Big Tech & Startups
Stories about tech giants, startups, and venture capital
Airbnb to acquire last-minute hotel booking service HotelTonight (1 minute read)
Airbnb has purchased HotelTonight, a last-minute hotel booking service, a little over a year after the launch of Airbnb Plus. Airbnb Plus is a service that provides bookings for boutique hotels and traditional bed and breakfasts. HotelTonight will continue to operate as usual, however, listings from Airbnb Plus will likely be added into the range of choices in the app. Since working with hotels, Airbnb has been able to enter into markets that have stricter rules around short term stays, and it tripled its hotel bookings between 2017 and 2018.
Tesla launches new Supercharger with 1,000 mph charging, better efficiency, and more (3 minute read)
The new Supercharger V3 is launching in Fremont today with 250 kW charging and better efficiency. The benefits are available to Model 3 owners after a software update. The Model S and Model X will be supported in the future, but there have been no announcements about the timeframe. Along with the ability to charge at a rate of 1,000 mph, the new update will also grant the Model 3 the ability to pre-heat the car battery prior to charging, allowing for an average reduction of charge times by 25%. Using liquid cooled charging cables, the Supercharger V3 will have a 1 MW power cabinet, which is able to charge vehicles independently without power share between stalls.
Science & Cutting Edge Technology
Stories about scientific breakthroughs and futuristic
technologies like AI, blockchain, and space travel
Would you want to stay in a space hotel? (4 minute read)
Space tourism may become a reality soon, with the construction of the Aurora Station beginning later this year. The Aurora Station aims to be the world’s first space hotel, allowing up to four guests to travel in space for the price of $9.5 million per person. While the idea of staying at a space hotel sounds exciting, there are many things to consider. Guests will sleep in sleeping bags attached to the craft, eat freeze-dried food, and deal with the problems that come with low-gravity, all while living inside a structure that is 43.5ft long by 14.1ft in diameter. Cosmic radiation may also cause genetic damage. In order to qualify for the trip, guests will have to undergo physical testing, and as this is an industry where delays happen more often than not, it is possible that some of the guests on the current waiting list may be too old or develop medical conditions by the time the Aurora Station becomes a reality.
Medical device creates temporary 'second skin' to treat wounds (2 minute read)
Nanomedic Technologies, an Israeli startup, has created a portable device that can create a temporary and transparent skin layer that can be applied to patients without touching the wound. The device uses a patented electrospinning technology which creates nanofibers by applying a strong electric field to polymer solutions which then knit together in layers to form a nanofibrous mat that mimics skin. The polymer solution can be combined with antibacterial creams, antibiotics, collagen, silicon, hydrogel, or cannabinoids, depending on the patient’s needs. Treatment is fast, and patients can take showers after only 2 days without the need to redress the wound. The device is set to launch in the second half of 2019.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Tools, open source libraries, and other resources
for programmers, designers, and data scientsts
Ghidra Software Reverse Engineering Framework (GitHub Repo)
Ghidra is a software reverse engineering framework created and maintained by the National Security Agency. The framework includes a suite of tools that enables users to analyze compiled code across a variety of platforms, including Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Users can develop their own plug-in components or scripts using Java or Python. The repository is a placeholder for a full, open-source release and currently contains no code, however, Ghidra can be downloaded from the project homepage that is linked.
MiDispositivoMIDI V3 (GitHub Repo)
MiDispositivoMIDI is an open source MIDI controller based on Arduino, created by BanaNut Electronics. As it works with the well-known MIDI protocol, it can be plugged into any digital audio workstation and work without additional software. The code is fully customizable, and users can build the device from scratch using the schematics and code that is available on the repository. Fully built devices are also available for purchase. The device has a modular design, so users can expand the number of buttons on the device by attaching additional units without much modification to the code.
Random stuff techies might be interested in
FoundersGrid (Weekly Newsletter)
FoundersGrid is a bi-weekly newsletter that includes a curated list of stories in tech, actionable business guides, and discounts on new tools and products. Sort of like a weekly version of TLDR!
I Quit My Job to Protest My Company’s Work on Building Killer Robots (5 minute read)
Machine learning will make war more efficient and the technology is already being used in combat today. In 2014, Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, along with thousands of AI researchers signed a pledge to never contribute to the development of lethal autonomous weapons, but these weapons are already being developed and used in other countries. While semi-autonomous weapons are common, they still require a human to authorize a kill. Fully autonomous weapons are able to select and kill targets, without any human authorization other than to start the operation. There are good reasons to fear this technology, which will change the way that humans wage war in the future.