Big Tech &
As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants (10 minute read)
The New York Times has released another Facebook privacy scandal. They've been sharing tons of data with other tech giants. They allowed Spotify, Netflix and the Royal Bank of Canada to read, write and delete users' private messages. They let Apple hide all indicators that its devices were asking for data. Even Russian search engine Yandex had special access to Facebook's unique user IDs after Facebook stopped sharing them publicly, citing privacy risks. All of these special partnerships were in effect as of 2017 according to documents the NYT got. Facebook claims that it did not violate the FTC rules requiring them to secure users' consent before sharing data because Facebook considered the partners to be extensions of itself.
AT&T's 5G network goes live in 12 cities (1 minute read)
AT&T launched its 5G network in 12 cities yesterday morning, making it the first wireless carrier to do so. It's not currently ready for consumer use, it's being tested by businesses right now to work out the kinks. When they demoed it at a conference earlier this month, it reached speeds of about 140Mbps. Theoretically they should eventually be able to get up to 1.2 Gbps. 5G will require a "5G compatible" data plan.
Elon Musk Unveils Loop, The Boring Company's First Rideable Prototype (3 minute read)
Elon Musk unveiled the Boring Company's first tunnel last night in Los Angeles. It's 1.14-miles long and took 18 months and $10 million to build. It's 20 to 40 feet underground, and doesn't come with fully autonomous cars yet like Musk had promised. Elon said "We kind of ran out of time...That's why it's just a little rough around the edges." He says that they have abandoned the original idea to have a sort of autonomous platform on skates, and are now working on guide wheels that attach to the front tires of cars that come into the tunnel. Musk says that his first ride in the tunnel was bumpy but "epic."
Conservationists plant a 'super grove' of redwood trees cloned from ancient stumps (2 minute read)
A group of conservationists have planted a new "super grove" of redwood trees cloned with DNA extracted from ancient redwood stumps that are larger than any trees currently in existence. One was 400 feet tall and over 3,000 years old when it was cut down in 1890. They also help filter water and soil and are resistant to wildfires, droughts, and pests. Group leader David Milarch says "These saplings have extraordinary potential to purify our air, water and soil for generations to come. We hope this 'super grove,' which has the capability to become an eternal forest, is allowed to grow unmolested by manmade or natural disasters and thus propagate forever."
Programming, Design & Data Science
FAQGURU (GitHub Repo)
This is a huge list of common interview questions for basically every programming language (with additional sections for AWS, data structures, and stuff like that). If you're ever planning on interviewing for a new job, you should probably bookmark this.
WebOps Weekly (Newsletter)
This is an awesome resource for anyone interested in devops, it's full of news, tutorials, tools, and podcast recommendations. A lot of really practical stuff in here, like how to manage APIs, when to use GraphQL, and speeding up requests with HPACK headers.
8 Reasons Python Sucks (2 minute read)
I enjoy Python, but I have to admit, I have experienced most of the suckage this guy describes. He complains about versioning (the transition from Python 2 to Python 3 was a disaster), installation (pip is alright, I don't know that npm is better, are there any languages that get this really right?), syntax (I disagree on this one, I find Python super readable), quirks (Python strings are pretty confusing, I've wasted so much time on string encoding funkiness), and more. Surprisingly interesting article given the clickbait title, generally people really like Python so it's interesting to see the opposing point of view.
No TLDR Originals for 2018-12-19