Big Tech &
Meet molnupiravir, Merck’s Thor-inspired pill that hammers COVID (3 minute read)
Molnupiravir is an oral antiviral drug that appears to cut the risk of hospitalization from Covid-19 by roughly 50 percent. Global studies showed that the drug was effective against SARS-CoV-2 variants. The drug appears to be safe, with low numbers of reported drug-related adverse events. Molnupiravir has been in development for years for use against influenza. It works by inhibiting an enzyme critical for making copies of RNA viruses. The drug has yet to gain FDA authorization.
Coinbase Multi-Factor Authentication Hack Affects at Least 6,000 Customers (1 minute read)
Between March and May this year, hackers used a flaw in Coinbase's account recovery process to bypass SMS multi-factor authentication and transfer funds out of at least 6,000 customers' accounts. The attackers likely stole login information through a phishing scheme as there is no evidence that the information was obtained from Coinbase. Coinbase will be compensating customers for the stolen funds. Customers are advised to switch to more secure versions of multi-factor authentication.
Brain-cleaning skullcap gets US Army funding (3 minute read)
The glymphatic system cleans out toxic waste products from the brain during deep sleep by flushing it with cerebrospinal fluid. Studying it could provide insights into sleep disorders and how to treat them. Currently, the only way to study the glymphatic system requires MRI machines. The US Army is funding the development of a wearable skullcap that can measure and control fluid flow in the brain during sleep to enhance soldiers' performance. Technologies that help clear waste in the brain would help those at risk for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.
The Europe-Japan mission to Mercury sends back photos of the planet’s cratered surface (2 minute read)
BepiColombo, a joint mission between the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, has sent back pictures of the crater-riddled surface of Mercury. The mission launched in 2018 and will reach Mercury's orbit in late 2025. Mercury's surface was formed by a vast outpouring of lava and the craters were formed by asteroids and comets. Some of the older and larger craters have been flooded by younger lava flows. A picture is available in the article. More pictures from Friday's fly-by will be available in the coming days.
Programming, Design & Data Science
UI for Apache Kafka (GitHub Repo)
UI for Apache Kafka is a web UI for monitoring and managing Apache Kafka clusters. It makes data flows observable to make it easy to track key metrics and fix issues. UI for Apache Kafka can be easily set up to run locally or in the cloud.
Coinbase Cloud (Website)
Coinbase Cloud is a full suite of blockchain development services. It offers APIs and blockchain infrastructure to help developers create crypto apps or businesses. Coinbase Cloud can interact with the Coinbase exchange, help businesses accept crypto payments, run nodes, standardize integrations between blockchains, and more.
Blue Origin Employees Say They Don’t Think Its Rocket Is Safe, Wouldn’t Ride In (2 minute read)
A group of current and former employees of Blue Origin recently wrote an article questioning the company's commitment to safety. The article describes a work culture that overstretches teams and prioritizes speed over safety. Although they didn't list any single safety issues, the authors said that they wouldn't feel safe riding in a Blue Origin rocket. A lack of overarching safety regulations made it easier for safety issues to fly under the radar.
How Miami Seduced Silicon Valley (27 minute read)
Miami is rebranding itself to attract tech companies and startups. Many tech investors, cryptocurrency bulls, new-media tycoons, start-up founders, and other wanna-be billionaires have been buying up property in the city. Miami was the top migration destination for homebuyers in the US in July, while San Francisco had the largest homeowner exodus. This article discusses how Miami is making itself more attractive to investors and the impact that this migration has had on the city and the tech industry.