TLDR Daily Update 2021-11-12

MoviePass relaunch πŸŽ₯, Spotify audiobooks πŸ“š, nasally injected brain drugs 🧠

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Big Tech & Startups

MoviePass cofounder Stacy Spikes has bought the company back and is planning a relaunch (3 minute read)

MoviePass is coming back under the ownership of cofounder Stacy Spikes. The company was acquired out of bankruptcy for an undisclosed amount below $250,000. Spikes plans to relaunch the business sometime next year. Customer data and emails were not part of the sale. Spikes currently runs a company called PreShow Interactive that offers gamers the ability to unlock in-game currency by viewing branded content. It is unknown if PreShow tech will be part of MoviePass.

Spotify is acquiring an audiobook company (3 minute read)

Spotify has announced plans to acquire Findaway for an undisclosed price. Findaway is an audiobook services and distribution company that operates multiple businesses. The company pairs authors with narrators and allows creators to distribute broadly, making it a powerful platform for creators. The acquisition will make Spotify a commercial bookseller and open up new revenue streams and features for the streaming service.
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Science & Futuristic Technology

Nasally-Injected Brain Drug Can Help Treat Depression in 20 Minutes (3 minute read)

Getting drugs into the brain is challenging due to obstacles like systemic absorption, rapid drug degradation, axonal transportation, and invasive treatments. Japanese researchers have improved a drug known to exhibit therapeutic effects on depression so that it can be administered nasally and be effective within 20 minutes. The results were similar to using more invasive techniques. The breakthrough could have far-reaching implications for neuro-pharmaceutical research, nanobiotechnology, and genetic engineering.

Starfish larvae inspire vortex-powered microrobot (2 minute read)

Researchers from ETH Zurich have designed an economical swimming microrobot inspired by starfish larvae. Starfish larvae are covered in hundreds of thousands of tiny hairs that help the creatures move by creating vortices in the water around them. The robots' swimming direction can be controlled using ultrasound waves. The microrobots could one day be used to deliver drugs in the body and the ultrasound-activated cilia could find use in manipulating small volumes of liquid.
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Programming, Design & Data Science

Python-Mini-Projects (GitHub Repo)

This repository contains a collection of simple Python mini-projects to enhance your Python skills. Completed projects are reviewed by a team of contributors.

KalidoKit (GitHub Repo)

KalidoKit is a blendshape and kinematics solver designed for rigging VRM models and Live2D avatars. It provides face, eyes, pose, and handtracking by taking predicted 3D landmarks and calculating simple Euler rotations and blendshape face values. KalidoKit is compatible with Facemesh, Blazepose, Handpose, and Holistic. Examples are available.
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Miscellaneous

Patreon’s building native video hosting for creators to sidestep YouTube (3 minute read)

Patreon is building a video hosting solution and native player so that its creators can upload and share videos without leaving the platform. The feature could help creators rely less on YouTube and other services. Patreon's CEO Jack Conte hosts a podcast that focuses on the people who build and fund tools for creators. It is available on all platforms and episodes will be released seasonally.

Google Caught Hackers Using a Mac Zero-Day Against Hong Kong Users (4 minute read)

Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) has found evidence of hackers targeting users in Hong Kong by exploiting vulnerabilities in Apple's Mac operating system. TAG did not identify any specific hacking group or country, but it did note that the group was well resourced, likely state-backed, and that there were strings in the code written in Chinese. Targets were hacked by visiting legitimate websites of a media outlet and a prominent pro-democracy labor and political group. The vulnerabilities exploited in the attacks have since been patched.

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