Big Tech &
YouTube is about to pull its apps from Roku, and the fight is going all the way to Congress (4 minute read)
Roku customers will no longer be allowed to download the YouTube or YouTube TV apps to their devices after December 9. Customers who already have the apps installed will still be able to use those apps normally. Roku claims that Google is using its dominant market power to force unfavorable terms on a competitor. Google had demanded special access to data from Roku customers as a condition for allowing its apps to be installed on the devices. A variety of bills have been introduced to prevent digital platforms from abusing their power.
Apple’s new M1 Max MacBook Pro may get a virtual turbo button for High Power Mode (2 minute read)
The upcoming macOS Monterey will feature a High Power Mode in the new 16-inch M1 Max MacBook Pros. High Power Mode will optimize performance to better support resource-intensive tasks. The feature will not work with any other M1 devices, even though the 14-inch MacBook Pro can use the same chip. It is unknown whether the feature will unlock additional performance or if it is required for the kind of results that Apple has claimed.
If you ever wanted to help find new planets, now’s your chance (3 minute read)
The team behind Next-Generation Transit Survey, a planet-hunting telescope array, is asking the public to double-check its computers and make a final call on what a signal is. The NGTS scans large areas of the sky to detect dips in light caused by planets crossing between the stars and Earth. There are many phenomena that can cause similar-looking dips, so humans are needed to make the call on whether a planet has been detected or not. More details about how to help, as well as links to sign up, are available in the article.
Meet Starlab: Private space station planned to fly in 2027 (3 minute read)
Nanoracks, Voyager Space, and Lockheed Martin are planning to build a free-flying private space station in low Earth orbit by 2027. Starlab will be a tourist destination as well as a research and manufacturing hub. It will feature a habitat module with 12,000 cubic feet of internal volume, a power and propulsion element, a laboratory setup, and a large external robotic arm to service payloads and cargo. NASA wants commercial stations to pick up the slack from the ISS as the outpost is due to be retired near the end of the decade.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Cube.js (GitHub Repo)
Cube.js is an analytical API platform for building internal business intelligence tools and adding customer-facing analytics to existing applications. It was designed to work with serverless data warehouses and query engines. Cube.js can be used to quickly and easily create semantic API layers, manage access controls, aggregate data, and cache queries for real-time performance.
Neon (GitHub Repo)
Neon is a set of Rust bindings for writing safe and fast native Node.js modules. It supports Rust stable version 1.18 and higher. An examples repo is available.
Dutch forensic lab says it has decoded Tesla's driving data (3 minute read)
The Dutch government's forensic lab has decrypted Tesla's driving data storage system. Tesla vehicles store information about the operation of Autopilot, speed, accelerator pedal position, steering wheel angle, and brake usage. The data could be useful for investigations into traffic accidents. Tesla has remote access to the data and uses it for product improvements or to fix malfunctions. The Dutch lab reverse engineered data logs to seek the data instead of asking Tesla in order to objectively investigate them.
After ‘Stealing’ $16M, This Teen Hacker Seems Intent on Testing ‘Code Is Law’ in the Courts (12 minute read)
$16 million in cryptocurrency was taken through an exploit of a decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol last week by a teenaged graduate student. The teen has refused to return the funds, claiming that he simply executed a fully legal arbitrage trade. If the case goes before a judge, it could be a test of 'code is law', a common mindset where anything permissible by code in a DeFi system is ethically permissible. This article discusses the case in detail, looking into both sides of the 'code is law' argument and the probable legal outcomes.