Big Tech &
Inside Google's Plan to Disrupt the College Degree (7 minute read)
Google recently announced plans to launch new certificate programs designed to help people bridge skill gaps and get qualifications without a college degree. The plan includes three new Google Career Certificates on Coursera, a new Associate Android Developer Certification course, over 100,000 need-based scholarships, and partnerships with employers to hire graduates of the program. Courses will take six months or less to complete.
Netflix Begins Test to Crack Down on Password Sharing Outside Your Household (2 minute read)
Some Netflix TV users have started seeing a notification prompting them to get their own accounts if they don't live with the owner of the account. It is unclear whether all users need to be on the same IP address to be considered in the same household. Netflix terms state that accounts cannot be shared with individuals outside of a household. Netflix has not done anything to police this term until now, except to set limits on simultaneous streaming.
HeadFi system gives dumb headphones smart functions (2 minute read)
HeadFi is a system that features an adapter module that any set of headphones can plug into. It gives all headphones the ability to detect the wearer's heart rate, respond to touch gestures, and identify individual users. The system was 97.2 to 99.5 percent accurate at identifying people by determining the shape of the wearer's ear canal. It has only been tested on hard-wired headphones so far, but HeadFi can easily be adapted for use with wireless models. An image of a HeadFi prototype is available in the article.
The World's First Programmable Organism (12 minute read)
Xenobots are living robots that can be programmed. Their bodies are designed by an evolutionary computer algorithm. Xenobots are made up of living embryonic frog cells, which are carefully placed into molds designed by the algorithm. These simple organisms have no brains and their behaviors are determined by the shape of their bodies. The creatures show proto-cognitive capacities, preferences, capabilities, and IQ. This creates an ethical dilemma, as scientists don't know when a cluster of cells becomes a living creature.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Open-Source App Lets Anyone Create a Virtual Army of Hackintoshes (8 minute read)
A developer has created a way to scale macOS using docker. Each instance is able to access services like iMessage as Docker-OSX generates unique codes for its macOS hardware. The developer has recently released a standalone code generator. Anyone can now participate in Apple's bug bounty program without having to own Apple hardware. Apple doesn't encourage the use of VMs.
Announcing Spring Native Beta! (8 minute read)
The Spring Native beta is now available. It supports compiling Spring applications into native images. Spring applications can now be deployed as a standalone executable without needing a JVM installation.
Nigeria can’t decide what to do about the rise and rise of cryptocurrency (3 minute read)
The Central Bank of Nigeria sent a notice on February 5 warning the public about the dangers and risks of cryptocurrencies. Two days later, the bank clarified that it had not imposed any new restrictions on the technology, as there were already existing restrictions on financial institutions. Cryptocurrencies have soared in popularity in the country over the last few years. There have been conflicting views in the government about how cryptocurrencies should be regulated.