Big Tech &
Apple acquires self-driving car startup Drive.ai (1 minute read)
Apple has officially acknowledged that it acquired the self-driving shuttle and car-kit startup Drive.ai. Drive.ai has recently filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification with California's Employment Development Department, alerting the agency that the company will begin to shut down operations effective Friday. In recent weeks, Apple has picked up a few hardware and software engineers from the firm, which was confirmed by updates on the employees’ LinkedIn profiles. Apple appears to be reinvigorating its Project Titan self-driving car program as it has recently been hiring new recruits from other competing self-driving car firms.
Report: Spotify claims it “overpaid” royalties, wants a refund from songwriters and publishers (1 minute read)
Spotify claims that it overpaid royalties to musicians in 2018 due to the Royalty Board’s ruling on family and student plan subscribers. Family plans are to be treated as 1.5 subscribers per month, and student plans are equal to 0.5 subscribers per month. Spotify will not require all royalties to be paid back immediately. Instead, it will extend the recoupment period to the end of 2019, and deduct the sum of the overpaid royalties from this year’s payouts. Spotify has been criticized for the move as they are taking advantage of a change in the law that they are currently fighting against.
McDonald’s is Testing Kitchen Robots and AI-Powered Drive-Thrus. It’s About Time (2 minute read)
McDonald’s is testing robotic deep fryers and voice-activated drive-thrus at a location in suburban Chicago. The details about what the deep fryers look like and how they operate are unknown. Automating the deep-frying process may speed up the production line as well as reduce employee injuries and the costs related to these injuries. Using an automated drive-thru could result in shorter queue times. While critics claim that automating these jobs will take away work from human employees, restaurants are struggling to find employees to complete repetitive, boring, and dangerous tasks, such as handling a fryer for hours on end.
SpaceX’s latest Falcon launch has put a solar sail into orbit (2 minute read)
The LightSail-2 satellite was launched on June 25 with SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Falcon Heavy also transported 24 satellites for the US Defense Department and other customers, several new pieces of equipment for NASA, and the cremated remains of 152 people on behalf of a memorial spaceflight company. The LightSail-2 will reach an altitude of 450 miles above Earth, where it will orbit for a year while it collects momentum using the pushing force of photons from the Sun. Falcon Heavy did not return completely intact due to its central booster missing its target and exploding in the water.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Gryphon (GitHub Repo)
Gryphon is an open source platform for building and running algorithmic trading strategies in cryptocurrency markets. It is both a software library that can be integrated into other projects and an application suite for running trading strategies. Users can easily build custom strategies and trade automatically using Gryphon.
Clean Go Code (GitHub Repo)
This repository is a reference to help developers in the Go community write cleaner code. Writing clean code is important as it can help prevent developers from wasting hours on understanding their own or other developers’ code. The guide is easily accessible through a table of contents that links to each section.
San Francisco becomes first US city to ban sale of e-cigarettes (2 minute read)
The sale of e-cigarettes is now banned in San Francisco. Traditional cigarettes and marijuana products, including vapes for cannabis, are still legal to purchase. Legislators banned nicotine based e-cigarettes as they have been the cause of a rise in nicotine use in teens. Juul, one of the largest producers of nicotine products for e-cigarettes, has its main offices in San Francisco. Former adult smokers who had been using e-cigarette alternatives to quit smoking will now have to look elsewhere. Many small businesses have also been affected by the legislation.