Big Tech &
Apple delivers a new redesigned Maps for all users in the United States (4 minute read)
Apple has released a new version of Maps with faster and more accurate navigation and comprehensive views of landmarks. The update will be rolled out to Europe in the coming months. Maps was rebuilt from the ground up with privacy at its core. The new version of Maps allows users to view interactive street-level imagery, favorite and share locations, view real-time transit information, share estimated time of arrival, and more. Maps is not connected to users' Apple ID in any way. Personalized features are created using on-device intelligence. Any data that is transmitted by the app is associated with random identifiers that continually reset.
Uber and DoorDash reportedly held failed talks to merge last year (1 minute read)
Last year, SoftBank urged Uber and DoorDash to discuss a potential merger. Although the companies did not come to an agreement, they have not yet completely ruled out the idea. SoftBank has heavy investments in both companies. Uber Eats has struggled to become profitable, despite high growth. It has recently sold its business in India and exited South Korea. The food delivery market has proven competitive, but many have struggled to generate a profit, except for Grubhub.
Scientists Pinpoint Axolotl Genes Involved in Their Unique Body Regeneration (2 minute read)
The axolotl was named after the Aztec god Xolotl, a hybrid deity who represented many things. Sometimes known as Mexican walking fish, axolotls are able to regenerate entire body parts if they go missing. Other salamanders are able to regenerate limbs, but the axolotl is also able to regenerate organs, including parts of the eyes, brain, and heart. The axolotl genome, which is about 10 times larger than the human genome, was sequenced in 2018. Last year, scientists identified and mapped structures within the genome, and in the process identified two genes that were involved in the axolotl's tissue regeneration. The research is still in its infancy and there may be more genes still involved in regeneration. Scientists hope to be able to find ways to one day enable humans to replicate the axolotl's regenerative abilities.
This is the highest-resolution photo of the sun ever taken (2 minute read)
The highest-resolution ever image of the sun, taken by the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Maui, has been released. Astronomers built the DKIST to make precise measurements of the sun's magnetic field throughout the corona in order to find out why the corona is millions of degrees hotter than the sun's surface. It can observe structures on the sun as small as 18.5 miles. The telescope is still under construction, and in the next six months, it will have the capability to record temperature, velocity, and solar structures. DKIST has one of the world's most complex solar-adaptive optic systems. It uses deformable mirrors that adjust 2,000 times per second to offset distortions caused by Earth's atmosphere. A swimming pool of ice and 7.5 miles of pipe-distributed coolant is used to cool down the telescope during operation.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Freelancing in Finland (GitHub Repo)
In Finland, most information provided by authorities regarding freelancing is for the general population, and specific information for developers is sparse. This guide is a summary of relevant information for people who wish to work as freelance software developers in Finland. It includes information for foreigners who want to start a new company, links to freelancer employment organizations, information on how to apply for startup grants, and other handy tips that will make becoming a freelancer an easier process.
Hacker Roadmap (GitHub Repo)
This repository contains a guide on becoming a pen tester from scratch. It goes through the basic concepts of information security, discusses the basic steps and tools of pen testing, and also links additional resources for further information. Students are encouraged to practice their skills on challenges, rather than real targets, and to use the information responsibly.
Huawei overtakes Apple in annual race to Samsung’s smartphone crown (2 minute read)
Huawei overtook Apple to become the world's second best selling smartphone manufacturer in 2019. Samsung remained in the lead, with Xiaomi and Oppo making up the rest of the top five. Huawei is still on the USA's entity list, which means that it can't install Google's apps and services on its new devices. 60 percent of Huawei phone sales were in China. While Apple ended up as third for the year, it beat out Samsung in the last quarter due to its iPhone 11 sales. Samsung will be launching its flagship Galaxy S20 series next month, and Apple is set to launch its successor to the iPhone SE soon. Overall, the industry sold fewer phones in 2019 than it did in 2018.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a message for you: He doesn't care if you like him (2 minute read)
Mark Zuckerberg has announced a change in attitude for Facebook in the future as it focuses on being understood, rather than being liked. The social media giant has been criticized in the past for its attempts to appease people, leading to some positive but shallow sentiment toward the company. Zuckerberg says that Facebook is committed to being more clear about its principles, such as freedom of expression, encryption, and targeted advertising. He believes that in order to be trusted, people need to know what you stand for. While Facebook's values might not always be popular, Zuckerberg believes that Facebook's focus will open these topics up to more discussion. Zuckerberg has been having dinners with political figures from across the spectrum on a lot of different issues. Facebook's revenue rose 25 percent in the fourth quarter, with 1.66 billion daily users.