Big Tech &
Apple's Tim Cook makes blistering attack on the 'data industrial complex' (3 minute read)
Without naming any names, Tim Cook warned that our personal data has been "weaponized against us with military efficiency" by the "data-industrial complex". He explicitly called for federal regulation, saying that Apple would fully support "comprehensive, federal privacy law." He argues for a four pronged approach: data minimization (companies should de-personalize or simply not collect personal data wherever possible), transparency (users should know what is being collected), right to access (users should always be able to get a copy of what data a company has on them), and right to security. Cook also addressed the tension between respecting privacy and getting the data needed to improve AI, saying "For artificial intelligence to be truly smart it must respect human values — including privacy. If we get this wrong, the dangers are profound. We can achieve both great artificial intelligence and great privacy standards. It is not only a possibility — it is a responsibility."
Tesla rides Model 3's popularity to its first profit in two years (3 minute read)
Tesla just had its first profitable quarter since 2016, earning $311 million in profit. This is due mostly to the popularity of the Model 3 and Tesla's ability to fix its old production issues. There are still 455,000 people on the Model 3 waitlist (Tesla shipped 56,065 Model 3s this quarter). Due to an SEC settlement regarding Elon Musk's tweets, the company is still looking for a replacement chairman of the board. Tesla is also planning on opening a Gigafactory to build Model 3s in Shanghai in 2019 to avoid the 40% tariff caused by the US-China trade war. Elon Musk also said that he has signed off on the final prototype of the Model Y, a crossover SUV that Tesla plans on building in 2020. Musk says he's personally most excited about the Tesla pickup, which he claims will feature "some next level stuff".
Your Data in Search (Web Tool)
This is a web tool released by Google that allows you to see and delete your search history from Google's servers (when you clear your browser history that just deletes the information off of your computer, Google still stores your old searches on their servers). It also has detailed explanations on how your data is used in the search engine and other privacy controls for your Google account.
This newsletter is full of handy lessons and inspiration for people who are looking to create their own startups. There are lots of articles about how to acquire your first customers, whether or not to take funding, how to get traffic, and all sorts of stuff like that. It's curated by Andrew Askins, CEO of Krit.
DigitalOcean Managed Databases (Beta)
I'm sure a lot of you use DigitalOcean (I'm personally a big fan), it's a pretty cheap VPS provider that's now starting to build out more managed services (they have stuff like load balancers and block storage now). They've just begun an open beta for a managed Postgres service, with MySQL support coming soon.
Researchers developed a device that could boost broadband speeds 100-fold (2 minute read)
Currently when light is used to transmit information, the info is stored by light color and whether the wave is horizontal or vertical. Researchers have figured out a way to twist light into a spiral, essentially adding a third dimension (angular momentum). Researchers have also created a detector the size of a human hair that can detect the angular momentum of light sent through a cable. Professor Min Gu, who co-authored the paper says "It fits the scale of existing fiber technology and could be applied to increase the bandwidth, or potentially the processing speed, of that fiber by over 100 times within the next couple of years. This easy scalability and the massive impact it will have on telecommunications is what's so exciting."
A bot disguised as a human software developer fixes bugs (3 minute read)
Researchers created a bot called Repairnator, and unleashed it on Github with a fake name and profile picture to find bugs and submit pull requests. On the first run (from February to December 2017), Repairnator found 11,500 failed builds, reproduced the failure in 3,000 cases, and submitted 15 patches, all of which were rejected by project maintainers. On the second run (from January to June 2018) Repairnator managed to submit 5 patches that were accepted by human maintainers. The researchers say "We believe that Repairnator prefigures a certain future of software development, where bots and humans will smoothly collaborate and even cooperate on software artifacts."
Programming, Design & Data Science