Big Tech &
eBay is suing Amazon over allegedly poaching its third-party sellers (1 minute read)
eBay is suing Amazon for allegedly using eBay's messaging system to lure third party sellers to Amazon's marketplace. eBay wants to ban Amazon from ever using its messaging system in this manner again, and is also seeking unspecified monetary damages. eBays terms of service prohibit using the messaging system to promote outside businesses, and Amazon's employees were sending up to 120 messages a day without purchasing anything.
Gmail Creator and YC Partner Paul Buchheit on Joining Google, How to Become a Great Engineer and Happiness (7 minute read)
So this is a Q&A with the guy who created Gmail. He left Intel because one day he thought "Man I am so tired. I need to go home and take a nap," but then he got home and realized "I'm not tired anymore". Working Intel was draining. He joined Google early. Larry Page got tired of different groups setting their own priorities, so he organized engineers onto specific projects. Paul was told "we want you to build an email something." So he built Gmail. He hates the big company vibe. An engineer at his Microsoft internship told him "Make sure they don't stick you off in a corner working on something unimportant." This is great advice. He ended up leaving Google because he went on paternity leave, he came back to realize he was getting the same draining Intel feeling, but this time at Google. He believes that the key to being a good engineer is "Doing it. Showing up seems to be the secret to getting good at most things." He doesn't recommend that all good engineers quit working at big tech companies to work at startups. "If getting paid less and working more is unappealing to you, then I would recommend staying where you are!" When interviewing at a company, make sure to choose one where interviewers ask smart questions. If they ask dumb trivia like "name the seven layers of the OSI stack", run the other way. People aren't happy because we've created a world where it's hard for people to be happy, and it's easy to sell people solutions for unhappiness.
FoldnFly (Web Tool)
This is a tool that gives you schematics for building the paper airplane of your dreams. You can select whether you want to build one optimized for things like distance, time aloft, aesthetics, etc. and also select a difficulty. The internet is awesome.
PostgreSQL 11 (Open Source)
Postgres is the gift that keeps on giving. This major version release includes better partitioning, transactions in stored procedures, better query parallelism, JIT compilation for expressions, and more.
Modified cotton could be human food source after U.S. green light (2 minute read)
US regulators are now allowing farmers to grow a genetically modified edible version of cottonseed. Because cotton is grown so widely around the world, this could be very useful for cotton growers in poor countries who lack access to food. Researcher Keerti Rathore says "To me, personally, it tastes somewhat like chickpea and it could easily be used to make a tasty hummus".
Digital immortality: How your life's data means a version of you could live forever (5 minute read)
Hossein Rahnama has a company called Augmented Eternity that wants to use data you've created (chat logs, etc.) to create a digital representation of you so a version of you can live on forever. He's already busy creating a digital avatar for an unnamed financial CEO to live on after he's dead (cough Ray Dalio cough). The article jumps around a lot, but some interesting food for thought: having a digital version of you could actually be really useful even when you're alive (you could get a consultation from the world's best lawyer for pennies), there is the question of how data should be handled after someone dies (should it be governed by the same laws as the corpse of the deceased?), and how do we guard against the enormous power of the dead to influence the living (there is a Black Mirror episode in which a digital avatar created from her deceased husband's data keeps upselling a widow on more and more realistic versions of himself).
Programming, Design & Data Science