Big Tech &
Huawei might be working on its own version of Google Maps (1 minute read)
Huawei recently unveiled a potential Android replacement and it is apparently now working on a Google Maps alternative. Map Kit is a tool for software developers to create apps around its mapping capabilities, connecting to local mapping services which cover 150 countries and regions. Yandex and Booking.com are partnering with Huawei on the service. Huawei's access to Google's services has been threatened since the US blacklisted the company in May due to concerns about Huawei's relationship with the Chinese Government.
Ikea goes all in on smart home tech (2 minute read)
Ikea has announced that it will invest heavily in a new Ikea Home smart business unit with end-to-end responsibility for its portfolio of smart devices. Ikea first started releasing smart home devices in 2015 by introducing tables and lamps that could wirelessly charge Qi-compatible phones. Since then, Ikea has released affordable smart lighting and has partnered with Sonos to launch a relatively inexpensive whole-home audio system. It plans to release its first smart blinds on October 1st. Ikea's devices are platform-agnostic, supporting Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa through its Tradfri gateway. It is predicted that about 830 million smart home devices will be sold in 2019 and that number is set to double by 2023.
Elon Musk is once again on a quest to ‘nuke Mars’ (2 minute read)
Elon Musk has seemingly made it his life's mission to make a human colony on Mars a reality. Mars' atmosphere is less than one percent as dense as Earth's. However, there are CO2 deposits locked in Mars' poles, and it has been hypothesized that if a large bomb was dropped on the poles, the CO2 would be released to the atmosphere, helping the planet retain heat and making it slightly more habitable by human settlers. Past research has suggested that bombing the poles won't release enough CO2 to be worth the trouble, but Musk has publicly disagreed with this. Musk recently published a tweet in support of nuking Mars. No space agency is ready for preliminary planning for a crewed Mars mission, and we are still far away from any long-term efforts to terraform the planet.
Drone Beats Ambulance in Race to Deliver First Aid to Patients (4 minute read)
A team in Iraq and Australia have developed another way to use drones in healthcare as part of a system that detects when an elderly person has fallen. Fall detection devices were attached to healthy volunteers during a test and then triggered in crowded, hard to reach areas. Teams with drones and ambulances were alerted at the same time. The drones carried first aid kits to the patient's location, where a caregiver would then administer first aid. On average, the drones arrived 105 seconds faster than the ambulances, which is a significant amount of time especially in incidents where patients aren't breathing or where the patient's heart stops beating. Further improvements such as automated loading of supplies and faster drones could potentially shave another five to 40 seconds off the response time.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Ask HN: What book to read to get a footing in CS theory? (Hacker News Thread)
Coding can be self-taught or learned quickly through coding boot camps/courses, but topics such as complexity analysis which are taught in computer science degrees may be harder to learn. This thread contains a list of books which discuss theories taught in computer science degrees without delving too deeply into the coding aspect.
Tech Interview Handbook (GitHub Website)
The Tech Interview Handbook is designed to prepare developers for job interviews with practice questions, cheatsheets, and tips. Many engineers have landed jobs with the help of the handbook at organizations such as Google, Amazon, Uber, and Facebook.
The Often-Hated Open Floor Plan Gets a New Savior: The Office Pod (6 minute read)
Studies have shown that open floor office plans decrease face-to-face time and increase the number of email interactions. Employees experience increased stress levels, conflict, blood pressure, and higher turnover rates when working in an open floor office. Companies such as ROOM and ZenBooth have started offering office pods, personal cubicles which are minimal in design, containing a chair, a table, outlets, a skylight, glass doors, and soundproofed walls. Pods can vary in sizes and accommodate individual users or small groups of people. ZenBooth was started due to the founder finding it difficult to work in an office with an open floor plan. Pods can be delivered to an office within 10-15 business days and set up in under an hour while constructing office walls can take more than three months. Some pods are already tested to meet fire regulations, and the costs are less than renting traditional sectioned offices.