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Big Tech &
First details leak on Project Iris, Google’s next AR headset (3 minute read)
Google is developing a new augmented reality headset that it plans to ship sometime in 2024. Project Iris will be wireless and use external cameras to send an augmented image of the real world to the user. It will use cloud computing to handle graphics processing. The current prototypes resemble a pair of ski goggles. Around 300 employees are working on the project. As with all research and development projects at Google, Project Iris may not result in a mainstream product.
Amazon is opening a real-world clothing store with high-tech fitting rooms (3 minute read)
Amazon is opening a clothing store in Los Angeles later this year. Amazon Style will feature clothes with prices catering to a wide range of shoppers. Customers will be able to use their phones to scan items to be delivered to a counter or fitting room. Once in a fitting room, customers can use a touchscreen display to request different sizes or more styles to be delivered without having to leave the room. Shoppers will be able to use the Amazon One palm-scanning system to pay during checkout.
Elon Musk’s brain chip firm Neuralink lines up clinical trials in humans (2 minute read)
Neuralink is preparing to launch clinical trials in humans. It is now building a team of people to run the trials while waiting for approval by the Food and Drug Administration. The technology has already been successfully tested in the brains of macaque monkeys and pigs. Elon Musk has expressed cautious optimism about the implant's potential to allow tetraplegic people to walk. The first human patients will be people with severe spinal cord injuries. A video of a monkey playing Pong using a Neuralink chip as a controller is available in the article.
The genetic engineering behind pig-to-human transplants (8 minute read)
Last year, doctors transplanted a pair of pig kidneys into a brain-dead patient in an experimental procedure to test the viability of genetically modified pig organs in humans. The pig was provided by a company called Revivicor, who also generated the donor for the recent pig-human heart transplant. Revivicor's pigs have a number of their own genes removed and several human genes introduced to reduce the likelihood that the human immune system will reject the organs. The results of the experiment were inconclusive as the patient was too injured. Details about which genes were edited for what effect are available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Scaling Kubernetes to Over 4k Nodes and 200k Pods (8 minute read)
PayPal recently started testing Kubernetes after running a majority of its workloads on Apache Mesos. This article discusses the challenges that the PayPal team faced when scaling with Kubernetes and how the issues were resolved. The update resulted in a huge improvement in latency. Benchmark results are available.
Falso (GitHub Repo)
Falso is a package that can produce fake data in the browser and NodeJS. It features more than 140 functions and it is tree shakeable and fully typed, so unused modules do not become part of the bundle. A live demo is available.
Peloton to halt production of its Bikes, treadmills as demand wanes (4 minute read)
Peloton is temporarily halting production of its connected fitness products due to a lack of customer demand. It has halted production of Bike+ and will pause Bike, Tread, and Tread+ production later this year. The company overestimated demand and now has excess inventory sitting in warehouses and cargo ships. It will start charging customers up to $350 in delivery and setup fees for its Bike and Tread machines at the end of this month. Peloton has lost $40 billion in market cap over the past year.
Sunsetting Jobs & Developer Story (6 minute read)
Stack Overflow Jobs and Developer Story will be discontinued on March 31. Features will start being restricted from late January. Stack Overflow will continue to support the advertising component of its Talent offering and companies can keep using Employer Branding solutions to promote their brand. The changes aim to help developers evaluate companies to decide whether they offer the right opportunities.