Big Tech &
Huawei’s foldable Mate X2 leaks just before launch (2 minute read)
Huawei has unveiled the Mate X2, a new foldable device with a large screen that unfolds from the inside. The phone features a second screen on the outside for use when the device is folded. As it is a Huawei device, the Mate X2 will launch without support for Google's apps or services. The phone will be available in China starting at around $2,785 for 256GB of storage or around $2,940 for 512GB of storage. Images of the device are available in the article.
Spotify reveals HiFi subscription, 80-country expansion, new exclusive podcasts (3 minute read)
Spotify plans to launch a new subscription tier called HiFi for high-quality audio later this year. The company hasn't announced how much it will cost or where it will first roll out, but it will likely be available first in the US and Sweden for around $20 a month. The company will expand to more than 80 new countries in the next few days. 36 new languages will be supported, bringing the total number of supported languages to 60. New exclusive podcast programming, as well as new tools for creators, will be arriving on the platform this year.
Humans had never seen a spacecraft land on another planet — until now (3 minute read)
NASA has released a video showing several viewpoints of last week's Mars landing. The video shows the descent starting from the release of the parachute. About 30GB of data was captured during the descent. The footage will be used to sharpen knowledge about future entry, descent, and landing technology. One problem identified by the footage is the large amount of dust that was kicked up by the descent stage, which will be an important issue for larger spacecraft. The video of the landing is available in the article.
Bay Area-based Air Protein makes “meat” from thin air using space-age science (4 minute read)
Air Protein is a startup that makes a meat alternative using fermentation technology. Its technology can transform CO2 into a complete edible protein, making meat in days while using exponentially less arable land, natural resources, and with less greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional farming. The protein flour produced by the microbes can be made into a range of meatless meat products. Fermentation technology has enabled a new wave of alternative protein products. More than $1.5 billion was invested into companies making alternative protein in 2020, with at least $435 million of that just for those using fermentation.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Nuklear (GitHub Repo)
Nuklear is an immediate-mode cross-platform graphical user interface toolkit written in ANSI C. It focuses on portability, efficiency, and simplicity. Nuklear has a small codebase and no dependencies, and it is fully customizable. Examples are available in the repository.
Traitor (GitHub Repo)
Traitor packages methods to exploit local misconfigurations and vulnerabilities in order to gain root access. Users can just run the binary on the target machine and it will exploit most sudo privileges listed in GTFOBins. A GIF demo is available.
This AI reads children's emotions as they learn (3 minute read)
4 Little Trees is an AI-powered learning platform created by Find Solution AI, a Hong Kong-based startup. The app's AI identifies students' emotions while they work on tests and homework. Other statistics and performance history is also collected by the platform. The data is used to generate reports on students' strengths, weaknesses, and motivation levels. It is also used to forecast their grades. The app's use of AI to identify emotions has raised some concerns, but the app creators say that the app only records facial muscle data and that it doesn't video students' faces.
Chinese hackers cloned attack tool belonging to NSA’s Equation Group (3 minute read)
A Windows zero-day exploit tool was stolen from the NSA's Equation Group by Chinese threat actors, who used the tool for years before the flaw was patched. A hacking group released tools and files belonging to Equation Group in 2017, forcing vendors to issue emergency patches and fixes. A tool that exploited one of the vulnerabilities that was fixed during this time was thought to be the work of a Chinese advanced persistent threat group, but it turns out it was actually a clone of one of Equation Group's tools. There are other cases of Chinese teams stealing and repurposing Equation Group tools.