Big Tech &
Branson's Virgin Galactic successfully reaches space (1 minute read)
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo passenger rocket reached a height of 82.7 km on its test launch Thursday. It was carrying two pilots and a fake passenger mannequin, as well as four research experiments for NASA. They plan on charging $250,000 for a 90 minute flight for tourists starting in March of 2019. Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Galactic, says "Today we have shown Virgin Galactic can open space to the world."
Shenzhen's silent revolution: world's first fully electric bus fleet quietens Chinese megacity (2 minute read)
All 16,000 buses in Shenzhen are now electric. This will cut the city's CO2 emissions by 48% and help tackle their smog problem. Each bus costs 1.8 million yuan, so it's pretty expensive, but more than half the cost was paid for by government subsidies. Charging stations are a big bottleneck, so the city has built 40,000 charging stations. The buses can get 200 km per charge. By the end of the month, Shenzhen will require all 22,000 of the city's taxis to switch to electric as well. An interviewed passenger said "It's quieter, smoother and I only pay the same fare as before. I would say most people here are happy with the switch."
Programming, Design & Data Science
WordPressify (Github Repo)
WordPressify is a nifty boilerplate for setting up WordPress projects, with lots of goodies right out of the box like a dev server, auto-reloading, babel, and gulp. Definitely worth checking out if you're a WordPress dev.
Vaex (Github Repo)
Vaex is a Python library that lazily handles out-of-core data frames, so you can visualize and explore large tabular datasets that won't fit in memory. It can calculate statistics on more than a billion rows per second. This seems like a more memory-efficient alternative to Pandas.
State of Startups 2018 (Survey)
First Round Capital surveyed 529 founders about the tech industry. 89% believe there is ageism in tech, and on average they believe it starts at 46 years old. They were most bullish on Stripe, followed by SpaceX, Coinbase, Slack and Airbnb. 39% believe China will be the center of tech by 2028, while 57% believe it will be the US. 77% say tech giants are perceived as evil, 50% believe they actually are evil. 87% are blockchain skeptics.
YouTube Rewind 2018 is officially the most disliked video on YouTube (1 minute read)
Every year Youtube puts out a video called Youtube Rewind, which recaps the year in Youtube culture. This year's Rewind has become the most disliked video in the history of Youtube in less than a week, with over 10 million dislikes. Fans and creators on the platform say that Youtube's management is out of touch with the "real community" and are trying to present a more corporate ad-friendly version of their platform. Marques Brownlee, a popular tech reviewer who was in this year's Rewind video, says "I think the problem with YouTube Rewind, at least how I see it, is pretty simple actually. Youtubers and creators and audiences see it as one thing and, YouTube, who's in charge of making it, sees it as something completely different."