Big Tech &
Tesla's giant battery saved $40 million during its first year, report says (1 minute read)
Tesla's 100MW Powerpack battery has provided South Australia with the same grid services as peaker plants, but cheaper, quicker, and with zero-emissions through its battery system. The energy system cost just $66 million, and has already saved Australians $40 million. Basically peaker plants are power plants that are only run when there is a spike in demand that outstrips supply so they are able to demand really high prices. Tesla's giant battery allowed power to be saved efficiently to prevent these shortages, saving Australians tons of money.
DeepMind Achieves Holy Grail: An AI That Can Master Games Like Chess and Go Without Human Help (2 minute read)
DeepMind has published a paper on their system AlphaZero, an AI that can crack any game that provides all the relevant decision-making information. This includes games like chess and go, but not multiplayer games like Dota 2 or games with imperfect information like poker. The system is the world's best ever player of chess, Go, and a complex Japanese game called Shogi. Murray Campbell, an IBM researcher who worked on the chess engine Deep Blue which defeated Garry Kasparov, says "This work has, in effect, closed a multi-decade chapter in AI research."
Programming, Design & Data Science
C# Digest (Newsletter)
C# Digest is a weekly newsletter with news, libraries, and tutorials about the .NET ecosystem.
Froala Design Blocks (Bootstrap Components)
Froala has put out v2 of their popular Design Blocks library. It's a bunch of components built on Bootstrap that makes it really easy to make commonly used elements like login/signup forms, headers, pricing tables, testimonials, calls to action etc. It also comes with a simple website builder, that lets you build a quick site with the components and download the html (no signup required!). It's all open source, and there are Sketch/PSD files included for designers.
Spotify Wrapped 2018 (Web Tool)
Spotify Wrapped 2018 is a fun site put out by Spotify that lets you sign in with your Spotify account and relive the music you've listened to the past year. Full disclosure, you're reading a newsletter by someone who "started 2018 by listening to One In A Million by Hannah Montana".