Big Tech &
Samsung ends mobile phone production in China (2 minute read)
Samsung has closed down its last phone factory in China. Other manufacturers such as Sony have also ceased phone production in China due to rising labor costs and the economic slowdown. Sony will now only be making smartphones in Thailand. Samsung's market share in China shrank to 1% in the first quarter from around 15% in mid-2013. People in China buy low-priced smartphones from domestic brands and high-end smartphones from Apple or Huawei, leaving little room for Samsung to grow. Samsung will continue to sell phones in China. The company currently produces smartphones in India and Vietnam.
Uber launches app aimed at connecting workers with businesses (2 minute read)
Uber has launched an app that will connect temporary workers looking to work shifts with businesses trying to fill up rosters. The Uber Works app will only be available in Chicago during its testing period. It will display information about shifts such as gross pay, work location, required skills, and dress code. Temporary workers can track their shifts and breaks using the app. New laws in California may require Uber to classify drivers as employees from January 1. Uber has been facing record losses, competition in Asia, and slowing revenue growth.
CRISPR flies have been gene edited so they can eat poison (3 minute read)
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have created genetically modified fruit flies that are able to eat poison and store it in their bodies. Milkweed is a common plant that is toxic to most animals and insects, but an adaptation in the monarch butterfly allows it to eat milkweed and store its toxins within its body, making it poisonous to predators who try to eat it. The UC Berkeley researchers used CRISPR to edit the genes in fruit flies, giving them the same ability to eat milkweed and store its toxins. The edited fruit fly maggots were able to thrive on a diet of milkweed, and these abilities stayed with them in their adult stage. Three separate mutations were required for the changes to be effective. The study potentially widens the use of CRISPR as a way to directly evolve new traits and behaviors.
'It's going to be a revolution': driverless cars in new London trial (3 minute read)
UK tech firm Oxbotica has completed its first demonstration of an autonomous fleet driving in a complex urban environment in London. Ford Mondeos fitted with autonomous technology operated on public roads around the former Olympic Park in Stratford this week. The first passenger trials could start in June 2020. During the demonstration, the cars operated with a safety driver and were prompted by the technology to decide whether to intervene in difficult situations. One of the main focuses in developing autonomous driving technology is security, as there are potential problems around hackers and communications technologies. Oxbotica's driverless cars do not rely on GPS or maps, as they aim to develop technology that can move people and goods anywhere and everywhere.
Programming, Design & Data Science
elastdocker (GitHub Repo)
Elastdocker is an elastic stack on docker, with pre-configured security, tools, self-monitoring, and Prometheus Metrics Exporters. It is configured as a Production Single Node Cluster, has in-built security functions, has tools for configuration and metrics, and more. It requires Docker 17.05 or higher and Docker-Compose 3 or higher.
Ask HN: What are weird and/or novel ways to do web UIs? (Hacker News Thread)
Some websites have weird user interfaces. There are companies that do not see the value of investing in a properly designed interface and process, resulting in developers accidentally causing entire systems to collapse. Other websites, trying to distinguish themselves, create strange ways of displaying product information. Some developers have experimented with using products such as Google Slides to create fully functioning websites. This thread is full of anecdotes on strange UI designs.
US, UK and, Australia urge Facebook to create backdoor access to encrypted messages (6 minute read)
The US, UK, and Australian governments plan to pressure Facebook to create a backdoor in its encrypted messaging to allow them to access the contents of private communications. Facebook plans to implement end-to-end encryption across its messaging services in order to stop unwanted parties from viewing user conversations. The US and UK have signed the world's first data access agreement that will allow law enforcement agencies to obtain data directly from the other country's tech firms. Facebook strongly opposes the government's attempts to build backdoors as it would undermine the privacy and security of people everywhere. When a backdoor is opened up for a specific government, it also opens up the possibility for malicious parties to steal information from the same backdoor.