Big Tech &
Elon Musk says Starlink will be available worldwide in August (3 minute read)
Starlink will be available worldwide except at the North and South Poles from August. The service is now operational in 12 countries, with more being added every month. There are now over 1,800 Starlink satellites in low-orbit serving more than 69,000 customers. The Starlink venture will cost SpaceX $5 billion to $10 billion to deploy. SpaceX has already partnered with wireless carriers around the world to provide internet connections. The company currently sells its hardware at a loss, but it is working on next-generation terminals that will cost less.
Facebook announces Bulletin, its Substack newsletter competitor (2 minute read)
Facebook just announced a newsletter product called Bulletin. Bulletin allows writers to publish free and paid newsletters on the web, to subscribers' emails, or on Facebook. Facebook won't take a fee from writers at launch, and writers retain full ownership of their content and subscriber lists. Facebook has signed up writers already to cover topics from sports to finance. Newsletter platforms are growing in popularity as they offer a way for creators to monetize their work. Bulletin is not currently accepting writers.
A New Brain Implant Automatically Detects and Kills Pain in Real Time (6 minute read)
A group from the New York University School of Medicine has developed a brain-machine interface (BMI) that connects two brain regions together to detect and kill pain in real-time. One part of the BMI is connected to a region of the brain that detects pain, and another part dampens pain when activated. The implant only works when there is pain, so it doesn't constantly stimulate the brain. It has so far only been tested on rats, but it seems to be an effective strategy for pain therapy. While it may seem to be overkill, it could be a preferable choice to drugs for chronic pain sufferers.
Programming, Design & Data Science
GitHub Copilot (Website)
GitHub Copilot is a Visual Studio Code extension that suggests whole lines or entire functions for code. It is trained on billions of lines of public code and understands dozens of languages. Copilot is fast enough to use as you type. Examples are available on the website. Copilot is still in its testing phase, so access is limited.
Code House (GitHub Repo)
Code House is a storehouse of over 300 curated cheatsheets from over 230 sources. The library can be sorted by category, source, time, or popularity. A hosted version of the app is available.
This is the highest-resolution image of atoms ever seen (1 minute read)
This article features an image of the atoms in a praseodymium orthoscandate crystal, zoomed in 100 million times. The resolution was achieved using an algorithm-powered technique called ptychography. It is the highest resolution image of atoms that has ever been seen. The blurring in the image is caused by the atoms jiggling. Using the technique will enable scientists to locate individual atoms in all three dimensions.
Inside Neeva, the ad-free, privacy-first search engine from ex-Googlers (17 minute read)
Neeva is a new privacy search engine where users have to pay to use it. The service charges a subscription fee after the first three months. The business is trying to find out whether people will pay for a high-quality alternative to an ad-supported product. Neeva is built by ex-Google engineers. The company will turn over at least 20 percent of its top-line revenue to publishing partners. This article delves into the history and development of Neeva and its business model.