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TLDR Daily Update 2020-02-14
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Big Tech & Startups
Stories about tech giants, startups, and venture capital
Many games don't load well on low memory devices and 2G or 3G networks. Google has introduced GameSnacks to address this issue. GameSnacks games are fast, easy to play, and available on any device that connects to the internet. It will be available for people in Indonesia through Gojek. GameSnacks achieves fast performance through reducing the size of the initially-loaded HTML page by compressing elements and waiting to load them when necessary. Google has reached out to developers to contact the GameSnacks team if they want to create games and apps for the platform.
Facebook will not be launching its dating service in Europe as planned as it failed to demonstrate it had performed a legally required assessment of privacy risk and give the Irish Data Protection Commission enough advanced warning. The delay may mean that Facebook will have to make some changes to how the dating product functions in Europe if regulators are not satisfied with its compliance with EU laws. Facebook first notified the DPC about the rollout of the dating feature in the EU on February 3. It has been testing and slowly rolling out the service to different countries since mid-2019.
Science & Cutting Edge Technology
Stories about scientific breakthroughs and futuristic technologies like AI, blockchain, and space travel
NASA's Mars 2020 rover has been moved from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California to the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. It was packed in a large shipping container with the license plate 'HND SGHT'. The rover was carried over 2,300 miles across the country by a pair of Air Force C-17 Globemaster cargo planes. It will start its journey to Mars in July 2020, beginning at the Jezero crater, a potential hotbed of evidence for life on the planet. The Mars Helicopter will accompany the rover to Mars and will be the first to fly on another world. NASA is currently storing the rover in the same processing facility that housed Curiosity.
A digital agency created an entirely AI-generated song, complete with lyrics and melodies, modeled after Travis Scott's music. The result was a track titled 'Jack Park Canny Dope Man' - the music video is linked in the article. It features heavily auto-tuned vocals with nonsensical rhymes. During its training phases, the AI kept generating lyrics about food.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Tools, open source, and other resources for programmers, designers, and data scientists
This website has a quiz that asks about your emotions and perceptions regarding your current job. It then assesses your burnout risk and lists your main risk factors for burnout. The site provides some information about each risk factor. A more detailed report is available after signing up to join the Global IT Burnout Index.
quadsort is a stable non-recursive merge sort based on the quad swap. Most sorting algorithms use a binary sweep where two variables are sorted using a third temporary variable. Quad swap sorts four variables using four temporary variables. This results in a much faster sorting algorithm. Benchmark results are available.
Random stuff techies might be interested in
The Department of Justice and the FBI have brought 16 charges against Huawei, alleging that the company and a number of its affiliates used confidential agreements with American companies over the past two decades to access trade secrets. Huawei allegedly used the stolen information to fund its own business. It has also been charged in connection with its activities in countries like Iran and North Korea, where it uses code words and carefully selected local partners in order to avoid international sanctions. Huawei claims that the case is an attempt to irrevocably damage its reputation and that it is invalid.
In 2017, Astrophysicists at the European Space Agency spotted an iceberg the size of Las Vegas breaking off the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica. The iceberg has since changed the nature of the Antarctic coastline and spawned new icebergs. Changes in the glacier were tracked over February 2019 to February 2020. A time-lapse video showing a series of 57 radar images from that period is available. The Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers contain enough water to raise worldwide sea levels by four feet. Glaciers are breaking off into the water at faster rates than ever before, occurring on a near-annual basis now compared to every four to six years in the past.
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