Big Tech &
Instagram just threw users of its embedding API under the bus (6 minute read)
Users of Instagram's embedding API do not receive a copyright license to display embedded images on other websites. This means that embedding an image onto a website rather than hosting it directly does not protect the website against copyright claims. Third parties are still required to obtain the necessary rights to share the content if it is required by law. Instagram is exploring options with giving users more control over photograph embedding. Users can currently block embedding by setting their accounts to private, but this prevents other users from seeing images on the platform itself.
Slack partners with Amazon to take on Microsoft Teams (4 minute read)
Slack and Amazon have entered into a multi-year agreement that will mean that all Amazon employees will start using Slack. Slack will migrate its voice and video calling features over to Amazon Chime and will commit to using Amazon's cloud services for its storage, compute, database, security, analytics, machine learning, and future collaboration features. It is unlikely Slack will move to other cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud in the foreseeable future. Integration with Amazon Chime will vastly improve Slack's voice and video conferencing features.
Harvard shrank its insect-inspired microrobot to the size of a penny (2 minute read)
Harvard has created a Harvard Ambulatory Microrobot the size of a penny that can run at speeds of 13.9 body lengths per second. HAMR-JR was built as a test to see whether the origami-style manufacturing process used to make it could produce robots of all different scales. The design of HAMR-JR is exactly the same as the one used in its predecessor, HAMR, but scaled down. Photos and videos of the robots are available in the article.
Revolutionary microscopy technique sees individual atoms for first time (6 minute read)
Cryo-electron microscopy is a technique for imaging molecules that produces images so detailed that individual atoms can be seen. The technique will allow researchers to understand the workings of proteins that cannot be studied using other imaging techniques. It works by firing electrons at flash-frozen samples and recording the resulting images. The technique has been around for decades, but recent breakthroughs in electron detection and in image-analysis software have made it the dominant tool for mapping the 3D shapes of proteins.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Docker-OSX (GitHub Repo)
Docker-OSX automates the installation of OSX-KVM inside a docker container. It is possible to customize the size and version of the VM using build arguments.
How Apple learned automation can't match human skill (5 minute read)
Apple's previous attempts at automating its production lines have always ended up with the company reverting to using skilled human beings instead. The company has spent years and millions of dollars on automating its production lines. Apple's attempts to automate its processes failed as it was difficult to fix problems when they arose. The machines were not as attentive to detail as humans or able to diagnose problems to the level required by Apple. Yearly product redesigns also meant that automated factory lines would have to be updated often. As a result of these issues, Apple continues to use human labor. Other companies, such as Tesla and Boeing, have also attempted and abandoned automation for similar reasons.
Signal adds a face blurring tool its secure messaging app (2 minute read)
Signal is rolling out a face blurring feature to help its users stay anonymous. The feature can be accessed through a new button in the app's image editor. Users will also be able to manually blur out other areas of the image. All images are processed locally on users' devices. Signal has seen a recent spike in use and the company is trying to figure out additional ways to support its users.