Big Tech & Startups
Stories about tech giants, startups, and venture capital
Apple kills the non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro, discounts the Air (1 minute read)
Apple has updated the MacBook Pro, with the 13-inch base model sporting an 8th generation quad-core Intel chip, and all models now featuring the Touch Bar and Touch ID. The 12-inch MacBook has been removed from the product lineup, and the MacBook Air has had a slight update to its display and a new $1,099 price tag. No other updates were made to the MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro now starts at $1,299 with a 128GB SSD, or $1,499 with a 256GB SSD.
If you’ll pay more, new Uber Comfort offers Quiet Rides (4 minute read)
Uber has launched a new option that allows passengers to communicate their preferences to drivers before they are picked up. Uber Comfort costs around 20 to 40 percent more than UberX rides, but passengers are able to signal their preferred car temperature and whether they would like their driver to remain silent during the trip. The quiet mode has been well received by both drivers and passengers. Uber Comfort vehicles need to meet higher vehicle make, model, year, and legroom requirements, while maintaining a 4.85 or higher rating to be eligible. It is now available in 43 cities and smaller states across the US, and also in Ottawa, Canada.
Science & Cutting Edge Technology
Stories about scientific breakthroughs and futuristic
technologies like AI, blockchain, and space travel
AR goggles: FORM is sorta like Google Glass, but for swimming (4 minute read)
Major tech companies such as Google have been working on augmented reality glasses for years with little commercial success. Many startups have entered into the AR market, which is predicted to be worth almost $200 billion worldwide by 2020. On Tuesday, FORM released a pair of AR swim goggles that uses artificial intelligence to track metrics. For $199, users can view metrics such as calories burned, distance traveled, split times, stroke rate, and more, all within the swimmer’s line of sight. The goggles can also display different information depending on the state of the user, for example, while swimming, after turns, and during rest. An accompanying app will be released in August when the goggles are shipped internationally. Other companies have also developed AR wearables targeted at running and bicycling.
China Is Leading the Next Step in Fighting Malaria in Africa (6 minute read)
A Chinese philanthropist and his company, New South, have set their sights on Kenya in their mission to eradicate malaria. The company produces medicine that combats malaria and wants to make the world know that Chinese medicines are of high quality and not inferior. It aims to use a Mass Drug Administration approach, where antimalarial medication is given to everybody in an area all at once to combat the disease. Theoretically, this would wipe out the disease in the area. MDA has been used successfully before. However, skeptics argue that the approach increases the chance of the disease developing drug resistance. Doctors in Kenya welcome the treatment as malaria is a heavy burden on the country’s medical system.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Tools, open source libraries, and other resources
for programmers, designers, and data scientsts
Test Each (GitHub Repo)
Test Each allows developers to test code repeatedly with different inputs. It loops over every combination of inputs, can use random functions, and is snapshot testing friendly. An in-browser demo is available.
APISIX (GitHub Repo)
APISIX is a cloud-native microservices API gateway based on OpenResty and etcd. It is able to handle traffic to the API service and also between services. APISIX provides dynamic load balancing, authentication, rate limiting, and other plugins.
Random stuff techies might be interested in
AT&T will automatically block fraud calls for new customers (1 minute read)
AT&T will start automatically blocking fraud calls for new customers at no extra charge. Customers are able to opt out of this service if they don’t want the company to screen their calls for them. Existing customers will have to wait a few months for this feature to be added automatically to their accounts, or they can turn on the feature using the AT&T Call Protect app or through their myAT&T account settings. While there are no extra fees for this service, there are no rules that prevent AT&T from raising its subscription rates for offering the service.