Big Tech &
Facebook rolls out its local news 'Today In' feature to more than 400 U.S. cities (1 minute read)
Facebook has been testing a local news feature called "Today In" in 5 US cities since January. Now it is launching the service in over 400 cities in the US. Anthea Strong, Facebook's product manager for local news and information, says "We are super aware of the mistakes that have been made in the past. We are trying to be careful every time we make a move, how is this going to affect the community? How could this be misused? This is a particular type of information that is hard to find. People want local news and information. It's about the stuff happening down the street."
Project Fi is now Google Fi, and it will work with iPhones and most Android devices (1 minute read)
Project Fi (now renamed Google Fi) is Google's cell service, which piggy-backs off T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular's networks and allows users to dynamically switch between those networks based on which has the best signal in any given location. Until today, the service had only been available for a few phones (Google Pixel and a few others that Google sells). Now, the service is available for iPhone, Samsung, and most other Android users. It costs $20 for a phone line plus $10 per gig of data capped at $60/month.
VIP cheatsheets for Stanford's CS 230 Deep Learning (Github Repo)
Really great cheatsheets made by Stanford CS graduate students for their deep learning class, these have simple explanations and diagrams of convolutional neural networks, deep learning tips and tricks, recurrent neural networks, and other deep learning concepts.
Great Barrier Reef to be restored by 'coral IVF' (2 minute read)
Rising sea temperatures due to climate change have been killing off the Great Barrier Reef. Scientists in Australia are attempting to restore the Great Barrier Reef by using in-vitro fertilization style techniques on coral. They're taking millions of eggs and sperm from the annual coral spawning, then putting them in these floating pools for about a week until the larvae are ready, then reintroducing these larvae to the most damaged parts of the reef. Coral spawning happens once a year and began earlier this week for about a 48-72 hour period. Professor Harrison, one of the project leaders, says the project is "the largest larval restoration project that's ever been attempted not only on the Great Barrier Reef but anywhere in the world".
Facebook staff discussed selling API access to apps in 2012-2014 (3 minute read)
Sealed court documents that Wall Street Journal reporters reviewed show that after a poor IPO in 2012, Facebook was brainstorming ways of increasing revenue and discussed yanking API access to all apps except those who wanted to pay $250k/year for user data. They also considered offering Tinder extended access to user "friend" data in exchange for Tinder's trademark on "Moments". It's not clear how high level these discussions were, but if they were between high level executives, it could potentially contradict statements made by Mark Zuckerberg before Congress that "I can't be clearer on this topic: We don't sell data."
Sblack (Desktop Tool)
Sblack is an ultra-lightweight Mac client for Slack that comes with a light mode and dark mode. This is a native (non-Electron) app, so it's only 20MB instead of 180MB like the official Slack client. If you use Slack on a Macbook and want the desktop client to be a bit snappier, this is definitely worth a look.
A second CRISPR pregnancy is already under way, claims Chinese scientist (2 minute read)
News broke earlier this week that Chinese scientist He Jankui had used CRISPR to gene edit babies to be resistant to HIV. Now, He says that a second CRISPR pregnancy is on the way. He stands by what he's done saying "They need this protection. An HIV vaccine is not available." He also notes that the parents had given "informed consent", and he personally paid for the entire process, except for some sequencing costs that were covered by startup funding at his university, the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen.
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