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TLDR Daily Update 2020-03-27
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Big Tech & Startups
Stories about tech giants, startups, and venture capital
A special kind of Google Glass allows children with autism to see emotions. When users wear the glasses, they can see a code that lets them know the emotions displayed on the faces around them. Studies have shown that using this technology increases kids' eye contact and social engagement, as well as improving their recognition of emotions in others. The device has yet to gain approval by the FDA and treatment is not covered by health insurance plans.
Huawei has launched its own voice assistant called Celia. It can understand commands in English, French, and Spanish, and it will be able to interact with some basic phone features at launch. Celia will be able to use AI to detect objects. The feature will appear on Huawei devices via an OTA update on April 7.
Science & Cutting Edge Technology
Stories about scientific breakthroughs and futuristic technologies like AI, blockchain, and space travel
Verily has published a video of its in-person drive-through COVID-19 testing process. To qualify for testing, people must first take an online screening questionnaire on Verily's website. Once qualified, Verily issues a reference ID and sets an appointment and location for testing. The testing site will have three stations. The first station is for ID verification, the second station matches your ID to a lab kit, and the third station is where the nasal swab is performed. Results will be available two to four days later. Testing is limited to Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, and it is not sure whether the program will expand beyond California.
An ankle exoskeleton is a device that could potentially help people run longer and faster. It could potentially even serve as a new mode of transportation. A team of engineers at Stanford University created a motorized exoskeleton rig that reduces the energy cost of running and boosts speed. Its motors tug on a cable that runs through the back of the rig from the heel to the calf, pulling the foot upwards during the toe-off and extending the ankle at the end of every step. Testers report feeling like they can run forever while using the device.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Tools, open source, and other resources for programmers, designers, and data scientists
Streamz is a Python package that helps you build pipelines to manage continuous streams of data. It can support simple use cases as well as complex pipelines that involve branching, joining, flow control, feedback, back pressure, etc. Streamz can work with Pandas and cuDF dataframes.
This repository shows the current status of tech internships. It lists tech companies, whether internships have been canceled due to COVID-19 or not, and some extra notes regarding the company's hiring status. The page will be updated regularly as new information becomes available and a form is available for suggestions of other companies to watch.
Random stuff techies might be interested in
Many people are now staying at home and depending on online marketplaces like Amazon to get essentials like toilet paper, food, and hand sanitizer. Amazon's warehouse workers, delivery drivers, and contract employees are still working throughout the coronavirus crisis. While workers are praised for their fearlessness in continuing to go to work, many are terrified and frustrated with Amazon's response to the pandemic. Employees who feel that it is unsafe to work are given limited options, so they continue to come into work. Amazon has implemented new safety precautions and increased pay for workers, but workers are still concerned as their jobs require them to be physically close to each other and sanitizing products are in short supply. Employees have to decide whether to work or have no income.
Elon Musk has been discussing making new smart home HVAC systems for a while, and now the coronavirus outbreak is making the CEO revisit the idea. Tesla has developed HVAC systems and HEPA systems for a few of its vehicles already. According to Tesla, its systems can remove at least 99.97% of fine particulate matter and gaseous pollutants, as well as bacteria, viruses, pollen, and mold spores. Musk has also talked about collecting and utilizing the condensed water produced from these systems, rather than just throwing it away like other similar systems.
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