Big Tech &
Apple reportedly developing an Apple TV with a built-in camera and speaker (2 minute read)
Apple is developing a new TV accessory that combines the Apple TV with a HomePod speaker and camera for video calls. The accessory will offer access to games and video streaming services with voice assistant controls. Its speakers will likely be an upgrade over those found in most TV sets. The device's camera will let it make video calls, similar to a Facebook Portal TV. Apple is also working on a smart display that will combine the features of an iPad and HomePod.
Blue Origin will run an “astronaut rehearsal” during a launch this week to prep for human spaceflight (2 minute read)
Blue Origin is planning an astronaut rehearsal during its launch on April 14. The rehearsal will include boarding, preflight operations, and then returning to a staged version of an exit capsule. It will be similar to the procedure that private astronauts will perform during a real launch. The flight will have a test dummy on board to measure data about what the launch would be like for people. Blue Origin will launch at 8 AM CDT from West Texas. A live feed will be available an hour before launch.
A robotic spacecraft just latched onto an active satellite in orbit (2 minute read)
The Mission Extension Vehicle-2 (MEV-2) recently latched onto an old communications satellite while in orbit. The mission is Northrop Grumman's second successful docking of an object in space. MEV-2 launched last year and spent six months raising its orbit to meet a 17-year-old satellite more than 22,000 miles from Earth. The satellite had operated for beyond its lifespan, but MEV-2 will extend its life by at least another 5 years. Northrop plans to launch an upgraded satellite servicing system called the Mission Robotic Vehicle by 2024.
The 'Iron Man' body armour many of us may soon be wearing (4 minute read)
Exoskeleton technology is increasingly being worn in real life around the world. These external devices support and protect their users, giving greater levels of strength and endurance. Exoskeletons are now being developed for a variety of daily activities. They are being tested in factory environments to reduce the risk of injury. Global exoskeleton revenues are expected to rise to $6.8 billion in 2030. This article contains an overview of several exoskeleton tech projects.
Programming, Design & Data Science
OpenSearch (GitHub Repo)
OpenSearch is a search and analytics engine derived from Elasticsearch. It is still currently in an alpha state. OpenSearch consists of a search engine daemon and a visualization and user interface.
Oso is a library for building authorization in an application. It provides a mental model and an authorization system to define who can do what in an application. Developers can typically write a working Oso policy in under five minutes, and use Oso to solve real authorization problems within a few hours. Oso is ideal for building permissions into user-facing applications.
An ex-Verizon employee explains why it's not worth helping customers (5 minute read)
Verizon employees are required to upsell products, but one of the strategies to do this is by not offering lower-priced options. Higher-priced packages can contain inferior products, such as third-party technical support lines. During the pandemic, Verizon took away upgrades as a way for employees to earn commissions, requiring them to sell new lines, accessories, tablets, and insurance instead. The company also adjusted commissions based on the results of customer surveys. This resulted in employees refusing to serve customers if there was a chance of a negative survey result.
Did you know you can put a whole game inside of a push notification (Twitter Thread)
macOS Big Sur allows developers to customize the appearances of notifications. It is possible to embed a whole game inside of a push notification by following the instructions from the developer article on customizing iOS app notifications, with some small changes. This tweet shows an example where the developer put a playable version of Flappy Bird into a notification.