Big Tech &
Netflix rolls out Top 10 feature to help show what people are actually watching (1 minute read)
Netflix has introduced a Top 10 row to its homepage. It will be updated daily with the most popular titles in the subscriber's country. There will also be top 10 lists for each category. The feature was trialed in the UK and Mexico last year. Netflix's list of top shows from last year was mostly dominated by Netflix original shows as the company has lost much of its top licensed content.
Uber will start putting ads on top of some of its vehicles (2 minute read)
Uber has partnered with Adomni, an ad-tech company that will start placing ads on Uber vehicles from April 1. Around 1,000 vehicles will feature rooftop ads during the initial rollout. Uber's car-top ad displays will respond to both location and time of day. Drivers in Phoenix, Dallas, and Atlanta will receive $300 to install the roof displays and an additional $100 per week if they drive more than 20 hours. It is unknown how permanent the displays will be and whether they could potentially damage the vehicle. Lyft has recently acquired Halo cars, a startup that specializes in installing rooftop ads on cars.
The race is on to replace the hypodermic needle (2 minute read)
Up to 8% of people report avoiding vaccines due to the pain of needles. Constant use of needles can also pose health risks, such as an increased risk of infection. Scientists at Rutgers University have developed a patch full of microscopic needles that can be attached to the skin and deliver a drug without causing any pain. The needles are 3D-printed with polymers and the core structure can be programmed and reshaped. They can be attached for long periods of time, which means they can be used to track antibodies or changes in the DNA. The researchers were able to show that the microneedles could be used to deliver a drug over the course of a full, 24-hour day.
Scientists discover first known animal that doesn't breathe (3 minute read)
Scientists have discovered that H. salminicola, a parasite that infects the dense muscle tissues of fish and underwater worms, doesn't have mitochondrial DNA and it doesn't breathe. H. salminicola has evolved away tissue, nerve cells, muscles, and basically everything else to become mostly just a blob. This family of parasites thrives by reproducing as quickly and often as possible. While most evolution tends towards complexity, this organism has gone the completely opposite way, evolving to become almost unicellular. It is unknown how the parasite acquires energy, but it is likely that it consumes energy directly from its infected hosts.
Programming, Design & Data Science
UTM (GitHub Repo)
UTM is a full-featured virtual machine host of iOS which can run Windows, Android, Linux, and more on iPhones and iPads. It supports over 30 processor types and doesn't require a jailbreak. Users will be able to create, manage, and run VMs directly from their devices.
Google Interviewing Process for Software Developer Role in 2020 (7 minute read)
The Google interviewing process starts with a screening interview over Hangouts. Initially, the candidate is interviewed for a general fit to the company, after which they can choose from a range of positions at the particular hiring location. There are two remote coding interviews on algo and data structures, an on-site interview with several coding interviews, a system design interview, a company fit interview, and a last stage where senior Google staff decide whether to hire based on the interviewers’ recommendations. Passing all the interviews and getting to the final stages does not guarantee a job.
Iran says 12 dead from new virus, rejects higher death toll (5 minute read)
The Iranian government says that only 12 people have died from coronavirus in Iran, despite reports of a much higher death toll. Five neighboring countries have reported their first cases of the virus, with all cases linked to travel from Iran. The total official number of infections is 61. Iran’s death toll is significantly higher than in other countries where the virus has become widespread. The World Health Organization says that globally, the virus has only been fatal in 2% of cases. Trust in the Iranian government has been low since a Ukrainian passenger jet was shot down by Iran in early January. The virus has now infected more than 79,000 people globally and caused more than 2,600 deaths.
The World's Second Largest Wikipedia Is Written Almost Entirely by One Bot (6 minute read)
Wikipedia's English edition recently surpassed six million articles. The Cebuano edition is the second-largest edition of Wikipedia, with over 5.37 million articles. There are only approximately 16.5 million speakers of the language in the Philippines. The Cebuano edition was mostly written by a bot called Lsjbot. All but five of the edition's top 35 editors are bots, with no humans in the top 10. An analysis revealed that a majority of the articles written by the bot were well constructed. The automatic creation of articles is controversial as the software is not perfect and will generate mistakes. There is now a range of content creation bots, and some can work to augment writing, rather than just generate text.