Big Tech &
Snapchat launches Mario Party-style multiplayer games platform (2 minute read)
Snapchat today launched their new in-app gaming platform, Snap Games, featuring five multiplayer games that were exclusively built for the platform. Snap secretly acquired Australian gaming development company PrettyGreat in late 2017, which brought in the talent required to develop Snap Games. The platform will be monetized by showing users optional ads in return for in-game bonuses. There is a video by Snapchat available in the article with a quick demonstration of the game.
Amazon Is Making a Rival to Apple’s AirPods as Its First Alexa Wearable (2 minute read)
Amazon is looking to release wireless earbuds in the second half of 2019. The earbuds will have Alexa access, which means that users will be able to use their voice to order goods, play music, and access information on the go. There will also be physical gesture controls. Amazon's earbuds will require pairing with a phone for Alexa access. Earbuds are the fastest growing wearable market, with Apple's AirPods generating $17.4 billion in revenue last financial year.
The UN just unveiled a design for a new floating city that can withstand Category 5 hurricanes (2 minute read)
The UN has unveiled a design for a floating city that can withstand natural disasters. It consists of connected hexagonal platforms, each housing 300 residents, that connect into bigger villages with around 10,000 residents, an ideal number for each village to achieve full autonomy. There will be no cars, and rubbish will be collected through pneumatic tubes and sent directly to a sorting facility to be repurposed. Food will be obtained through ocean farming and the goal is for the cities to be completely self-sufficient. While the cities will be floating, they will still be moored to the ocean floor. The designers recognize that most people will continue to live on land, but the concept of living on the ocean will still appeal to many.
Amazon to offer broadband access from orbit with 3,236-satellite ‘Project Kuiper’ constellation (5 minute read)
Joining SpaceX, OneWeb, Telesat, and other companies looking to bring global internet access through satellite technology is Amazon, who recently announced Project Kuiper. According to their application with the International Telecommunications Union, Amazon plans to send 3,236 satellites into orbit in a constellation that will be able to serve around 95% of the world's population. This is just one of Amazon's space projects, and it is clear that CEO Jeff Bezos has more than a passing interest in space. There is no official timeline for when Project Kuiper will be completed or details about how much the service might cost.
Programming, Design & Data Science
CSSBattle is a game in which you test your CSS skills by 'code-golfing’. Images are displayed on the site and users must try to replicate the image as closely as possible with the least amount of code. Users have to sign up to play the free game, and there is a global leaderboard for high scores.
Agile Lite: Agile without all the burnout (GitHub Repo)
Agile development is an approach to software development where requirements and solutions evolve as feedback is received from the development team and end users. It can get complicated, with many books or workshops dedicated to teaching the approach. Agile Lite simplifies the situation by providing a simple and concise explanation of the concept. An explanation in the style of Agile Lite is also available for developers and managers.
Australia passes social media law penalising platforms for violent content (3 minute read)
A new bill passed by the Australian government will make it an offense for service providers and hosting services to fail to notify the Australian Federal police regarding, or fail to remove, content which contains 'abhorrent violent conflict’. The Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material bill was met with opposition by the tech industry as it would punish companies for content uploaded by users. However, the aim of the bill was to make companies more responsible for the content that is hosted, as it seems that some companies do not care about hosting offensive content, even after requests for the content to be removed.