Big Tech &
Nearby Sharing — Android's AirDrop competitor — is rolling out now in beta (5 minute read)
A beta test for Android's Nearby Sharing feature is rolling out via the Play Services beta. The feature allows users to share content between Android devices, similar to Apple's AirDrop. Users will be able to share content with contacts or anyone in the local vicinity with Nearby Share open. The current test seems very limited, so most people won't be able to access it even with the latest Play Services beta. Screenshots of the feature are available in the article.
Microsoft’s new Windows File Recovery tool lets you retrieve deleted documents (2 minute read)
Microsoft has released a command-line app for recovering files from NTFS, FAT, exFAT, and ReFS file systems. Windows File Recovery can be used on local hard drives, USB drives, and SD cards. It should be used as soon as possible on deleted files before they are overwritten. Another feature called Previous Versions in Windows 10 allows users to recover documents if they have the File History setting enabled.
For The First Time, Scientists Have Captured Video of Brains Clearing Out Dead Neurons (3 minute read)
Scientists have been able to capture video of the waste disposal system within mice brains for the first time. Using a technique called 2Phatal, the scientists killed a single brain cell and followed it using fluorescent markers. Three types of glial cells were shown to be involved in the cell removal process. The glial cells removed the dead brain cells with some coordination, suggesting there is communication occurring between the cells. Understanding how the brain cleans itself could give experts insight on how to treat brain injuries and other diseases that involve brain cell death.
IRL to Anime With Cartoonization AI (4 minute video)
CartoonGAN is a neural network that can transform real-world images into different anime styles. The results aren't very convincing, especially when compared to hand-drawn art. White-Box-Cartoonization produces results that are better than other deep learning architectures. While White-Box-Cartoonization is unlikely to be used in anime production any time soon, it has the potential to be used once the algorithm is more polished. The video shows scenes from real life, drawn anime scenes, CartoonGAN generated scenes, White-Box-Cartoonization scenes, as well as examples of the White-Box-Cartoonization algorithm being applied to gaming and other footage.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Dflat (GitHub Repo)
Dflat is a structured data persistence system for mobile. It returns immutable data objects that can be passed down to other systems, fetches data concurrently and synchronously on any thread, and more. Unlike alternatives like Core Data, Dflat is built entirely using Swift.
An embattled group of leakers picks up the WikiLeaks mantle (8 minute read)
Julian Assange has been in a London jail for the last year awaiting extradition to the US as more charges are laid against him. A small group of activists known as Distributed Denial of Secrets has released a stream of hacked and leaked documents. Last week, it released a 269GB collection of more than a million police files, including emails, audio, and memos. According to the group's cofounder, its mission is to archive and publish leaked and hacked data of potential public interest. Twitter has banned the group's account, as well as any tweets that link to the DDoSecrets website. More details about DDoSecrets' work is detailed in the article.
Inside the Invasive, Secretive “Bossware” Tracking Workers (13 minute read)
Workplaces have started integrating software to track employee productivity, resulting in employers essentially being able to spy on workers inside their own homes. Bossware is generally able to access data about everything that happens on the device that it is running on. Most products take frequent screenshots and can provide live video feeds of the device. Some products even integrate keyloggers. Depending on the type of software, workers might not be able to tell when the software is surveilling them. Workers might find requests to install this software difficult to refuse, especially in times of record unemployment. Companies do not always provide work devices for employees.