Neutrino are no longer in the industry, critics are saying that their past actions should not be taken lightly. Coinbase acquired Neutrino in order to fully control and protect their customers’ data, as requests for blockchain analysis have been increasingly common.
Google and DeepMind are using AI to predict the energy output of wind farms (2 minute read)
Generating and storing wind energy can be complicated due to the variable nature of wind. Google has used AI software developed by its DeepMind subsidiary to predict energy output, which has resulted in a 20% increase in the value of the energy it produces in its wind farms. In 2018, Google reached its goal of offsetting their energy usage with 100% renewable energy. The software is able to predict wind power output 36 hours ahead so that the power grid can make optimizations ahead of time.

Programming, Design & Data Science

Tools, open source libraries, and other resources for programmers, designers, and data scientsts
Zero Server (GitHub Repo)
Zero Server allows users to build web applications in Node.js, React, HTML, MDX, and other static files, without having to worry about package management or routing. Users can put all their files into one folder and Zero Server will automatically compile, bundle, and serve the application. Zero Server is designed to work with multiple languages and Python support is planned for future releases.
Wasmer (GitHub Repo)
Wasmer is a standalone JIT WebAssembly runtime, which is able to run any WebAssembly file. It aims to be fully compatible with Emscripten, Rust, and Go. Wasmer can be embedded directly into Rust applications.

Miscellaneous

Random stuff techies might be interested in
US Cyber Command attacked Russian troll farm on Election Day 2018 (1 minute read)
The Internet Research Agency (IRA) is a private company linked with the Kremlin that is often used for disinformation campaigns. On Election day 2018 the US Cyber Command took the IRA completely offline in a rare offensive attack. Usually, the Pentagon’s cyber activity is defensive, as attacks against foreign governments may be interpreted as an act of war. However, as most cyber attacks are carried out via unofficial agencies against other unofficial agencies, there is usually little political blowback. Russian influence in US Elections via misinformation is a real threat, and identifying and interfering with this activity is the main priority for US Intelligence agencies.
Apple highlights best photos shot on iPhone around the world (5 minute read)
The Shot on iPhone Challenge allowed photographers from around the world to share their best photos that utilized the world’s most popular camera. Winning shots came from a range of models, from the iPhone 7 to the iPhone Xs Max. The top 10 winners will be showcased across billboards, Apple retail stores, and online. View the article for the top 10 photos and a short comment from the artist or judges for each artwork.
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