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Big Tech & Startups
Stories about tech giants, startups, and venture capital
Samsung's New Product Promises Garden In Your Fridge (2 minute read)
Samsung has unveiled its Chef Garden refrigerator at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas. The refrigerator features a Growing Zone where a wide variety of seed capsules can be planted. Chef Garden delivers water and nutrients to plants via a nutrient fog. It controls growth conditions, predicts growth, and controls when crops are harvested. The refrigerator is also able to recommend recipes based on the fruits and vegetables grown inside of it. Chef Garden is available for purchase by the public, but Samsung has not yet released retail pricing. Samsung also presented at the KBIS an AI that could recognize food inside refrigerators and suggest recipes, and the AirDresser, a device that sits in a closet and uses steam technology to smooth out wrinkles, deodorize, and sanitize clothes.
Tinder will give you a verified blue check mark if you pass its catfishing test (3 minute read)
Tinder will be launching new safety features that include a photo verification system, a service that gives daters an easy way to call emergency services, and a feature that flags potentially offensive messages. Tinder is considering implementing an 'undo' feature that will allow users to unsend messages. Users who pass the photo verification process will receive a blue checkmark on their profiles, giving their potential matches peace of mind that they won't be catfished. The photos are manually verified by humans, but this process will be automated in the future.
Science & Cutting Edge Technology
Stories about scientific breakthroughs and futuristic
technologies like AI, blockchain, and space travel
Talk like an Egyptian: mummy's voice heard 3,000 years after death (4 minute read)
Nesayamun was an ancient Egyptian priest that was in his 50s when he died from an allergic reaction. Researchers have created a 3D-printed reproduction of Nesyamun's over 3,000-year-old vocal tract to hear what his voice would have sounded like. A team from the University of London took a series of CT scans of Nesyamun's mummified body to create the 3D model. Some parts, such as the tongue that had shriveled, were virtually filled in. The model was attached to an electronic larynx and loudspeaker. Using this method, the team recreated the sound of Nesayamun's voice. The team is working on a way to move the vocal tract to form different sounds.
Coronavirus outbreak: doctors use robot to treat first known US patient (2 minute read)
The coronavirus that originated from China has reached the US. It has killed 17 people in China so far. A man in his 30s who had recently been in central China was diagnosed in Seattle and admitted into the special pathogens unit in a hospital in Everett, Washington. The patient is in a satisfactory condition, but doctors did not say when he would be released from the hospital. A robot was used to treat the patient in order to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. More than 540 people have been hospitalized with the virus in Wuhan. Most of those who have died of the virus were 60 or older, and all have been in China. The CDC has said that the risk of the virus to the American public is low.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Tools, open source libraries, and other resources
for programmers, designers, and data scientsts
Google’s search engine for scientists upgraded for better data scouring (2 minute read)
Dataset Search is now out of beta, containing almost 25 million datasets on a wide range of information. Google's search engine for datasets launched in 2018 in order to unify the world of online open-access data. Institutions like universities, governments, and labs were encouraged to add metadata tags to their webpages, allowing Google to index their data. This has caused the community to start publishing metadata more seriously, with publications like Nature rolling out policies to require data sharing with proper metadata. Dataset Search's new features include the ability to filter data by its type, whether it is free to use, and the geographic areas it covers.
How I write backends (GitHub Repo)
Federico Pereiro has been developing backends for web applications since late 2012, and this document summarizes how he writes his code. He discusses architecture, tools, development, deployment, maintenance, security, admin, and many other topics. Topics go in-depth with explanations of the what, why, and hows of backend development. Pereiro also makes recommendations for best practices.
Random stuff techies might be interested in
TikTok inks licensing deal with Merlin to use music from independent labels in videos and new Resso streaming service (3 minute read)
TikTok has been building a new music streaming service to compete against Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. It recently announced a licensing deal with Merlin, a global agency that represents hundreds of thousands of artists, to use the labels' music legally on TikTok anywhere that the app is available. TikTok has secured deals with other major labels but has been restricted from going public on the details. The licensing deal with Merlin covers TikTok's upcoming music subscription service, Resso. Resso was first spotted in the wild as a test app in India and Indonesia. Despite being one of the most popular apps, TikTok still struggles to gain revenue, and a music streaming app is one way for it to generate revenue. It has been working on ways to become independent from China as it continues to face regulatory scrutiny for its acquisition by ByteDance.
Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri's SF Home Got Swatted (2 minute read)
Facebook's head of Instagram Adam Mosseri had both his homes swatted in November. These retaliatory attacks are spawned by anonymous trolls on dark-web forums. Authorities in New York City and San Francisco received multiple reports that people were being held hostage inside Mosseri's homes, resulting in hours-long standoffs at both locations, twice. Similar attacks involving other tech executives have happened around the Bay Area and Seattle in the last couple of years. Seattle has launched a registry for potential swatting victims. People who have signed up for the registry will receive a phone call by the police if they are reported to be involved in hostage situations or something similar. There are currently no federal laws against swatting, and attacks can be launched anonymously without much fear of getting caught. A swatting incident in 2017 left a 28-year-old man dead after he was shot by a policeman.