Big Tech &
Why Epic is burning its own cash to cook Apple (5 minute read)
Fortnite may be free to download, but its in-app purchases helped Epic earn an estimated $1 billion in 2020. Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all transactions on the App Store for larger developers. iOS customers accounted for $700 million in revenue for Epic in the two years it was available. Epic wants to build an online haven called the metaverse, where superhero IPs owned by different companies can interact. It is burning cash fighting Apple now as the company is set to make much more as it expands.
Walmart’s unannounced cloud gaming service detailed in confidential Epic emails (3 minute read)
Project Storm is Walmart's attempt at a cloud gaming service. It is unclear if it will ever launch. Back in 2019, Walmart pitched the service to Epic Games to get Fortnite on board. Epic co-founder Mark Rein reported a positive experience when trying out a demo of the service on an Android phone. Epic ended up partnering with Nvidia to launch Fortnite on GeForce Now, which is currently the only way to play the game on iOS.
Uncontrolled reentry: Why China “just not caring” is a huge problem for space (4 minute read)
China's Long March 5B rocket is expected to make an uncontrolled reentry in the next few days. It is not the first time the China National Space Administration has opted for an uncontrolled reentry. Uncontrolled re-entries are dangerous as pieces of debris can cause damage. It is unknown where the rocket might reenter, but its erratic trajectory places it in the path of several populated areas. There are no international regulations that require controlled reentries, but it is best practice by space agencies around the world.
Toyota built an internal combustion engine that sips hydrogen, and it sounds awesome (2 minute read)
Toyota recently unveiled a Corolla Hatchback fitted with a hydrogen-sipping internal combustion engine. It features an all-wheel-drive system, and its exhaust makes the same sounds as a tuned gasoline-powered vehicle. The car uses 100-percent hydrogen fuel with no gasoline content. It still emits some noxious gases, but significantly less than a pure gasoline car. The Corolla will be racing in the 2021 Super Taikyu 24 Hour Endurance Series from May 21 to 23.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Cinder (GitHub Repo)
Cinder is Instagram's internal performance-oriented production version of CPython 3.8. It features bytecode inline caching, eager evaluation of coroutines, a method-at-a-time JIT, and an experimental bytecode compiler. The code was made public as some of its work might be beneficial to those working on CPython.
Wave (GitHub Repo)
Wave is a Software as a Service Starter Kit. It allows developers to rapidly build software with features such as authentication, user profiles, subscriptions, notifications, and more. A live demo is available.
Belgium’s government network goes down after massive DDoS attack (2 minute read)
Belgium's government IT network was targeted by a massive distributed denial of service attack, knocking most of its internal systems and public-facing websites offline. The attack, which focused on Belnet, a government-funded ISP, impacted the activities of more than 200 Belgian government organizations. Parliament and other government activities were also disrupted. The attack started around the same time that a committee was supposed to hear testimony from a survivor of China's Uyghur forced labor camps. No one has attributed the ongoing attack to any particular entity yet.