Big Tech &
Spotify launches its lightweight listening app Stations in the US (2 minute read)
Spotify Stations has launched in the US. Stations is designed for users who wish to have a more radio-like experience rather than having to build their own music playlists. The app keeps things minimalist, with a scrollable list of playlists and tools to customize playlists. Free users will hear ads and won’t be able to skip tracks, unlike premium users, who will have a skippable, ad-free experience. Playlists will customize to the user over time, and users can speed up the process by letting the app know who their favorite artists are. Stations is currently only available in Australia and the US.
Facebook shareholder revolt gets bloody: Powerless investors vote overwhelmingly to oust Mark Zuckerberg as chairman (2 minute read)
Around 68 percent of ordinary investors, those who are not part of the management or board, voted to oust Mark Zuckerberg as chairman of Facebook during the annual shareholders meeting last week. Shareholders are concerned with the direction of the company and the handling of recent scandals. An independent chairman may benefit the company and hold Zuckerberg and his team accountable for their actions. Shareholders also voted to scrap Facebook’s dual-class share structure, where Class B shareholders have 10 times as much voting power as Class A shareholders. As Zuckerberg owns more than 75% of Class B stocks, earning him 60% of the voting power in Facebook, the proposal to oust him as chairman was dismissed.
The SEC Is Suing Kik for Its 2017 ICO (2 minute read)
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a case against Kik for the sale of its kin token in 2017. According to the complaint, Kik opted to sell a cryptocurrency token to the public to fund its operations, after unsuccessfully trying to raise funds through investors. The kin token appears to be classified as a security, which means that Kik had violated law which required offerings to be registered. Kik had averaged losses of $30 million a year and attempts to be acquired by larger technology companies have failed. The kin token is used across a suite of mobile apps as currency, and Kik continues to develop new marketplaces for people to earn and spend the cryptocurrency. A full copy of the SEC filing is available for viewing.
This Clothing Line Was Designed By AI (2 minute read)
Glitch is a clothing line that was designed by AI. Two recent MIT graduates used AI to redesign the classic ‘little black dress’. There are currently a few designs available for purchase, with 50 percent of sales being donated to an organization that supports women entering into STEM fields. So far, a majority of sales have been to women working in tech. Glitch hopes that its designs will inspire more women to work in tech. The company has released a tool that allows users to generate and choose their own dress designs.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Nebular (GitHub Website)
Nebular is a UI library based on Eva Design System specifications, with over 40 UI components, four visual themes, and Auth and Security modules. It was created to be customizable, and designs are made to be compatible with both mobile and web platforms. Each module is separate, so designers can install only what is necessary. A demo website is available.
A Self-Learning, Modern Computer Science Curriculum (GitHub Website)
This website contains a modern computer science curriculum designed for someone with an interest in theory. Each resource is self-contained and covers all necessary background reading. Previous experience in programming and a basic understanding of calculus is highly recommended for the course.
Tesla blocks access to anonymous workplace chat app Blind amid crackdown on employee leaks (2 minute read)
Blind, an app that allows employees to discuss workplace matters anonymously through public and private forums, has been blocked by Tesla. Employees noticed that their verification emails were not being received in their work inboxes and that they couldn’t access the app when using Tesla’s Wi-Fi networks. Tesla has not commented on its reasons for blocking the app. However, it is believed that it may be linked to the theft and leaking of confidential information by a former employee last year.