TLDR Daily Update 2019-04-09

Big Tech & Startups

Stories about tech giants, startups, and venture capital
Ikea and Sonos made the ultimate speaker lamp (3 minute read)
Ikea and Sonos have been working for years to design and produce a pair of speakers, and they will be available this August. The Symfonisk ($179) is a speaker combined with a table lamp, and the bookshelf speaker ($99) is the smallest speaker that Sonos has ever made. Both speakers are fully compatible with the rest of Sonos’ range, and Ikea will integrate controls for the speakers into their smart home app. Ikea and Sonos will each handle a different part of the manufacturing process. Sonos will create the speaker parts and ship them to Ikea, who will then further assemble the parts and enclosure.
Snapchat releases rebuilt Android app (1 minute read)
Snap has finally released a version of its Android app that has been rebuilt from scratch in order to bring it on par with its iOS counterpart. There have been almost no changes to the look and feel of the app, but it should be faster, less laggy, and have fewer bugs than the previous version. Future updates for Android will be easier to write and it is possible that the Android version may receive new features faster than iOS.

Science & Cutting Edge Technology

Stories about scientific breakthroughs and futuristic technologies like AI, blockchain, and space travel
SpaceX’s Starhopper completed its first mini-launch ‘hop’ (1 minute read)
SpaceX’s Starhopper is a mini version of a spacecraft that will hopefully be able to travel throughout our solar system and maybe even to neighboring stars. The Starhopper just completed its first official ‘hop test’, where it lifted off briefly while being tethered to the launch pad. While a full-size version of Starship is still a while away, this Starhopper test will pave the way for higher test flights and full-scale launches. SpaceX has been busy lately with the tests of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, regular launches for commercial clients, and the impending second launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket.
Stanford team develops brain-rejuvenating antibodies that let old mice think like youngsters (3 minute read)
A Stanford team have identified a single gene that encodes a protein responsible for age-related cognitive losses and have successfully reversed the cognitive effects of aging on mice by blocking the gene using special antibodies. Microglia are a class of brain cells responsible for immune responses and cleanup, and their performance deteriorates with age. A test in a group of about 3,000 genes found that CD22 changed microglial eating patterns and also became more prevalent with age. Scientists blocked the gene in mice using special antibodies and the mice showed signs of cognitive improvement. This improvement was also seen in mice with symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. CD22 is also found in the human genome but it is too early to say whether the therapy will be effective in humans.

Programming, Design & Data Science

Tools, open source libraries, and other resources for programmers, designers, and data scientsts
RealtimeApp (GitHub Repo)
RealtimeApp allows developers to deploy a Full-Stack Realtime App in seconds using Serverless Components. A serverless stack such as RealtimeApp should be considered for software that needs to be delivered with low overhead. Developers only need to provide front and back-end code to deploy their software.
Muon (GitHub Repo)
Muon is a modern low-level programming language inspired by C, C#, Go, Rust, and Python. It is designed to be fast, efficient, simple, and data-oriented. The compiler currently outputs Muon code into C, which will then need to be further compiled into a binary. Currently, only 32-bit is supported but a 64-bit capable version is in development.

Miscellaneous

Random stuff techies might be interested in
Exclusive: Google asked 5,600 employees about remote work. This is what they learned (2 minute read)
Google conducted a two year study on remote work and has released findings on how to make the most out of distributed teams. The researchers found that remote workers were usually as productive as office teams. However, a few optimizations to the team would help productivity and morale, such as scheduling convenient meeting times, developing real relationships between the team, using the right team communication platforms, and making sure that clear expectations are set. These changes would help remote employees feel less frustrated and disconnected from their teams.
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