Big Tech &
Samsung Electronics to Showcase Successful ‘C-Lab Inside’ Projects and ‘C-Lab Outside’ Start-ups at CES 2020 (7 minute read)
Samsung Electronics will be showcasing five innovative projects from its C-Lab Inside program and products from four start-ups participating in its C-Lab Outside program at CES2020. C-Lab Inside is an in-house incubation program that encourages Samsung employees to develop innovative ideas. The C-Lab Inside projects to be unveiled this year focus on creating a convenient and healthy lifestyle. They include a virtual keyboard solution, a smart highlighter pen, a home care solution for scalp treatment and hair loss prevention, a window-shaped artificial sunlight, and an ultraviolet monitoring sensor and service. C-Lab Outside is a startup acceleration program that provides startups with financial support, business collaboration, and opportunities to participate in global IT exhibitions. This year, C-Lab Outside will showcase a companion robot, a healthcare data-based ICT service, a gesture control technology, and a multi-party video call service.
Snapchat will launch Bitmoji TV, a personalized cartoon show (5 minute read)
Snapchat users will soon be able to watch their Bitmoji avatar in a full-motion cartoon series called Bitmoji TV. Users can register their interest on Snapchat's website to be notified about its release in February 2020. Many of Snapchat's core features have been copied by Facebook's family of apps. Facebook is developing Facebook Avatars to compete with Bitmoji. Bitmoji originally placed avatars in comic strips, and TV is a return to these roots. Snapchat's 210 million daily users can use Bitmojis as overlays in snaps, Fitbit smartwatch faces, characters in comic strip stories, game and profile avatars, and more. Snapchat has even launched merchandise based on Bitmoji characters. The success of Bitmoji TV will depend largely on the quality of writing.
Boeing capsule launches to wrong orbit, skips space station (4 minute read)
Boeing's new Starliner capsule missed its target and ended up in the wrong orbit. NASA has canceled the Starliner's docking with the International Space Station. The Starliner will return to its landing site in the New Mexico desert on Sunday. Officials have confirmed the safety of the capsule. The problem was caused by the Starliner's mission clock. No harm would have been caused to any crew if the Starliner had passengers on board. This was a major setback for Boeing, who has been trying to catch up with SpaceX. SpaceX is about to launch a crewed test of its Dragon capsule. Boeing may have to push back the planned dates for its crewed test flights. It has been nearly nine years since NASA has launched astronauts from the US.
Russia claims new missile is 27 times faster than sound (3 minute read)
Russia has developed a new intercontinental weapon that can fly at 27 times the speed of sound while carrying a nuclear weapon of up to two megatons. The Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle has been described as a technological breakthrough. It can make sharp maneuvers in the atmosphere, making it hard to intercept. The first missile unit with the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle was put on combat duty in the southern Ural Mountains. Russia claims that US efforts to develop a missile defense system eroded Russia's nuclear deterrent, so it had to develop advanced weapons as a response. For the first time, Russia is developing an entirely new class of weapons, unlike in the past when it was catching up with the US. China has tested its own hypersonic glide vehicle. US officials have discussed adding additional sensors or interceptors in space, so that enemy missiles can be detected and destroyed sooner.
Programming, Design & Data Science
CoreUI Icons (GitHub Repo)
CoreUI Icons contains more than 1,500 icons in multiple formats. It is free and open-source, and the icons can be used for commercial projects, open-source projects, or almost anything else. A Pro version is available with more than 2,000 icons and more styles.
What’s next for the popular programming language R? (6 minute read)
Languages evolve over time, and programming languages are not exempt from this rule. R has changed significantly in the last few years. Older users would barely recognize how the language is typically used today. Hadley Wickham is R's most important developer. He built 'tidyverse', a set of popular data analysis and visualization libraries which has become the standard for new learners. Wickham has seen many changes in R in the last decade, for example, the R community has grown more welcoming, and the introduction of R Markdown has allowed code to be presented more easily. He sees Python and R as having separate use cases and both being powerful in their own areas. Wickham hopes that R and Python will continue to grow together and for R to fit more seamlessly into the data science workflow. R will continue to be developed so that it can handle cutting edge data science, with a focus on its visualization capabilities.
A decade of change from 300 miles above (4 minute read)
Using imaging from Maxar, Google, and NASA, this article shows us views from 300 miles above Earth to help us see how our technological advances could put us at risk in the decades to come. This article displays before and after photos of areas to show how things have changed in the last decade. Apple's campus is now the shape of the dial on the original iPods. Thirteen of the largest buildings in the world were completed in Dubai during the past decade. China's influence has grown in the world, especially in the South China Sea. The levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere have risen, and three of the five most expensive weather and climate disasters in US history occurred in 2017. California's most destructive fire was the Camp Fire in 2018, burning nearly 14,000 homes and killing 85 people. Our planet's glaciers continue to melt away, losing up to 390 billion tons of ice and snow each year. Fukushima's nuclear plant disaster in 2011 killed one worker and cost nearly $120 billion.
IoT vendor Wyze confirms server leak (3 minute read)
Wyze has confirmed that a server leak exposed the details of roughly 2.4 million smart device customers. An internal database was accidentally exposed online. Wyze was testing new methods to measure business metrics when a test database had its security protocols removed. The leak was discovered by a cyber-security consulting firm who only gave Wyze 14 minutes to fix the issue before going public with their findings. Leaked details include email addresses, device identifier data, and Alexa connection tokens. The security firm accused Wyze of exposing internal API tokens, sending data to Chinese servers, and collecting health information from users. Wyze has denied these accusations but noted that health data from 140 users was collected as part of a beta-test for a new smart scale product. As a response to the leak, Wyze has forced all users to log out from their devices and reset all API tokens.