Big Tech &
Apple is telling retail store workers to expect a limited supply of replacement iPhones for the next several weeks (2 minute read)
Apple has warned its retail staff that the company is facing a shortage of replacement iPhones. Some stores are also running low on individual replacement parts. During the shortage, employees are instructed to offer customers loaner devices or to mail out replacement devices when they become available. Apple has closed all of its retail locations in China, and many of its suppliers' factories have been forced to close down temporarily. Like many companies, Apple has restricted employee travel and implemented additional hygiene measures. The coronavirus outbreak made a major impact on the stock market recently as businesses face disruptions.
Facebook is suing a domain registrar for selling deceptive web addresses (2 minute read)
Facebook has filed a lawsuit against Namecheap and Whoisguard for allowing customers to register domains intended to deceive people. Namecheap has stated that it takes fraud and abuse allegations extremely seriously and that it follows standard industry protocols in instances of trademark claims. It claims that Facebook's lawsuit was an attempt to infringe on the privacy of its customers. In 2008, Verizon won $33.2 million in a lawsuit against a domain registrar in a similar case.
Coronavirus: Are there two strains and is one more deadly? (3 minute read)
An analysis of 103 cases of the new coronavirus has revealed that there are two strains of the virus, an L-type and an S-type. Viruses constantly mutate, and there are small changes every time the virus infects a new host. Both are involved in the current global outbreak. The L-type, which is more prevalent and thus probably more aggressive, is likely to have evolved from the S-type. Scientists have not identified differences in the viruses yet other than its infection rates. It is important to know how many strains of the virus exist when developing vaccines, as the vaccines will have to be able to target all strains of the virus. Some scientists say that the changes in the virus have been trivial so far and that there is no evidence that the disease has gotten any worse. It is expected that new strains will evolve as people develop immunity to the old strains.
The drone boat of ‘Shipwreck Alley’ (10 minute read)
Many ships have wrecked along the Thunder Bay, off Michigan's northeastern coast, and some of these ships are still intact, despite being underwater for a long time. Divers flock to Shipwreck Alley each year, and last spring, they were joined by an autonomous boat named BEN. BEN was developed by researchers to make underwater maps. Mapping the ocean requires the use of boats, which usually means maintaining a crew, so our oceans have largely remained unmapped. An autonomous ship would be able to cheaply and efficiently collect data compared to a crewed vessel. BEN is equipped with sonar, radar, cameras, LIDAR, and GPS systems.
Programming, Design & Data Science
CLUI: Building a Graphical Command Line (8 minute read)
CLIs are powerful, and text input is predictable and constant. While CLIs are efficient, users must memorize commands to fully utilize them. GUIs address many of these issues by making things easier to access and do, but they can become complex and programs can easily become bloated as developers try to cram features wherever they fit into the program. Many programs have become so cluttered that it is easier to search for commands using a text search than through navigating the GUI. Some popular products such as Voice Assistants are a balance between CLI-inspired inputs and GUI-inspired outputs. In order to make CLIs more approachable for users, they should be able to be used with a mouse, commands should be discoverable, and output should support rich and interactive media. Repl.it's CLUI is an easily extensible interface that blends GUIs and CLIs, where you can type in a command, and get suggestions for commands. It operates like a decision tree, guiding users to commands. Adding features is as simple as adding commands on the backend. A link to some of the code and a demo application is available in the article.
regular expressions 101 (Website)
Regex101 allows you to write regular expressions and test them on strings. It is able to generate an explanation of your regex as you type. There is a quick reference guide, with tokens sorted into categories such as Anchors, Meta Sequences, Quantifiers, Group Constructs, and more.
An Early YouTube Star Grows Up (4 minute read)
Ricky Dillon has been documenting the major moments of his life on YouTube since he was in junior high school. By 2012, Dillon had 200,000 followers, and in 2013, he moved into a shared house with other content creators to collaborate on a project. The group won a Teen Choice Award, and their subscriber count went up to 2.5 million. Making it on YouTube these days is a little harder. Nowadays, Dillon speaks at events for newer social media stars, edits videos for other YouTubers, and still runs his own YouTube channel, but he no longer feels the pressure to create and post content when he doesn't feel like it.
Iran's Answer to the Coronavirus Outbreak: Cut the Internet (3 minute read)
The Iranian government blocked access to the Persian desktop version of Wikipedia for 24 hours after a top advisor to Iran's Supreme Leader died from the coronavirus. The mobile version remained available. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites remain restricted as the government seeks to control the spread of information. All Friday prayers in provincial capitals have been canceled in the country as it faces the deadliest outbreak of the disease outside of China. Iran now has 2,922 confirmed cases and 92 deaths. 23 of the country's lawmakers have been infected with the virus. There are rumors that Iran's official figures are false and that many more people have died. The Iranian police have arrested 24 people and warned a further 118 internet users for spreading rumors about the coronavirus online. Iran is deploying hundreds and thousands of health workers across the country to stop the outbreak. 54,000 prisoners have also been temporarily released from jail on bail in order to halt the spread of the virus.