Big Tech &
Apple Developing a Whole New Kind of MacBook Air (2 minute read)
Apple is working on a new high-end MacBook Air. It will feature two USB-C ports and a more powerful Apple silicon chip. The new chip will be a direct successor to Apple's M1 chip. It will have more graphics cores and run faster. The new MacBook Air will be available in a range of colors. There are some other physical design changes, but the biggest change will be the loss of its tapered design. The MacBook Air could launch in the second half of this year at the earliest, or in 2022.
TikTok will let creators add mini apps to videos (2 minute read)
Jumps is a new feature for TikTok that lets users embed mini-apps into their videos. Creators can use Jumps to add content to their videos that can be opened in other apps. Jumps has been in testing for several months. TikTok has been working with companies like Whisk, Wikipedia, and Tablelog during the beta period to develop Jumps. App developers will soon have access to create their own Jumps.
A Gigantic "Space Balloon" Just Completed Its First Flight (3 minute read)
Space Perspective has successfully conducted the first test flight of its prototype stratospheric passenger balloon. The balloon prototype, Neptune One, reached an altitude of 108,409 feet during its almost 7-hour flight. Neptune One can be tested without a pilot, so Space Perspective is able to thoroughly test it to ensure its safety. The balloon will eventually be flown by a pilot and carry eight passengers up to an altitude of 100,000 feet. Its first commercial flights will begin in 2024.
Amazon ordered 1,000 self-driving truck systems from new startup (2 minute read)
Amazon has placed an order for 1,000 autonomous driving systems from Plus, a startup founded in 2016. Plus is set to go public soon with a valuation of $3.3 billion. Amazon has the right to purchase up to 20 percent of Plus as part of the deal. Plus only manufactures self-driving systems, so Amazon will still have to develop its own trucks. Using autonomous vehicles to replace human drivers is expected for Amazon as the company has been replacing human labor with automation in various forms for years.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Elementz (GitHub Repo)
Elementz is a React component library for building apps. More than half of the library code is SCSS so it is easily customizable and smooth. It features a full Table component, Smooth Loading Skeleton wrappers with zero configuration, and more. Examples of its components are available.
AugLy (GitHub Repo)
AugLy is a library for augmenting data in model training and evaluating the robustness gaps of models. It was designed to include many specific data augmentations that users perform in real life. It also contains generic data augmentations. AugLy is useful for problems like copy detection, hate speech detection, or copyright infringement.
Hyundai Acquires Boston Dynamics, Company Most Famous for Robot Police Dogs (2 minute read)
Boston Dynamics has been purchased by Hyundai in a deal valued at $1.1 billion. Softbank will retain a 20 percent stake in Boston Dynamics. It is unclear what Hyundai wants from the acquisition, but it appears the company has ambitions beyond car manufacturing. Hyundai released a video celebrating the purchase that features robot dogs in various scenarios. A link to the 1-minute video is available in the article.
Giant Mech Suit Off-Road Desert Testing! (11 minute video)
Furrion Exo-Bionics is a team that has built a functional giant mech suit. This video shows the team testing the suit out in the Mojave Desert. The suit is able to navigate the off-road terrain and even tow a pickup out from a ditch.