Daily Update 2021-03-30
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Big Tech & Startups

Boston Dynamics unveils Stretch: a new robot designed to move boxes in warehouses (4 minute read)

Boston Dynamics has unveiled a robot called Stretch that is designed to move boxes in warehouses. It has a square mobile base with wheels and a huge robotic arm with a suction pad array at the end that can grab and move boxes up to 50 lbs. Stretch can provide automation to environments that don't have automation infrastructure. It can move up to 800 cases an hour and can operate for 8 hours at a time between recharges. 80 percent of the world's warehouses don't have any automation equipment, so there could be a big market for the robot.
Niantic CEO shares teaser image of AR glasses device (2 minute read)

John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, recently posted a cropped image on Twitter of what could be a first-party head-mounted wearable. The company has been actively investing in the Augmented Reality hardware space and has been working with Qualcomm on its XR hardware platform. Niantic also recently announced an AR title based on Pikmin and the company showed off a proof-of-concept version of Pokemon Go running on Microsoft's HoloLens 2 earlier this month.

Science & Futuristic Technology

Stanford Scientists Reverse Engineer Moderna Vaccine, Post Code on Github (4 minute read)

Scientists from Stanford have posted the mRNA sequence that powers the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine on GitHub. The scientists sequenced the mRNA using samples obtained from discarded vaccines. No vaccines were wasted in the process. While the code is available for all to see, replicating the supply chain behind this kind of medicine is complicated. However, making it available will allow scientists to study it and benefit humanity. The repository is linked in the article.
Cows on Russian Farm Get Fitted with VR Goggles to Increase Milk Production (3 minute read)

Cows at the RusMoloko dairy farm near Moscow in Russia wear VR headsets to improve their conditions and to enable them to relax into producing more milk. Data from farms around the world show that cows that live in a calm atmospheres produce better quality milk. The VR headsets are designed especially for the cows, and the cows showed a decrease in anxiety and an increase in general mood after using them. It is unclear whether the cows produced more milk due to the headsets.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Coolify (Website)

Coolify is a self-hostable Heroku and Netlify alternative. It can deploy Node.js and static sites just by pushing code to git. Coolify is easy to install and upgrade, and it features one-click database deployment.
Mint: A new language designed for building single page applications (13 minute read)

Mint is a new language designed for single page app development. It offers a set of language-level features that is impossible to replicate in JavaScript without using an assortment of libraries. Mint's executable is around 34mb and it covers most use cases without external dependencies.

How does the brain interpret computer languages? (4 minute read)

Researchers studying how the brain interprets code found that the multiple demand network, a part of our brain responsible for intense mental tasks, was most active when reading code. The multiple demand network is spread across the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain. Reading Python code activated both the left and right sides of the multiple demand network. The brain does not appear to process code like language or maths, but as its own thing.
Hackers backdoor PHP source code after breaching internal git server (3 minute read)

The PHP Git server was recently compromised. A hacker added a backdoor to the source code that would allow anyone to execute whatever code they wanted on PHP-powered websites. As a result, the PHP maintainers have now made GitHub the official source for PHP repositories. All PHP source code changes will now be made directly to GitHub. The attackers likely made the changes to brag about their access to the server and were not actually trying to backdoor websites.

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