Big Tech &
Amazon acquires podcast network Wondery (1 minute read)
Podcast network Wondery will soon become part of Amazon Music. Its podcasts will still be available from a variety of providers. Many companies are making big bets on podcasting, including Spotify, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. The terms of the sale were not public, but estimates value Wondery at around $300 million. Wondery was the fourth largest podcast publisher in November, with more than 9 million unique listeners in the US.
Apple Researching Keyboards With Adaptive Displays on Each Key (3 minute read)
Apple has been granted a patent for 'Electronic devices having keys with coherent fiber bundles'. The patent describes how each key on a keyboard could have a display connected via a coherent fiber bundle. This would mean that the whole keyboard could be reconfigured as needed, with the keys matching the key mapping without physical modifications. The displays could also indicate the current status of each key. This system doesn't interfere with the dome or scissor switches of physical keyboards, so Apple could theoretically use it with the current Magic Keyboard design.
Intel’s Stacked Nanosheet Transistors Could Be the Next Step in Moore’s Law (3 minute read)
Almost every digital device relies on a pairing of two types of transistors, NMOS and PMOS. To make smaller circuits, the space between these transistors needs to get smaller. Intel has devised a new way to close the gap, stacking the pairs so that one is atop the other. This effectively cut the footprint of a circuit in half, potentially doubling transistor density in future integrated circuits.
The Turing Test is obsolete. It’s time to build a new barometer for AI (6 minute read)
The Turing Test is now obsolete and shouldn't be used as the ultimate test for useful AI. Computers were significantly slower when Alan Turing first laid out his thesis. The goal of conversational AI, to make a machine that could converse with humans in a manner indistinguishable from other humans, doesn’t take into account how technology has improved. AI should augment human intelligence and improve our daily lives. To make an AI sound more human would require limiting it.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Seeing Theory (Website)
Seeing Theory is a visual introduction to probability and statistics. It covers basic probability, compound probability, probability distributions, frequentist interference, bayesian interference, and regression analysis. Each chapter contains interactive exercises to help visualize and understand the information.
~8yrs ago (Dec’12)
In the early days of cloud, Google had some of the smartest people in tech working for it, but they still got a lot wrong. Google missed the market through bad timing, its go-to-market strategy, and the way it productized its technology. While Google had the best tech, it had poor documentation and it didn't have a solutions mindset. This thread follows a Google engineer's experience with the company as it navigated these issues, giving an inside look at how Google Cloud became what it is today.
Ask HN: What's a side project you built to make money that hasn't? (Hacker News Thread)
This thread discusses projects that were developed but never became profitable. While we hear a lot about successful ventures, there is still a lot to learn from completed, yet unsuccessful, projects. The reasons for not becoming successful are many, but they include being too late to the market, a lack of monetization, and issues with project management.
Ticketmaster will pay $10 million for hacking rival ticket seller (2 minute read)
Live Nation, parent company to Ticketmaster, hired a former employee from rival ticket seller CrowdSurge and used their knowledge of old usernames and passwords to infiltrate the company's computers. They used this access to interfere with CrowdSurge's operations. Live Nation lost access to the system when CrowdSurge merged with Songkick in 2015. Songkick sued Ticketmaster for violating antitrust laws, but it accepted a $110 million settlement after shutting down its business and selling its remaining assets to Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster was fined $10 million for the incident.