TLDR Daily Update 2021-07-29

SpaceX's launch tower 🚀, TikTok Live 📱, oldest animal fossil 🪨

Big Tech & Startups

SpaceX is almost ready to start turning Starship’s launch tower into ‘Mechazilla’ (3 minute read)

SpaceX plans to use a giant tower with arms to catch its rockets. Mechazilla will be around 145m tall and will be outfitted with at least three arms. Construction started a few weeks ago, and the tower is almost complete. Pictures of the tower are available in the article.

TikTok’s live video push continues with new features for creators and viewers (2 minute read)

TikTok announced new live video features for both creators and viewers, including scheduled events, picture-in-picture support for mobile, and group livestreams with two users. Viewers will be able to register and receive notifications for Live Events. A countdown timer sticker will be available for creators to use to promote their upcoming streams. There is now a comment filter. Creators can designate moderators who can ban and mute misbehaving viewers. Users will be able to easily find and browse livestreams with the new dedicated Live button.
Science & Futuristic Technology

A magnetic helmet shrunk a deadly tumor in world-first test (2 minute read)

Researchers used a helmet that generates a magnetic field to shrink a deadly brain tumor by a third. The helmet features three rotating magnets and it was worn by the patient up to six hours per day. It is the first non-invasive therapy for brain cancer. The device has FDA approval for compassionate use treatment. It could one day be used to treat brain cancer without radiation or chemotherapy. A picture of the device is available in the article.

Watch Cassie the bipedal robot run a 5K (2 minute read)

Cassie is a bipedal robot created by Oregon State University engineers. The robot can go up and down stairs without the use of cameras or LIDAR. It taught itself to run using an AI technique called Deep Reinforcement Learning. The robot was able to complete a 5 kilometer run across the university campus in just over 53 minutes. Videos showing the robot completing the 5k run are available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science

linux-malware (GitHub Repo)

This repository tracks interesting Linux and UNIX malware. It includes DFIR reports, information on supply chain attacks, press and academic releases, malware samples, and more.

Introducing Triton: Open-Source GPU Programming for Neural Networks (10 minute read)

Triton is a Python-like programming language that allows researchers with no CUDA experience to write highly efficient GPU code. It makes it possible to reach peak hardware performance with relatively little effort. This article introduces Triton and explains how it works with code examples.

Eyes wide shut: How newborn mammals dream the world they’re entering (3 minute read)

Scientists from Yale have found signs that mammals dream about the world before they are even born. There are waves of activity emanating from the neonatal retina in mice before their eyes ever open. The activity disappears soon after birth and is replaced by a more mature network of neural transmissions. The retinal waves flow in a pattern that mimics the activity that would occur if the animal was moving through the environment. Human babies can detect objects and identify motion soon after birth, suggesting that our visual systems are also primed before birth.

Bizarre 890-Million-Year-Old Fossils May Be Earliest Known Animal Life (5 minute read)

Tiny traces of what may be ancient sponges that date back around 890 million years have been discovered in Canada's northern McKenzie Mountains. It will still take a lot of work to confirm whether the rocks are really animal fossils, but it could be evidence that animals emerged before the Neoproterozoic Oxygenation Event that began around 700 million years ago. Scientists have long hypothesized that life had begun before the oxygenation event due to evidence from molecular clock data, but this is the first bit of physical evidence discovered that supports the idea.

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