Big Tech &
HQ Trivia is back less than two months after the app was shut down (2 minute read)
HQ Trivia has returned two months after the app was shut down. The company was acquired by a private investor. Episodes will start to air more regularly in the future, but the schedule is still being figured out. HQ Trivia was a live interactive quiz app that gave out cash prizes. It was very popular, but it faced a series of incidents that led to its demise. Co-founder Rus Yusupov negotiated a deal to bring the app back that involved paying severance to the 25 employees at HQ and paying out players who still had cash winnings pending.
Instacart’s Gig Workers Are Planning a Massive, Nationwide Strike (4 minute read)
Instacart gig workers will refuse to accept orders until Instacart increases their pay by $5 an order, provides free safety gear, and expands paid sick leave to include workers with pre-existing conditions who have been advised by their doctors not to work at this time. The strike will last until Instacart agrees to their terms. Instacart corporate employees have full benefits and do not have to work in the front lines, while the gig workers have no guarantees or protections. Like many other companies that depend on gig workers, Instacart has offered two weeks of paid sick leave if a worker tests positive, but the offer only lasts until April 8, before the worst of the pandemic is set to hit. Many workers live paycheck to paycheck, so this may force workers to work while sick. Instacart plans to hire an additional 300,000 gig workers in the next three months.
Scientists Use CRISPR to Delete Fearful Memories in Rats (2 minute read)
Researchers at Peking University have used CRISPR gene editing to remove fearful memories from rats. The new technique could be used to treat pathological memories and memory-related conditions such as PTSD, drug addiction, chronic pain, and chronic stress. While negative memories could be essential for survival, too much focus on them can cause psychological and physical disorders. The study isn't clear on how memories are targeted and what safety measures are used to ensure other memories aren't accidentally removed.
For the first time ever, travelers can join an expedition to the deepest spot in the oceans (4 minute read)
The Challenger Deep is believed to be the deepest point in the world's oceans at a depth of 10,928 meters. A travel company and an undersea diving company have teamed up to offer paid spots to join an expedition to dive to the bottom of the Marianas Trench. Until now, only seven people on Earth have visited Challenger Deep. Only three spots are available and they are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis at $750,000 each. The mission will take approximately eight days, with the divers spending up to four hours on the seafloor. No official date has been set for the mission yet. The submarine has been outfitted with comforts such as a 'Sky Bar' and a gym. No formal pre-departure training will be required.
Programming, Design & Data Science
New grad vs senior dev (7 minute read)
When first starting out as a new developer, you might find existing code that is significantly more inefficient than what you have been taught to use. A new meme pokes fun at new graduates screaming at senior developers for using nested for loops. Eric Lippert reminisces to when he was a CS summer intern and he complained to Tim Paterson, the creator of QDOS which later became MS-DOS, about code that Lippert thought was inefficient. Paterson was patient in his answer to Lippert's complaint, showing why the chosen method was the most efficient method for its purpose and teaching Lippert a lesson about practicality in coding.
MeiliSearch (GitHub Repo)
MeiliSearch is a powerful, fast, open-source, easy-to-use and deploy search engine. It features a search-as-you-type experience, full-text search, typo tolerance, Kanji support, synonym support, and more. It is easy to install and highly customizable.
How the Pandemic Will End (25 minute read)
SARS-CoV-2 was unknown three months ago, and now it has spread to almost every country, infecting hundreds of thousands of people. It has disrupted modern society on a scale that most people have never witnessed. A pandemic of this scale has been predicted for years, and it has been known for a while that when it comes, it will be testing the resilience of even the most well-equipped health systems. The future of the next generation depends on the decisions made in the following weeks. Even after the pandemic is over, there will be many hurdles to overcome like getting people employed again, dealing with mental health issues from a lack of human contact, overcoming the racism triggered by the virus, and more. However, some changes may be for the better. For example, people may start making hand-washing a habit and going to work while sick may finally be discouraged. After 9/11, the world focused on counterterrorism, and after COVID-19, attention might shift to public health.
What a World at Home Looks Like (3 minute video)
Public spaces around the world are now nearly deserted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This video shows many normally-crowded locations empty of people, some of them appearing to be completely deserted. In locations where there are still people, they are few and spread apart.