Big Tech & Startups
Stories about tech giants, startups, and venture capital
Now Facebook is allowing anyone to look you up using your security phone number (1 minute read)
Facebook allows users to submit an unpublished phone number for locking their account with 2FA. This number can be separate to the public phone number that users can list on their profiles. Last year it was discovered that Facebook used the security number for targeted advertising. More recently, it was discovered that users could be found through the search feature by only using the security number. Users were not informed of this change and do not have the option to opt out of these search results unless they completely opt out from being able to be searched by phone number.
With Big Stars and Paid Subscriptions, Luminary Aims to Be the Netflix of Podcasts (4 minute read)
Luminary is a platform for podcasts that will be launching in June. The new podcast app will focus on subscriptions and will be ad-free. Many big names have already signed up to the platform, with more than 40 exclusive shows already in the works. The subscription will be $8 a month and content creators will be paid upfront for their work, receiving a bonus if their audience numbers reach a certain threshold.
Science & Cutting Edge Technology
Stories about scientific breakthroughs and futuristic
technologies like AI, blockchain, and space travel
China’s social credit system stopped millions of people from buying travel tickets (1 minute read)
The social credit system in China was launched in 2014 and is still being piloted in specific regions. A full nationwide rollout is expected in 2020. The system tracks individuals and companies on certain factors, for example, whether they pay taxes or fines, and gives them a score based on their track record. Penalties for having a low score include restrictions on travel and education. In 2018, Chinese courts denied 17.5 million requests to fly and 5.5 million train tickets. While the idea is controversial outside of China, it is reported that many citizens welcome the system as it has helped deter fraud and improve public health.
Japan Aims To Automate All Convenience Stores By 2025 With A New RFID Technology (2 minute read)
A new type of RFID tag is able to be microwaved for up to 5 minutes. This technology may help Japan develop convenience stores that are completely automated. As Japan’s population declines, a labor shortage is expected. Convenience stores may not be able to maintain the required two or three employees at all hours of the day that they currently need. A microwaveable RFID tag is important as it allows items to be scanned at a distance and also prevents accidents, as current tags may spark when microwaved.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Tools, open source libraries, and other resources
for programmers, designers, and data scientsts
Drexa (GitHub Repo)
Drexa is an Alexa skill that allows a parrot mini-drone to be controlled via voice commands. Users with a Bluetooth enabled drone and raspberry pi can tell their drone to take off, land, rotate, move in a certain direction, or take a predetermined flight path. A video is available of Drexa in action.
Automatic App Landing Page (GitHub Repo)
Developers can quickly and easily deploy a landing page for their apps using this GitHub repository. All they need to do is fork the repo and enter their iOS app ID into the config file, and the page will be built automatically. Users can customize the page further if desired, and include screenshots and videos if available.
Random stuff techies might be interested in
The World Is Losing Fish to Eat as Oceans Warm, Study Finds (3 minute read)
A study published in January found that oceans were warming a lot faster than previously thought. As fish are very climate sensitive, they are moving to cooler waters, resulting in a decrease in fish populations in many areas. Overfishing is happening faster in certain areas as fish populations decline. Fish and seafood make up 17 percent of the animal protein consumed worldwide, and it is important to maintain sustainable levels fishing to prevent a loss of this important food source.