Big Tech &
Scientists Engineer Houseplants to Soak Up Cancer-Causing Chemicals (3 minute read)
There is a gene that codes for a protein called cytochrome P450, which exists in many mammals' livers, helping them clean up toxins. Scientists spliced this gene from a rabbit's genome into a houseplant, and it began detoxifying the surrounding air, leaching carcinogens like chloroform and benzene out of the air. Synthetic biologist Patrick Shih says "We're still in the early stages of what we can do with engineered plants...this could be a very cool application to make the household less dangerous."
Google spin-off that stores energy in molten salt backed by Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates (2 minute read)
Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates have both invested in a new Google spin-off company called Malta, which raised $26 million to create "solar salt", a form of salt that can store thermal energy. The idea is to use electricity from solar panels to power a heat pump, then store this energy in the salt. An advisor in Google's X division says "A lack of affordable, reliable grid-scale energy storage is currently limiting the shift to renewable energy. Malta's technology gives us a shot at storing all the renewable energy we create cheaply and reliably."
Programming, Design & Data Science
Guide to Kotlin (GitHub Repo)
This is a beginner's guide to Kotlin for people who already know Java. I really like this idea, since most people thinking about picking up Kotlin will already know Java. It explains a lot of the differences between the two, and since the two are quite similar, assuming knowledge of Java actually helps a lot when teaching Kotlin.
Icons 8 Ouch (Free Illustrations)
This is a set of free illustrations neatly categorized for web developers. The categories are things like page not found, no comments, payment processed, as well as topics like education, relationships, and medicine.
Nasa Hack Exposes Data on Space Agency's Servers (2 minute read)
Hackers have obtained social security numbers and other personally identifiable information from NASA employees between July 2006 and October 2018. No mission critical data was exposed, and it's still unknown who was behind the hack. This is the third breach of NASA since 2011.
No TLDR Originals for 2018-12-20