Big Tech &
Airbnb says it plans to temporarily house 20,000 Afghan refugees (2 minute read)
Airbnb will house 20,000 Afghan refugees around the world in the properties listed on its platform. The stays will be funded by Airbnb, but the company has not specified how much it plans to spend or how long the refugees will be housed. The US has evacuated roughly 48,000 people from Afghanistan in recent days. The Taliban has set an airlift deadline of August 31, and thousands are still trying to escape. Brian Chesky, Airbnb's CEO, hopes that his company's actions will inspire other business leaders to help the refugees. Airbnb has hosted 75,000 people in times of crisis since 2012.
Walmart is launching a new white label delivery service (2 minute read)
Walmart GoLocal will provide white label delivery services for businesses using drivers from the company's Spark delivery service. Customers will order directly from businesses and Walmart GoLocal will handle delivery and collecting feedback. The company plans to eventually make deliveries via drone or autonomous vehicles, depending on the delivery size and location. Walmart has made investments in many technologies to master delivery before Amazon becomes the de facto standard.
China Is Developing an 'Ultra-Large' $2.3 Million Megaship That Is Miles Long (3 minute read)
The National Natural Science Foundation of China has called for an analysis of the mechanics of constructing an ultra-large spacecraft spanning kilometers. The spacecraft would be modular, requiring multiple launches and space-based assembly to construct. China has doubled down on its space program since May, after it landed a rover on Mars. It started assembling its Tiangong space station in April. Tiangong's core, which will be the primary housing unit, should be complete sometime next year.
Virgin Reveals Its New Design Concept for the Hyperloop (3 minute read)
Virgin appears to have changed its mind on how it plans to build its Hyperloop since its tests at the end of last year. The company recently released new designs showing battery-powered pods that hang off tracks, rather than magnetically levitating over them. Virgin's new proposed Hyperloop system is 10 times more efficient than current MagLev trains, while still being able to move people at high speeds without direct emissions. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2027.
Programming, Design & Data Science
GitHub CLI 2.0 includes extensions! (3 minute read)
GitHub CLI 2.0 supports extensions. Creating extensions is simple, and anyone can make custom commands and extend the core functionality of GitHub CLI. Links to documentation on how to create extensions, as well as several examples, are available in the article.
Uptime Kuma (GitHub Repo)
Uptime Kuma is a self-hosted monitoring tool that can monitor uptime for HTTP(s), TCP, and ping. It has a fancy UI and notifications. Screenshots are available.
Open-Source Insulin: Biohackers Aiming For Distributed Production (9 minute read)
Insulin is essential for a diabetic, and it can be expensive, especially for those without good insurance. A growing movement of biohackers is trying to build a distributed system of insulin production with the goal of making it affordable. Today, most insulin is produced through genetically engineered bacteria. Commercial insulin production is complicated and expensive due to how it must be scaled up to be financially viable. The Open Insulin Foundation is now looking to scale its operations, with plans for a factory that could produce insulin at around $6 a vial.
How Data Brokers Sell Access to the Backbone of the Internet (7 minute read)
ISPs are selling data that can be used to trace traffic through VPNs. Netflow data can be used by digital investigators to create a picture of traffic flow and volume across a network. It can show which servers have communicated with each other and approximate the physical location of a user. This article investigates some of the companies and organizations involved in the business of netflow data, how the data is used, and the impact the industry has on citizen surveillance.