Big Tech &
Apple and Stanford’s Apple Watch study identified irregular heartbeats in over 2,000 patients (3 minute read)
The Apple Heart Study, a joint effort between Apple and the Stanford University School of Medicine, released its results today both in a press release and at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session and Expo. Of the over 400,000 participants, 0.5% received notifications alerting them of heart irregularities over the course of the study, at an 84% accuracy rate. The study showed that the Apple Watch wasn’t prone to ‘over-notification’, which was a growing concern with wearable devices. While the Apple Watch was shown to be a useful tool in the early detection of health issues, these devices have to be much more accurate before they can be relied on for health decisions.
Everything we think we know about Google’s mystery gaming announcement (6 minute read)
Google is set to make an announcement at the Game Developers Conference tomorrow, and there are some theories about what Google’s vision for the future of gaming could be. It is most likely that the big announcement is related to cloud gaming, especially since Project Cloud had just successfully finished prior their tweet about the event. Google has had several strategic hires related to cloud gaming in the past 18 months, including people who had previously been working on game streaming services. A hardware component, similar to the Chromecast, may also be announced along with a game controller that looks like a cross between the PlayStation controller and the Ouya Gamepad. Ubisoft, ID Software, and Crystal Dynamics will have representatives at the Google event, which suggests that some big single-player titles will be available at launch.
Las Vegas takes a chance on having Elon Musk’s Boring Company build transit tunnel (3 minute read)
An underground express tunnel that connects downtown Las Vegas, the city’s convention center, airport, and other points of interest will be built by the Boring Company at an estimated cost of between $35 to $55 million, depending on the final plans. The Las Vegas Convention Center’s expansion is planned to be completed in 2021. When it is complete, attendees would have to walk around 2 miles to get from one end to another, which explains the need for a rapid transit route. Elon Musk estimates that the tunnel will be complete and operational by the end of the year, however, past projects have not gone as smoothly as predicted.
Sealed Cache of Moon Rocks to Be Opened by NASA (3 minute read)
Between 1969 and 1972, the Apollo missions collected 842 pounds of lunar rocks, core samples, pebbles, sand, and dust. While many of these samples have already been studied, some were sealed away until technology had sufficiently improved so they could be more effectively studied. NASA has finally decided, on the year of the 50th anniversary to the Apollo 11 landing, to allow nine teams to study the locked samples. The new studies could start to unravel the mysteries of how the moon evolved, the impact history of the moon, how much water is on the moon, and also determine and improve the effectiveness of sample storage methods.
Programming, Design & Data Science
March 2019 Machine Learning Study Path (GitHub Repo)
This repository aims to provide a complete and organic learning path for beginners in Machine Learning. While no previous knowledge is required, it is recommended that students are confident with programming and high-school level maths. A textbook is recommended, but the rest of the material is free and open-source. The course covers the basics, such as Python, Scikit-Learn, TensorFlow, and the different types of neural networks, with extended reading on all topics. There are also projects, YouTube channels, blogs, and other websites linked for extra learning. The repository is still being expanded, with more guides being added in the next few weeks.
As Costs Skyrocket, More U.S. Cities Stop Recycling (4 minute read)
The cost of recycling programs has started to rise and this has caused many cities to either start dumping recyclables into landfills or cancel programs entirely. Rising costs are due to China no longer accepting imported recyclable material after officials determined that too much trash was mixed in. Thailand and India also import recyclable material but have imposed new restrictions on what is acceptable. As there are fewer buyers, the companies are now charging more to dispose of existing material. Burning recyclable material for energy is becoming increasingly common as costs rise. As it becomes clear that recycling may be economically impractical, the focus now turns to restricting plastic use to decrease pollution.
Amazon's second headquarters clears blocks in Virginia funding vote (4 minute read)
Local officials unanimously voted to clear a $51 million financial package for Amazon if it decides to build its second headquarters in Virginia. After Amazon abruptly pulled out of its plans to build their HQ2 in New York, other states that had previously been on the shortlist are now being considered. There was a vocal minority opposition in Virginia still, with the opposition protesting against Amazon’s business practices, including its treatment of employees. Housing prices have already started rising amidst speculations that Amazon will bring their headquarters into the state. The project will cost Amazon approximately $2.5 billion and create more than 25,000 jobs, generating more than $3.2 billion in tax revenue.