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Big Tech &
Meta’s social VR platform Horizon hits 300,000 users (3 minute read)
Meta released an update on Horizon's user growth during its most recent earnings call. Since Horizon Worlds was rolled out to all Quest users in the US and Canada in early December, its user base has grown 10x to 300,000 people. The number includes Horizon Venues but not Horizon Workrooms users. Meta still has not disclosed its Quest headset sales numbers, but it is estimated to have sold over 10 million headsets. A mobile version of Horizon will be released later this year.
Intel's Project Endgame Is an Upcoming Cloud CPU Service (2 minute read)
Project Endgame is a new service from Intel that gives users an always-accessible, low latency computing experience powered by Arc GPUs. There is little information about the service, but it seems to be a game-streaming solution. It may also be a cloud streaming service for professional users needing a cloud-based Windows workstation. The service will be available for use later this year.
Newly identified dinosaur had teeth that were constantly replaced (3 minute read)
Iberospinus natarioi, a newly identified 8-meter-long predatory dinosaur, represents a new genus and species of spinosaurid, a group that includes the Spinosaurus. An analysis of the spinosaurid's jaws found that it grew teeth to replace those that broke or got lodged in prey. Replacement teeth aren't uncommon in spinosaurids, but this species' system allowed for a much faster turnaround time. Its teeth were also serrated. The dinosaur had a complex system of nerves in its lower jaw that probably helped it sense prey more effectively.
Startup Aims to Drill 12 Miles Into Earth’s Crust to Tap the Boundless Energy Below (6 minute read)
Quaise Energy, a startup that spun out of MIT in 2018, recently secured $40 million in funding for their deep-drilling energy project. The startup plans to drill holes as deep as 12 miles into the Earth's crust where it reaches temperatures of over 700 degrees Fahrenheit. It plans to use the holes to convert water into supercritical steam to drive turbines and produce electricity. If successful, the technique could be used anywhere in the world to produce nearly 100 percent renewable energy at terawatt levels.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Building for the 99% Developers (10 minute read)
Developers who work outside of hip companies and frameworks often get left out of conversations about what developers want. Speakers at the top tech conferences are usually people from high-growth or established, highly profitable companies. The other companies that develop most of the software that powers our lives are usually not built around technology, but they still move around quite a bit of money and handle a lot of personal data. This article discusses the differences between the needs of FAANG-like and other companies and suggests ways to improve the developer experience for all.
AWS S3: Why sometimes you should press the $100k button (7 minute read)
This article tells the story of how a team generated a massive amount of data with their MVP and blew through their cloud budget for the year by May. Multiple small issues resulted in a storage bill of almost $100,000 per month. Amazon had a solution to the issue that would have cost around $100,000, but the team decided to try to implement their own. This resulted in the team spending months of meetings developing a solution based on a misunderstanding.
Who is squatting IPv4 addresses? (11 minute read)
The internet is running out of IPv4 addresses. Some people have resorted to squatting IP address space. IP address squatting is when someone uses IP addresses that are not RFC1918 defined and not issued by an RIR. This article discusses IPv4 squatting and talks about the process of finding out who is actually squatting on addresses. The US Department of Defense is estimated to be sitting on 16% of all non-RFC1918 space.
‘Zero-Click’ Hacks Are Growing in Popularity. There’s Practically No Way to Stop Them (11 minute read)
Zero-click hacks are being used more frequently by government agencies to spy on activists, journalists, and others. The technology is being sold to governments by a small number of companies and in marketplaces such as Zerodium. It is unknown how many people have been targeted by these attacks and the victims are often unaware. The spread of encryption has made it hard for governments to monitor people's conversations. Sometimes, the only way investigators can get access to encrypted communications is through hacking.