Big Tech &
SpaceX Launching Satellite to Display Billboard Ads in Space (1 minute read)
Canadian startup Geometric Energy Corporation has announced a partnership with SpaceX to launch a digital billboard into orbit. The advertisement satellite will have a massive screen on one side where people can bid to have images displayed. Anyone will be able to purchase digital advertising space through a bidding process. There will be five tokens available that determine how the ads are displayed. SpaceX has yet to comment on the partnership.
Google is planning a new Silicon Valley campus with hardware hub, plans show (4 minute read)
Google is planning to build another Silicon Valley campus, dubbed 'Midpoint', with a center partly devoted to hardware. The company spent more than $389 million on land in north San Jose in 2018 and has recently filed a detailed preliminary proposal for the space. Midpoint will feature five office buildings connected via a pedestrian bridge over a road. It will accommodate up to 3,500 employees and will only require landscaping and construction updates rather than totally new development. The campus will have areas for outdoor gatherings and transit services for employees. The leaked plans are available in the article.
Scientists Created an Artificial Neuron That Actually Retains Electronic Memories (3 minute read)
A team of researchers has designed a prototype of an artificial neuron made of thin graphene slits housing a single layer of water molecules. The artificial neuron uses ions instead of electrons, just like a real neuron. Ion flows between neurons generate electric currents that let neurons communicate with each other. This process is very energy efficient, so researchers have been trying to replicate it. The artificial neurons have the ability to transmit information to other artificial neurons. The next step in research is to prove that the neurons can execute basic learning algorithms.
Israel to become first in world to test oral COVID-19 vaccine (4 minute read)
Oravax is testing an oral vaccine in preclinical trials against Covid-19 variants. The vaccine is based on an oral delivery technology that can be used to administer several protein-based therapies that would otherwise be delivered by injection. It targets three structural proteins of the novel coronavirus and should be more resistant to variants. An oral vaccine would be easier to distribute, and people would be able to self-administer it at home. Oral medications tend to have fewer side effects.
Programming, Design & Data Science
ConnectorX (GitHub Repo)
ConnectorX loads data from databases into Python. It is much faster and more memory efficient compared to other commonly used Python libraries that provide similar functions. Benchmark results are available.
Textual (GitHub Repo)
Textual is a Text User Interface framework for Python. It features Rich, asynchronous event handling, widgets, and CSS themes. Screenshots and examples are available in the repository.
Musk: 'Dream come true' to see fully stacked SpaceX Starship rocket during prep for orbital launch (3 minute read)
SpaceX stacked a Starship prototype rocket on top of a Super Heavy rocket booster for the first time on Friday morning at the company's facility in Boca Chica, Texas. Starship prototypes are about 160 feet tall and are made of stainless steel. The Super Heavy booster stands at about 230 feet tall. SpaceX aims to complete preparations for Starship 20's launch over the next two weeks. NASA rewarded SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract earlier this year to deliver astronauts to the surface of the moon using the rockets. Images of Starship and the Super Heavy booster are available in the article.
The Future of Cryptocurrency Is Being Decided in Biden's Infrastructure Bill (4 minute read)
The Senate's new infrastructure bill may shape the future of cryptocurrency in the US. The bill promises public spending on major projects and it proposes taxes on crypto brokers to fund the projects. There are two competing amendments, one that exempts miners, hardware manufacturers, and developers, and another that only exempts proof-of-work cryptocurrencies. The definition of brokers in the original bill was so broad that anyone involved in cryptocurrency services would have to report to the IRS information on their customers, which would be impossible for most of the industry. The vote on the rival amendments is expected to take place on Saturday.