Big Tech &
NYC subway riders will be able to swipe in with Apple Pay starting Friday (1 minute read)
New Yorkers on the 4, 5, 6 line will be able to start using Apple Pay to catch a ride. The system will be trialed in 16 stations between Grand Central and 42 Street in Manhattan, and Atlantic Avenue to Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Commuters will only be able to purchase single-ride passes during the trial. More fare options will be available in 2020, and the city expects to have expanded their Apple Pay capabilities to all subways and buses by that time.
Uber will now deactivate riders with below average ratings (2 minute read)
Uber drivers have always had to keep a rating above 4.6 in order to continue driving for the service. Riders will now need to keep an above average rating as well, otherwise, they risk being banned from using Uber. Uber has been experimenting with ways for drivers to give riders feedback for years, for example, giving drivers the opportunity to leave additional comments about the rider, which would trigger a warning for the rider if they had too many negative interactions. A list of bannable offenses is documented in Uber’s community guidelines. Last month, the app was updated to give riders the confidence that their driver has been properly vetted for safety.
Elon Musk’s $49 Million Las Vegas Loop Makes Perfect Sense—for Las Vegas (4 minute read)
The Boring Company landed a $48.6 million deal with Las Vegas city to build an underground transportation system underneath the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). It is estimated that the tunnel will be able to transport 4,400 passengers per hour using autonomous electric vehicles. Commuters will be able to reach the opposite side of the LVCC in a minute using the tunnel. Tunnels and cars are not new technology, but the method for digging the tunnel is an innovation by The Boring Company that cuts the cost of digging to a fraction of the usual cost. The city’s Mayor has stated concerns for the project, noting that The Boring Company had not yet finished any of its projects in the three years that it has been operating.
Domino’s Now Using AI and Cameras to Make 'Perfect' Pizzas (1 minute read)
According to the CEO of Domino’s Pizza, the number one complaint that they receive from customers is that the pizza doesn’t look the same as in the advertisements. In order to combat this, Domino’s has introduced the DOM Pizza Checker, a ceiling mounted device that will scan pizzas and determine whether they are customer ready. The device will detect the type of pizza and analyze the distribution of toppings and cheese. If the pizza does not pass the test, the pizza will be remade. At the moment the DOM Pizza Checker is only available in Australia and New Zealand.
Programming, Design & Data Science
0x Launch Kit (Website)
The 0x Launch Kit allows developers to launch their own Ethereum-based token exchange or marketplace in minutes. The kit deploys a fully featured exchange which is secure, open source, and can be customized to the developer’s needs. Users can view a live demo, and there is detailed documentation on how to install and customize the kit.
Zdog (GitHub Repo)
Zdog is a 3D engine designed to display simple 3D models without a lot of overhead. Inspired by the 1995 game Dogz, Zdog renders all shapes using 2D drawing APIs in either canvas or svg. A collection of demo models created with Zdog is available. The software is still in beta, and feedback can be submitted through the Zdog issue tracker on GitHub.
The Splinternet Is Growing (4 minute read)
The internet is becoming increasingly fragmented, as the technology for governments to censor information is becoming more accessible. Many countries are now blocking their citizens from accessing certain information, especially during times of trouble. Previously, the type of censorship tools used in China was expensive and labor intensive, but over time the system has become cheaper and more efficient. China may soon be exporting their ‘Great Firewall’ to other Southeast Asian countries to use. While governments may want to block information in order to control its citizens, a fragmented internet makes it increasingly difficult for tech companies to operate internationally.
Huawei Revs Up Its U.S. Lawsuit, With the Media in Mind (4 minute read)
Huawei is fighting back against the US blocking their business from dealing with American companies through the courts and media. A motion to accelerate the lawsuit against the White House was filed on Tuesday. If successful, Huawei may have the opportunity to receive a summary judgment, allowing the company to avoid the time and costs of a full trial and handing over sensitive information. Huawei maintains that they are not a security threat and that banning Huawei would not make US networks more secure. They also claim that the ban was unconstitutional as the company was never given a chance to appeal. The ban may set a dangerous precedent, as it demonstrates the US government’s power and willingness to punish other countries and companies.