Big Tech &
All your reaction GIFs now belong to Facebook, as it buys Giphy for $400M (2 minute read)
Facebook has bought Giphy in order to integrate the service within Instagram. The deal was valued at around $400 million. Around half of Giphy's traffic comes from Facebook products. Giphy was the first service to make animated images work on Facebook. The deal is likely to attract significant attention from federal regulators. Facebook is currently under investigation for using acquisitions to gather data on competitors. Giphy's platform is used by Facebook's competitors for GIF support.
Tesla’s next factory is going to be in Austin, Texas and it’s going to happen quickly (3 minute read)
Tesla has chosen Austin, Texas as the location for its next factory. The vehicle manufacturer will start building its new Terafactory as soon as possible and aims to be producing vehicles by the end of the year. By late next year, the factory will be producing Tesla's new Cybertruck. Tesla already has an office in Austin for its Autopilot hardware engineers. This announcement is not directly related to Elon Musk's recent statements about the company moving its operations out of California.
Physicists Just Built The First Working Prototype Of A 'Quantum Radar' (3 minute read)
Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon where two particles are inextricably linked across space and time. An engineer from MIT demonstrated in 2008 that it was possible to illuminate objects using barely any photons using features of quantum entanglement. Researchers have recently developed a working prototype of a quantum radar. It works on the same principle as a normal radar except is uses pairs of entangled photons rather than sending out radio waves to scan an area. One photon is sent towards an object while another photon remains in the device to be monitored. The method is less affected by background radiation noise compared to conventional radar.
New hybrid embryos are the most thorough mixing of humans and mice yet (3 minute read)
Scientists have created human-mouse chimera embryos. Human stem cells were added to growing mouse embryos, resulting in mouse embryos with 4 percent human cells. Human-mouse chimeras could be valuable for studying diseases that affect humans more than other animals. There have been attempts at creating other human-animal chimeras but the results have not been as successful. Human cells grow slowly compared to mouse cells, but the human stem cells in the study sped up development to match the pace of their host's cells.
Programming, Design & Data Science
What is Deno and will it Replace NodeJS? (5 minute read)
Recoil is a state management library for React. It provides capabilities that are difficult to achieve with React alone. A 33-minute video is available that explains and demonstrates how Recoil works.
Anatomy of an internet shutdown (16 minute read)
In late 2018, the people of Sudan started protests which eventually resulted in the country's ruler blocking social media in the country. Eventually, the protests led to violence and a real internet shutdown. Citizens remained at home during the blackout as they had no way of knowing which locations were safe without internet access. One citizen took his cellular provider to court, saying that the lack of internet access was a breach of his service contract, and the court switched mobile internet back on, but only for him. Internet shutdowns are new and a rare occurrence and legal systems have not developed processes to handle these scenarios. Services are also run by people, and some of these people disagreed with the government and helped reconnect citizens as a form of protest. Five days after the blackout began, landline access was restored as the government realized the need for communications. Despite the internet block, the people of Sudan were able to organize the biggest demonstration in the history of Sudan. As a result, the government was removed and the internet was restored.
FDA suspends Gates-backed at-home COVID-19 testing program (2 minute read)
The Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network is an at-home coronavirus testing project backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Its operations were suspended by the FDA as it didn't have the required authorizations. SCAN had submitted its request for emergency use authorization on March 23. A separate authorization is required before SCAN is allowed to return results for self-collected tests.