Big Tech & Startups
Stories about tech giants, startups, and venture capital
Disney bans Netflix ads from all of its TV channels except ESPN (1 minute read)
Disney has banned Netflix ads from all of its TV platforms except for ESPN in preparation for its launch of Disney+ on November 12. The company had originally considered banning ads for all Disney+ competitors, including Amazon Prime Video. Amazon is currently not planning to offer support for Disney+ on its Amazon Fire TV Platform. Disney+ will cost $6.99 per month, or $69.99 for a full year, and will be ad-free. The service will offer a bundle deal that includes access to ESPN+ and Hulu. Disney took full control of Hulu in May.
PayPal withdraws from Facebook’s libra cryptocurrency (3 minute read)
PayPal announced on Friday that it will withdraw from Facebook's Libra Association in order to focus on its existing mission to democratize access to financial services for underserved populations. When Libra was announced in June, many global regulators, lawmakers, and industry insiders questioned Facebook's motives and had concerns regarding its privacy, money laundering, consumer protection, and financial stability. Facebook will not have unilateral control of Libra. The Libra Association, which is made up of 28 corporate backers, will help govern the cryptocurrency. Other financial partners such a Visa and Mastercard may be reconsidering involvement with Libra following backlash from government officials. Lawmakers in the House Financial Services Committee are looking to bring Facebook's top executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, to testify on Libra.
Science & Cutting Edge Technology
Stories about scientific breakthroughs and futuristic
technologies like AI, blockchain, and space travel
The transhumanists who are 'upgrading' their bodies (6 minute read)
A growing number of people who call themselves 'transhumanists' believe that they can improve beyond their physical and mental limitations and upgrade their bodies by incorporating technology. Modifications can include implanting RFID chips to make interaction with technologies easier, magnets to sense electromagnetic fields, and LED implants for cosmetic reasons. Not all the modifications are practical. Microchips are usually delivered by a syringe to the back of the hand and can be programmed to do various tasks. RFID chips are used for many technologies, for example, key cards, bank cards, public transport tickets, and sharing other information. Buying parts online and performing the procedures at home can be risky. Most tattoo artists and body piercers are covered to do implants.
Stockton Residents Who Received $500 a Month in Basic Income Experiment Spent Money on Food, Clothing, and Bills (3 minute read)
An 18-month, privately funded program which started in February involving 125 people in Stockton, California, found that when needy people received a $500 a month guaranteed income from the government, they spent most of the money on things such as food, clothing, and utility bills. The mayor of Stockton has committed to publicly releasing data from the experiment to convince lawmakers to implement the program statewide. Many people associate those who are struggling economically with vices like drug use, alcohol use, and gambling. Critics of the study say that it doesn't provide any useful information due to the study's limited size and duration. The behavior of people on a short term basic income program may be different if participants knew the income was permanent.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Tools, open source libraries, and other resources
for programmers, designers, and data scientsts
Timsort — the fastest sorting algorithm you’ve never heard of (7 minute read)
Timsort is a very fast stable sorting algorithm built for the real world. It was created for Python in 2001. Timsort works by first analyzing the list it is trying to sort and then choosing an approach based on that analysis. It is the default sorting algorithm in Python, Java, Android, and GNU Octave. It has great performance on arrays with preexisting internal structure and it is able to maintain a stable sort.
lego (GitHub Website)
lego is a fast static site generator that generates optimized, performant websites. It is built with NodeJS, supports Nunjucks and Liquid templates, automatically generates a sitemap and RSS feeds, generates images for various resolutions, live-reloads during development, and more. A demo website is available.
Random stuff techies might be interested in
It’s time to ban cars from Manhattan (10 minute read)
New York's traffic problem seems worse now than it has ever been. Traffic has always been an issue in New York. Many people have tried to solve the city's traffic woes, but none have succeeded. Commercial use of the streets has caused most of the traffic in the past. As the number of residents grew, more people needed to use the same streets. Most residents do not own vehicles but use private transport services. Public transport systems and new roads have done little to alleviate the problem. While there are more plans being put into place to improve the roads, it may be better to create more traffic-free zones and reinvest more into public transport.
Ask HN: Cool stuff that's still completely unregulated? (Hacker News Thread)
New technologies such as drones, e-bikes, vapes, and 3d printing are beginning to receive varying amounts of regulatory attention, but many emerging technologies are still yet unregulated. Data laundering, obtaining datasets via crawling or other means and altering it to bypass copyrights, using it to clone websites/businesses, or for other purposes, is a common occurrence nowadays. Fitness devices, which are quickly developing in terms of their abilities, will soon be able to analyze blood samples. Programmers are able to write any code and run it on their personal computers. There are many more examples in this thread of unregulated technologies that may be regulated in the future as they can be dangerous or easily exploited.