Big Tech &
California-based game company Blizzard bans pro esports player and confiscates his prize money after he voices support for Hong Kong protesters (4 minute read)
A Hong Kong-based player has been fined his prize money and given a year-long ban after he voiced support for Hong Kong's protestors during a postgame interview. Blizzard also announced that the two commentators who appeared on the stream will no longer work with the company. Blitzchung, whose real name is Chung Ng Wai, said it was his duty to speak out about the Hong Kong protests, even though it could affect his personal safety in real life. Blizzard is a US-based company, but it has a partnership with China-based company Tencent. Tencent is also a partner of the NBA, who has recently faced backlash in China when Houston Rockets' general manager, Daryl Morey, tweeted in support of Hong Kong protestors. Rockets games will no longer be broadcasted on China Central Television or Tencent's platforms. Blizzard stands behind their decision, saying that Chung violated rules of the competition by offending a portion or group of the public or damaged the company's image. The company has disabled comments on its blog post announcing the ban.
Teens choose YouTube over Netflix for the first time, according to new survey (1 minute read)
According to a recent survey by Piper Jaffray, YouTube has passed Netflix as the preferred platform for watching video among teens. 37 percent of teens stream videos most often off YouTube, compared to 35 percent who use Netflix as their main source of streaming video. Piper Jaffray attributes the preference for YouTube to its wide array of teen-oriented content. Netflix shares have fallen 27 percent in the last three months and they face increasing competition from other upcoming streaming services. Teens still prefer Netflix more than its competitors, such as Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
First meat grown in space lab 248 miles from Earth (2 minute read)
Israeli food technology startup Aleph Farms has successfully grown meat in a lab on the International Space Station. Bovine cells were harvested on Earth and sent to space, where they were grown into small-scale muscle tissue using a 3D bioprinter. The technique could potentially be used to provide meat for people living on the space station. In December, Aleph Farms was successful in growing a strip of steak from cells in two weeks, but it admitted that the taste could be improved. One kilogram of natural beef requires 10,000 to 15,000 liters of water to produce. Aleph Farms' technology could potentially ensure food security for the future while preserving our natural resources.
China Breeds Polar Bear-Sized Pigs as Pork Prices Surge (2 minute read)
African Swine Fever has taken a major toll on China's pork supply over the past 14 months. Farmers are now breeding pigs for their size, aiming to make them as big as possible. A farmer in Nanning is breeding pigs the size of polar bears. The swine weigh approximately 500 kilograms and can sell for more than RMB10,000 each. Farmers in China are encouraged to produce more pigs in order to ensure stable market supply.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Image Deduplicator (GitHub Repo)
Image Deduplicator is a python package that is able to find exact or near duplicates of images in an image collection. It uses a combination of hashing algorithms and convolutional neural networks. An evaluation framework is provided to judge the quality of deduplication for a given dataset.
n8n (GitHub Repo)
n8n is a free, node-based workflow automation tool. It can be self-hosted, easily extended, and integrated with internal tools. There are more than 50 different nodes to automate workflows. A short video is available to show how n8n can be used to create a simple workflow.
I'm a driver for Uber and Lyft — here's exactly how much I make in one week on the job (14 minute read)
Working as a rideshare driver, your income can vary widely depending on demand and tips. Some days can be busy, with generous customers tipping on every ride. Other days can be more difficult. Customers can sometimes have unreasonable demands, even asking drivers to break laws. Unexpected events can occur, especially with motor vehicles, and sometimes these can cost drivers significant amounts of money and time. One of the main benefits of the job is that it is extremely flexible and drivers can choose when to work.
'Collapse OS' Is an Open Source Operating System for the Post-Apocalypse (2 minute read)
Collapse OS is an operating system designed to work on Z80 8-bit microprocessors. The Z80 8-bit microprocessor was chosen due to its wide availability, as it is used in desktop computers, cash registers, musical instruments, graphing calculators, and many more electronics. Collapse OS was created for a future where mass-produced electronics no longer exist. In a scenario where electronics systems are no longer common or easily maintained, those who still have access to computer systems would hold an enormous source of political and social power. People who could scavenge electronics and reprogram them would have a huge advantage over those who couldn't. The aim of Collapse OS is to build a system that can run on minimal and improvised machines, interface through improvised devices, edit text files, compile assembler source files for a wide range of processors, read and write from a wide range of storage devices, and replicate itself.