Big Tech &
Third fatal Tesla Autopilot crash renews questions about system (4 minute read)
Tesla’s Autopilot system was engaged during a fatal crash that occurred in Florida. This is the third fatal crash in the US that has involved the driver-assistance system. A report showed that the driver had been traveling over the speed limit when they turned on Autopilot mode and that they removed their hands from the steering wheel almost immediately after Autopilot was engaged. Tesla claims that its Autopilot was safe to use as long as drivers were attentive and ready to take control at any moment.
U.S. blacklists China's Huawei as trade dispute clouds global outlook (5 minute read)
The US has hit Huawei with severe sanctions, banning the company from acquiring components and technology from US firms without government approval. An executive order was also signed that barred US companies from using telecommunications equipment made by firms that posed a national security risk. While Huawei was not explicitly named in the executive order, the government has been vocal in labeling Huawei a security threat. China is not the only country that the US has imposed controversial tariffs on as the US continues to fight a global trade battle. As the battle continues, global supply lines and economic growth are disrupted. The costs of these tariffs are usually passed on to consumers.
Driverless electric truck starts deliveries on Swedish public road (3 minute read)
A driverless electric truck has received permission to start making deliveries via a public road in Sweden. The truck does not have a driver cabin, which reduces the freight operating costs by an estimated 60 percent compared to a diesel truck with a driver. Freight operators are under pressure to reduce delivery times and cut emissions, and the industry is seeing a growing shortage of drivers. The T-Pod will operate between a warehouse and a terminal at a maximum speed of 5 km/hr.
Cambridge scientists create world’s first living organism with fully redesigned DNA (3 minute read)
A lab-created microbe with fully redesigned DNA was created by scientists in Cambridge. The modified Escherichia coli (E coli) bacteria contained a genetic code that had been trimmed by scientists to remove superfluous information. More than 18,000 edits were made to the genetic code, resulting in a bacteria that was longer and grew more slowly than normal. This research could pave the way to create more virus-resistant organisms. Bacteria such as E coli are used to create medicines such as insulin, and entire production lines are wiped out if a virus is somehow introduced to the environment.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Konstellate (GitHub Repo)
Konstellate allows users to manage Kubernetes resources and their relationships through a UI. It can easily create complex YAML and export them as Helm charts or Kustomize templates. Resources can be imported or created through templates and linked easily by dragging lines between resources to create relationships.
Resilience engineering notes (GitHub Repo)
This repository contains a list of people who have contributed significantly to the field of resilience engineering. People from related fields such as cognitive systems engineering and naturalistic decision-making have also been included. Each listing contains a summary of the person’s work, a list of their publications, and links to information about the concepts they introduced into the field. The readings in this repository are ones that the author has read or is planning to read so it may not be comprehensive.
The Man Behind San Francisco’s Facial Recognition Ban Is Working on More. Way More (5 minute read)
Brian Hofer has drafted over 26 privacy laws for cities and counties in California. His work has resulted in many anti-surveillance measures being taken across the state. As technology improves, laws must be made regarding their use, as the potential for abuse is high. Hofer claims that he is not anti-technology, but that he just wants to stop authorities from abusing this technology. He had previously been targeted incorrectly by a number-plate recognition algorithm that ran off an outdated database, resulting in him being temporarily held by the Contra Costa County sheriff’s department.
Kickstarter will not voluntarily recognize its employee union (2 minute read)
Kickstarter will not voluntarily recognize Kickstarter United, its employee-created union, but are opting instead for a National Labor Relations Board election. CEO Aziz Hasan wrote in an email that a union would hurt the company and that the company recognizes the needs of its employees. A union would significantly change the way the company operates, and Hasan was concerned that employees were being pressured by their managers to form opinions regarding the union effort.