Big Tech &
Amid scandal, Pornhub hires “biometric technology” firm for user verification (3 minute read)
Pornhub has announced new security features and policies to ensure that the videos on its platform do not contain potentially illegal material. The company received criticism last year after it was accused of profiting from illegal material. It responded by suspending activity from unverified users and deleting nearly 80 percent of its hosted content. Pornhub has partnered with Yoti, a London-based company that acts as a middle-man for biometric verification. This will allow Pornhub to verify users without ever seeing their private information.
Myanmar internet providers block Facebook services after government order (2 minute read)
Internet providers in Myanmar blocked access to Facebook and its related services after military leaders seized power in a coup. A letter posted by authorities said that the services would be blocked until February 7 for the sake of stability. Facebook had been treating the situation in Myanmar as an emergency and was taking temporary measures to remove harmful content. A Facebook spokesperson has urged the authorities to restore connectivity so that people can communicate with their loved ones and access important information.
This Hive-Like House Is 3D Printed, Carbon-Neutral, and Made of Clay (3 minute read)
The TECLA is a 3D printed house that was designed based on the hives of a species of wasp found in the northern hemisphere. It is made of materials taken from local terrain. Printing a TECLA house takes about 200 hours and about 60 cubic meters of materials. The building process consumes 6 kilowatts of energy. A 2-minute video showing a TECLA house being printed is available in the article.
Chemists create and capture einsteinium, the elusive 99th element (4 minute read)
Einsteinium is one of the most elusive and heaviest elements on the periodic table. It was discovered in the fall-out of the first hydrogen bomb test in 1952. The element doesn't occur naturally and can only be produced in microscopic quantities. It is highly radioactive and it rapidly decays, making it hard to study. Researchers from the University of California recently created a 233-nanogram sample of Einsteinium and carried out the first experiments on the element since the 1970s. The main finding of the study was the measurement of the element's bond length. The research could make it easier to create Einsteinium in the future.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Data-Scientist-Roadmap (GitHub Repo)
This repository contains free data science resources. It is split into four parts: roadmap and fundamentals, free online courses, data science projects, and machine learning books.
Finally, a private stock exchange (4 minute read)
CartaX is a private market that just closed its first trading session after eight years of development. 414 market participants executed 1484 orders, reaching a total trading volume of $99.7 million. Tender offers usually hurt employees, but CartaX employees were able to sell at a premium due to proper price discovery after its primary financing rounds. Employees also had more access to liquidity, giving them more freedom. The first trading session only allowed shareholders to sell, but future sessions will be sold out of treasury once CartaX has a liquid and active market for its shares.
Sequencing your DNA with a USB dongle and open source code (7 minute read)
New techniques have greatly reduced the time it takes to decode a genome. What used to be a 15-day process now takes three days or less. A nanopore sequencer is a tool that can read a single strand of DNA one letter at a time. It costs around a thousand dollars and can connect to any computer via USB. The software used to analyze the output of nanopore sequencers is open source. This article explains how the technology was developed and it contains animations showing how a nanopore sequencer works.