Big Tech &
Google announces Pixel 5, Pixel 4A 5G, and Pixel 4A all at once (7 minute read)
Google has announced the Pixel 4A, Pixel 5, and the Pixel 4A 5G. The Pixel 4A will ship on August 20th while the other two handsets will ship sometime this fall. It will be sold primarily online and US carriers will likely forgo putting significant support behind it due to it not being a 5G phone. Google likely made the triple announcement to let prospective buyers know when 5G will be coming to its devices. The Pixel 4A will be $349, coming only in one screen size and one color. A list of specs is available in the article.
Forget Exercise—These Mice Got Ripped With Gene Therapy (3 minute read)
Scientists have created a gene therapy that builds muscle mass and reduces obesity in mice even while eating a diet high in fat and not exercising. The therapy targets FST, a gene responsible for muscle growth and metabolism control. In the 18 weeks of the trial, the mice more than doubled their muscle mass and strength level. They also experienced reduced damage related to osteoarthritis, less inflammation in their joints, and healthier hearts and blood vessels, despite their diet and lack of exercise. If the treatment can be used in humans, the research team aims to use it to help people with conditions like muscular dystrophy or severe obesity.
CSIRO scientists discover how to grow colored cotton, removing need for harmful chemical dyes (5 minute read)
Researchers at CSIRO have added genes to cotton to make it produce its own colors. The resulting product should one day lead to wrinkle-free, naturally dyed, stretchy cotton that outperforms synthetic fabrics. It will still be a few months before a full flowering cotton plant will be produced, but the results so far are promising. Producing naturally colored cotton will mean that the industry can stop using harmful chemical dyes and synthetic fibers that can't be recycled.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Laws of UX (Website)
Laws of UX is a collection of 20 maxims and principles for designers to think about when building user interfaces. Each section contains an overview, key takeaways, a poster, a history of the concept, and further reading. The posters on the site are designed to be printable.
System UIcons (Website)
This site contains a collection of 220 system UI icons. Developers can search for the icon they need and easily add the image to their site via SVG code, CDN link, or by hosting the icon directly.
DeepDream: How Alexander Mordvintsev Excavated the Computer’s Hidden Layers (9 minute read)
Google engineers are allowed to spend up to 20 percent of their time on some other Google-related project, which is what allowed Alexander Mordvintsev time to develop DeepDream. DeepDream was created by Mordvintsev after he was inspired to inspect what happened between the layers of a convolutional neural network trained to identify things in images. The results were unique, with the neural network generating images that had portions of the items the network was trained on blended into the original image.
The saboteurs you can hire to end your relationship (4 minute read)
In Japan, it is possible to hire a 'wakaresaseya' to aid in ending relationships. Most of their clients usually wish for their spouses to end their affairs rather than to end their relationships with their spouses. A typical operation tends to begin with research on the spouse and their extramarital partner and usually results in an elaborate plan to get the other partner to fall in love with an agent and leave the spouse. Agents have to be mindful of how they behave as there are certain laws they need to be careful with.