The StackPulse team has worked in stealth this past year to create the world's first reliability platform. Today we're officially announcing our seed and series A funding rounds led by Bessemer Venture Partners and GGV Capital, and launching a whole new web experience. The StackPulse Reliability Platform brings engineering methodologies and code-based automation to incident response and management - helping teams detect, analyze, and remediate service interruptions in ways IT service management tools cannot. Introducing Reliability as Code.
If you would like to sponsor TLDR, please let me know by replying to this email or check out oursponsorship page!
Beeper is a new app that can connect with 15 different messaging services. It is based on a protocol called Matrix, which offers an API that allows developers to connect with other chat networks using a bridge. Beeper is open-sourced, so users can avoid paying Beeper's $10 per month fee and run the bridges on their own servers if they choose. It works with iMessage, but that requires a few extra steps to set up. Beeper works across all major operating systems.
Alphabet is shutting down Loon. Loon provided internet from floating balloons, but the project turned out to be riskier than Alphabet had hoped. The company had a commercial service in Kenya and it also provided internet services to areas affected by natural disasters. Loon is working to place employees in other roles within Alphabet's other companies. It has pledged $10 million to support efforts in Kenya dedicated to connectivity, internet, entrepreneurship, and education.
An Israeli startup called Embryonics is using AI to improve the odds of success during in vitro fertilization. The company will use the software to analyze which embryos are most likely to survive, as well as for improving hormonal stimulation. Every woman who goes through IVF or fertility preservation has to be injected with hormones for up to two weeks to induce the ovaries to produce numerous eggs. The process at the moment requires a lot of trial and error, which the company hopes to remove with the use of AI. It is still in the very early stages of research, so it is unknown whether the project will succeed.
Modern robots can move quickly, but computing speeds haven't caught up yet. Gathering environment data and calculating plans takes up a lot of computing power. A team of researchers has developed a system called robomorphic computing, which creates customized hardware designs to best serve a particular robot's computing needs. The custom hardware performs significantly better than off-the-shelf CPU and GPU units. The team is now working on automating the process.
What if you could predict when a hard drive would fail? This article explores the possibility of using machine learning to predict hard drive failures. While machine learning can make sense of patterns in data and use that to make predictions, it can't come up with inferences that aren't supported by the data. It's unlikely that using hard drive monitoring stats is enough to accurately predict hard drive failure.
The Samsung S21 Ultra's camera can achieve a huge 30x zoom. It has four lenses on the back: a standard zoom, an ultrawide lens, a 3x optical zoom, and a 10x optical zoom. The main camera has a 108-megapixel resolution. This article contains a gallery of images shot with the S21 Ultra. While the results at 30x aren't great, the shots taken at 10x optical zoom look good enough to share. The phone was able to take shots that would've been impossible on rival flagship phones.
Secure chat app Signal saw a huge spike in growth last year. People are attracted to the app as it makes private communication simple and accessible. Encryption is important as we will never be able to build secure computers, so it is the best way to protect our data. Consumers are now more aware of how technologies are not serving them anymore. The amount of data collected by companies is concerning, and governments are unlikely to try to intervene and regulate the tech industry.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoy TLDR I would really appreciate you spreading the word by forwarding this to your friends! 🙏 Give feedback by replying here or messaging me on Twitter @tldrdan!
If you don't want to receive future editions of TLDR, please click here.