TLDR Daily Update 2020-03-17

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Big Tech & Startups

Stories about tech giants, startups, and venture capital
Amazon to hire 100,000 more workers and give raises to current staff to deal with coronavirus demands (3 minute read)
Amazon will be hiring an additional 100,000 employees in the US to meet the surge in demand from online shopping due to the coronavirus outbreak. It will also raise pay for employees by $2 an hour in the US, £2 per hour in the UK, and approximately €2 per hour in many EU countries until the end of April. Amazon has experienced product shortages and delivery delays. Some fulfillment center employees have been taking time off work due to the virus. Amazon has launched a $25 million relief fund for grants that are equal or up to two weeks of pay if an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19. Extra precautions such as cleaning and enforcing hygiene standards have been implemented at Amazon's fulfillment centers. Amazon has advised global employees to work from home if they are able to.
TikTok guidelines said not to promote posts by ‘ugly’ and poor users (2 minute read)
TikTok guidelines for moderators state that posts by people who are ugly or who appear to be poor should be prevented from being promoted to its 'For You' section. Previous excerpts of TikTok's guidelines have been leaked in the past, including a section about preventing posts from LGBTQ users and users with disabilities from appearing in 'For You'. TikTok claims that the goal of these rules was to prevent bullying. Notes accompanying these rules say that the banned traits were less likely to draw in new users. TikTok has been under growing scrutiny for its moderation and data collection services. It is owned by a Chinese company and it has censored anti-CCP content on its platform in the past.

Science & Cutting Edge Technology

Stories about scientific breakthroughs and futuristic technologies like AI, blockchain, and space travel
1st person in US gets experimental coronavirus vaccine (3 minute read)
An experimental COVID-19 vaccine has started human clinical trials in Seattle. Over the next six weeks, 45 participants will test the safety of the vaccine as well as its ability to induce an immune response. The new vaccine was fast-tracked into clinical trials without testing on animal models. Once the trial ends, it will still need to go through two more testing stages before it can be used by the public.
Irish-developed kit confirms infection in 15 minutes (3 minute read)
An Irish company has developed COVID-19 testing kits that can provide results within 15 minutes. Current testing kits require four hours for results. The new test uses lateral flow technology to detect the coronavirus within a drop of blood. Being able to test patients for the virus quickly is key to combating it.

Programming, Design & Data Science

Tools, open source libraries, and other resources for programmers, designers, and data scientsts
npm is joining GitHub (2 minute read)
GitHub has signed an agreement to acquire npm, a critical part of the JavaScript world. It is home to over 1.3 million packages with 75 billion downloads a month. npm will still be always available and always free. The npm team will now seek to invest in the registry infrastructure and platform, improve the core npm experience, and engage with the community. GitHub and npm integration will improve the security of the open-source software supply chain and allow users to trace changes from a GitHub pull request to the npm package version that fixed it. npm Pro, Teams, and Enterprise customers who host private registries will continue to receive support and will be able to move packages over to GitHub Packages later in the year.
How to use Jupyter Notebooks in 2020 (5 minute read)
Data science is a rapidly changing industry. The need for production has grown throughout the years, evidenced by the rise in demand for machine learning engineers and data science software developers. Adoption of the Cloud is now necessary as datasets become larger. Jupyter has now grown, and we now have JupyterLab, new kernels for other languages, and third-party tooling.

Miscellaneous

Random stuff techies might be interested in
Coronavirus: 3D printers save hospital with valves (1 minute read)
Two 3D-printing companies in Italy have designed and printed 100 respirator valves in 24 hours. A prototype for the respirator valves was created three hours after a hospital found out that it had run out of the part. The companies worked for free to print the parts, but the design will not be released to the public. A second hospital has contacted the companies requesting more valves.
Verily’s coronavirus screening pilot website is already at capacity (2 minute read)
Google's sister company Verily's website is unable to schedule more appointments less than 24 hours after launch. Appointment availability is limited as it is a small pilot test for California's Bay Area. All applications will receive a call-back confirmation to schedule an appointment. Google will launch its own website later today, but it will not include screening questions or the ability to find a drive-thru testing facility. The website will be mostly informational, directing people to trustworthy sources.
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