TLDR Daily Update 2021-01-21

SpaceX spaceports 🚀,  Opera's gamer browser 🎮, Amazon offers vaccine help 🚚

Big Tech & Startups

TikTok’s new Q&A feature lets creators respond to fan questions using text or video (2 minute read)

TikTok is currently testing a new video Q&A feature that allows creators to respond to their audience's questions with either text or video answers. It is only available to select creators who have opted in. Q&As have become a popular way to engage with fans in other social media apps. Video responses allow creators to respond in more detail than a text comment allows. There is no limit to how many questions a creator can receive, but they don't have to reply to each one.

Amazon offers to help U.S. with vaccine in letter to President Biden (1 minute read)

Amazon has offered to help with the US efforts involving the COVID-19 vaccine in a letter addressed to President Joe Biden. The retailer has an agreement with a healthcare provider to administer vaccines at its facilities. It is prepared to leverage its resources to assist the Biden administration's vaccination efforts.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Vertical farms grow veggies on site at restaurants and grocery stores (5 minute read)

Geoponic farming has many of the advantages of hydroponic vertical farms, while still growing its crops in real soil. Vertical Fields is a company that makes container farms that can grow geoponic crops on-site, right next to where they are needed. Each container farm offers a growing space of 400 square feet and yields about 200 pounds of produce per month. The containers can be kept bug free because they are sealed off and automated. Staff tending the farms won't need any special training to work with them. A one-minute video that shows what one of Vertical Farm's container farms is like is available in the article.

SpaceX acquires former oil rigs to serve as floating Starship spaceports (4 minute read)

SpaceX bought two former oil drilling rigs near Brownsville, Texas, and is now modifying them to support Starship launch operations. There are safety and noise concerns with launching the super heavy lift launch vehicle frequently near populated areas. Sea platforms play a key role in SpaceX's plans. The company has posted several job listings for work on the offshore platforms already. Images of the rigs are available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science

TF Quant Finance (GitHub Repo)

TF Quant Finance is a high-performance TensorFlow library for quantitative finance. It provides TensorFlow support for foundational mathematical methods, mid-level methods, and specific pricing models. End-to-end examples are available.

SOUL, a new language now in V1.0, makes audio coding vastly more accessible (2 minute read)

SOUL is a new language for audio applications. It is both a programming language and a platform for creating audio plugins and apps. SOUL is easy to learn and use, secure, optimized for power and performance, and unlocks ultra-low latency on devices without the need for embedded CPUs and DSPs. Version 1.0 is out now.

Opera now has a game engine to go with its gamer-focused browser (1 minute read)

Opera has acquired YoYo Games, a British team best known for GameMaker Studio 2, a popular platform for novice game developers. The company launched Opera GX, a gamer-focused web browser in 2019, and it plans to create a new division called Opera Gaming by combining the Opera GX and GameMaker teams. It is unknown what the company's end goal is, but it says, for now, it will improve GameMaker across all platforms.

Walmart’s e-commerce chief is leaving to build “a city of the future” (5 minute read)

Marc Lore created and sold it to Walmart for $3 billion in a deal that involved him staying with the retail giant for five years to support its online business. He will be leaving the company early due to efforts last year to combine Walmart's e-commerce and physical store divisions into unified teams. Lore will remain an adviser to Walmart and has a close relationship with its CEO. His next project will be to build a city of the future supported by a reformed version of capitalism.

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