Big Tech &
Oprah Winfrey and Miley Cyrus Will Help Class of 2020 Celebrate on Facebook's #Graduation2020 (2 minute read)
Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Garner, Miley Cyrus, and others will be helping to bring back some graduation excitement for those who won't get to experience traditional milestones this year. #Graduation2020 is a streaming event hosted by Facebook that will be available on Facebook Watch on May 15. Other activities will be available in the week leading up to the event, with Facebook and Instagram rolling out a variety of graduation-themed features.
Uber’s CTO steps down as company reportedly mulls 20 percent layoffs (2 minute read)
Uber's Chief Technology Officer, Thuan Pham, has stepped down, ending his reign as the longest-serving top executive at the company. The company has recently been actively discussing cost-cutting plans, including possible layoffs of up to 20 percent of its employees. Ride-share bookings have dropped by up to 70 percent in most major cities due to the pandemic. Gains in Uber's food delivery division have failed to cover losses for its core ride-hailing product. Uber shares have dropped by more than 50 percent in the last month. However, Uber expects to end the year with at least $4 billion in unrestricted cash, plus $2 billion in revolving credit.
Oxford Researchers Say Their COVID-19 Vaccine Could Be Available in September (2 minute read)
Scientists at Oxford University have a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate that could be ready for the public in the fall. ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 is a vaccine that uses a non-replicating adenovirus to deliver therapeutic DNA sequences. Another similar vaccine, ChAdOx1 MERS, recently completed trials and results showed that it was safe and appeared to be effective at preventing the transmission of MERS. Pre-clinical studies of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in rhesus macaque monkeys suggest that the vaccine works. However, a majority of vaccines that show promise in animal trials do not pass human testing.
Scientists Engineer Gorgeous Glowing Plants That Shine Bright Their Entire Life Cycle (4 minute read)
Scientists have genetically engineered a plant with a visible glow that lasts for the duration of the plant's life cycle. The modified tobacco plants don't need to be fed with chemicals to maintain luminescence. A timelapse video of the plants growing is available in the articles. The scientists used the DNA of bioluminescent fungi to create the plants. Younger parts of the plants glow most brightly, with the flowers glowing brightest. The plants do not emit enough light to read by, but enough to be clearly visible.
Programming, Design & Data Science
#LockdownConf: How to Learn New Skills While Social Distancing (6 minute read)
A recent streamed event discussed how to learn new skills when practicing social distancing. The talk discussed how to choose skills, making an action plan to learn the chosen skill/s, planning out time and avoiding procrastination, and various mentalities to adopt in order to ensure and recognize success. A link to the talk is available in the article.
The Hero Generator (Website)
A hero image is a large web banner image and text, commonly placed in the front and center of a web page. The Hero Generator is a site that generates code for a hero image based on parameters that you set. Users can control the gradient overlay, gradient reduction, button radius, title spacing, button, and gradient colors, and upload custom images. The code for the generated hero image is available with just a click.
Chinese internet users who uploaded coronavirus memories to GitHub have been arrested (3 minute read)
The Chinese government is targeting people who were working to prevent digital records of the coronavirus outbreak from being scrubbed by censors. Volunteers behind the project were arrested and some are missing. The project collected and preserved news stories, videos, and articles that were shared on messaging apps like WeChat. One of the journalists associated with the project that had disappeared recently resurfaced. He praised the actions of the police after stating that he had been detained and placed under quarantine for disrupting public order.
Spotify-owned Anchor can now turn your video chats into podcasts (3 minute read)
Anchor is a Spotify-owned app that now allows podcasters to turn their video chats and virtual hangouts into podcast-ready audio. It works with a range of video chat platforms and will also support any .mp4 or .mov file that is uploaded to the service. Anchor allows users to split, trim, and add other edits to audio. It has a built-in library of background music, interludes, sound events, and voice recordings available for use. The service will host podcasts and distribute episodes to all major podcast platforms.