TLDR Daily Update 2019-01-14
Apple's iPhone plans 📱, SpaceX layoffs 😔, programmable satellites 🚀
Big Tech &
Quantum: Handover for fully flexible satellite (2 minute read)
Traditionally, satellites have been hardware products that can't be reconfigured after launch. Quantum is the first fully software-defined spacecraft. Instead of being built to serve one particular niche, it can be reprogrammed on the fly. The UK Space Agency says "Having assets in space that are flexible and can meet changing needs is absolutely essential, and that has underpinned the UK Space Agency's investment strategy in telecoms over the last few years."
Google Maps (Web App)
Google Maps now lets you walk around in the International Space Station! Click on the sides of your screen to turn and the bottom of your screen to walk forward.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Anime.js (GitHub Repo)
Toshi (GitHub Repo)
Toshi is an open source full-text search engine written in Rust (it's a competitor to Elasticsearch). It works on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS.
More Start-Ups Have an Unfamiliar Message for Venture Capitalists: Get Lost (5 minute read)
The VC model is simple: raise enough capital to grow faster than competitors and regulators can catch up. Founders are now beginning to question whether buying into the boom or bust VC game is a good idea. Some companies like Wistia (video hosting) and Buffer (social media posting) have bought back their investors' shares to pursue more sustainable growth. New small VC funds like indie.vc and Earnest Capital are now giving funding with buyback clauses to allow companies to buy out investors with profits down the line. Bootstrapped startups like collaboration tool Notion believe they can achieve ambitious goals like challenging Microsoft without any venture capital backing. Entrepreneur Mara Zepeda says "The tool of venture capital is so specific to a tiny, tiny fraction of companies. We can't let ourselves be fooled into thinking that's the story of the future of American entrepreneurship."