Big Tech &
Why did the former CEO of Nissan just get smuggled out of Japan? (2 minute read)
Carlos Ghosn, the executive that used to run the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, was arrested by Japanese police in November 2018 on charges of financial misconduct. He claimed that he was set up by rivals at Nissan, and was released on bail. The Japanese criminal justice system has a near-perfect conviction rate, and on December 29, Ghosn left Japan for Lebanon. Ghosn released a statement on New Year's Eve denouncing the Japanese justice system. Japanese authorities have yet to determine how Ghosn escaped the country. Lebanese authorities say he entered Lebanon legally. Turkish authorities have arrested four pilots, two ground handlers, and the operations manager of a cargo company for their involvement in the escape. Interpol has issued a 'red notice' for Ghosn.
Apple patents surround sound-like technology for a MacBook (2 minute read)
Apple has won a patent for a surround sound-like technology that will make watching media on a laptop feel significantly more immersive. The acoustic system will send noise out at angles to create the illusion that sound is coming from different directions. Sound has been a focus for Apple as they try to create the best experience for consuming Apple TV+ content on a Mac. While Apple now owns the patent, it may still be some time before the feature will appear in MacBooks, if at all.
Barcelona's car-free smart city experiment (4 minute read)
Superblocks is an initiative by Barcelona to lower noise and pollution within its city by creating areas where all but essential vehicles are banned. There are currently six superblocks so far, each made up of nine existing blocks joined together. Parking for residents is underground. Some residents are opposed to the plan as it may lower trade in the area or because they want their cars parked outside of their homes. Other cities such as Seattle are considering introducing something similar. Barcelona has ruled citizen data as a public and individual asset and should be used solely in the public interest, meaning that it should be used to improve the quality of life in cities, rather than being used to create digital exclusion.
Scientists Built a Particle Accelerator Smaller Than a Human Hair on a Chip (3 minute read)
The world's largest particle accelerator is a structure that extends 17 miles long. Scientists have just developed the world's smallest particle accelerator at 30 microns across, which is about half the width of a human hair. The particle accelerator was designed to be installed on a chip and will open up possibilities in materials science, chemistry, and medicine. It is called a dielectric laser accelerator (DLA), and the technology could lead to cheaper and more compact X-ray machines, radiation machines, industrial scanning equipment, and many other devices. The DLA was designed by a computer. It still needs improvement, and it will be a few more years before the DLA will be practical.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Redis Queue (GitHub Repo)
Redis Queue is a Python library for queueing jobs and processing them in the background with workers. It is designed to be easy to integrate. Installation and usage instructions are available.
spark-joy (GitHub Repo)
This repository contains a list of tools to easily add personality to your product. Categories include typography, CSS, animations and transitions, icons, avatars, sound, styling forms, and more. Most links contain free resources. Paid or premium resources are labeled.
This dad took his son to Mongolia just to get him off his phone (6 minute read)
Adventurer Jamie Clarke felt that he was starting to lose touch with his son Khobe due to technology. Both of them had become attached to using their mobile devices and it was beginning to make them more distant. He didn't realize how big the problem had become until they spent a weekend away to a place without an internet connection. After realizing the impact that technology had on their relationship, Clarke and Khobe started planning a year-long trip through Mongolia, a trip where they would live without being constantly connected to the world. They found the trip to be an interesting experience and will try to apply some of the lessons they learned to their everyday lives.
Google veterans: The company has become 'unrecognizable' (7 minute read)
The resignations of Larry Page and Sergey Brin from their roles as CEO and president of Alphabet marked the end of an era. The pair cited changes to Google's all-hands meetings, human resources processes, and transparency from management as reasons for leaving. Current CEO Sundar Pichai has admitted the difficulties in managing more than 100,000 employees. The size of the company has made it hard for things to change, and more employees are starting to leave the company due to the increased bureaucracy.