Big Tech &
Toyota is buying Lyft’s autonomous car division for $550 million (3 minute read)
Woven Planet Holdings, a subsidiary of Toyota, is buying Lyft's self-driving division for $550 million in cash paid over five years. Lyft will see an annual savings of $100 million a year, putting it in a better position to earn a profit. Toyota will use Lyft's fleet data and platform for any commercial service it might launch under Woven Planet. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter this year.
Apple to establish North Carolina campus, increase U.S. spending targets (2 minute read)
Apple will establish a new campus in North Carolina, expand its operation in several other US states, and increase its spending targets with US suppliers. Most of the jobs at the new site are expected to focus on machine learning, artificial intelligence, software engineering, and other technology fields. Apple could receive as much as $845.8 million in tax reimbursements if it hits job and growth targets. The company will fund several local projects.
15 People Lived 40 Days in a Sunless Cave Without Clocks to Study Time (4 minute read)
15 people spent 40 days living in a cave in France without sunlight, clocks, or contact with the outside world as part of an experiment called Deep Time. Deep Time was designed to probe the human brain's conception of time and to study the group's response to life in isolation. There were no natural cues to regulate circadian rhythms in the darkness of the cave. Participants had to pass mental and physical examinations before the experiment, and they were monitored even after their exit. The experiment could help scientists anticipate the challenges of long-term submarine and space missions.
Pfizer is testing a pill that, if successful, could become first-ever home cure for COVID-19 (4 minute read)
Pfizer has developed a pill designed to stop Covid-19. It is now starting human trials on the drug, which showed no significant risks or safety concerns during its animal studies. The human trials will be split into three phases and run for 145 days. Another 28 days will be added to the trial period for screening and dosing. The drug attacks the spine of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and stops it from replicating in the nose, throat, and lungs. It is classed as a protease inhibitor.
Programming, Design & Data Science
signald (GitHub Repo)
signald is a daemon for interacting with Signal. There are several libraries for Python and Go to make it easier to interact with signald. Multiple clients for signald are available.
The NGINX Handbook (Website)
NGINX was released in 2004. It currently holds 35.3% of the market with a total of 419.6 million sites. There are a lot of existing codebases for NGINX, but a developer shouldn't just blindly copy and paste code. This book provides an introduction to NGINX and teaches the reader how to configure NGINX as a web server, proxy server, and load balancer from scratch.
Zoom’s Immersive View could make video calls feel a bit more in-person (2 minute read)
Zoom's new Immersive View will make video calls look more like an office meeting by placing meeting attendees in a realistic-looking location. The feature is available for calls with up to 25 participants. Calls with more attendees will show participants in a strip of video thumbnails at the top of the scene. Hosts can resize attendees and move them around.
Archaeologists May Have Found The World’s Oldest Home (3 minute read)
The oldest home in hominin history is the Wonderwerk Cave located in South Africa. The cave shows evidence of continuous occupation over several million years, with signs of the use of fire and precious artifacts found at the site. Its inhabitants were not fully human, and it may have been inhabited by more than one early human ancestor species. The cave was clearly a valued site in the past, and it is still a sacred place for locals today.