Big Tech &
Elon Musk delivers New Year’s Teslas with help from his proud mom (2 minute read)
Elon Musk and his mother, Maye, helped volunteers from the local Tesla Owners club deliver cars to hundreds of customers on New Year’s Eve. A $1,875 US federal tax credit for customers was to expire at the end of 2019, so Tesla tried to ship the cars to customers as soon as possible so they could take advantage of the credit. Tesla was giving out $10 vouchers for the food trucks on-site and was also offering drinks.
Chinese start-up Mobike loses more than 200,000 bikes (2 minute read)
Chinese start-up Mobike revealed that 205,600 shared bikes were lost to theft and vandalism during 2019. Shared bikes have become commonplace in cities worldwide. Mobike has a credit score system that rewards and punishes users for good and bad behavior. Offenders may be charged for damage, banned from the service, or reported to the police. Shared bikes are meant for short trips across cities, but some users take them home or discard them in rivers and canals. Mobike has pulled its bikes out of Manchester, Newcastle, and Gateshead after a series of incidents, and Hong Kong-based rival Gobee has pulled out of Europe altogether due to mass destruction of its bike fleet.
Cerebras’s Giant Chip Will Smash Deep Learning’s Speed Barrier (9 minute read)
One of the limitations of machine learning is the large amount of time it takes to train models. Some models can take up to six weeks to train, restricting the number of tests that data scientists can perform every year. A new chip by Cerebras is able to perform significantly better in both speed and efficiency compared with any other current system. The Wafer Scale Engine chip is 50 times the size of the largest GPU at 46,266 square millimeters. It has 1.2 trillion transistors, 400,000 processor cores, 18 gigabytes of SRAM, and interconnects capable of moving 100 million billion bits per second. Some of these chips have already been deployed. Previous attempts at creating wafer-scale chips have failed.
AI system outperforms experts in spotting breast cancer (3 minute read)
An AI system has outperformed expert radiologists in detecting breast cancer in mammograms. The system was able to detect cancers that the radiologists missed while ignoring features that radiologists falsely flagged as possible tumors. Developed by Google Health, the software could help ease the burden on health services as radiologists are in short supply. One in eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and there are many cases of misdiagnosis. AI could help assist radiologists in making a diagnosis, acting as a second opinion.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Sheetfu (GitHub Repo)
Sheetfu interacts with Google Sheet using a simple, intuitive, and fast API. It can easily get or set cell values, background colors, font colors, or any other cell attributes. Installation instructions and examples are provided.
Highest Paying Companies of 2019 (Website)
A chart is presented that shows the median total year compensation for different companies, including salary, stock, and bonuses. Compensation and leveling depend on a variety of factors, including interview performance, past experience, and competitive offers. The companies listed are the absolute top-paying tech companies, and might not reflect the rest of the market. Leveling information is presented, showing compensation for the top five companies for entry-level employees through to principal engineers. The top five regions with the highest median pay are listed. Levels.fyi aims to help people get paid fairly through transparency.
What Will Happen In The 2020s (3 minute read)
This article contains predictions on what will happen in the next decade. The climate crisis will likely be to this century what the two world wars were to the previous one. It will require a re-allocation of capital that will result in cleaner energy and efforts to protect the environment. Automation will continue to lower the cost of production and services, and this will change how we work and distribute wealth. China will become the world's dominant superpower while the US becomes more internally focused and isolated. Cryptocurrencies will become the norm, and this will be led by China as the US and Europe will struggle with slow regulatory changes. A decentralized internet will emerge. Much of the world's food production will move to laboratories, with plant-based food diets becoming dominant by the end of the decade. Mass surveillance by governments and corporations will become normal, and new products will emerge for people to protect their privacy. A new generation will start dominating many institutions, meaning age and experience will be less valued by shareholders, voters, and other stakeholders. Progress in genetics will mean we start winning the fight against cancer and other terminal illnesses. Fertility and reproduction will also significantly change. There will be an era of genetic inequality and moral confusion.