Big Tech &
Apple added a secret button to your iPhone, and you may not have even noticed (3 minute read)
Apple implemented a feature called Back Tap in the iOS 14 release that adds a new hardware button to the iPhone. Back Tap turns the entire back of the iPhone into a touch-sensitive button that can trigger specific functions. Its settings can be modified inside the Accessibility menu. Back Tap can be integrated with Shortcuts, so it can do almost anything you can imagine.
People Are Jailbreaking Used Teslas to Get the Features They Expect (5 minute read)
Tesla will sometimes claw back software upgrades from used cars, removing features that owners had paid for at the time of sale. If customers want to get those features back, they have to pay Tesla the full cost of the feature to turn it back on. Tesla employees are told to put the software features back if people complain to avoid bad publicity. The company can turn off any feature for any reason. Some owners have resorted to jailbreaking their Teslas to re-enable features. While this has saved many owners from losing functionality in their vehicles, it also voids their warranty with Tesla.
Weird molecule found in Titan's atmosphere hints at complex chemistry (2 minute read)
NASA scientists discovered cyclopropenylidene in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan. The simple, carbon-based molecule has never been seen in an atmosphere before. Titan has long been considered one of the most promising places to search for extraterrestrial life. Cyclopropenylidene is part of a class of molecules known to form an important part of the backbone of DNA and RNA. The presence of the molecule could mean that there could be life-giving chemistry on the moon that is not water-based.
Why Some Memories Seem Like Movies: 'Time Cells' Discovered In Human Brains (3 minute read)
Episodic memories are memories that play like a movie. Scientists have identified the cells that make episodic memory possible. Time cells place a timestamp on memories as they are being formed, allowing events or experiences to be recalled in the right order. While time cells have been identified before in mouse brains, this is the first time they have been identified in human brains. The presence of time cells in humans explains why people with damage to the hippocampus have problems remembering events in the right order.
Programming, Design & Data Science
AI Expert Roadmap (GitHub Repo)
This repository contains a set of flow charts showing different career paths and the technologies required to enter into those fields. The charts were designed for people interested in becoming experts in data science, machine learning, or artificial intelligence. A link to an interactive version with additional resources is available.
What I Wish I Knew as a Junior Dev – Lessons Learned After 11 Years of Coding (7 minute read)
After spending time in any field, everybody wishes there was something that someone more experienced in the field had told them earlier in their journey. Software development can be difficult to learn if you're only learning from one source, so learn from many sources. It is important to consistently practice what you learn because that's the only way to get better. There will always be people you don't like in any field, so it's best to learn to move on. Taking time to master one skill at a time will be more beneficial than trying to learn multiple skills all at once.
Disney Made a Skinless Robot That Can Realistically Stare Directly Into Your Soul (3 minute read)
A team of researchers at Disney has created a robot that uses subtle head motions and eye movements to seem more lifelike, despite it lacking skin. The robot consists of a static torso and a highly animated and articulated head. Humans make a lot of subtle movements when engaging with other people that aren't always immediately obvious. Robots and animatronic characters tend to freeze, causing an uncanny valley effect. Disney's new robot can identify when someone is trying to engage with it and it can also react to other stimuli. A one-minute video of the robot is available in the article.
Elon Musk's SpaceX will 'make its own laws on Mars' (2 minute read)
Elon Musk revealed plans to create a self-sustaining city on Mars last week. It will likely use Starlink satellites for internet connectivity. According to the terms of Starlink's internet project, SpaceX will not recognize international law on Mars. The space company will adhere to a set of self-governing principles defined at the time of Martian settlement. The position is similar to a declaration put forward by the Earthlight Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to preparing for the expansion of humanity beyond Earth.