Big Tech &
Facebook is opening its experimental predictions app to all users (1 minute read)
Forecast, Facebook's community for crowdsourced predictions and collective insights, is now available for people in the US and Canada to participate in. Anyone can view the website, but people in other countries are not able to participate yet. The platform presents questions that people can answer and provide short responses. Facebook's tests found that requiring people to explain how they arrived at their answers encouraged measured, respectful conversation. A link to the Forecast website is available in the article. It is also available as an iOS app.
Google Maps’ AR directions will soon show landmarks to help orient you (2 minute read)
Google is adding new features to the augmented reality mode of Google Maps. Users will now be able to see visual cues marking landmarks in Live View, including information for how far away the landmark is and directions to the landmark. The feature will go live soon on both Android and iOS, with support for 25 cities. Additional features to Live View include location sharing, increased accuracy, and easier access to some features. There are two GIF demos showing Live View's new AR features in the article.
For the First Time Ever, Scientists Caught Time Crystals Interacting (2 minute read)
Time crystals are a new form of matter where particles move forever and don't lose energy. They are essentially a quantum system consisting of a mix of particles that have glued together to create a non-equilibrium form of matter after being heated with lasers. Researchers have collided two time crystals in a mixture of superfluids mixed with magnons, magnetic quasiparticles that led to 'opposite-phase oscillations' while the crystals stayed stable. The time crystals acted within predictable quantum mechanical ways. These results indicate that the time crystals could probably be used as part of a designed system. They could be used in the future for applications such as quantum information processing.
Toyota’s robot butler prototype hangs from the ceiling like a bat (3 minute read)
Toyota has unveiled some of the prototypes it has been testing in mock-up home environments. The aim of Toyota's robotics division is to develop mechanical helpers for the home to keep older generations healthy and happy. One of the robots hangs from the ceiling so it can complete tasks without adding to the limited floor space in many homes. Another robot that was demoed had a 'soft bubble gripper' that was able to grab a variety of objects using air-filled cushions. Toyota uses virtual reality to train the machines, getting a human to perform actions and then programming the movements into the robots. At the moment, these robots are still prototypes and Toyota has no plans to commercialize them. A 37-minute long 360-degree virtual presentation showing Toyota's machines is available at the end of the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science
How To Contribute To Open-Source Projects As A Beginner (7 minute read)
This article explains how to make contributions to open source projects. It steps the developer through each step, from forking the repository and cloning the project, to committing the changes and opening pull requests. It is important to read the code of conduct and contribution guidelines before contributing to a project.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Compression (GitHub Docs)
This project is a resource for people who want to learn about compression algorithms. While the world focuses on its efforts in making internet speeds faster, the art of lossless compression is becoming lost. There are still some active projects, but compression isn't really mainstream. The benefits of compression are endless, including all the benefits of faster internet speeds but with less cost as it uses existing infrastructure.
South Korea plans to launch 6G trials in 2026 (1 minute read)
The South Korean government has confirmed plans that it will test its 6G network in 2026. It plans to make the service commercially available as soon as 2028. The project will cost approximately $169 million over five years. 6G is expected to provide speeds roughly five times faster than 5G, at around 1Tbps.
Startups In India Want To Build Their Own App Store To Bypass Google's (4 minute read)
Nearly 60 executives from dozens of Indian companies are joining together to create an Indian app store as an alternative to the Google Play store. Starting next year, these companies will have to give 30% of in-app payments to Google if they continue using the Play store. Last month, Google removed an Indian payment app from the Play store, spooking Indian startups and raising questions about how much control Google had over the country's internet. 99% of smartphones sold in India use Android and there are no alternatives to the Play store for developers right now.
No TLDR Originals for 2020-10-02