Big Tech &
Tesla shares fall after SEC asks judge to hold Elon Musk in contempt for violating deal (2 minute read)
In October 2018, a court ruling declared that Elon Musk must have prior approval for any tweet prior to publication. On February 20, Musk tweeted that Tesla would make around 500,000 vehicles in 2019 but later clarified that he actually meant that the annual production rate could be 500,000 vehicles. The SEC has asked a judge to hold Musk in contempt of the October ruling, citing that he did not seek pre-approval for the tweet. This has resulted in a 5% fall in Tesla’s share value.
Netflix Buys Rights To Stream Chinese Sci-Fi Blockbuster 'The Wandering Earth' (1 minute read)
The Wandering Earth is a movie set in the distant future where the Earth is about to be devoured by the Sun. Humans decide to turn Earth into a spaceship in order to escape the solar system and certain destruction. It was released on February 5 and has already grossed more than $600 million globally. The movie, made in China, proves that the Chinese film industry can hold its own, creating a movie that has production quality and appeal on par with its Hollywood counterparts. Netflix has acquired the rights to the film but has not yet announced a date for its release on their platform.
Chinese internet users turn to the blockchain to fight against government censorship (3 minute read)
Blockchain technology is one of the major computing trends that is likely to shape the world in the next decade, according to the World Economic Forum. The blockchain works by creating a network in which information is stored and verified by multiple parties. This means that once something is on the blockchain, it stays there. If anything is changed, it would be immediately noticeable. Understandably, the Chinese government is concerned with this feature, as it makes it almost impossible to censor information. In response, the Chinese government has made it clear that it values certain blockchains over others - ones which have features that allow information to be removed.
Doctors plan to test a gene therapy that could prevent Alzheimer’s disease (4 minute read)
Studies have shown that the APOE gene may be related to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Those with type 4 of the gene are extremely likely to be affected, while those who carry type 2 are at significantly less risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. A gene therapy which floods the brain with the type 2 APOE gene will be tested in humans, and scientists hope that it will slow down or reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease in affected patients. While this may not cure existing patients, the study may pave the way for people who carry the type 4 APOE gene to start receiving preventative treatment.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Lofi: a tiny Spotify player (GitHub Repo)
Lofi is an app that creates a ‘mini-mode’ for the Spotify Desktop app. It displays album art and also has control features, such as play, pause, skip, and rewind. Lofi does not replace the Spotify Desktop app but instead works alongside it.
subsync (GitHub Repo)
Subsync is a tool that automatically syncs subtitles to videos so that the subtitles are aligned correctly with the audio in the video. It is very fast (takes about 20-30 seconds, depending on the video length) and the synchronization is usually less than 1 second off. VLC integration is supported, but users can run the tool through a command line interface if preferred.
Target announces launch of its curated, third-party marketplace, Target+ (2 minute read)
Target will begin to offer products from third parties, similar to Walmart and Amazon, except that the products available will be carefully curated to avoid controversy and to ensure quality. Sellers will have to be approached by Target in order to sell items on Target+ as there is no public application process. Target and Walmart’s recent announcements that they will carry third-party products may hurt Amazon as their brick-and-mortar presence is much higher than Amazon’s.
The Trauma Floor (20 minute read)
As one of the largest social networks, Facebook receives a massive amount of content from users all over the world. While Facebook has rules regarding the type of content that is allowed on the platform, not all users follow these rules. A team exists which reviews the content to see if it should be removed or not. Some of the content is extremely graphic and can cause lasting mental health issues with the employees who are tasked with viewing it. Employees in this team are paid significantly less than the average Facebook employee and are subject to harsher work conditions.