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Big Tech &
Nvidia’s AI-powered scaling makes old games look better without a huge performance hit (3 minute read)
Nvidia's latest game-ready driver includes a tool called Deep Learning Dynamic Super Resolution (DLDSR) that can make most games look sharper. The technology works by rendering a game at a higher resolution than the monitor can handle and then downscaling it to fit the monitor. It uses AI to increase image quality, lowering the amount of processing required. DLDSR can be accessed now by updating to the latest driver and choosing the option in settings. A screenshot showing a comparison of DLDSR with DSR and native processing is available in the article.
Largest-ever 3D map of the universe reveals gigantic cosmic web (2 minute read)
The largest and most detailed 3D map of the universe so far has been produced using data from the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument's (DESI) first survey run. It captures 7.5 million galaxies within a distance of about 5 billion light-years. DESI collects detailed data on the color spectrum of galaxies and uses red shifting to determine a galaxy's location in three dimensions. By the time DESI finishes its primary mission in 2026, it will have cataloged over 35 million galaxies. A section of the 3D map is available in the article.
Carbon dating, the archaeological workhorse, is getting a major reboot (5 minute read)
Radiocarbon dating is about to be recalibrated using new data from around the world. The last calibration update was in 2013. This new update will extend the time frame for radiocarbon dating back to 55,000 years ago. The amount of carbon-14, the natural radioactive carbon used in carbon dating, varies over time and location. As a result, conversion tables are used to match up calendar dates with radiocarbon dates in different regions. The update will mean many objects and events will be more accurately dated, giving us a clearer view of our planet's history.
Programming, Design & Data Science
You Don't Know Gif - An analysis of a gif file and some weird gif features (17 minute read)
GIF is an animated file format that is popular for sharing short animated snippets. It was created in 1987 by Compuserve and was not originally intended as an animation platform. This article breaks down a GIF file to explore the format's hidden features, such as its ability to take user input, comment extensions, resolution limits, and more. Additional resources on learning how to parse GIFs are available.
Figma for Developers (7 minute read)
While designers are expected to have a pretty thorough understanding of the front-end web, developers are rarely expected to have an understanding of design basics. Teams work better and create better products when they have a high-level understanding of each other's tools and priorities. Figma kits have become popular for teams as they let designers create interactive prototypes that developers can easily explore and understand. This article gives a developer's overview of Figma, showing key features and explaining why the features are relevant to developers.
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Backdoor for Windows, macOS, and Linux went undetected until now (2 minute read)
A new backdoor written from scratch for systems running Windows, macOS, or Linux has been uncovered. SysJoker is estimated to have been released in the second half of last year. It remained undetected by virtually all malware scanning engines until recently. Several factors indicate that it was developed by an advanced threat actor with significant resources. SysJoker is likely after specific targets with the goal of espionage and a possibility of a ransomware attack in later stages.
Pacific volcano: New Zealand sends flight to assess Tonga damage (3 minute read)
An underwater volcano erupted near Tonga on Saturday, sending a plume of ash into the sky and triggering tsunami warnings in several countries. The eruption coated Tonga in volcanic ash and cut off internet and phone lines. Power and service is being restored to some parts of the island, but many people are still uncontactable. New Zealand has sent a plane to assess the damage. Satellite images suggest that some of the outlying islands have been completely submerged.