Big Tech &
YouTube Reveals Revenue for First Time: $15.1 Billion in 2019 (2 minute read)
YouTube generated $15.1 billion in ad revenue in fiscal 2019. This is the first time Google has separated YouTube's earnings from Google's earnings reports. YouTube Music and YouTube Premium have more than 20 million paid subscribers and the YouTube TV streaming bundle has more than two million subscribers. Subscriptions now account for $3 billion a year in revenue. YouTube will continue to focus on its subscription business moving forward. The video streaming service has seen enormous growth, almost doubling its ad revenue in the past two years. Google Cloud generated $8.9 billion in revenue last year. Overall, Alphabet received $161.8 billion in revenue in fiscal 2019.
Apple now offers iPhone repairs in the comfort of your home (1 minute read)
Apple has teamed up with Go Tech Services to provide home repairs in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Houston, and Dallas. Some customers will now see an onsite repair option when they go to Apple's support site. The service will only cover certain types of repairs, and an onsite visit fee may apply. Apple already offers onsite repairs for large organizations through AppleCare for Enterprise.
Inside the future of online dating: AI swiping and concierge bots (11 minute read)
It is possible to automate Tinder with AI. There are many bots that are able to swipe based on your preferences and then carry the conversations for you. Some of these bots are available on GitHub and are linked in the article. Bots like these bring up ethical discussions about using AI in this way. People who meet using this method may have to have a difficult conversation later on in their relationship. The bots may have negative effects on people who find out that they were conversing with a program. They may also further the enabling of people with anxiety. Dating apps have already been shown to have the potential to be harmful to some users' mental health. In the future, these bots may serve as a type of concierge to help us find love.
Unlike sex, VR is crazy better when you do it underwater (3 minute read)
Virtual Reality may be best experienced underwater. An underwater VR experience at the Sundance Film Festival this week called Spaced Out takes its inspiration from the moon. It uses audio from the Apollo 11 mission combined with a collage of images of various moon motifs from pop culture to create a dream-like experience. The mammalian diving response is triggered when people are submerged in cool or cold water. This response causes lower heart-rate and the blood vessels in the extremities to constrict. It also appears to be able to reliably stop VR users from getting nauseous. Being underwater also helps block out distracting sounds, creating a very immersive experience.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Algo Deck (GitHub Repo)
Algo Deck is an open-source collection of over 200 algorithmic flash cards. The aim of the project is to prepare developers to succeed in algorithm and data structure interviews. Topics include arrays, encoding, hash tables, recursion, math, and more. The code examples are in Java.
Tech salaries are risk premiums (3 minute read)
All tech salaries are risk premiums in both directions. When you work at a company, they want to pay you as little as possible, which is fairly common across all industries. Companies will pay more to keep employees from leaving, and employees negotiate salaries to negate the risks of getting fired, going broke, or having to work for a FAANG company. Employees can use their demand with other companies to raise salaries as employers try to reduce the risk of them leaving. Even the hint of a chance of a job opportunity from a FAANG company can usually keep employers on their toes. If all high-paying companies suddenly stopped hiring, the asking salary of many developers with other companies would drop significantly. The success of big tech companies has a huge effect on the salary of all workers in the industry.
Elon Musk - Tesla will hold a super fun AI party/hackathon at my house (Twitter Thread)
Elon Musk has tweeted that Tesla will be holding an AI party/hackathon at his house in about four weeks. The event appears to be invite-only, and the only requirement for invitees is that they have a deep understanding of AI and the ability to implement practical neural networks. A degree is not necessary. In the thread, Musk mentions that Tesla recruits engineers from anywhere in the world.
This Man Created Traffic Jams on Google Maps Using a Red Wagon Full of Phones (2 minute read)
An artist in Berlin pulled a red wagon full of smartphones around town in order to create virtual traffic jams on Google Maps. The 99 smartphones had Google Maps open, causing the app to flag his location as jam-packed and to start diverting traffic to other routes. Simon Wreckert, the artist, wanted to get people to think about the space we give to cars in public life and the data we rely on every day. The generated maps weren't reality, but rather an interpretation of the data that the algorithm saw.