Big Tech & Startups
Stories about tech giants, startups, and venture capital
‘Infinite leverage’ — some Robinhood users have been trading with unlimited borrowed money (1 minute read)
A bug in the Robinhood stock-trading app has allowed users to trade with 'infinite leverage'. Using Robinhood Gold, users can borrow money to buy stocks. The glitch allowed users to overstate the amount of money users had in their accounts to borrow against. One user claimed they were able to take a $1,000,000 position in stock using only a $4,000 deposit. Robinhood is aware of the issue and is communicating directly with customers. The company has a $7.6 billion valuation with 6 million users.
YouTube rolls out Super Stickers, a new way for creators to make money (2 minute read)
YouTube fans who want to show their support for their favorite creators can now purchase Super Stickers to use within the live chat feature. To be eligible for Super Stickers, creators must have a monetized channel with more than 1,000 subscribers in supported markets. A Super Chat feature was launched almost three years ago which highlighted fans' messages in bright colors within live chat to give it more visibility. More than 100,000 channels have used Super Chat, with some channels earning more than $400 a minute. There will be eight Super Sticker packs at launch, five of which are animated. The packs are available in five languages across 60 countries and will cost from 99 cents to $50. Super Stickers will be completely rolled out by the end of the week.
Science & Cutting Edge Technology
Stories about scientific breakthroughs and futuristic
technologies like AI, blockchain, and space travel
China is testing "emotion recognition" systems in Xinjiang (2 minute read)
China has been testing surveillance systems aimed at detecting people's emotions. The goal is to eventually be able to predict crimes using machine learning. Companies that have jumped at the opportunity to join the effort were promptly added to the US trade blacklist. Emotion recognition technology has been deployed in Xinjiang, a region known to be home to over one million Muslims that are being held in internment camps. Experts say that current emotion recognition technology doesn't work and that creating a working emotion recognition system would be difficult, if not impossible. Companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon openly admit to the rudimentary abilities of their facial recognition systems. China has also been testing gait-recognition systems, a social credit system, and an app that maps and publicly shames 'deadbeat debtors'.
Everything You Need to Know About Superstar CRISPR Prime Editing (5 minute read)
CRISPR was created from a bacterial defense system and has been the only gene-editing tool for many years. It is cheap and effective, and it revived the entire field of gene therapy. A new technique has been discovered that may be able to correct nearly 90 percent of all disease-causing genetic variations. Prime editing is a search-and-replace editor for the human genome. It can change individual DNA letters, delete letters, or insert blocks of new letters into the genome, with little damage to the DNA strand. Early experiments with cultured cells have been extremely promising. CRISPR has issues with accuracy and it damages genes during editing. Prime editing is much more gentle with DNA as it is much more accurate, and this results in more control over the type of edits that can be made. It will still need rigorous testing before it becomes widely accepted.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Tools, open source libraries, and other resources
for programmers, designers, and data scientsts
Awesome Robotic Tooling (GitHub Repo)
This repository contains resources and tools for professional robotic development with ROS in C++ and Python. Topics include Architecture and Design, Framework, Hardware, Simulation, Sensor Processing, and more.
Stripe CLI (1 minute read)
Stripe CLI is a new tool that allows users to interact with Stripe right from the terminal in order to make it easier to build, test, and manage Stripe integration. The CLI allows developers to test webhooks, tail real-time API logs, and create or update API objects. It natively supports macOS, Windows, and Linux. A short video demo is available showing some of the features of Stripe CLI.
Random stuff techies might be interested in
Google Workers Demand Company Cut Contracts With Oil Industry (2 minute read)
More than 1,100 Google employees joined together to publish an open letter to Googles chief financial officer, Ruth Porat, to demand that the company create a stronger plan to address climate change. The letter urges Google to put its users first, and that it should stop offering cloud computing services to oil-related companies. Google's services include using AI-powered algorithms to help these companies identify new oil extraction sites. The letter also demands that Google stop funding conservative trade groups, that it should aim to generate zero carbon emissions by 2030, and that it should stop any collaborations that involve the mistreatment of refugees. Google has declined to comment on the letter. It has previously made statements about its efforts to achieve environmental sustainability. Amazon employees have also recently called on Amazon to phase out fossil fuel use and cut out all cloud computing contracts with the oil and gas industry. The company has responded by purchasing more electric vehicles in order to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 but has declined to cut its cloud computing contracts.