Big Tech &
YouTube is once again the most popular social media platform (2 minute read)
YouTube and Facebook are the most dominant social media platforms in the US. YouTube's user base grew from 73 percent of adults in 2019 to 81 percent in 2021. Facebook's share of users remained at 69 percent over the same period. The only other platform to see statistically significant growth since 2019 was Reddit. While growth has slowed down, users still report using social media frequently throughout the day.
The French army is testing Boston Dynamics’ robot dog Spot in combat scenarios (4 minute read)
Images of Boston Dynamics' Spot robot alongside French soldiers during military exercises were shared on Twitter recently by France's foremost military school. The robots were being tested by students of the school to assess the usefulness of the robots in future battlefields. Boston Dynamics forbids the use of its Spot robot for harm or intimidation. Images of Spot participating in the military exercises are available in the article.
CPU algorithm trains deep neural nets up to 15 times faster than top GPU trainers (2 minute read)
Computer scientists from Rice University have created an artificial intelligence software that can train deep neural networks 15 times faster on commodity processors than software that relies on graphic processors. The team built its system by recasting deep neural network training as a search problem that could be solved with hash tables. Companies can spend millions of dollars a week just to train and fine-tune their AI workloads, so the benefits of making commodity CPUs more efficient than specialized hardware cannot be understated.
Infrared Radiation From Our Hands Could Be the Future of Encryption (2 minute read)
Chinese engineers have developed a method for using the infrared radiation emitted from the human hand to secure data. The human hand radiates infrared light, and each finger can serve as an independent infrared light source. As fingerprints are unique, they can be used as a non-copyable encryption key. Using human components as IR light sources could provide more flexibility in the way we control engineered systems.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Ory Keto (GitHub Repo)
Ory Keto is an open-source implementation of Zanzibar, Google's consistent global authorization system. Zanzibar is a global system for storing and evaluating access control lists. It provides a uniform data model and configuration language for expressing a wide range of access control policies from hundreds of client services at Google. Ory Keto currently implements the basic API contracts for managing and checking relations with HTTP and gRPC APIs.
The best of Yahoo! Answers (5 minute read)
Yahoo! Answers started in 2005. It will be shut down on May 4. This article is a collection of the best questions and answers from the site throughout the years. The questions cover topics such as ant killing, music, space travel, vampires, and more.
The Cult of CryptoPunks (12 minute read)
CryptoPunks is an NFT platform that launched in 2017 with 10,000 procedurally generated 'punks'. All of the punks were claimed for free when the project launched. In the last few months, the platform has seen nearly $200 million worth of transaction volume in official deals. Some investors see NFTs as a way to diversify their crypto holdings. The value of a punk is determined by the users in the CryptoPunks Discord community. Due to the rarity of CryptoPunks, using one as an avatar on social media sites has become a sort of 'digital flex' for some.