Big Tech &
Microsoft Doubles Down on Open Source, .NET (1 minute read)
Microsoft is open sourcing their most popular Windows UX Framework components, the Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Forms, and Windows UI XAML Library (WinUI). Developers will be able to create Winforms and WPF apps with the open source .NET Core 3, as Microsoft moves away from the proprietary .NET framework. They also announced the preview of Visual Studio 2019 for both Windows and Mac (links inside).
Fortnite dev launches Epic Games Store that takes just 12% of revenue (4 minute read)
Steam, the dominant game store, charges developers 30% of revenue. Epic Games, the studio behind Fortnite, is now launching its own game store, where it will take only a 12% cut, leaving 88% to developers. CEO Time Sweeney says "As a developer ourselves, we have always wanted a platform with great economics that connects us directly with our players. Thanks to the success of Fortnite, we now have this and are ready to share it with other developers." While it might be tough to lure away gamers who already have a library of games on Steam, Fortnite has attracted a lot of first-time gamers so Epic could potentially capture that next generation of gamers with this new store.
China Set to Launch First-Ever Spacecraft to the Far Side of the Moon (4 minute read)
Early next year, China will launch the Chang'e-4 on the first mission to the dark side of the moon. The lander will explore the new terrain, test whether or not plants can grow in the low-gravity lunar environment, and listen for radio emissions normally blocked by Earth's atmosphere. Previous experiments have found that plants like potatoes and thale-cress can grow in lower gravity than Earth's, but not in gravity as low as the Moon's.
Programming, Design & Data Science
PySyft (Github Repo)
This is an open source Python library for encrypted, privacy preserving deep learning. It's built on top of PyTorch, and decouples private data from model training. There are Jupyter notebooks in the examples/tutorials folder that walk you through federated learning and training models on encrypted, decentralized data sources. Really awesome stuff, it's put out by OpenMined, which is an organization that creates tools for privacy-preserving AI.
PHP Weekly (Newsletter)
PHP Weekly is a once-a-week look at articles, news, and blog posts about the PHP ecosystem. If you're a Wordpress/PHP dev you might want to check it out!
Dark Reader (Browser Extension)
Okay, I know I put stuff like this in the newsletter all the time but I just can't help myself. I love dark mode. I love browser extensions. If you make a dark mode browser extension, it will probably end up in this newsletter. Dark reader is a simple open source browser extension that works on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari that turns on "Dark Mode for Everything". I've been using it all day and it's great, it has an easy toggle on and off and you can change settings like brightness and contrast with the built in sliders.
New York Adopts Nation's First Pay Floor for Uber, Lyft, and Other Rideshare Drivers (1 minute read)
New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission has approved a $17.22 minimum wage for ride-share drivers. The New York Taxi Workers Alliance says the bill is "the first real attempt anywhere to stop app driver pay cuts, which is an Uber and Lyft business practice at the heart of poverty wages." Uber and Lyft warned that the bill will lead to higher fares, and disincentivize drivers from giving rides in and around Manhattan.