Big Tech &
Uber Lays Off More Than 180 Postmates Employees, Including CEO Bastian Lehmann (1 minute read)
Uber has laid off 185 employees from its Postmates division, including most of the executive team, totaling about 15% of Postmates' workforce. Rival companies are gaining market share in the food delivery business. DoorDash went public in December and has recently acquired food delivery startup Caviar. Just Eat acquired Grubhub in 2020 for more than $7 billion. Uber closed down 2.65% on Friday.
Lyft test program offers drivers more rides in exchange for 10% pay cut (7 minute read)
Lyft released a new feature for drivers in September called priority mode, which gives drivers more rides for 10% less pay. The ride-hailing industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, with many people around the world sheltered in place with nowhere to go. Many drivers have voiced their complaints online, but the company says that the program was expanded due to the positive feedback it received.
Using CRISPR Genetic Technology to Catch Cancer in the Act (7 minute read)
One of the problems with cancer is its tendency to metastasize, causing it to spread throughout the body. Tracking the moment this happens is difficult as millions of divisions happen within a tumor. Researchers have found a way to monitor these events using a modified CRISPR tool. By mapping out a family tree, scientists can track a cell's lineage to find out when a single tumor cell went rogue. Using this technique, doctors can figure out how often tumors metastasize, where the metastases come from, and where the cancer has spread to. It can reveal differences in the biology of the tumor that would be otherwise invisible.
No more needles? (5 minute read)
Doctors use blood samples to check for biomarkers of disease. These biomarkers are also found in the dense liquid medium that surrounds our cells, but in much smaller quantities. A new ultrabright fluorescence nano label that can detect these biomarkers in low concentrations has allowed scientists to create a microneedle patch that can inform doctors about what's going on inside our bodies, without unnecessary trips to the hospital, and with much less discomfort. The patches only go about 400 microns deep, too shallow to touch the sensory nerves. There will be a lot of applications for this technology, but for now, the scientists are working on determining clinical cut-offs for biomarker levels.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Algpt2 Part 2 (19 minute read)
This article follows a software engineering student's attempt at training a more efficient version of the 124M parameter version of GPT-2. The resulting model didn't perform as well as GPT-2. There were some restrictions in the research. The article contains a detailed writeup of the experiment, with a focus on the lessons learned along the way.
Build a Salary with GitHub Sponsors (Website)
GitHub Sponsors is a way to fund your Open Source project, but most developers aren't getting the most out of it. Getting people to sponsor you can be difficult. A way to increase your number of sponsors is to create exclusive content for them, for example, articles, videos, and other educational material. You can restrict who has access to your posts, depending on their sponsor tier. GitHub Sponsors is completely free to use.
Hush (GitHub Repo)
Hush is a content blocker for Safari that blocks nags to accept cookies and privacy-invasive tracking. It has no access to your browsing habits or passwords, nor does it track behavior or collect crash reports. Hush is written in Swift UI and has native support for M1 processors.
Former ADT employee admits he watched customers have sex for years through their cameras (2 minute read)
A former ADT technician has pleaded guilty to accessing customers' home video feeds thousands of times over four and a half years. He did this by simply adding himself to the accounts, which let him watch the feeds at will. There were 220 victims, whose accounts were accessed on 9,600 occasions. The technician took note of which homes had attractive women and targeted those accounts. He was caught when a customer reported a suspicious email on their ADT Pulse account.