Big Tech &
eBay launches Instant Selling, a new trade-in service for smartphones (1 minute read)
eBay's new Instant Selling program lets users list their device info and images on eBay, then immediately get a voucher to purchase a new device from eBay and a shipping label to send their phone to eBay. eBay claims that its trade in prices will be up to 40% higher than the average trade in prices in other retailers. Currently the program is only available for Samsung Galaxies S7 and newer and iPhones 6s and newer on AT&T, Verizon, or unlocked. In November, the service will expand to Sprint, T-Mobile, Google Pixels, and some LG products.
Elon Musk says the Boring Company's first tunnel under LA will open December 10th (1 minute read)
Elon Musk says that the tunnel his Boring Company has been digging under Los Angeles is almost done and will be open to the public on December 10th. The tunnel is two miles long, and will transport passengers and vehicles on autonomously driven electric platforms called skates at speeds up to 155 mph (250 km/h). This tunnel is just a proof of concept, the company is already digging tunnels between downtown Chicago and Chicago's O'Hare airport and between Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium and East Hollywood.
Smile! The Secretive Business of Facial-Recognition Software in Retail Stores (3 minute read)
The ACLU polled the 20 biggest brick and mortar retailers in the US last year and only one said they did not routinely photograph customers. Walmart admitted to testing facial recognition cameras in 2015. Companies are secretive about using facial recognition technology, but a retail consultant says that he's already seeing companies beginning to merge their security and marketing teams, as marketing teams begin using security cam data in conjunction with facial recognition software to essentially create a "physical cookie" to track users as they shop in stores.
Quantum Katas (Github Repo)
This is a Github Repo from Microsoft, with tutorials and exercises for learning quantum computing and their new quantum computing language Q#.
YouTubers Will Enter Politics, And The Ones Who Do Are Probably Going To Win (10 minute read)
Kim Kataguiri is a Brazilian 22 year old who has just been elected to Brazilian Congress, he's part of a movement called Movimento Brasil Livre (MBL) that's sort of like the Brazilian Breitbart/Tea Party (right wing news/political party). MBL's Youtube channel has grown from 0 to 1 million subscribers this year, 40% of their revenue comes from Youtube ads, and they plan to have all of the group's members have their own Youtube channels. The group's other growth strategy is through WhatsApp memes (nearly all Brazilian internet users use WhatsApp). They study the ways Breitbart and the Tea Party have gained popularity in the United States and try to apply those lessons to Brazil. One MBL candidate who was just elected as a state representative rose to fame after he released a video of himself getting beaten up so badly by left wing protesters that he passed out on Youtube. He ended up getting 500,000 votes, in a state election where candidates usually get around 20,000. Right now MBL's main audience is between the ages of 13-24, and many of them still cannot vote. Until that voting bloc comes of age, MBL's plan is to be part of the Democrats, Brazil's right-wing party dedicated to economic liberalism and Christian democracy.
Inside Europe's quest to build an unhackable quantum internet (5 minute read)
QuTech is a research institute in the Netherlands hoping to build a communications network that uses quantum mechanics to ensure flawlessly secure transmissions. On the current Internet, data travels as bits in 0s and 1s, and a hacker can tap cables and read those 0s and 1s to intercept messages. However, quantum mechanics allows particles to exist in a state where they are probabilistic until observed, which "collapses" them into either a 0 or a 1. This means that any unauthorized observer will leave an obvious trail. Unfortunately a limitation here is that photons are easily absorbed by the atmosphere or the materials in cables, so we can only send these quantum transmissions over a few kilometers. The QuTech team hopes to use a technique called quantum entanglement to solve the distance problem, and bring a completely secure quantum internet to four cities in the Netherlands by 2020.
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