Big Tech &
Google now pays 450 sites to bring you free news, including some paywalled stories (3 minute read)
Google's News Showcase has launched in the UK and Argentina. The service allows users to access select paywalled content for free. Publishers are paid a monthly fee for access to the content. News Showcase is available in Germany, Brazil, and Australia through the Google News App or Discover on iOS and Android, as well as on mobile web. Australian lawmakers have drafted new rules that could force Google to pay news publishers for their content. Google has threatened to pull its search engine from the country if the law goes into effect.
Facebook is reportedly working on a Clubhouse copy (1 minute read)
Facebook is in the early stages of developing a Clubhouse clone. The news comes just days after CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared on a Clubhouse event as a guest. Facebook has cloned functionality from other social media sites before, so it is not surprising that it is now copying Clubhouse. Twitter is also working on its own version of the app.
This human genome does not exist: Researchers taught an AI to generate fake DNA (3 minute read)
A team of researchers from Estonia has developed a machine learning system that can generate unique human genome sequences. These fake genomes could play a vital role in the future of DNA research. Generative neural networks have been used in many different domains, producing surprising results in some cases. The artificial genomes are indistinguishable from actual human genomes. While the technology will be used for good in this case, it opens up the possibility of people using it to create highly convincing fake personas.
Machines Are Inventing New Math We've Never Seen (4 minute read)
A team of researchers in Israel have created an automated conjecturing system called the Ramanujan Machine. The machine was named after a mathematician who developed thousands of innovative formulas in number theory with almost no formal training. By making more conjectures, the machine provides mathematicians with important leads for further mathematical research. The system has already conjectured several important formulas for universal constants that show up in mathematics.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Developing Applications for iOS using SwiftUI (Website)
CS193p (Developing Applications for iOS using SwiftUI) is a course from Stanford University that explains the fundamentals of how to build applications for iOS using SwiftUI. The Spring 2020 version was delivered online and Stanford has made the lectures available to everybody on its YouTube channel. This site contains the supporting material for the course.
github1s (GitHub Repo)
github1s displays GitHub code inside a browser-based VS Code. To use it, you just need to add '1s' after 'GitHub' in any GitHub URL. A bookmarklet and a Chrome extension is available.
Epic’s new MetaHuman tool lets you craft realistic faces inside a browser (2 minute read)
Epic Games has announced a new browser-based tool that can craft highly realistic human faces. MetaHuman Creator can be used with modern motion capture and animation techniques. It can create photorealistic humans in minutes, equipped with unique hairstyles and clothing. Epic has not announced a specific release date, but it will be released this year. Two one-minute videos released by Epic to showcase the technology are available in the article.
The story of how Google could have killed Facebook with the flick of a switch (3 minute read)
In 2013, Facebook depended on an application called Power Editor for 25% of its revenue. Power Editor was responsible for everything that could be done on ads on the platform. It was huge, complex, user-unfriendly, and it depended on WebSQL, which was a deprecated technology. WebSQL had already been removed by all other browsers but Chrome, and Google was well within its rights to do the same. It took over 3 years to rewrite the 150k lines of code in Power Editor while in production and also improving the app.