Big Tech &
Amazon raises minimum wage to $15 for all US employees (3 minute read)
Amazon will provide a minimum wage of $15/hour to all US employees. This will affect roughly 250,000 full time employees, as well as 100,000 seasonal employees. Amazon said it will also start advocating for an increase to the federal minimum wage. Jeff Bezo says "we listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead. We're excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us."
Elon Musk's Ultimatum to Tesla: Fight the S.E.C., or I Quit (3 minute read)
Last Thursday morning, SEC officials were shocked when Tesla pulled out of a settlement deal for the fraud charges against Elon Musk from his "funding secured" tweet, in which he had falsely claimed that he had funding secured to take the company private. Elon had given the board little choice, he had threatened to resign on the spot if the board entered into the settlement. After the stock plunged 14% last Friday, Tesla came crawling back to the SEC, this time with Elon's approval. They came to a less favorable settlement, in which Elon would be forced to step down as Chairman of Tesla, and the company and Elon personally would both pay $20 million a piece. Elon has 45 days to step down, in the meantime Tesla is looking for a new chairman. They haven't made a decision yet, but there are rumors that they are looking at James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox.
Slang (Programming Language)
This is the Github Repo for a new programming language called Slang. This is really cool, it allows you to program sounds in your browser using really simple syntax.
Charity Water Thirst (Book)
This book costs $17, I usually don't put paid products here but I'm making an exception since this is a charity. Basically if you buy the book (which is about the Founder/CEO of Charity Water's journey from being a nightclub promoter to running a charity that's provided clean water to 8.4 million people), Charity Water gets $30, and they get another $30 if you tweet/instagram about the book.
A Google intern built the AI behind these shockingly good fake images (3 minute read)
Three researchers at DeepMind have created a new algorithm called BigGAN, which can generate incredibly realistic fake images. The algorithm uses a few computational tricks and a ridiculous amount of computing power "enough to power Cleveland for the afternoon" as one researcher put it. The article includes pictures of dogs and birds generated by the algorithm.
The Coders Programming Themselves Out of a Job (8 minute read)
Okay, I love this article. It's about a number of programmers, mostly posting anonymously or pseudonomously in various online forums or chatrooms about having completely automated their jobs. Some people think it is completely okay to not tell your boss, and keep collecting the same paycheck, after all you are doing the same work you were paid for before. Others feel like this is dishonest. Some programmers report having been fired when it was discovered that they had essentially automated themselves out of a job. One guy knew that management would monitor his screen, so he ran a loop of prerecorded video to hide the fact that he wasn't actually working. Lots of fun stories here. There is also the larger question of who should enjoy the fruits of automation. Despite more and more processes being automated by computers, Americans are working longer hours, wages are stagnant, and all of the gains in productivity are being taken by companies. It is only in these tiny unnoticed cases in which the workers are enjoying the fruits of automation.
Dwarf planet 'The Goblin' discovery redefining solar system (2 minute read)
Scientists have discovered a dwarf planet called "The Goblin". They made this discovery while looking for a ninth planet in an icy region called the Oort Cloud. The dwarf planet is just 300km across, and its orbit ranges from 2.5 times as far from the sun as Pluto all the way out to 60 times as far from the sun as Pluto. It appears to be under the gravitational orbit of a giant unseen object, which scientists think might be a ninth planet. This is the third dwarf planet discovered in the outer solar system, and all three are in the same region, which is another part of what makes scientists think there is a large object somewhere out there yet to be discovered.
Programming, Design & Data Science
No TLDR Originals for 2018-10-03