Big Tech &
Amazon launches business selling automated checkout to retailers (3 minute read)
Amazon will start selling the technology behind its cashier-less convenience stores to other retailers. Just Walk Out Technology reflects Amazon's strategy of building out internal capabilities and then turning its technologies into lucrative services that others can buy. Unlike Amazon Go stores, customers will have to insert a credit card into a gated turnstile to enter stores. Items picked up by the customer will be automatically added to a virtual shopping cart, and the customer's credit card is billed when the customer leaves the store. It is unknown who will own the shopper data that will be collected. There is no fixed business model or pricing at the moment.
Custom-Made Bones Are Being 3D Printed in a Lab Then Implanted in People (4 minute read)
Particle3D is a company that is pioneering a novel method for 3D printing lightweight, customized bone implants that fuse with the skeleton before slowly disappearing. While surgeons have been using tricalcium phosphate (TCP) in reconstructive surgery for decades, they have to manually sculpt shapes from solid blocks, which limits the potential positive effects of TCP. 3D printing TCP allows for more porous implants, which allows the structures to function as scaffolds for blood vessels and natural bone to grow. The implants degrade over time and are replaced by natural bone. It is possible to store medicine inside the porous material. Trials on pigs and mice have shown that new bone marrow and blood vessels can develop in the implants within eight weeks.
Climate change is killing coffee farms, so Atomo is brewing it without beans (5 minute read)
Coffee's two main species, arabica and robusta, are highly vulnerable to climate change. Rising temperatures, fungi, pests, and diseases are already affecting coffee production in many areas of the world, with some growers abandoning their farms in 2019. Global demand for coffee is still growing, leading to deforestation and the destruction of wildlife habitats. A startup called Atomo has recreated coffee without using coffee beans. It recreates compounds found in coffee that give it flavor through natural brewing processes that use other materials such as watermelon seeds, stems, and husks. The resulting mixture smells and tastes exactly like coffee.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Announcing TensorFlow Quantum: An Open Source Library for Quantum Machine Learning (6 minute read)
Machine Learning has shown that it has the potential to solve science's most challenging problems. Quantum computing is set to accelerate the pace of machine learning and make new breakthroughs in science. The University of Waterloo, X, and Volkswagen have released TensorFlow Quantum to provide the tools necessary for bringing quantum computing and machine learning research communities together to control and model natural or artificial quantum systems.
Resources for Staff-plus engineers (Website)
This page contains resources for people looking to become Staff or Staff-plus engineers. The resources cover topics such as what a Staff-plus engineer does, becoming a Staff-plus engineer, and engineering strategy. There are books, talks, papers, and other resources available. The most important resource for Staff-plus engineers is their network of peers and mentors.
DoNotPay made an extension for sharing Netflix passwords with friends (1 minute read)
DoNotPay has released a Google Chrome extension that allows users to share paid subscription services. Users will not have to share passwords as the extension works by transferring the cookie that stores your existing login status, rather than the password. All users have to do is click on the extension icon, and it will generate a link that users can share to give others access to their accounts. While there is usually no limit for how many people you can share an account with on services such as Netflix, there might be limits on the number of devices that can simultaneously stream content.
All of Italy is being placed on lockdown due to coronavirus (1 minute read)
The whole of Italy has been placed on lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19. People are no longer allowed to assemble in public and many businesses will be closed. There are more than 9,100 confirmed cases in Italy, with more than 460 people dead. Cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in all regions of the country. The disease has now infected more than 113,000 people globally and caused nearly 4,000 deaths.