Big Tech &
Salesforce enters the streaming wars (3 minute read)
Salesforce+ is a new video streaming service aimed at business professionals. It will debut at Salesforce's annual mega-conference Dreamforce in September. The free service will show original content from Salesforce and its clients. There will be 6 original series premiering at launch. Salesforce has built its own in-house studio and hired around 50 editorial leads to help launch the service, with plans to hire more as it builds up its programming slate. The company has no plans to sell ads or charge for the content.
Apple’s 2021 iPhones will reportedly have a video portrait mode (2 minute read)
Apple's upcoming flagship iPhones will be able to automatically blur the backgrounds of videos with its new Cinematic Video feature. They will also have support for ProRes video recording and new editing options for photos. It is predicted that the new phones will have improved ultrawide cameras, a larger aperture for better low-light photography, a faster refresh rate, smaller display notches, and a boost in processing power with the new A15 chip. This year's updates are expected to be modest, with the same variety of models and screen sizes as last year.
Newly Designed 'Smart' Insulin Could Majorly Improve Type 1 Diabetes Treatment (4 minute read)
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the body's immune system destroys the cells that are responsible for regulating insulin levels in the blood. Diabetics can control the condition by injecting insulin, but it can be difficult to balance the right amount of insulin in the body. Scientists from the School of Medicine at Indiana University have redesigned the insulin molecule so it only activates in the presence of a simple carbohydrate, opening up a way for removing much of the guesswork in treating diabetes. It is still only a proof of concept, but similar approaches have been shown to be effective in rat studies.
CyberDog is a new ominous-looking robot from Xiaomi (3 minute read)
Xiaomi has unveiled a quadrupedal robot called CyberDog. The open-source robot can respond to voice commands and navigate semi-autonomously. It can perform backflips and trot along at speeds of 3.2m/s. Xiaomi will first release 1,000 units to Xiaomi Fans, engineers, and robotic enthusiasts for 9,999 Yuan, or roughly $1,540. It is unclear if the price will remain the same for subsequent releases. The release of CyberDog signals how accessible robotics technology has become.
Programming, Design & Data Science
PureORM (GitHub Repo)
PureORM is a pure ORM SQL toolkit library for Node that lets you write regular native SQL and receive properly structured pure business objects. Examples are available in the repository.
OpenAI launches Codex, an API for translating natural language into code (3 minute read)
OpenAI Codex is an AI system that translates natural language into code. It was trained on billions of lines of public code so it works with a broad set of frameworks and languages. Codex is available via an API in private beta. It will be free during its initial testing period. While it is highly capable, Codex has some significant limitations, including biases and sample inefficiencies. Codex powers GitHub Copilot, a code suggestion service launched earlier this summer.
Watch Jetpack Daredevils Fly Alongside the World’s Largest Passenger Airliner (3 minute read)
On November 5, 2015, an Emirates Airbus A380 and the Jetman Dubai duo took to the skies of Dubai in a meticulously choreographed aerial display. The Jetman Dubai duo are two experienced pilots and operators of small jet-propelled wings. The display was carefully planned to ensure that nothing went wrong, with pilots, flight operation managers, and air traffic controllers collaborating to plan the smallest details of the mission. The duo's formation positions were carefully chosen to avoid areas of wake turbulence and jet efflux from the aircraft. A video of the event is available in the article.
At least $611 million stolen in massive cross-chain hack (2 minute read)
Poly Network, a protocol for swapping tokens across multiple blockchains, has been hacked for $611 million. The assets stolen include Ethereum tokens, Binance Smart Chain tokens, and USDC. Tether has blacklisted the USDT on Ethereum that was stolen in the attack so they can no longer be moved. Binance is unable to control coins on its Smart Chain, but the exchange is working with security partners to proactively help. The root cause of the hack was likely a cryptography issue.