Big Tech &
Google Chrome testing RSS-powered 'Follow' button, feed (2 minute read)
Follow is a new feature in Google Chrome that displays an RSS reader on the New Tab page. Users will see a Follow button in the overflow menu, which adds sites to the feed. The feature allows users to actively choose the content they want to see, unlike the Discover feature, which chooses content for users. Google hopes the feature will create deeper connections between publishers and readers. Follow is still an experiment, and Google is still deciding whether to graduate it.
Sidewalk Labs launches Pebble, a sensor that uses real-time data to manage city parking (4 minute read)
Since Sidewalk Labs shut down its $1.3 billion tech-enabled real estate project in Toronto a year ago, it has focused on developing smaller-scale solutions that can be used to improve cities. It has since unveiled Delve, a tool to create optimal design plans for urban projects, and Replica, a platform that can simulate scenarios in the real world. Sidewalk Labs recently announced the Pebble, a vehicle sensor that can help manage parking in cities by providing real-time parking and curb availability data. It doesn't use cameras or collect identifying information. The sensors could help cities run better by providing data to address blindspots about how people actually use parking spaces.
Scientists Just Proved the Human Brain Can Support an Extra Body Part (4 minute read)
A research team has demonstrated that humans are able to adapt to an extra robotic thumb, effectively executing complex and dexterous tasks with them. The Third Thumb is a 3D-printed device that is controlled with pressure sensors equipped on the wearer's feet. In the study, participants were trained to use the robotic thumb for five days for two to six hours every day. Eventually, the participants were able to perform tasks with the thumb even when distracted. The study shows the potential for body augmentation to allow people to gain extra abilities.
Chinese Mars rover returns first pictures (2 minute read)
China's Zhurong rover landed in the Utopia Planitia basin on Mars early Sunday. The rover is equipped with tools to assess rock chemistry and a radar to look for subsurface water-ice. Chinese scientists hope that the rover will last at least 90 days. Images from the rover have been released and are available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Full Stack Ethereum Development – a Complete Guide (20 minute read)
This article teaches how to build full-stack dApps with React, Ether.js, Solidity, and Hardhat. It discusses how to create, deploy, and test Ethereum smart contracts, how to switch between environments/networks, and how to connect to and interact with the contracts from a front end. The tutorial goes through building, deploying, and connecting to a couple of basic smart contracts.
Spotify will stream a virtual concert series that begins on May 27th (2 minute read)
Spotify will stream five pre recorded live streams weekly starting from May 27. Tickets will be $15 and the performances will last between 40 to 75 minutes. A subscription is not required to purchase a ticket. Spotify will make it easy for users to find upcoming performances and track the artists they follow. It is unknown whether there will be actual live performances on the platform in the future. The schedule for the upcoming performances is available in the article.
Developers Flee Open Source Project After ‘Takeover’ By Korean Crown Prince (7 minute read)
Freenode is a large open-source project that runs Internet Relay Chat networks. The entire network was recently purchased by Andrew Lee, the Crown Prince of Korea. A dozen Freenode staff volunteers have resigned, saying that they believe Lee took over the network under false pretenses. It is unknown what effect the changes in the Freenode network will have on developers around the world. The former Freenode staff members have launched a new chat network to continue Freenode's mission.