Big Tech &
Galaxy S10 photo leak shows Samsung wireless Galaxy Buds (1 minute read)
Samsung is expected to announce its new Galaxy S10 phone in a few weeks. A photo has been leaked showing small wireless earbuds (nicknamed ‘Galaxy Buds’) resting in a case on the back of a Galaxy S10 Plus. It appears that the headphones may charge wirelessly from the back of the phone, similar to how the Huawei P20 charges Huawei’s Freebuds 2 Pro wireless earbuds. It is unclear whether these form a new line of products, or whether it is a continuation of Samsung’s Gear IconX headphone range.
Spotify bans ad blockers in updated Terms of Service (1 minute read)
Spotify updated its terms of service to specifically target users who use ad blockers or modified apps in order to bypass ads while using their free service. They have implemented tools to detect when users are actively blocking ads. Previously, users were sent warnings that the behavior was not tolerated, but now users will have their accounts terminated or suspended. The changes come into effect on the 1st of March.
Avoiding The Ouch: Scientists Are Working On Ways To Swap The Needle For A Pill (2 minute read)
A new pill has been developed that could replace the need for external injections. The pill was developed to replace the need to inject insulin externally by deploying a spring-loaded needle directly into the stomach lining. The design of the pill was modeled after the Leopard tortoise, which is able to roll back onto its feet if it is stuck upside down - this is important as the pill needs to align directly to the stomach lining rather than shooting off in random directions. Trials have already been successfully conducted in pigs, and human testing may begin in a few years.
Plant-based burger battle heats up as culinary rivals roll out new products (3 minute read)
Two plant-based burger companies, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, are set to launch the next versions of their burgers. While both burgers are plant-based, their formulas are quite different. Beyond Meats’ burger is based on pea and mung bean protein, whereas Impossible Foods’ burger using a soy-based protein. Previously, Beyond Meat had mainly targeted grocery stores while Impossible Foods targeted restaurants, but both companies now aim to compete directly with each other for customer loyalty.
Programming, Design & Data Science
ClusterFuzz (GitHub Repo)
ClusterFuzz is a scalable fuzzing infrastructure which finds security and stability issues in software. Fuzzing involves providing random inputs into software in order to test for bugs. ClusterFuzz is highly scalable (Google runs 25,000 instances to test products like Chrome Browser) and is able to automatically file bug reports. Users are able to customize fuzzing conditions to suit their needs and monitor and manage statistics through a web interface.
Not-paid (GitHub Repo)
Not-paid is a script for web designers to add to their websites just in case clients refuse to pay for work. Users simply set a due date for payment and then add the code to the head tag of the site, and once the due date is over the site will become increasingly opaque until it disappears altogether.
Reflecting on My Failure to Build a Billion-Dollar Company (10 minute read)
Sahil Lavingia, an entrepreneur, reflects on his journey in building a startup and why it failed to become a billion-dollar company. As the second employee at Pinterest, he was able to quickly raise capital for his idea, Gumroad, but then problems with running the venture soon materialized. Lavingia’s successes and failures throughout the journey are analyzed, and the lessons he learned from the experience are shared in a mature, balanced way.
Ex-Cons Create ‘Instagram for Prisons,’ and Wardens Are Fine With That (5 minute read)
Prisoners face a range of problems when communicating with the outside world. Phone calls can be expensive, with a large variance between local and national call rates. Letters are also reviewed thoroughly, and discarded if suspicious. Several new startups are beginning to provide services that lower the costs of phone calls and are able to send standardized packages for letters. Family and friends can now easily take photos from their devices and send them to their loved ones in prisons. Many prisons are embracing the change.