Big Tech &
Gates Foundation-backed program will soon be issuing home testing kits for COVID-19 in Seattle (2 minute read)
The Gates Foundation is planning to release at-home testing kits for COVID-19. People will be able to complete a nose swab and receive results in up to two days, after which action can be taken if the individual is infected. The Foundation is still finalizing details and a clear timeline for distribution has yet to be released. So far, the Foundation has spent $20 million on the effort, and an additional $5 million on local response efforts. The Foundation estimates that it will be able to test up to 400 samples per day. Seattle currently has the largest outbreak of coronavirus in the US, with 71 cases and 15 deaths as of Saturday. Identification of infected persons is key to combating the spread of coronavirus as people can be safely identified, isolated, and cared for before they infect others.
Grindr has been sold by its Chinese owner after the US expressed security concerns (2 minute read)
Grindr has been sold to San Vicente Acquisition for around $608.5 million. Beijing Kunlun Tech bought Grindr in 2018, but the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States identified Kunlun's ownership of the app as a national security risk and set a June 2020 deadline for it to sell the business. The sale to San Vicente Acquisition is still pending review. Grindr has previously been accused of sharing personal data with ad companies in violation of GDPR, as well as sharing its users' HIV statuses with outside companies.
Before we settle Mars, scientists must perfect growing space salad (5 minute read)
From 2014 to 2016, astronauts grew red romaine lettuce inside the ISS Vegetable Production System chambers. A sample was harvested in August 2015 and the lettuce became the first crop to be grown in space and then eaten. The lettuce grown in space was similar to lettuce grown on Earth, with equivalent levels of nutrients and oxidants, as well as the same diverse microbial communities. NASA plans to grow tomatoes and peppers next, but these crops will take a lot longer to grow compared to the lettuce. Being able to grow crops in space is essential for long-term space travel or missions. There are many challenges to growing crops in space, for example, the lack of soil, gravity, rain, or bees.
This Electric Tiny Car Can Be Rented for the Price of an Electric Scooter (4 minute read)
Recently, electric scooters, bikes, skateboards, and other one or two-wheeled self-balancing boards have emerged as alternative forms of transportation. Cars are often inefficient, getting stuck in traffic, not to mention the high costs of storage and upkeep for an often dormant, depreciating asset. Citroën has unveiled an 8-foot mini electric car with an 8-horsepower motor and a top speed of 27.9 miles per hour. It is technically classed as a quadricycle under French law, so anyone over 14 can drive one without a license. Its travel range is 43 miles, and it takes three hours to charge. The vehicle is only $6,700, or customers can choose to lease it for $5.67 a week after a $3,000 down payment. Ami will roll out in France in June, and it will be available later in Italy, Portugal, Belgium, and Germany.
Programming, Design & Data Science
The Beer Drinker’s Guide to SAML (20 minute read)
Security Assertion Markup Language is a protocol for authenticating web applications, allowing linked apps and organizations to communicate and trust one another's users. The key to SAML is browser redirects. Many single sign-on services rely on SAML to manage user logins. At first, a user is provided with an identity token, which can be used by several parties to verify their access. There are different methods of verifying an identity, and sometimes they might even need several forms of identity, but the concept is the same. Once a user obtains their identity token, they can use it to access various services, all which check for the validity of the identity token. SAML is similar to other authentication protocols like WS-Fed and OAuth, but its main use is for businesses to access services that they pay for.
Ultimate Coding Resources List (GitHub Repo)
This repository contains a collection of the best resources for programming, web development, computer science, and more. Resources include books, courses, coding platforms, algorithm platforms, job sites, and code playgrounds. A quick summary is available for each resource.
Wuhan Kids Give Bad Ratings to Homework-Assigning App to Remove It from App Store (1 minute read)
Children in Wuhan might be currently under quarantine, but they still have schoolwork to complete. An app called DingTalk allowed students to sign in and join classes for online lessons, with teachers setting homework within the app. The kids worked out that if they gave the app enough one-star reviews, it would get removed from the App Store. Tens and thousands of reviews flooded in and the app's rating dropped from 4.9 to 1.4 overnight. DingTalk pleaded for mercy on social media. It is unclear whether the app has been permanently removed or whether the students succeeded in getting time off school.
Sleep-streaming is the new trend on TikTok, Twitch (2 minute read)
Sleep-streams are becoming more popular, allowing some creators to make money by filming themselves sleeping on platforms such as TikTok and Twitch. Many of these viewers might not actually be watching the streams, but are instead using the opportunity to join the live chat section to talk to each other without distraction. One of the most popular Twitch videos ever shows a user passing out during stream. A Twitch streamer recently made $5,500 from media share donations and subscriptions after posting a sleep-stream of himself. Sleep-streaming has trended in the past, for example, on YouNow back in 2015.