Big Tech &
After months-long 'pause', shortlived Google Allo messaging app will soon be sunset for good (2 minute read)
Google is shutting down their Google Allo chat app "soon", 8 months after the company said they were "pausing investment" in the app. The Google Allo project lead left for Facebook in January. Essentially the entire team has been moved to work on Android Messages. Google Hangouts "classic", the version that's in your Gmail, is getting shut down as well and all users will be migrated to Hangouts Meet, Google's enterprised focused Slack-like chat. It will open to consumers sometime in 2019. The long-term plan seems to make Android Messages the future of Google consumer chat.
Facebook fends off new anti-monopoly questions after UK email release (2 minute read)
The UK Parliament released 250 pages of Facebook documents that it had seized. The documents show that when Twitter's Vine video service tried to make a "Find Your Friends" feature, a Facebook exec sent Mark Zuckerberg an email asking if they could just shut off Vine's access. Zuckerberg replied "Yup, go for it", instantly killing off Vine's feature. The documents show that Facebook keeps "a small list of strategic competitors" and limits their access to Facebook data. "Any usage beyond that specified is not permitted without Mark level sign off." Several senators have expressed their concern, and there is increasing pressure for the FTC to take a look at what could be anticompetitive behavior from Facebook.
SpaceX Landing (45 second Video)
Elon Musk tweeted out the video from the camera attached to SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket as it aborted the plan to land on the landing pad and instead stabilized just in time to make a water landing. Evidently, if the rocket is not confident that it can land correctly on the pad it will go for a safer landing over the water like in this video.
Scientists develop 10-minute universal cancer test (2 minute read)
Scientists have developed a test that detects traces of malignant cells in a patient's bloodstream anywhere in a patient's body in less than 10 minutes. It's super cheap and simple, and detects about 90 out of every 100 cases of cancer, so this could serve as routine check for cancer in the future. The trick is that cancer DNA and normal DNA stick to metal surfaces in different ways, so this test uses tiny gold nanoparticles to detect the cancer cells.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Next Web Browser (Github Repo)
Next is an open source Lisp-based keyboard-oriented extensible web-browser designed for power users. The goal is to enable power users to be more productive by allowing fast tab switching and fast navigation without having to use a mouse. I can see how this could get big, a web browser is probably most people's most used application so it makes sense to invest some time in getting fast with it (like how people invest time learning text editors like vim/emacs). It's still pretty early stage and is missing some key stuff like adblock, but it's definitely something to keep an eye on (and a cool project for Lisp fans!).
Dev Tips (Newsletter)
Dev Tips is sort of a cool novelty newsletter for programmers, it gives a developer tip once a week in the form of a gif. Usually they're pretty short handy things you never knew you wanted, for example there are a ton of useful functionalities in Chrome's Developer Tools that I've discovered through this.
Glassdoor's Best Places To Work 2019 (List)
This is Glassdoor's annual best places to work list. Bain (the consulting firm) comes in at #1, Zoom Video (the teleconferencing software) comes in at #2, and In and Out Burger makes it in at #3! For big tech companies, LinkedIn is #6, Facebook is #7, Google is #8, Salesforce is #11, and Microsoft is #34. It looks like Netflix and Amazon didn't make the top 100 list.