TLDR Daily Update 2021-12-21

Facebook's animation AI 🎨, atmospheric lakes 🌊, best space photos of 2021 πŸͺ

Big Tech & Startups

Oracle snags Cerner in $28B mega deal to make a big move into healthcare (3 minute read)

Oracle is buying electronic healthcare records company Cerner in a deal valued at $28.3 billion. It is the biggest deal in Oracle's long history of acquiring companies. The deal allows Oracle to move into the healthcare vertical, a growing market. It will also bring a lot of work to Oracle Cloud. Microsoft made a similar play into healthcare earlier this year by announcing its acquisition of Nuance Communications. Both deals may have difficulty closing due to the current regulatory climate.

Meta Has Created A New Tool To Animate Your Child’s Drawings Using AI (1 minute read)

Animated Drawings is a tool from Meta that can automatically animate drawings of human-like figures. The drawing needs to be clear enough for the software to identify the figure. Animated Drawings can understand the level of abstraction with which children draw. Children draw with proportions that can be difficult for AI to recognize. A short video from Meta showing animations generated by the tool is available in the article.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Giant Kite Will Pull a Ship Across the Ocean Next Month (3 minute read)

Airseas' Seawing is a parafoil kite designed to attach to ships to reduce emissions on shipping trips by up to 20%. It can be mounted onto the deck of any ship type. Shipping accounts for more than 2% of global carbon emissions and between 10% to 15% of the world's sulfur oxide and nitrous oxide emissions. Cargo volumes will continue to rise as online shopping becomes more and more popular.

Newfound type of storm is a 1,000-km-wide puddle in the sky (2 minute read)

Atmospheric lakes are a new type of storm discovered over the Indian Ocean. They are slow-moving pools of concentrated water vapor that can last for days. Atmospheric lakes are related to atmospheric rivers, a common phenomenon. The storms can sometimes turn into tropical cyclones. They form out of water vapor streams flowing in from the Indo-Pacific region and produce a lot of rain as they drift slowly to the eastern coast of Africa.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Fiber (GitHub Repo)

Fiber implements a proof-of-concept Python decorator that rewrites a function so that it can be paused and resumed. It can be used to call functions that recurse arbitrarily deeply without stack overflowing. Fiber should not be used in production.

Ask HN: Which tech stack is the most fun? (Hacker News thread)

The developer experience can affect how much you enjoy your job. In this thread, the original poster asks what tech stacks are currently most enjoyable for developers to work with. The thread has plenty of recommendations for tech stacks for all areas of development, as well as advice on how to set up projects so that they are more enjoyable to work with, regardless of the language or stack used.

Genius Builds Computer Inside Minecraft That Can Run Its Own Games (2 minute read)

A Minecraft player built an 8-bit processor inside the video game over the span of seven months. The Computation Humongous Unconventional Number and Graphics Unit (Chungus 2) is capable of running simple games on a 32x32 screen with its one hertz clock speed and 256 bytes of RAM. The virtual processor would be as tall as a 20-story building if built in real life if each block was a meter in length and height. A video showing a flythrough of the build, as well as a demonstration of its game-playing abilities, is available in the article.

The best space photos of 2021: Sparkling starfields to majestic nebula (2 minute read)

This article links to a gallery of the 20 best space photos taken in 2021. The gallery contains images of the supermassive black hole at the heart of the galaxy M87, pictures taken from NASA's Perseverance rover on Mars, and entries from the Royal Observatory Greenwich's Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.

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