Big Tech &
AWS launches Braket, its quantum computing service (3 minute read)
Amazon Web Services has partnered with D-Wave, IonQ, and Rigetti to launch Braket, a quantum computing service. It has also announced the launch of the AWS Center for Quantum Computing and the AWS Quantum Solutions Lab. Developers can use Braket to build and test basic applications using quantum algorithms. Braket will have a fully managed Jupyter notebook environment for developers to explore their algorithms. Amazon will provide plenty of pre-installed developer tools, sample algorithms, and tutorials. Researchers will have access to collaboration tools through Amazon's new Solutions Lab. Its Center for Quantum Computing will focus on making the technology more accessible to developers.
Report: TikTok limited the reach of users with visible disabilities (2 minute read)
TikTok limits the reach of users who have some visible or obvious form of disability or disfigurement as an attempt to protect users from cyberbullying. Users who have autism, Down syndrome, facial disfigurements, or other disabilities may have their videos restricted to only be shown in their own country and removed from the For You feed. TikTok claims that the restriction on these videos was a temporary measure and that it has since altered its rules. The short-form video service has previously been accused of censoring users who express certain political opinions.
Scientists use loudspeakers to make dead coral reefs sound healthy, and fish flock to them (3 minute read)
Scientists have used a process called 'acoustic enrichment' to attract fish back to dead coral reefs. Coral reefs have been dying due to climate change, overfishing, and pollution. Degraded reefs have a better chance of recovering if they have robust populations of fish. In an experiment, scientists played recordings from a healthy reef in patches of dead coral. The areas where these recordings were played had twice as many fish compared to patches where no sound was played. Fish that had migrated to the area tended to stay. The new fish populations included species from all parts of the food chain.
Europe's space agency approves the Hera anti-asteroid mission (2 minute read)
The ministers in charge of the European Space Agency have approved a $320 million mission to test whether deflection could save the planet from a rogue asteroid. The ESA and NASA will send a pair of spacecraft to a double-asteroid system called Didymos. NASA will first crash its DART probe into the smaller asteroid, Didymoon. Hera will then map the impact crater and measure the asteroid's mass. Didymoon is the size of the Great Pyramid, so it could destroy an entire city if it impacted Earth. The mission is tricky as no spacecraft has ever flown to such tiny space bodies before. An asteroid collision is an unlikely event, but it is preventable, unlike earthquakes or volcanic explosions.
Programming, Design & Data Science
.gitignore.io is a service designed to help create .gitignore files for Git repositories. Users enter their operating system and language (and other specifications if required), and the site generates a template .gitignore file. A video tutorial is available.
nbdev (GitHub Repo)
nbdev allows developers to fully develop a library in Jupyter Notebooks. It is a true literate programming environment where you can put all your code, tests, and documentation in one place. Developers can easily debug and refactor code.
Tinder says 'there are definitely registered sex offenders on our free products' (2 minute read)
Match Group doesn't have clear policies or screening practices to prevent registered sex offenders from signing up. Some users have matched with sex offenders and experienced attempted sexual assault. In an analysis of more than 150 sexual assault cases, it was found that 10 percent of cases involved users who were matched with someone previously accused of or convicted of sexual assault. Match Group carries out background checks for its paid services. It doesn't collect enough information on users of free apps to conduct meaningful background checks. Match Group owns 45 online dating brands and reported $1.7 billion in revenue in 2018.