Big Tech &
Walmart is buying JoyRun assets to add ‘peer-to-peer’ product delivery (2 minute read)
Walmart has acquired select assets from JoyRun, including its talent, technology, platform, and intellectual property. JoyRun's app allows people to find others who are already on their way to a restaurant so they can tag on an order of their own. It has a network of 540 third-party merchant partners and more than 30,000 people have delivered goods with the service since its launch. It is unknown how Walmart plans to use the service, but it is likely to be a gig economy-style approach to delivery. The deal is expected to close in the coming weeks.
Charli D’Amelio hits 100 million TikTok followers (3 minute read)
Charli D’Amelio has reached 100 million followers on TikTok. Only two other creators have surpassed 50 million followers. D’Amelio reached 100 million subscribers in record time, having only started posting on TikTok in May 2019. Recently, the D’Amelio family has been trying to move beyond TikTok, launching a podcast, expanding into YouTube, and announcing a book deal. While TikTok offers payouts to creators, many have been disappointed with the returns.
Astronomers discover new 'fossil galaxy' buried deep within the Milky Way (3 minute read)
A 'fossil galaxy' has been discovered in the Milky Way. It would have collided with the Milky Way when it was still in its infancy, with its remnants accounting for about one-third of the Milky Way's spherical halo. Despite its size, it was previously hidden from view by clouds of interstellar dust. The fossil galaxy was discovered by measuring spectra for more than half a million stars across the Milky Way in near-infrared light. A patch of stars had a chemical composition and velocity that could only come from another galaxy. The fossil galaxy would have been one of the earliest to merge with the Milky Way.
This 2-Acre Vertical Farm Out-Produces 720 Acre ‘Flat Farms’ (6 minute read)
Plenty is a startup in San Francisco that focuses on vertical farming technology. It uses robots and artificial intelligence in its vertical farms to optimize the farming process, with a focus on eliminating plant stress. There are limited areas in the world that can grow fresh fruits and vegetables economically, and all of that land is used up. Vertical farming can be achieved anywhere in the world as it is indoors and the environment can be controlled, producing better fruits and vegetables while using 95% less water and 99% less land. It could give independence to many areas that have to rely on imports for food.
Deep Frozen Arctic Microbes Are Waking Up (4 minute read)
As the global climate continues to warm and permafrost thaws, ancient frozen microbes will start to emerge from the ice. Some of these microbes are known to scientists, but others will have unpredictable behavior. These ancient microbes co-evolved with now-extinct ecosystems and could interact with our modern environment in entirely novel ways. There are already suspected examples of this happening, with a mysterious disease appearing twice in Alaska in the last five years. These microbes can be carried large distances by rivers as the ice melts. Due to these reasons, there should be stricter guidelines for future Arctic research and travel.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Dev Fonts (Website)
This site provides a library of fonts for coding. It has a live preview for all fonts with code samples. Users can change themes and language for the preview, and easily compare fonts.
GoDaddy Employees Used in Attacks on Multiple Cryptocurrency Services (8 minute read)
A recent attack on several cryptocurrency trading platforms involved scams that targeted employees at GoDaddy. The fraudsters tricked employees into allowing them to assume control over at least half a dozen domain names. This allowed the attackers to change DNS records and take control of internal email accounts. GoDaddy has not disclosed how its employees were tricked into making unauthorized changes. There has been an increase in large corporations being targeted in voice phishing scams as more employees have been working remotely due to the pandemic. A list of security recommendations from the FBI/CISA advisory to mitigate the threat from voice phishing attacks is provided at the end of the article.
Inside YouTube’s plan to win the music-streaming wars (12 minute read)
YouTube's track record with artists has been complicated at best in the past. Artists have previously complained about royalties and copyright violations on the platform. The current situation is better for artists, with new royalty deals and more ways for artists to engage their fans. Google has a track record of not sticking to projects, with many previous abandoned music projects in its library. Getting the right videos into its Music app can be difficult, as YouTube has a lot of content, not all that could be suitable for a music app. YouTube already has a large head start in the market, it just has to figure out how to help people discover new music and keep them from leaving when they do.
No TLDR Originals for 2020-11-23