Big Tech &
Dish buys prepaid carrier Boost Mobile for $1.4 billion (2 minute read)
Dish is buying Boost Mobile for $1.4 billion. T-Mobile and Sprint were required by the FCC to sell Boost Mobile as part of its merger. Dish has been attempting to enter the wireless market for years, and the deal has gained the carrier more than nine million customers. Boost will continue to operate under the same brand but with a new logo. Dish will be launching new plans, with some that will reward customers for making on-time payments.
Google discontinues the Pixel 3A and 3A XL (2 minute read)
Google has discontinued the Pixel 3A and 3A XL smartphones. It is now listed as out of stock on the Google Store. Other stores may still have remaining stock. A Pixel 4A with a 5.81-inch display and Snapdragon 730 processor is rumored to be released soon.
A Highway to Smell: How Scientists Used Light to Incept Smell in Mice (7 minute read)
Scientists at New York University, in collaboration with a team in Roverto, Italy, were able to make genetically modified mice smell artificial scents by activating special light-sensitive olfactory neurons with light. Individual smells are processed by receptors and then passed to specific regions of the brain for processing. To understand or replicate a smell, scientists had to figure out the essential bits of data that were being transmitted from the nose to the brain. Using a special tool that can send out different combinations of light, the scientists could generate different combinations of smells for the mice. The mice in the study were trained to perform an action when they detected a specific smell.
Physicists Have Observed Light Flowing Like a River, And It's Beautiful (3 minute read)
The way a river flows, where the path splits up and breaks into smaller channels like the branches of a tree, is called branching flow. It has been observed in water, the flow of electrons, and sound waves. Scientists recently observed branching flow in visible light by shining a laser through soap bubbles. The technique could open up new areas of research in optofluidics and general relativity. Images and video of the effect are available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Silice (GitHub Repo)
Silice is an open-source language for writing algorithms that fully exploit FPGA architectures. It is closely integrated with FPGA hardware so developers have full control. FPGA hardware is not required to start with Silice as designs and their outputs can be simulated and visualized.
Introduction to CSS Transitions (4 minute read)
Apple Lightning (14 minute read)
Lightning is the digital interface used in most of Apple's iOS devices since late 2012. Tristar is the integrated circuit embedded in every device shipped with a Lightning female port and Hydra is a newer variant of Tristar. HiFive is the male Lightning connector. SDQ and IDBUS refer to a digital protocol used for negotiations between Tristar and HiFive. This article attempts to break down how these components work together. It explores the different protocols and how they interact with each other in order to break down how Lightning works.
Earth's final frontier: the global race to map the entire ocean floor (8 minute read)
Scientists around the world are racing to map the ocean floor by 2030 to help countries prepare for tsunamis, protect marine habitats, and monitor deep-sea mining. As of 2017, only 6% of the ocean was mapped in accurate detail. The lack of ocean maps plays a role in nearly every critical ocean issue, including sea-level rise, ocean acidification, and biodiversity. Mapping the ocean presents many difficult challenges and expeditions can be costly. The goal of completing the ocean map by 2030 seems possible, but there will still be much more to discover after it is done.