Big Tech &
Zomato buys Uber Eats in an all-stock deal (3 minute read)
Zomato has acquired the Indian operations of Uber Eats for around $350 million. The deal will give Uber about 10 percent shareholding in Zomato. Uber Eats customers will be redirected to Zomato, and it will cease to exist as a separate brand locally. The Uber Eats team will not be absorbed, and executives will either be reallocated to Uber's other divisions or laid off. Zomato is now expected to corner more than 50 percent of the Indian market. Uber Eats was the third biggest player in the market, behind Zomato and Swiggy. It was underperforming in the market, operating on losses throughout last year.
Huawei partners with TomTom for Google Maps alternative (1 minute read)
Huawei is unable to use anything made by Google on its phones due to a US ban on the Chinese tech company. TomTom and Huawei have struck a deal to build a Google Maps rival called Map Kit, which will support real-time traffic reports and augmented reality features. Huawei was able to skirt the US government's trade ban as TomTom is a Netherlands-based company. Its phones are still powered by Android, but they lack Google's apps and services, including the Play Store. This has impacted Huawei's ability to sell its phones outside of Asia. It has been looking for software alternatives just in case it is forced to ditched Android entirely.
Scientists Are Generating Oxygen from Simulated Moon Dust (3 minute read)
European scientists are creating a system that will be able to create breathable oxygen from moon dust. Lunar dust, known as regolith, consists of around 40 to 45 percent oxygen. It requires a method called molten salt electrolysis to extract the oxygen. The scientists' prototype is working, but adjustments are still required to make it suitable for use on the Moon. Once the oxygen is extracted, the leftover metals could be transformed into compounds for 3D printing. The resulting system could provide building materials and oxygen for lunar settlers.
Meet the Chinese robot worm that could crawl into your brain (3 minute read)
Researchers at Shenzhen have created a robot worm that can enter the human body, move along blood vessels, and hook up to neurons. The 1mm by 3mm robotic worm is powered by an external magnetic field generator. It is controlled by changing the magnetic fields around its body. The robot can squeeze through gaps by using infrared radiation to contract its body by more than a third. It can change color due to the hydrogel that it is made from. The robot can be used to deliver drugs to a targeted area, limiting the effects of the drug to the areas where it is needed and reducing the risk of side effects. It could also be used to create a brain-computer interface. It is unlikely that the technology could be used as a weapon as a person needs to lie still in a special environment in order for the robot to be controlled.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Analysis of compensation, level, and experience details of 19k tech workers (10 minute read)
Data from levels.fyi was analyzed to find out how long it takes on average to become a senior or principal engineer, how much money do tech workers make, whether women get paid less than men in tech, and whether the tech industry favors the young or not. The data for the analysis came from 18.8k tech workers. On average, it takes about 18 years to become a distinguished engineer, and about four years to become a senior software engineer. There are fewer women as the level of career progression increases. Many women leave tech before they are promoted, at more than double the rate of men. The median yearly compensation for tech workers is $195,000 while the mean is $225,000, with very little difference between men and women. Stock grants are a common way to increase total compensation. Tech companies tend to favor younger employees, with older engineers' salaries having no correlation with their years of experience.
Python built-ins worth learning (16 minute read)
Python has many built-in functions, and it can be difficult to know all of them and how they are used. The best way to approach this issue is to split libraries into lists according to how useful they will be to you in your development practice. Must-know built-ins include functions such as print, list, range, sum, and all. Easily overlooked functions include bool, enumerate, zip, reversed, and sum. Handy debugging functions include breakpoint, dir, vars, type, and help. This article contains a list of functions sorted by how commonly functions are used, and it gives a brief description and example of each function and how it is used.
Why Does Spotify Want to Buy Ringer? (2 minute read)
Spotify Technology might be looking at acquiring Ringer, a sports and pop-culture startup. Ringer is involved in the podcast business, like the other four startups that Spotify bought in 2019. It was founded by Bill Simmons, who launched the outlet after ESPN fired him as a commentator. The startup already works with Spotify to produce podcast content. Its podcasting business is profitable, which might help provide an instant boost to Spotify's financials. Spotify made a loss of $86 million in 2018, but it turned a profit of about $25 million for the first nine months of 2019.
Studio Ghibli films are coming to Netflix outside North America next month (1 minute read)
21 feature films from Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli will be added to Netflix's library for all regions outside the US, Canada, and Japan starting next month. WarnerMedia obtained the US streaming rights for its upcoming launch of HBO Max. The movies will be subtitled in 28 languages and Netflix will be providing new dubs for up to 20 languages. The release will be staggered over the next few months. It will not include Grave of the Fireflies since Studio Ghibli doesn't hold the publishing rights for the movie.