Big Tech &
Google Maps for CarPlay in iOS 12 is now available (1 minute read)
Google Maps is now available for CarPlay in iOS 12, and Google owned traffic service Waze also plans on adding CarPlay support in an upcoming update. Before today, CarPlay had only supported Apple Maps, which if you haven't checked it for a while, continues to be terrible.
Tesla says Justice Department requested documents on CEO Musk's take-private tweet (3 minute read)
Tesla's stock dropped 7.1% after news broke that federal prosecutors had opened a criminal probe into Elon Musk's tweet claiming that he had "funding secured" to take the company private at $420 a share. The Justice Department is running the criminal investigation in tandem with a civil fraud probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Musk's comments. The SEC's rule 14e-8 basically prohibits publicly traded companies from announcing plans to buy or sell securities if executives don't intend to follow through, don't have the means to complete the deal or are flat out trying to manipulate the stock price. This is the law that Elon Musk may have broken with his "funding secured" tweet on August 7th.
Explore the immersive web with Firefox Reality. Now available for Viveport, Oculus, and Daydream (3 minute read)
Mozilla has created a new VR/AR browser called Firefox Reality. Mozilla has rethought everything to make a browser usable in virtual, mixed, and augmented reality settings. Text input is still a chore, so they have voice search. They've worked with a number of creators to bring a large collection of games, videos, environments, and experiences that can be accessed directly from the home screen. As always with Firefox, it is built with privacy in mind (this 1.0 release includes a private browsing mode) and it is free and open source. There is a 40 second video demo at the end of the article.
The CEO of The Gates Foundation says we're approaching a dangerous tipping point in global poverty. We still have time to reverse it. (5 minute read)
Since the Gates Foundation started in 2000, over a billion people have escaped the "extreme poverty" income bracket to live on more than $1.90 a day. However, the foundation is now warning that the progress of the past few decades could crash to a halt if more isn't done to help people stay in school and get enough to eat. While poverty in China and India is plummeting, poverty in sub-Saharan African countries is still creeping upward, and could skyrocket if current trends continue. The key to preventing this is helping women in those countries, who on average have 0.7 more children than they would like. Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Gates Foundation, says "The worry, the peril is that more babies are being born in the places where it's hardest to live a healthy, productive life. By 2050, 86% of the world's extreme poor would be in sub-Saharan Africa." There are three keys to helping women in these countries: education (waiting to finish school before having a baby can have positive effects on the entire family that last decades), better farming economics (instead of subsistence farming where a family relies on their own farm for food, they should begin to specialize in a single crop, sell it at market prices, and use trade to acquire food for their families), and contraception.
We tasted the first lab-grown sausage made without slaughtering any animals - here's what it was like (5 minute read)
A startup called New Age Meats allowed a group of journalists and potential investors to taste its farm-free pork sausage. The pictures in the article look delicious, the sausage is actually made from fat and muscle cells generated from a single sample of a live pig named Jessie. A few things are preventing lab grown meat from getting mainstream adoption. Cost is a big one, the first cow cell patty cost $330,000 to produce in 2013, this cost is coming down quickly but it will still be 5-10 years before it is economically viable. Another is that most of these startups (including New Age Meats) are using fetal bovine serum (FBS), a standard and relatively inexpensive lab medium made from the blood of pregnant slaughtered cows to feed their cells. Eventually, the industry wants to move away from using this serum for ethical reasons. Finally, texture can get very complex for things like steak and chicken, it is much easier to mimic the texture of ground meat and sausage, doing steak or chicken could require much more advanced techniques.