Big Tech &
r/WallStreetBets went private — and now it’s back with a message (4 minute read)
The r/WallStreetBets subreddit closed down for a little less than an hour on Wednesday as the moderators dealt with issues stemming from the attention it gained following the meteoric rise in GameStop's stock. A letter explaining the shutdown was posted when the subreddit came back up. It noted that the team's requests for help from Reddit to abide by its content policies had gone unanswered, and it also stated how unfair Discord's decision to delete their account was. Discord had opted to delete the WallStreetBets channel for content violations rather than to work with the team to fix things, despite the community getting over 1,000 server boosts. The WallStreetBets mod team now has an official Twitter account.
Tesla Model S refreshed with a radically redesigned interior and 520-mile range (3 minute read)
Tesla has unveiled its long-rumored refresh for its Model S sedan. It has a new front bumper, a tweaked rear diffuser, and new 19- and 21-inch wheel designs. The exterior trim is now finished black, but the paint color palette remains the same. It has a new steering wheel that looks like something out of a Star Wars movie, with the turn signals, lights, and other features being controlled by touch buttons. The interior features a large 17-inch central screen, which is basically a gaming computer with 10 teraflops of processing power. More details, along with images of the vehicle, are available in the article.
Wirelessly Rechargeable Soft Brain Implant Could Cure Brain Diseases (2 minute read)
Researchers from Korea have invented a smartphone-controlled soft brain implant that can be wirelessly charged after being fitted into a user's brain. It enables long-term neural circuit manipulation without the need for periodic surgeries to replace the implant's battery. The device uses micrometer-sized LEDs to wirelessly manipulate target neurons via light. It uses a circuit that integrates a wireless energy harvester with a coil antenna and a Bluetooth low-energy chip to generate electricity inside the device for charging. The technology used in the implant could be applied to a variety of other implants to reduce the burden on patients for long-term use within the body.
Valve Reveals Partnership with OpenBCI to Make VR Gaming More Immersive (4 minute read)
Valve founder Gabe Newell thinks that brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) will be the future of entertainment and that it will be coming very soon. He says that by 2022, studios will have them in their test labs. BCI developers could one day create richer experiences than reality can provide. Valve has recently partnered with OpenBCI, a neurotech company that creates open-source, non-invasive BCI devices. OpenBCI had announced that it was making a BCI for VR/AR headsets back in November.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Airbyte (GitHub Repo)
Airbyte is a new open-source standard for syncing data from applications, APIs, and databases to warehouses. It features a full-grade scheduler, real-time monitoring, easy extensibility, and more.
pdoc auto-generates API documentation from a project's Python module hierarchy. It supports type annotations, cross-links between identifiers, customizable HTML templates, numpydoc and Google-style docstrings, and more. It comes with an integrated live-reloading web server. An example is available.
North Korea hackers use social media to target security researchers (2 minute read)
Google has uncovered an on-going state-backed hacking campaign run by North Korea. The attackers pose as security researchers by creating numerous fake social media profiles and a fake blog. They offer to work with real security researchers and then share collaboration tools containing malicious code to install malware on their systems. The attackers were able to create a backdoor to fully patched and updated versions of Windows 10 and Chrome browser. North Korea's cyber army comprises thousands of expert hackers who have a record of major cyber disruptions.
Google Maps will soon show COVID vaccine locations (2 minute read)
Google will start loading Search and Maps with information on vaccination sites. The update will roll out in the coming weeks to Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, with more areas to come. Users will be able to search 'COVID vaccine' and view location results, appointment information, and other site information. Google will be opening up various Google facilities as vaccine sites. It plans to launch a 'Get the Facts' campaign across its services to provide authoritative information to the public about vaccines.