Big Tech &
Report: Apple will unveil overhauled MacBook Pro, “Pro” iPhones this fall (5 minute read)
Apple is set to release updated versions of the iPhones, Macbook Pro, Apple Watch, iPad Pro, the entry-level iPad, AirPods, and the HomePod. It is rumored that Apple is holding an event on September 10. The next versions of the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR will have updates to their camera capabilities, a new processor, a reverse charging feature, OLED displays, and Haptic Touch. A major redesign is expected for the Macbook Pro, which may include a 16-inch screen. The entry-level iPad will have a 10.2-inch screen, and the iPad Pro models will see an upgraded camera and faster processors. Apple is also rumored to release an Apple Watch update focused on software, AirPods with noise cancelation and water resistance, and a cheaper version of the HomePod.
Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne resigns following ‘deep state’ comments, stock rises (11 minute read)
Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne has resigned from the company as of August 22. Shares rose 17 percent after the news was released, finishing up at 8.3 percent at the end of the day. Byrne was involved in the federal government's investigation into the 2016 election, and he was also previously in a romantic relationship with a Russian operative. Overstock's shares fell by more than 30 percent following the revelation that Byrne was involved with the government investigation. Jonathan Johnson, an Overstock board member, will be appointed as interim CEO. A full copy of Byrne's announcement letter is available to read.
Researchers are creepily close to predicting when you’re going to die (2 minute read)
A team of researchers in the Netherlands has discovered 14 metabolic substances in the blood that predicted whether people were likely to die within the next five to 10 years. Over a period of nearly 17 years, the scientists measured 226 different substances in the blood of 44,168 people aged 18 to 109, of which 5,512 died during the study. After the study, the scientists used the 14 markers to predict the deaths of a group of 7,603 Finnish people who were surveyed in 1997. The measurements were 83 percent accurate at predicting death within five to 10 years. Accuracy dropped for people aged 60 and over. The biomarkers may be helpful for guiding patient care and to help prognosis. All the data in the study came from people of European descent, so it may not be applicable to other groups.
From the lab to the living room: The story behind Facebook’s Oculus Insight technology and a new era of consumer VR (8 minute read)
Facebook's Oculus Insight was created so that the Oculus headsets could be completely wireless and independent of outside sensors. It uses inside-out tracking, which uses computer vision algorithms to analyze data from multiple sensors in order to fix the position of an object within a constantly updated digital map. The technology has been used before in robotics and smartphones, but the Oculus required an unprecedented level of precision and efficiency. Using special cameras and machine learning, the team at Facebook trained an algorithm to recognize the environment and the locations of the Oculus controllers. The technology is still developing, with the aim of eventually being able to create lightweight, stylish AR glasses.
Programming, Design & Data Science
What Glassdoor interview reviews reveal about tech hiring cultures (12 minute read)
Chip Huyen used interviews from Glassdoor in order to answer the question of what percentage of people who attended machine learning interviews received an offer, as well as what percentage of people accepted the offer. While Glassdoor data suffered from many biases, it was hoped that the volume of data helped to smooth out the noise. 15,897 reviews from 27 major tech companies were analyzed. It was found that the difficulty of interviews rose depending on the level of expertise required. 18.83 percent of candidates at Google received offers, with 70 percent of applicants accepting these offers. There was a high correlation between onsite offers and offer acceptance rate. Companies tended to select candidates more often through referrals for senior roles, whereas candidates for junior roles were sourced mainly through campus recruiting. Candidates who were interviewed for junior positions were more likely to report a better experience than ones who interviewed for more senior roles.
RequestBin allows developers to inspect requests using a generated URL. The website allows you to see what your client is sending in order to inspect and debug webhook requests. It is able to parse any data, including JSON, XML, query-string, and form data, and the HTTP and HTTPS endpoints don't expire.
T-Mobile ‘Put My Life in Danger’ Says Woman Stalked With Black Market Location Data (5 minute read)
In 2014, Ruth Johnson received around 20 threatening phone calls from John Edens, a debt collector who was posing as a US Marshal. Eden had obtained exact location data from T-Mobile, allowing him to stalk Johnson at her home and place of work. Johnson had owed payments on a car, and after being harassed, she returned the car to the dealership and moved neighborhoods, wanting to avoid any more trouble. Edens had obtained location data of 14 different T-Mobile numbers using a technique that other people had been successfully using with various providers. Until recently, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon were selling their customers' location data to data brokers, who would then sell the data to bounty hunters. A spokesperson from T-Mobile said that the company has a specialized legal team that reviews each emergency request. Edens was sentenced to one year in prison for impersonating a US officer.