Big Tech &
Tesla wants to make every home a distributed power plant (3 minute read)
Elon Musk thinks that a distributed electricity grid system provides a better path to net-zero emissions. Previous research suggests that the US could reach a zero-carbon grid by more than doubling its transmission capacity. The setup Musk suggests is riddled with bureaucratic and logistical challenges. Tesla updated its website last week to require customers to purchase a solar and energy storage system together, rather than as separate items.
A New CRISPR Tool Flips Genes On and Off Like a Light Switch (5 minute read)
CRISPRoff is a new tool that can turn genes off for hundreds of generations of cells. These genes can be reactivated at any time using a complementary tool, CRISPRon. The tools are designed to exploit a natural epigenetic process for switching genes off. Having a reliable tool for epigenetics that lasts generations could change gene editing forever.
The search to make a perfect condom (8 minute read)
Condoms offer 80% or greater protection against most sexually transmitted diseases, even accounting for incorrect or inconsistent use. Nearly 30 billion condoms are sold around the world each year, but getting people to use them correctly is still a big challenge. This article reviews several projects that focus on developing better condoms, including graphene-based condoms, condoms with better lubricant properties, condoms that have anti-STD medication built into their structure, and more.
Programming, Design & Data Science
How to safely open-source internal software - Some best practices (8 minute read)
Before open-sourcing a piece of internal software, it is important to make sure that the code is ready to be seen by the public. The code should be scanned for company secrets and internal contacts, the repository should be set up with clear guidelines and processes, and there should be a project introduction, at the very least. This article provides a checklist and guide for properly setting up an open-source repository.
A Complete Guide to Custom Properties (19 minute read)
Custom properties are used as variables in CSS. They can make code easier to maintain, and using them can unlock interesting possibilities. This is a complete guide to using Custom Properties. It contains plenty of examples and additional resources.
Ransomware gang threatens to expose police informants if ransom is not paid (2 minute read)
The Babuk Locker gang is a ransomware group that began operating in January this year. Its ransomware can encrypt files stored on VMWare eSXI shared virtual hard drives. The group has threatened to leak sensitive files that may expose police investigations unless the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia agrees to pay a ransom demand. It claims it has more than 250 GB of data from DC Police servers. DC Police officials have three days to respond.
Delivery Drivers Are Using Grey Market Apps to Make Their Jobs Suck Less (8 minute read)
Gojek is Indonesia's equivalent of Postmates, Apple Pay, Venmo, and Uber. It operates in more than 200 cities in South East Asia. Some delivery drivers are using unofficial apps to filter orders and spoof their GPS location to make their jobs easier. App developers charge monthly membership fees for ongoing support and access to online groups. Gojek has banned the use of these apps and it runs campaigns to discourage drivers from using them. The company has adopted some features originally created by unauthorized apps, but not all features passed their test trials.