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TLDR Daily Update 2020-03-13
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Big Tech & Startups
Stories about tech giants, startups, and venture capital
Tesla Model 3 owners in China recently started to notice that their cars were being equipped with an older generation computer chip despite being told that the cars came with the newest chip installed. The Chinese government had ordered Tesla to shut down its Shanghai Gigafactory at the end of January. It re-opened on February 10, but the company is still trying to recover from the disruption. Tesla executives were summoned to explain the issue to China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, who ordered them to rectify the problem according to related regulations. Tesla has offered a free hardware upgrade for customers once production recovers, but some owners are looking at forming a class action suit. The newest chip is 21 times faster than the older generation chip, but Tesla insists that this makes almost no difference to the driver experience.
AT&T has suspended all broadband usage caps in preparation for millions of Americans self-isolating in order to slow the rate of COVID-19 expansion. Consumer groups and a coalition of Senators are pressuring other service providers to follow suit. Broadband caps and overage fees don't serve any real technical purpose and are a result of ISPs taking advantage of an uncompetitive market. Internet usage is expected to go up as people start using video-conferencing and other bandwidth-heavy applications while they work from home or try to entertain themselves for an unknown period of time.
Science & Cutting Edge Technology
Stories about scientific breakthroughs and futuristic technologies like AI, blockchain, and space travel
Oxford VR is a UK-based virtual reality startup that has recently launched a VR-based therapy to help people overcome social anxiety. VR technology has found a place in health care, with major health organizations like the UK's National Health Service already using the technology for social engagement. Around 15 million people in the US are estimated to have social anxiety disorder. With social engagement therapy through VR, people can train to be more confident, feel safe, and overcome trigger situations in safe and controlled environments. The program is automated and doesn't require the presence of a qualified clinician, which means that anyone who can access a VR headset can receive treatment.
Bitcoin has plummeted by 26% in its worst daily selloff in seven years. The digital currency has lost nearly a third of its value in the past five days. While many people believed that crypto investments were immune to the current stock market volatility, the recent downturn is evidence that the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the markets. Bitcoin passed the $10,000 mark in early February. Despite the downturn, it is still up by over 50% over the past 12 months.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Tools, open source, and other resources for programmers, designers, and data scientists
It is important to deliver changes as fast as possible in modern application development. Secure continuous integration can be achieved using DroneCI, GitHub, and Slack. Drone requires a VPS with SSH access and a public IP. It is possible to set up a simple web app for free using a Amazon Cloud VPS service. Step by step instructions are provided.
Digital designs are constantly changing in order to fit users' ever-evolving needs and tastes. Dark mode is one of the hottest web design trends as it looks ultra-modern, allows highlighting and popping other design elements, saves on device battery power, and reduces eye strain. Imperfect visuals are becoming more accepted as they make things look more unique and inventive. Immersive 3D elements, soft shadows, layers, and floating elements are making websites seem more futuristic and also have some practical uses in UI design. Websites are finding new ways to present information, like different methods of graphing data, combining different art mediums, and integrating computer-generated graphics into designs. Designers are making text larger and less complicated, simplifying language and using less formal tones in their communications. Color designs are a lot bolder, with frequent unusual combinations.
Random stuff techies might be interested in
Web designer Bill Evans creates art using cascading style sheets, drawing pictures by coding individual elements in a language normally used to make websites look good. Pure CSS drawings are rendered live in the browser, rather than being a static image file. Evans has created an interactive spider's web, a telephone box, a spinning playing card, an animated person taking a walk, and various still lifes using pure CSS. Links to view Evans' artwork are available in the article.
Many employees will be working from home in the coming months because of the coronavirus outbreak. During this period of change, it is normal to feel bad. The switch from working in an environment with co-workers to one where you are alone all day can be tough for many people. There is also the stress of dealing with the outbreak itself. If you are feeling bad, try to reconnect with the world with a few small interactions. In our technological world, there are many ways we can still interact without requiring a physical presence. Get dressed for work, and remember to maintain a routine. Designating a special work area will help you keep focused. Remember that as you are working from home, you will need to have systems in place to monitor yourself. Improve your video setup so you can communicate better with others. Finally, don't fall into the trap of overworking. Working from home means you need to set clear boundaries on when you are working so you don't burn out.
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