Big Tech &
Hide likes? Facebook and Instagram will leave that decision up to you (3 minute read)
Facebook and Instagram will soon let users decide if they want to hide the number of likes in posts. The concept is currently in testing but it will likely roll out to everyone in the next few weeks. Giving users more control over seeing likes is part of an effort to reduce comparison on social media. Facebook has been hiding like tallies since 2019, but the change was not popular with everyone, especially those who rely on likes to track what's popular.
Exclusive: Here’s a first look at some more upcoming features in Android 12 (12 minute read)
The first Android 12 developer preview was released nearly two months ago. An unreleased build was recently leaked, containing new code and features not previously seen in the public developer previews. This article covers some of the changes, including videos and screenshots where available. The new changes include improvements to scrolling screenshots, new emojis, enhanced notification permissions, and much more.
How a Carnivorous Mushroom Poisons Its Prey (5 minute read)
Oyster mushrooms are carnivores, eating nematodes by using a poison that paralyzes them within minutes of contact. There are many mechanisms for delivering the poison, including hunter cells, harpoon cells, food traps, glue nets, and more. The poison targets calcium gates in the muscles, inducing a rigor mortis that results in death. Worms that lack genes for making cilia, antenna that the worms use for sensing their environment, can resist the poison, but they can't survive long in the wild. The poison is different from all current nematicides, and its effectiveness makes it intriguing for researchers.
The genetic mistakes that could shape our species (14 minute read)
Gene editing is not an exact science yet, with approximately 16 percent of genetically modified human embryos containing accidental mutations. In 2018, a Chinese scientist announced that they had genetically modified a set of twins to be more resistant to contracting HIV. Further studies have found that the twins did not receive the intended edits. Newer gene-editing techniques target specific organs, but it's still possible for the genome editors to accidentally travel to the reproductive organs. Many risks are still unknown.
Programming, Design & Data Science
How To Create A Kickass GitHub Profile Page (9 minute read)
This article teaches you how to create a GitHub profile page that automatically updates itself with your latest content, shows GitHub stats, and displays tech stack icons. An example profile is provided at the beginning of the article. A 23-minute video version of the tutorial is available.
Encore (GitHub Repo)
Encore is a Go backend framework for creating APIs and distributed systems. It reduces the boilerplate required to set up a production-ready backend application. Encore makes it easy to monitor, provision, and secure apps. It can automatically generate documentation from source code.
Here’s how the FBI managed to get into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone (3 minute read)
After the San Bernardino shooting, the FBI asked Apple to help unlock the shooter's phone. Apple attempted to help but refused to create a tool to bypass the passcode system as that would permanently decrease the security of its phones. The FBI then partnered with an Australian IT firm, who exploited a flaw in some code written by Mozilla to gain full control over the main processor and run their own code. They then ran software that allowed them to guess every passcode combination. In the end, the FBI didn't get any useful information from the phone.
A Casino Gets Hacked Through a Fish-Tank Thermometer (3 minute read)
A few years ago, hackers used a fish-tank thermometer to access a North American casino's network and steal its high-roller database. Analysts predict there will be as many as 31 billion IoT connected devices worldwide by 2025. Smart devices can be invaluable for a business, but these devices need to be secure. The current state of the industry is creating an enormous opportunity for hackers. Business owners should bring in IT experts regularly to assess network security.