Big Tech &
Hands on with Apple's first public beta of macOS 10.15 Catalina (52 minute read)
Apple has released its first public beta of Catalina. This update starts to merge iOS features with Mac OS, combining many of the functionalities of the mobile platform into the desktop environment. Apple has been developing custom hardware for its devices, and the end result of cross-platform compatibility is now being realized. iOS apps are now able to run on Mac OS through Catalyst. Catalina also introduces new augmented reality tools, machine learning abilities, a suite of apps to replace iTunes, and more. Most of the visual elements remain unchanged from Mojave. Older Macs that don’t support Metal (introduced in some models in 2012) will not be able to run Catalina. Users should keep in mind that Catalina is still in its testing phase, so there may still be issues with running the new operating system.
Major Outage Brings Down Discord, Reddit, Amazon And More (1 minute read)
A route leak by Verizon caused services which rely on Cloudflare to go down for several hours yesterday. Even though all of Cloudflare’s systems were running normally, traffic wasn’t routed to some parts of its networks. It is unclear whether the route leak was caused through error or malicious intent. Cloudflare has procedures to secure its service from these errors. Discord users were the most vocal about the downtime they experienced, with over 100,000 tweets published regarding the outage. Less than a month ago, another Cloudflare outage brought down YouTube, Snapchat, Spotify, and many other services.
Google's Quantum Processor May Achieve Quantum Supremacy in Months (9 minute read)
According to Google, its development of quantum processors is improving at a doubly-exponential rate. We may only be months from the beginning of a practical quantum computing era. Technological developments usually follow Moore’s Law, where technology advances exponentially every couple of years, but as our technological developments get closer to the limits of what the technology is capable of, development has slowed down. Now, with the development of quantum computing, the rate of innovation has increased as the limits have been raised. The development of practical quantum computing will have a major impact on the technological world. For example, most encryption algorithms will become vulnerable to brute force attacks.
Sidewalk Labs finally publishes its smart city master plan (6 minute read)
Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet which focuses on city and urban development, has released its Master Innovation and Development Plan for a proposed smart neighborhood on Toronto's Eastern Waterfront. The approval of the plan will be voted on in late 2019 and early 2020. If successful, the project will begin development before 2021. Sidewalk Labs plans to build houses for around 7,000 residents and create 7,400 local jobs. The plan focuses on building homes that are energy efficient and affordable. There are plans to build public spaces, and Google will provide incentives for residents to create new businesses. A full copy of the proposed plan is available to read.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Keras Tuner (GitHub Repo)
Keras Tuner is a hyperparameter tuner for Keras with TensorFlow 2.0. Data scientists can tune hyperparameters for their neural networks using random search and easily create compiled models with these parameters. Pre-tuned models for computer vision are available.
catj (GitHub Repo)
Facebook and Google could be forced to tell you how much your data is worth under new US legislation (2 minute read)
Companies such as Facebook and Google may soon be forced to inform customers individually on how much profit they gain from customer data. The proposed Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight and Regulations on Data Act will require companies to issue a report every 90 days to users on the type of data collected and how much profit was gained from the data. These companies hoard data from users and the data is not always safe and secure. The proposed law will make sure that customers are completely informed when using these companies’ services.