Big Tech &
Salesforce is in talks to buy Slack, deal could be announced next week (2 minute read)
Slack shares closed almost 38% higher on Wednesday after it was reported that Salesforce was in talks to acquire the company. A deal could be announced as soon as next week. Salesforce has taken advantage of its growth and acquired multiple companies in recent years. The deal is set to be one of the biggest software deals in history. Microsoft had considered buying Slack for up to $8 billion in 2016, but no deal was finalized. Slack had more than 12 million daily active users in October last year.
Automated Drywall Robot Works Faster Than Humans in Construction (2 minute read)
Canvas is a robotics startup that was founded in 2017. It announced its public launch this month, with $19 million in financing and multiple partnerships. The startup's robotic arm has sensors that automate the process of drywall installation. Once Canvas perfects the process, it will move onto automating other construction tasks. The robots are operated by trained workers from the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, creating new career opportunities. Canvas currently only operates in the San Francisco Bay Area, but it plans to expand to other cities as the robotic and AI worker market has seen a boom in recent months.
Physicists could do the 'impossible': Create and destroy magnetic fields from afar (3 minute read)
Scientists were able to create and cancel magnetic fields from afar by running an electric current through a special arrangement of wires. With this technology, it is possible to create a magnetic field inside the body that magnetic nanoparticles can be attracted to. Doctors could use the technology to deliver targeted treatment to specific areas of the body. It can also be used to reduce the noise from external magnetic fields. The next step for the researchers is to build a configuration that allows for the creation of 3D magnetic fields from afar.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Spectre.Console (GitHub Repo)
Spectre.Console is a .NET 5/.NET Standard 2.0 library for creating cross-platform console applications. It features support for formatting, styling, and up to 24-bit colors in the terminal. A screenshot of its features is available.
How io_uring and eBPF Will Revolutionize Programming in Linux (20 minute read)
Two revolutionary new interfaces, eBPF and io_uring, were added to Linux in 2019. The Linux kernel previously only offered blocking system calls to deal with file descriptors, but as devices have gotten faster, this became an increasingly urgent issue. io_uring is an interface that was designed to be truly flexible, extensible, asynchronous, and compatible with any kind of I/O. It offers some advanced features such as file and buffer registration, polling, and linked operations. eBPF allows users to execute arbitrary code in the Linux kernel, enabling advanced tooling and debugging. These two new features allow developers to design apps that can truly take advantage of large multicore multiprocessor systems and µsecond-scale storage I/O latencies.
Tesla Model X hacked with $195 Raspberry Pi based board (5 minute read)
A Belgian research group discovered a major security flaw in the keyless entry system of the Tesla Model X. The attack uses a device built from a Raspberry Pi computer with a CAN shield, a modified key fob and ECU from a salvage vehicle, and a LiPo battery. Using the device, the researchers could steal a Tesla Model X in only a few minutes from a distance. The group reported the security flaw to Tesla, who rewarded them with a bug bounty. The issue was fixed in the most recent over-the-air software update.
Amazon Workers to Stage Coordinated Black Friday Protests in 15 Countries (4 minute read)
A series of coordinated protests and strikes will be held on Friday by Amazon warehouse workers and social and environmental justice activists around the world. #MakeAmazonPay coincides with Black Friday, one of Amazon's biggest sales events of the year. Amazon has profited greatly during the pandemic, with the company becoming a trillion-dollar corporation and Jeff Bezos becoming the first person in history to amass $200 billion in personal wealth. The workers are demanding that Amazon respect workers' rights to participate in union activities, that the company pay its taxes in full where it does business, and for the company to commit to higher environmental standards.