TLDR Daily Update 2020-05-08

Microsoft's GitHub hacked πŸ’», Zoom buys Keybase πŸ”‘, mouse brain mapped 🐁

Big Tech & Startups

Microsoft's GitHub account allegedly hacked, 500GB stolen (2 minute read)

A hacker claims to have stolen over 500GB of data from Microsoft's private GitHub repositories. The hacker had originally intended to sell the information but has now decided to give it away for free. A small code sample from the hacker showed nothing that seemed significant. Security experts are concerned that there may be some private API keys or passwords accidentally left behind in the repositories. It is unlikely that the leak is real as Microsoft has a rule that its GitHub repositories be made public within 30 days.

Zoom buys Keybase β€” its first acquisition β€” as part of 90-day plan to fix security flaws (3 minute read)

Zoom has bought security start-up Keybase, which will allow it to implement end-to-end encryption in its meetings. Users will not be able to call into encrypted meetings via phone, and cloud-based recording will be disabled. The encryption key will not be held on Zoom servers. It will take some time to implement Keybase's technology into Zoom's software. Encrypted Zoom calls will be a paid service.
Science & Futuristic Technology

A new high-resolution, 3-D map of the whole mouse brain (4 minute read)

Mapmakers at the Allen Institute have completed a high-resolution 3-D atlas of the mouse brain. The framework can tell neuroscience researchers which areas in the brain they are exploring as well as the millions of different pieces of associated information that are related to that area. Modern research requires a high level of accuracy when describing areas in the brain. Mice are widely used in biomedical research. Their brains are made up of around 100 million cells contained across hundreds of different regions.

Chinese scientists harness fourth state of matter to create β€˜air plasma’ jet engine that runs on electricity alone (2 minute read)

Chinese scientists have created a carbon-neutral prototype jet engine that could allow for a new era in fossil-fuel-free manned flight. The prototype engine compresses air and ionizes it with microwaves, generating plasma that expels out the back of the engine to generate thrust. Previous attempts at plasma engines weren't powerful enough, but this type of engine could potentially produce the same amount of thrust as a conventional commercial jet engine.
Programming, Design & Data Science

web-vitals (GitHub Repo)

web-vitals is a tiny, modular library for measuring Web Vitals metrics on real users. It supports all of the Core Web Vitals, as well as First Contentful Paint and Time to First Byte.

The Composable Architecture (GitHub Repo)

The Composable Architecture is a library of core tools that can be used to build applications in a consistent and understandable way. It can be used in SwiftUI, UIKit, and more, on any Apple platform. The repository contains many examples of how to solve common and complex problems.

We Chat, They Watch: How International Users Unwittingly Build up WeChat’s Chinese Censorship Apparatus (32 minute read)

WeChat communications among non-China-registered accounts are monitored for content that is politically sensitive in China. This includes documents, images, and chat messages. It was previously thought that monitoring was reserved only for China-registered accounts. Content that is deemed politically sensitive is used to train WeChat's Chinese political censorship system. It is unknown whether other Chinese companies use customer data in similar ways.

Twitch is going to fund new reality programming (1 minute read)

Twitch is looking to fund a slate of new unscripted series to help broaden its audience in a time when its audiences are bigger than ever. The company wants live, interactive programming that airs a few times a week. It will spend between $50,000 to $250,000 a week on the project. A large part of Twitch is the interactivity with the audience. Twitch chat can get fairly chaotic, so it will be interesting to see how the format fares with unscripted TV.
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