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Big Tech &
New EU law could require iMessage and WhatsApp to work with other, smaller platforms (3 minute read)
The Digital Markets Act being considered by the EU could require messaging apps to work together if it is passed. The law will require developers of big messaging apps to make their apps interoperable with smaller messaging platforms on request. It is unclear which big apps will be targeted by the law. The new rules include fines of up to 20% of a company's annual global revenue for repeated infringements. If the law passes, the EU Commission will be able to prevent companies from making acquisitions if they systematically break the rules.
Nvidia shows off AI model that turns a few dozen snapshots into a 3D-rendered scene (3 minute read)
Instant NeRF is a new tool from Nvidia that can convert 2D images into a rendered 3D scene in seconds. NeRF (Neural Radiance Fields) is a technique that maps the color and light intensity of different 2D shots and then generates data to connect the images from different vantage points to render a 3D scene. It can be used to create 3D objects, maps, training scenarios for AI, architecture, and more. Nvidia has yet to release details such as how many images are required. A video showing the method in action is available.
Have a protein you want inhibited? New software can design a blocker (7 minute read)
Researchers have created software that can design inhibitors for target proteins to block their activity. The software designs proteins that are later encoded into DNA and inserted into yeast cells for production. The resulting proteins are easy to make and extremely stable even at high temperatures. Proteins generally have to be injected to be effective and there is no guarantee that they will go where they are needed.
Genetic Link to Fear Memories Found Hiding Within Mice's "Junk DNA" (3 minute read)
Scientists from Australia have found a link between specific genes and the ability to decondition fear in mice. When the expression of the gene was removed in mice, the mice remained fearful of stimulus after training sessions to downregulate their fear. It is still unknown if the same effect will be seen in humans, but many fundamental molecules are conserved across species. The findings could lead to new therapies for PTSD and phobia.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Difftastic (GitHub Repo)
Difftastic is a diff tool that understands syntax. It supports nesting, alignment, line wrapping, and a large list of languages. Difftastic uses a line-oriented diff for unrecognized extensions. Examples are available.
The Ultimate Guide to Onboarding Software Engineers (16 minute read)
Onboarding is difficult for new employees as there is a lot to learn and there are things that are often missed. Creating an onboarding structure can lower turnover and help new recruits become productive workers in a shorter period. This article discusses onboarding new employees, the different aspects to consider, and tips for more effective onboarding. It provides an onboarding framework to follow with ways to check in on the progress of the new employee.
Silicon Valley from anywhere (Sponsor)
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Secret to keeping ice cream creamy (not crunchy)
Ice cream develops a crunchy texture if left out of the freezer for too long due to overly large ice crystals. Scientists from the University of Tennessee have developed a technique that involves using a plant-based additive to stop the formation of these crystals. The technique was inspired by the structure and functionality of antifreeze proteins found in plants and animals that thrive in sub-zero temperatures. It could prove useful in the cryopreservation of cells, tissues, and organs. The additive could be in products within the next five years.
Ask HN: Why isn't there a Google competitor emerging? (Hacker News Thread)
The internet has changed a lot since Google started offering its search engine service. This thread discusses the internet search industry and why there are no significant competitors to Google Search. Google was successful in the past due to its search algorithm, but information is now centered around social media, which is making it harder to index. A competitor would need a breakthrough algorithm to sort through the noise of the current internet.