Big Tech &
Spotify Car Thing is a $90 thing that plays Spotify in your car (2 minute read)
Spotify has released its Car Thing dashboard smart music player. The device provides a way to listen to Spotify in the car without needing to look at a phone or use clunky built-in car interfaces. It costs $90 and users will need a Spotify Premium subscription to use it. Car Thing can be controlled using voice commands. Spotify has planned updates for the device based on feedback from its initial release. Pictures of the device are available in the article.
Facebook Reels rolls out worldwide along with new creative tools and ads (5 minute read)
Facebook Reels is now available in over 150 countries. The feature is Meta's response to TikTok and shares similar features. Facebook has introduced more creative tools and ways for creators to monetize their content along with the global rollout. Reels is Facebook's fastest-growing content format. It currently monetizes at a lower rate than other content formats, but Meta believes this will change over time. More details about the features included in the rollout are available in the article.
Sony offers a first look at the orb-like PSVR2 headset (3 minute read)
Sony has revealed the first photos of its upcoming PS5-compatible virtual reality headset. The PSVR2 will have similar ergonomics and balancing as the first version. It will feature a lens adjustment dial, a more rounded shape, a slimmer and lighter design, a force-feedback motor, a new cooling system, and an updated white casing for the controllers. The headset will have OLED panels with 2,000x2,040 pixel resolution per eye and a 110-degree field of view, eye-tracking, and an inside-out head-tracking system. Pictures of the headset are available in the article.
First-ever recording of dying human brain reveals dreaming-like activity (2 minute read)
Scientists have recorded the activity of a dying human brain for the first time. A patient was being monitored with an EEG for seizures when they had a heart attack and died. About 15 minutes of brain activity was recorded around the time of death. The recordings showed brain waves involved in processes such as dreaming, meditation, and memory retrieval. The observation indicates that the brain is capable of coordinated activity even after blood stops flowing through it.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Linux SysOps Handbook (9 minute read)
This book contains notes on common knowledge and tasks for Linux system admins. Topics include processes, user management, permissions, distros, network essentials, and storage. A small list of recommended books, websites, and blogs is available.
A career ending mistake (5 minute read)
Engineering management is primarily about leading, supervising, hiring, and developing the skills of other technical people. Good managers are rare. This article gives some advice on how to be a good manager. It also discusses the decision to get into management itself. The default career destination of being a manager may not be what everyone wants. It is better to make plans for what you really want to do.
Project Management Has Never Been Easier (Sponsor)
Imagine how much more you could get done if your project management tools didn't make you sigh. Shortcut is the ideal solution for task management, bug tracking, iteration planning, and reporting. Delight the scrum gods and give us a try.
Inside “Project Tinman”: Peloton’s plan to conceal rust in its exercise bikes (7 minute read)
Staff at Peloton warehouses noticed that rust was building up on some exercise machines in September last year. The rust did not affect the product's integrity, so the company attempted to conceal the corrosion and sent the machines to customers. The issue affected at least 6,000 bikes. Rust is not covered under Peloton's warranty, so customers were denied replacements when they complained. Peloton has since stated that they will replace rusted machines.
Internet guerrillas: Inside the DIY broadband revolution with NYC Mesh (6 minute read)
NYC Mesh is a group run entirely by volunteers to provide affordable and reliable internet to residents in New York City. Customers can pay whatever they like for the service, but NYC Mesh recommends a monthly $20 to $60 donation. The group hopes that their work inspires other groups around the world to stand up to monopolistic ISPs. There has been some pushback from regulators against mesh wireless technology. The tech requires access to high points and locations, so establishing a community-run mesh network in flatter areas would be difficult.