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TLDR
Daily Update 2021-04-07
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Big Tech & Startups

Signal is testing a payments feature that lets you send cryptocurrency to friends (1 minute read)

Signal is testing a new peer-to-peer payment system in the UK called Signal Payments. The system uses MobileCoin, a cryptocurrency with a close relationship with Signal co-founder and CEO Moxie Marlinspike. Signal will not have access to users' balances, full transaction histories, or funds. Users will have full control over their funds. A link to the Signal beta sign-up page is available for those who are interested in testing the feature.
Microsoft is now submerging servers into liquid baths (3 minute read)

Microsoft is submerging its servers in liquid to improve their performance and energy efficiency. The technique uses a specially designed non-conductive fluorocarbon-based fluid which creates a closed-loop cooling system that requires no energy. Most data centers are currently air-cooled, which uses a lot of water. The technique should improve server reliability as the fluid displaces oxygen and humidity, both of which create corrosion.
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Science & Futuristic Technology

How Scientists Grew Human Muscles in Pig Embryos, and Why It Matters for Organ Transplants (5 minute read)

Scientists from the University of Minnesota recently unveiled two sets of chimeras. One was a group of piglets, each of which carried genes from two different pigs. The other was pig embryos that developed human muscles after being transplanted into surrogate pigs. This research could lead to ways to replace lost muscle and provide an unlimited supply of organs for transplantation. Organs produced by this method will have a low risk of being rejected by patients' immune systems as the genes for the human tissue can be sourced from the patient themselves.
Artificial photosynthesis devices that improve themselves with use (3 minute read)

An artificial photosynthesis device invented by a University of Michigan professor uses nanowires of gallium nitride to convert carbon dioxide into clean chemicals and fuels. Usually, the efficiency of artificial photosynthesis devices falls steeply after just a few hours of use, but the device instead becomes more efficient as it is used. A team of scientists determined that this effect was due to the gallium nitride absorbing oxygen, creating more sites for hydrogen production on the material's surface. Future studies will investigate how nitrides contribute to stability in artificial photosynthesis devices.
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Programming, Design & Data Science

Google's open sources low-bandwidth Lyra audio codec for data calls (2 minute read)

Google has published the code for Lyra, an audio codec that uses machine learning to power voice calls with low bitrates. It can compress raw audio down to 3kbps while retaining quality. Lyra is still in development, so the API and bitstream may change as developers send their feedback.
fselect (GitHub Repo)

fselect allows you to use SQL-like grammar to find files. It can handle complex queries, search within archives, search by various file attributes, and more.
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Miscellaneous

Breaking GitHub Private Pages for $35k (8 minute read)

In the spring of last year, GitHub had two CTF bonuses posted as part of GitHub's private pages private bug bounty. One was for reading the flag at flag.private-org.github.io without user interaction, with a bonus for reading the flag from an account outside of the organization. The other was for reading the flag with user interaction. This article discusses how the vulnerabilities were discovered and exploited. GitHub paid out a total bounty of $35,000.
‘Deep Nostalgia’ Can Now Make Old Photos of Your Relatives Dance and Blow Kisses (1 minute read)

MyHeritage has doubled the number of movements that can be applied to still photos in Deep Nostalgia. Deep Nostalgia has created over 72 million photo animations since its launch five weeks ago. The 10 new options include expressions like kisses, an approving nod, and even a dance. Examples of animations generated by Deep Nostalgia are available in the article.

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