Big Tech &
Apple, Google, and Amazon are teaming up to develop an open-source smart home standard (2 minute read)
Apple, Google, and Amazon have formed a group called Project Connected Home over IP. The group aims to develop an open-source smart home standard to ensure that any supported smart home device will work with any voice assistant. For developers, this means that product development will be simplified and costs will be reduced. The new standard will work alongside existing connectivity protocols. While not all devices will connect directly to the internet, the new standard will be based on Internet Protocol as it is ideal for sending messages between devices securely and privately. The group will initially focus on physical safety devices before moving onto other consumer and commercial devices.
Instagram will start removing influencers’ branded posts that advertise vapes, tobacco, and weapons (2 minute read)
Instagram will begin to enforce existing rules against advertising vapes, tobacco, and weapon products more strictly. Products such as alcohol and diet supplements will have special restrictions put into place, with age restrictions on who will be able to see the content. New Instagram users have to input birthdates. Facebook's Brand Collabs Manager is being made available to a select group of Instagram creators. These changes were expected when Instagram began hiding the public like count on posts. As Instagram begins to start formally recognizing the work that influencers do, it is more responsible for the posts that these influencers make, so it is essential for it to start taking down posts that don't comply with its rules.
'I'd be dead': Renowned scientist gets experimental brain surgery to fight alcoholism (6 minute read)
A doctor in Canada has undergone an experimental treatment to treat his alcohol addiction. Electrodes were placed deep into his brain and attached to a pacemaker-like device in order to stimulate the part of the brain that is linked to dopamine. Evidence has shown addiction to be a brain-based, brain circuit illness. Using a brain-based intervention may be effective in disrupting the circuit dysfunction in the brain so that the person is no longer addicted to alcohol. The treatment is not a total cure and further therapy is required. After the treatment, the patient was able to stop drinking and became much more positive about life.
Quips is an AI to help ALS patients speak with their own voice (2 minute read)
Motor Neuron Disease eventually takes away its victim's ability to speak, but a new AI-based tool developed by Rolls-Royce may help patients speak again. Rolls Royce worked with the Motor Neuron Disease Association, Intel, Microsoft, and other companies to develop Quips. Quips uses artificial intelligence in combination with voice banking to learn the unique way a user speaks. Users record clips of their speech to create a synthetic version of their voice. Quip is able to listen to conversations in real-time and suggest responses. Its responses include the same accents and colloquialisms that its users use. The system is context-aware and will switch conversation modes depending on its environment. It is unknown when Quips will be available to the public.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Tech Lead Expectations for Engineering Projects (20 minute read)
This document contains a guide on being an engineering lead. It describes what the role consists of and what the expectations are. The main responsibilities for an engineering lead are to set up a framework for collaboration, manage risks, communicate project status to stakeholders, help the team focus and delegate tasks, and motivate the team. A version of this project was used by a team of software engineers at Uber in Amsterdam. Users are free to request to make changes to the document.
Golang for Node.js Developers (GitHub Repo)
This repository contains a guide for people who have Node.js knowledge that want to learn Go. Developers who know Go who want to learn Node.js may also benefit from the guide. It is assumed that users have gone through the Tour of Go tutorial. The guide will only introduce a high-level understanding of Go. Further work will be required to fully understand the language.
First Round State of Startups 2019 (10 minute read)
The State of Startups surveyed 950 startup founders and employees to explore the startup industry. Founders are more concerned than ever in 2019 that the technology startup bubble is about to burst and that fundraising will be harder in 2020. Bias within startups is prevalent, with females reporting that it was harder for them to land roles or raise funds. Employees tend to enjoy diverse environments, and they take Glassdoor reviews seriously. Many employees prioritize the type of work that they will be doing over the pay that they receive. Female founders were more likely to report enlisting a therapist or psychiatrist compared to their male counterparts. A similar difference was seen between founders over and under the age of 40. Most founders report building a community of users as important to their business.
First-run movies at home for the ultra-rich - at just $2,500 a pop (3 minute read)
Red Carpet Entertainment LLC is offering 3,000 rich Americans the chance to put up $15,000 and pay up to $2,500 per movie to watch the latest releases in their homes. The serviced was created to target the ultra-rich in a way that wouldn't disrupt the market. Most of the revenue from subscriptions goes back to the studios. Other high-end pre-screening services have not gained traction. Red Carpet Entertainment has almost 100 customers. Customers will pay at least $500 per movie and will be able to see the movie twice in a 36 hour period.