Big Tech &
Samsung’s top executive gets 30 months in prison for bribery (2 minute read)
Samsung's leader, Lee Jae-yong, has returned to prison after his case was retried. The new ruling reduces Lee’s sentence from 5 years to 30 months in prison. As he has already served one year, he only has a year and a half left to serve. Lee was accused of bribing a government official for favorable rulings related to the merger of two Samsung affiliates. Samsung makes anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of South Korea's GDP, and Samsung executives have received reduced sentences or presidential pardons for their crimes for years. The company is currently going through a major transition after its chairman, Lee Kun-hee, passed away in October.
iPhone 13 could feature next-gen vapor chamber cooling technology (2 minute read)
The iPhone 13 is rumored to feature next-gen vapor chamber cooling tech. Apple is confirmed to be testing the technology, but it is not clear if it will be ready for a 2021 launch. The cooling system is a miniature version of those seen on high-end gaming computers. A liquid is evaporated by the heat generated by the device, and then the thermal energy spreads out through the whole of the casing. Improved cooling would mean less chance of over-heating and potentially faster speeds.
Crazy-looking Hyperion XP-1 fuel cell hypercar seen driving on public roads (1 minute read)
Hyperion's hydrogen-powered XP-1 hypercar claims a 1,000-mile range per tank of hydrogen, 1,500 horsepower, a 0-60 time of 2.2 seconds, and a top speed of 221 mph. There are no batteries on-board to store energy, which reduces weight. As there was no physical CES show this year, Hyperion decided to drive the XP-1 up and down the Vegas Strip. The vehicle will be available to the public starting in 2022. Pictures and a video of the vehicle are available in the article.
Researchers turned fat cells into stem cells to repair injuries (5 minute read)
Stem cells have the potential to treat many conditions. The source of these cells has been a topic of controversy ever since they were discovered, so scientists have been trying to find new ways of producing them without using embryos. A team from Australia has created a method of turning fat cells into stem cells that can then be used to repair wounds. The research has only been conducted on mice so far. Using this method of making stem cells reduces the chance of tumors compared to other methods. Since they use cells from the patient's own body, there is far less chance of rejection. There is still a lot of research to conduct before the technique can be used in clinical settings.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Github Stale Bots: A False Economy (2 minute read)
A stale bot is a type of bot that locks stale issues on GitHub. It may seem useful, but it causes problems when issues are closed too early. Teams can end up missing issues, and if an issue is locked, then users just end up creating duplicate issues. The best repos allow users to contribute to older issues, as this creates a better user experience, and it prevents issues from being needlessly duplicated.
Procedural GL JS (GitHub Repo)
Procedural GL JS is a library for creating 3D maps on the web. It allows developers to embed landscapes into web pages. Procedural GL JS is fast and optimized for mobile devices. A demo is available.
I tried a $7,600 desk that lets you get horizontal at work (3 minute read)
The Signature Altwork Station is a highly-adjustable desk that retails for $7,650. It allows the user to sit in a horizontal position, giving them a sense of relaxation and weightlessness. It comes with a magnetic keyboard and mouse setup, but no other hardware is included. A one-minute video showing off the features of the workstation is available in the article.
The English Language Wikipedia Just Had Its Billionth Edit (2 minute read)
Wikipedia had its billionth edit on January 12. The edit was made by a prolific Wikipedian who has over 3.9 million edits, the highest edit count held by a human. It was based on an article about Death Breathing, a noise album released in 1998. The announcement doesn't take into account the edits made in the early years of Wikipedia before it migrated to its own servers and software.