Big Tech &
Windows 10 will soon ship with a full, open source, GPLed Linux kernel (2 minute read)
A new version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) will run a full Linux kernel in a lightweight virtual machine. It will be a trimmed down version that relies on the host Windows for hardware support, and it will be able to run many components much faster than the current version of WSL. The Linux kernel will be released under a GPL license, so all code will be open source. A preview of WSL 2 will be available in June.
Apple faces inevitable antitrust headache as EU launches App Store investigation (6 minute read)
Apple is facing an antitrust investigation after Spotify filed a complaint with the European Commission for Apple's anti-competitive business strategies. Spotify is frustrated with Apple's 30 percent take of subscription fees and they claim that Apple unfairly used their iOS platform to launch a music subscription service that otherwise would not have been successful. Companies leveraging their platforms for their own benefit is common practice in the US, but the EU believes that regulators must protect consumers against such practices as they may harm innovation and limit customer choice.
Early-stage detection of Alzheimer’s in the blood (4 minute read)
Major studies with promising antibodies that could treat people with Alzheimer's have failed in the past, possibly due to the fact that the disease had not been detectable until plaques have already formed in the brain. A new two-tier method developed at Ruhr-Universität Bochum may be able to detect the disease up to two decades earlier, which is a major step in paving the way for early-stage therapy approaches. A protein was discovered that folded incorrectly in patients with Alzheimer's. However, only using the protein as an indicator resulted in too many false positives. A second indicator which predicted the chances of dementia was introduced and the combination of the two indicators produced a reliable diagnosis.
The Canadian innovation that pulls drinking water out of thin air (3 minute read)
A Canadian invention uses technology inspired by a cactus and thorny devil lizards to pull drinking water from the air. The species that inspired the Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG) come from Malta, where water is scarce and the land is surrounded by the salt water of the sea. On the island, the cactus uses tiny hairs to collect water from the air and the thorny devil lizard's skin has a texture that pulls moisture from the air into the lizard's mouth. The AWG uses a special material that is able to absorb moisture from the air using principles learned from nature and it uses 20 to 70 times less energy than other current AWGs.
Programming, Design & Data Science
go-perfbook (GitHub Repo)
This repository contains a guide on best practices for writing high-performance Go code. The first section of the guide covers best practice in writing for any language, and the second section focuses on Go-specific techniques. The guide is available in English, Chinese, and Spanish.
Microsoft unveils Windows Terminal, a new command line app for Windows (1 minute read)
Windows Terminal was unveiled at the Microsoft Build Developer Conference and will be available around mid-June. It is designed to be a central hub to access environments such as PowerShell, Cmd, and the Windows Subsystem for Linux. Windows Terminal will support multiple tabs, themes, emojis, and GPU-based text rendering. Microsoft has been working to improve the developer environment on Windows. They have previously released a Linux command line for Windows and listed Ubuntu on the Windows Store.
How Chinese Spies Got the N.S.A.’s Hacking Tools, and Used Them for Attacks (7 minute read)
Symantec, a leading cybersecurity firm, has unveiled that Chinese intelligence agents had acquired hacking tools developed by the National Security Agency and repurposed them to attack American allies and private companies around the world. An analysis revealed that the agents did not steal the code from the NSA, but instead reverse engineered the tools after capturing an attack on their own systems. Security experts debate whether the US should continue developing sophisticated hacking tools if they can not keep them safe from other parties. Cybersecurity companies work internationally and tend to avoid naming specific governments in their reports, instead opting to use nicknames for government-sponsored hacking groups. It has become common for international groups to steal technology developed by US intelligence agencies, but this is the first time an exploit has been reversed engineered and used to attack others.
Over 100 Riot Games Employees Walked Out to End Forced Arbitration (4 minute read)
Employees at Riot Games sign away their rights to sue the company when they are hired, and any disputes are handled through a forced arbitration process. There are currently several ongoing complaints against the company for sexual harassment within the workplace that are currently being handled through arbitration. Employees organized a walk out to protest against the forced arbitration. Riot Games stated that after these cases have been handled, new employees will be allowed to opt out of the arbitration process, but employees still walked out in protest as they believed that all employees should be able to opt out of arbitration.