Big Tech & Startups
Stories about tech giants, startups, and venture capital
Tesla will soon downgrade software on the entry-level Model 3 (1 minute read)
Early adopters of Tesla’s entry-level Model 3 will soon have their software downgraded to match the same software as current entry-level Model 3s. The early adopters were able to enjoy many of the features of the more expensive Standard Range Plus car. These features included a wider range of travel, onboard music streaming, heated seats, faster acceleration, and Autopilot. Model 3 owners can arrange a service appointment through the Tesla app in order to purchase a software upgrade to reinstate these features.
Microsoft launches Xbox Game Pass Ultimate with PC and Xbox games for $14.99 per month (2 minute read)
The Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription is out of beta and is now available to everybody for $14.99 per month. Gamers will be able to access Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass for both Xbox and PC with the subscription. Separately, the Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Game Pass for Xbox, and Xbox Game Pass for PC are $9.99 each. A special introductory offer of $1 for the first month is available for the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription.
Science & Cutting Edge Technology
Stories about scientific breakthroughs and futuristic
technologies like AI, blockchain, and space travel
Want to Buy a Ticket to the Space Station? NASA Says Soon You Can (5 minute read)
NASA announced on Friday that it will allow private citizens to fly to the International Space Station. However, it is not changing into a space agency. Other private companies will have to organize rocket flights to and from space while paying NASA $35,000 per passenger to sleep in the station’s beds and use its amenities. The consumer price to stay at the station will likely cover these costs and more. In the past, NASA has frowned upon using the ISS as a place for business, but several new changes will allow for private companies to start conducting for-profit ventures on the station. The ISS will not sell space for corporate sponsorships. These business ventures will probably not turn a profit for NASA but will help to cover costs for running the ISS.
Forget drones, Amazon’s real robot innovation is in the warehouse (1 minute read)
Amazon has revealed two new robots at the re:MARS conference that are designed to move products around its warehouses. The Xanthus is an upgrade for Amazon’s shelf-bots that will let them operate in more environments, and the Pegasus is a completely new system that replaces the conveyors normally employed. Unlike Google or Facebook, Amazon’s business depends on being able to move billions of items through its fulfillment centers, so the company is at the forefront of developing more advanced robots with AI. While Amazon has been criticized for replacing workers with robots, these jobs are usually mindless and repetitive, and not necessarily jobs that people want to do. Amazon has also created new job positions, such as the Flow Control Specialist, who monitors the Pegasus machines.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Tools, open source libraries, and other resources
for programmers, designers, and data scientsts
Practical Deep Learning for Coders (Website)
This site covers the 2019 version of a practical deep learning course for coders. It is assumed that students have been coding for at least a year. The course recommends that beginners rent cloud machines as many have pre-installed AI setups, which means that students can focus on studying deep learning rather than figuring out how to install everything. Students can communicate with other students and AI practitioners through the course forum.
AWS costs every programmer should know (2 minute read)
When considering architecture for projects that require scale, it is handy to know the costs of the hardware that is required in order to arrive at the optimal project design. The costs of running an Elastic Compute Unit on all the different types of instances and storage levels on Amazon Web Services are compared across on-demand and reserved prices. Each ECU represents one core or CPU, rather than one instance. Some companies receive discounts from AWS, which may make a significant difference in costs.
Random stuff techies might be interested in
New Evidence of Age Bias in Hiring, and a Push to Fight It (7 minute read)
While businesses are complaining about the shortage of workers, older job seekers are finding that even with the right qualifications for the job, they are being turned away due to their age. Potential employers are able to filter out older job seekers through recruiting platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Proving age discrimination is difficult in court, and recent decisions have made it even harder for job applicants to win. Companies, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, who have substantial evidence of age disparities in hiring, continue to insist that their hiring practices are merit-based and have nothing to do with age. While individual lawsuits are expensive and difficult to win, union-supported and class-action lawsuits have gained some ground in creating more equality in the job market.