Big Tech &
Apple wants your iPhone to replace your passport and driver's license (3 minute read)
Apple has filed a series of patent applications all entitled 'Proving Verified Claims of User Identity'. The patents detail methods to record, transmit, and confirm a user's identification. While the proposals don't mention iPhones at all, the systems could potentially be integrated into iPhones to make it so they can provide valid, verifiable identification. Many countries are starting to allow the use of mobile passports, and it is likely the trend to digitize ID will continue.
LG set to release 'rollable' phone next year (4 minute read)
LG Electronics will launch a 'rollable' smartphone in early 2021. The phone will be made using LG's flexible OLED screens, which can be unfurled like a scroll. LG's mobile communications division has seen 20 straight quarterly losses. It aims to make its business profitable by 2021 by expanding its mobile lineup.
A high-tech glove can translate sign language with 99-percent accuracy (2 minute read)
Researchers at UCLA have developed a high-tech glove that can translate sign language into text and speech on a smartphone. It works in real-time and can interpret 660 American Sign Language signs with 98.63 percent accuracy. The glove could potentially be used to teach sign language or help deaf people communicate with non-sign language users. It only costs about $50 to produce, with the potential for lower costs with large scale production. The device is still under development and it will be a few years before it is released.
Fastest-growing black hole in the universe eats the equivalent of one sun per day (3 minute read)
The black hole known as J2157 consumes gas and dust equivalent in mass to the sun every day, making it the fastest-growing black hole in the universe. J2157 is 8,000 times larger than the supermassive black hole found at the heart of the Milky Way, or 34 billion times the mass of our Sun. It is classed as a quasi-stellar radio source, meaning that it is extremely bright. As it is very far away, scientists are only just now observing its gravitational influence from 1.2 billion years ago. It has likely grown since then.
Programming, Design & Data Science
guietta (GitHub Repo)
guietta is a tool for making simple Python GUIs. It supports input fields, buttons, variables, and functions. A demo is available on the repository.
Police infiltrate encrypted phones, arrest hundreds in organized crime bust (5 minute read)
Police in the UK and EU have arrested 746 suspects after infiltrating an encrypted chat platform where the suspects openly discussed murder and arranged hits, illegal drug purchases, gun sales, and other alleged crimes. 77 guns, two metric tons of drugs, 28 million pills, 55 high-value cars, and more than £54 million in cash was seized in the operation. Encrochat is an encrypted communications platform used widely in the European underground. Infiltrating the platform allowed law enforcement to essentially have an inside person in every top organized crime group. The platform itself was not compromised. Law enforcement installed malware on suspects' devices that allowed them to read messages before they were sent, record and alter lock screen passwords, and more.
The Tour de France Is Going Virtual, and It Starts This Weekend (4 minute read)
The Tour de France will take place in a virtual format, with cyclists competing on stationary bikes in their homes. It will take place over three weekends, with six stages lasting one to two hours each. The race will be conducted on Zwift, a virtual training platform. Zwift has rushed to build new custom worlds for the Tour. 23 men's teams and 17 women's teams have registered for the virtual bike race and the event will be broadcast worldwide.