Big Tech &
Tesla's next Gigafactory is being built in Austin, Texas (2 minute read)
Tesla reported its fourth straight profitable quarter in a row with a GAAP net income of $104 million, qualifying it to be listed on the S&P 500 market index. Elon Musk will be able to cash in an additional 1.69 million stock options in five years. Tesla made some severe cuts to preserve its earnings in Q2, resulting in a tough time for employees. Its factories are now back at capacity and Musk has already announced plans to build Tesla's next Gigafactory in Texas.
The New York Times is acquiring the podcast studio that created Serial and S-Town (2 minute read)
The New York Times has acquired Serial Productions, the audio production company behind popular podcast series Serial. Serial Productions was formed in 2017 after the success of the podcast, which has since produced two follow-up seasons and a spinoff. The first joint show from the newly combined teams, Nice White Parents, will start July 30. Podcasts are becoming more popular and the industry is experiencing some consolidation as a result, with large companies buying up big names for exclusive shows.
Experimental Blood Test Detects Cancer up to Four Years before Symptoms Appear (4 minute read)
A new method developed by a team of international researchers can diagnose cancer up to four years before symptoms appear. The blood test measures DNA methylation at 500 locations previously identified as having the greatest chance of signaling the presence of cancer. A machine-learning algorithm is then used to produce a score that indicates the person's likelihood of having cancer. It was found to be roughly 90 percent accurate, with a five percent false-positive rate. The test could be the first step to developing a commercial cancer-screening product, but further studies will be required before it can be used clinically.
China is about to launch a trio of spacecraft to Mars — including a rover (6 minute read)
China will send a trio of spacecraft to Mars on July 23rd on top of the Long March 5 rocket. An orbiter will study Mars from above, while a lander and rover will be sent to the surface. Tianwen-1 will be China's first big interplanetary mission. China has recently landed a rover on the far side of the Moon and has other space projects planned for the future. The spacecraft will reach Mars sometime in February 2021 where it will stay in orbit for about two or three months before deploying the lander and rover. Tianwen-1's rover will map out Martian geography, look for water-ice in the soil, measure the climate of the surface of the planet, and more. It is equipped with a ground-penetrating radar that can identify different rocks and search for reservoirs of water-ice underneath the surface.
Programming, Design & Data Science
React Guitar (Website)
React Guitar is a guitar component for React. Users can adjust the tuning, number of frets, handedness, and positions on a virtual guitar and listen to the resulting chord.
Design Gems (Website)
This site has a collection of over 170 free tools and resources for designers. Categories include Accessibility, Front-End, Illustrations, Typography, and more. Each resource has a short description.
Researchers accidentally breed sturddlefish (2 minute read)
Researchers from Hungary accidentally bred a new type of fish when trying to attempt gynogenesis, a type of reproduction in which sperm is used from one creature to fertilize an egg, but its DNA is ignored. The sturddlefish is the result of a cross between an American Paddlefish and a Russian Sturgeon. There were three phenotypes, some that looked more like the paddlefish, some that looked mostly like the sturgeon, and some that inherited features of both. Both fish are endangered and are considered to be living fossils as they have not changed much over a long period of time. Their last common ancestor likely lived 184 million years ago.
Undergrad Altenative (2 minute read)
As universities are switching to 100% remote teaching, many students should strongly consider getting a DIY CS degree. Compared to college, Massive Open Online Course platforms are much cheaper, and many platforms have courses from the best schools and world-class professors. There will be less face time with teachers and classmates, and students will need to be more self-disciplined with their education. You won't receive an official degree by self-education but if you can do the work, get all the certificates, and document everything, you should be able to impress a hiring manager.