TLDR Daily Update 2021-12-06

Omicron's common cold genetics 🧬, Didi delists stock 🚕, humanoid robots 🤖

Big Tech & Startups

Didi says it will delist from the U.S. and prepare to list in Hong Kong (2 minute read)

Didi will start delisting from the New York Stock Exchange and will list in Hong Kong instead. Chinese regulators asked the firm's executives to delist from the NYSE due to concerns over sensitive data. China doesn't want tech companies listing in US markets as it brings them under the jurisdiction of US regulators. The US Securities and Exchange Commission recently finalized rules that allow it to delist foreign stocks for failing to meet audit requirements. Almost all US-listed Chinese tech companies are expected to relist in Hong Kong or the mainland.

Facebook Messenger is getting a built-in bill splitting feature (2 minute read)

Facebook Messenger is testing a built-in bill splitting feature in the US. Users can ask for money inside a group chat and see who has paid their portion of the request. A new Group Effects feature has been added that will let people on Messenger and Instagram video calls use the same augmented reality effects together. Meta also recently introduced new emoji with sound called Soundmoji. A screenshot showing how the bill splitting feature works is available in the article.
Science & Futuristic Technology

A New Humanoid Robot Has the Most Advanced and Realistic Facial Expressions Yet (2 minute read)

Ameca is a humanoid robot that can display human-like expressions. The robot was developed by UK-based company Engineered Arts initially as a platform for testing robotic technologies. It can be rented out by other companies to test or demonstrate artificial intelligence or machine learning technologies. It can't walk yet, but its modular architecture will allow for upgrades in the future. A video showing the robot displaying a range of expressions is available in the article.

Omicron possibly more infectious because it shares genetic code with common cold coronavirus, study says (3 minute read)

A new preliminary study suggests that the omicron variant likely picked up genetic material from another virus that causes the common cold in humans. A snippet of genetic material found in omicron is also present in a common cold virus but not in other coronavirus variants. This could explain how the virus has greater transmissibility. Cells in lungs and gastrointestinal systems can host both types of viruses, possibly leading to an exchange in genetic material. While there has been a rapid increase in South Africa's caseload, it has not been followed by a surge in hospitalizations.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Zinc (GitHub Repo)

Zinc is a full-text indexing search engine. It is a lightweight alternative to elasticsearch, running on less than 100 MB of RAM. Zinc features a single binary for installation and running, a Web UI for querying data, compatibility with elasticsearch APIs, out-of-the-box authentication, and more. Screenshots of the UI are available.

pg_graphql (GitHub Repo)

pg_graphql translates SQL schemas into GraphQL schemas, exposing each table as a pageable collection with relationships defined by the foreign keys. It keeps schema generation, query parsing, and all resolvers neatly contained in the database. Using pg_graphql, any programming language that can connect to PostgreSQL will be able to query the database via GraphQL with no additional servers, processors, or libraries. pg_graphql is in pre-alpha and under active development.

Would You Trust a Cartoon Cat with Your Money? (8 minute read)

eGirl Capital is a crypto investment firm staffed by 12 anonymous cartoon characters and two real identities. It started as a joke in 2019, but it has since made an impression in the crypto VC world, investing up to $10 million in a range of serious projects. The group does not take money from outside investors, preferring to spend the money that its partners made through cryptocurrency trading. While traditional markets might not accept a group of anonymous investors, the crypto space has been receptive.

Inside the Experiment to Create Mars on Earth (7 minute read)

There are dozens of habitats around the globe that host simulations on what it would be like to live on Mars. These simulations run anywhere from two weeks to a full year while the inhabitants conduct experiments and figure out how normal humans can live and work on another planet. Some programs are open to people with no background in science, engineering, or astronaut training. This article describes a few of these habitats and what it is like living in them. Pictures and a video showing what it is like inside a Mars simulation project are available.

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