Big Tech &
Google foils Roku’s YouTube TV ban, adds service to the main YouTube app (3 minute read)
Roku recently removed the YouTube TV app from its store due to a disagreement with its contract with Google. As a response, Google has embedded the YouTube TV app into the YouTube app. The contract between Google and Roku for the YouTube app does not expire until December. Google has threatened to provide free streaming devices for their YouTube TV customers if Roku refuses to renew its deal under reasonable terms. The dispute is likely due to Google's AV1 video codec, which will require Roku to upgrade to more expensive chips.
Ramping Up Its COVID Response, EU Will Buy Up To 1.8B Doses Of Pfizer Vaccine (2 minute read)
The European Union has signed a deal for up to 1.8 billion doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. The deal guarantees 900 million doses, with 900 million options to cover future unknowns, such as whether a booster shot will be required and what will happen with variants. Vaccine production will happen within the EU, and the contract will likely extend into 2023. Other contracts and vaccine deals are also being discussed.
First optogenetics-based study of unrestricted social interactions within groups of animals (5 minute read)
Optogenetics is a method of controlling neurons with light. A team of researchers from Northwestern University built an ultraminiature, wireless, battery-free, and fully implantable optogenetics device for mice that allowed them to observe multiple animals socially interacting in complex environments. The technology was used to investigate how bonds form and break and how social hierarchies arise in mice. Researchers could wirelessly control the light in real-time with a user interface on a computer.
Chinese scientists discover gene associated with epilepsy (1 minute read)
Scientists from South China's Guangdong province have discovered a gene responsible for epilepsy. UNC13B variants were found in eight unrelated families from 446 cases with partial epilepsy. Partial epilepsy can also be caused by trauma, infection, immune abnormalities, or neoplasm. A further analysis found that partial epilepsy caused by the gene variants can be clinically managed with antiepileptic therapy.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Django SQL Dashboard (Website)
Django SQL Dashboard provides an authenticated interface for executing read-only SQL queries against PostgreSQL databases. It can safely run multiple SQL queries, bookmark queries to be shared, create saved dashboards from queries, produce charts, and more. Screenshots and examples are available.
Folio (GitHub Repo)
Folio is a customizable test framework for building test frameworks. It runs tests in isolation by default, making it fast, reliable, and adaptable. It can leverage TypeScript power with minimal effort, run tests in multiple configurations, annotate tests, generate comprehensive reports, and run multiple test types differently.
The world's most unlikely nature reserve: Wildlife is thriving in Chernobyl (1 minute read)
350,000 people were evacuated from Chernobyl 35 years ago after a nuclear disaster. The area may not be fit for humans for another 24,000 years, but endangered animals are thriving in the exclusion zone. Przewalski’s horses were almost extinct in the wild, but there is now a steadily growing population in Chernobyl. A 2-minute video showing the new wildlife around Chernobyl is available in the article.
Colonial Pipeline hackers apologize, promise to ransom less controversial targets in future (2 minute read)
DarkSide, the group behind the ransomware attack that took down Colonial Pipeline, has apologized for the consequences of the hack. The group clarified that its goal was to make money and not to create problems for society. It promises to vet future victims to avoid social consequences. DarkSide isn't associated with a specific nation-state but it tends to avoid targeting systems running in certain Russian and Eastern European languages. Colonial Pipeline aims to restore service by the end of the week.