Big Tech &
Introducing Our New Company Brand (1 minute read)
Facebook has introduced a new company logo that uses custom typography and capitalization in order to distinguish between the Facebook company and the Facebook app, which will keep its own branding. The company started 15 years ago and now offers a suite of products that help people, businesses, and communities connect. Facebook's products include the Facebook App, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Portal, and Calibra. In June, it started adding 'from Facebook' within all its apps. The brand change will help the company better communicate its ownership structure to users.
L.A. suspends Uber’s permit to rent out electric scooters and bikes (2 minute read)
Los Angeles has temporarily suspended Uber's permit to rent electric scooters and bikes to use in the city. Uber has until Friday to appeal the decision. Meanwhile, customers can still rent out equipment through the Jump app. Uber has threatened to sue the city over the suspension. LA has attempted to implement a data-sharing rule which would require Uber to share real-time data on all trips made within the city. Uber has resisted the rule, saying that the policy constitutes government surveillance and that the data would reveal sensitive information about customers. LA officials say that the data was necessary to identify companies in violation of permit rules, including caps on the number of vehicles and bans on riding in certain areas.
Microsoft announces Azure Quantum, a cloud quantum computing service (2 minute read)
Microsoft has announced plans to release an open cloud quantum computer service in private preview. It has open-sourced its Quantum Development Kit and Q# compilers and simulators. Microsoft has partnered with the startup IonQ to enable developers to use Microsoft products with quantum computers. IonQ uses an approach to quantum computing that focuses on trapping ions. Microsoft Azure Quantum will be launched in the coming months. Other companies such as Rigetti and D-Wave Systems also offer quantum computing on the cloud. IBM has plans to eventually make its 53-qubit computer available on the cloud.
China approves Oligomannate, world’s first new Alzheimer’s drug in 20 years and it is based on seaweed (4 minute read)
China has approved the first new drug for Alzheimer's disease in nearly two decades. Oligomannate could potentially reverse the condition and is based on a unique sugar found in seaweed. It was inspired by an observation that there was a relatively low occurrence of Alzheimer's among the elderly who regularly consumed seaweed. The drug has been proven effective on conditions up to stage 4. It will not cure brains that have degenerated beyond repair. Oligomannate reduces the formation of a protein that is harmful to neurons and regulates bacterium colonies in the intestines to reduce the risk of brain inflammation.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Bayard (GitHub Repo)
Bayard is a full-text search and indexing server. It makes it easy for programmers to develop search applications with advanced features and high availability. Bayard features full-text searching/indexing, index replication, bringing up a cluster, and a command-line interface.
Microsoft launches Visual Studio Online public preview and ML.NET 1.4 (4 minute read)
Microsoft has launched its Visual Studio Online public preview, shifting development from standard-issue development laptops to a web-based editor and cloud-hosted developer environments. It currently only supports Chrome and Chromium Edge. Developers can now go to Visual Studio Online to access remote environments from common templates, clone from a GitHub repo, and edit code in a browser. Visual Studio Online will allow developers to work from anywhere on any device. New environments can be created quickly, which cuts down setup time to just a couple of minutes. Visual Studio Online's environments are Azure-hosted. They can easily scale and developers pay for what they use down to the second. Self-hosted environments can be connected to use Visual Studio Online for free.
The ethics of the 4 day work week. It’s not just about the hours (3 minute read)
Britain's shadow chancellor John McDonnell has recently pledged to reduce the standard working week to 32 hours, without loss of pay, within 10 years of winning office. He says that people should work to live, not live to work. While fewer working hours may have economic benefits through optimal resource allocation, it is also an ethically desirable goal. Fewer working hours mean that people would be generally happier as they have more time. However, having more time doesn't mean that all the time is spent on doing what people want to do. A lot of the extra time will probably be spent on doing things that are required to be done.