Big Tech &
TikTok launches its own AR development platform, Effect House (4 minute read)
TikTok's augmented reality development platform, Effect House, has officially gone live. The platform allows creators to build AR effects for use in TikTok. TikTok has provided detailed documentation, templates, tutorials, and other support for building effects in Effect House. Effects are reviewed by TikTok's Trust and Safety team before they are released to the public. Links to examples of effects are available in the article.
DuckDuckGo opens its privacy-centric Mac browser to beta testers (2 minute read)
DuckDuckGo has revealed a desktop browser that features a tracker blocker, email protection, and a button that closes all tabs and wipes browser data with a single click. The browser's Smarter Encryption feature will help users use HTTPS more often. It can automatically clear cookie consent pop ups while rejecting as much tracking as possible. The browser is currently only available on Mac in an invite-only beta. More information about the browser and instuctions on how to join the beta are available in the article.
A new energy storage system can store solar power for nearly two decades (2 minute read)
Swedish researchers have designed an energy system that stores solar energy in liquid form for up to 18 years. The Molecular Solar Thermal system uses specially-developed molecules which turn into energy-rich isomers that can be stored in liquid form when in the sunlight. The current proof of concept device has a small output, but the system has the potential to be used to power small devices with more research. The researchers are now working on a version of the system that could be potentially used in homes.
Space balloon company offers first look at luxury cabins (3 minute read)
Space Perspective plans to lift luxury cabins into the upper atmosphere with giant balloons by the end of 2024. The company has sold more than 600 tickets at $125,000 each so far for the experience. The luxury cabins will feature Wi-Fi connectivity and a drinks bar. The balloons will reach altitudes of 20 miles. Guests won't need to complete any special training. Renderings of the luxury cabins are available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science
A list of new(ish)
This page contains a list of newer command line tools. The list includes replacements for standard tools, new inventions, data processing tools, and grep tools. A link to modern-unix, another collection of modern alternatives to common UNIX commands, is available.
CYBERTEC Data Science & PostgreSQL (5 minute read)
PostgreSQL 14 has a new multirange feature that makes range types in PostgreSQL more powerful. Range types allow developers to store various kinds of intervals with upper and lower bounds. A multirange is a compilation of ranges. This article looks at multiranges in PostgreSQL and gives examples of how to use them.
Why Pebble failed (15 minute read)
This article tells the story of Pebble and why it failed. Pebble was a company that made a smartwatch that raised over $10 million on Kickstarter in 2012. The company sold 2 million watches over the next few years and did well over $230 million in sales. Pebble failed to create a sustainable business and sold parts of its business to Fitbit at the end of 2016.
How Elon Musk got everything he wanted out of Twitter (7 minute read)
Elon Musk had already decided not to take a board seat at Twitter before he spent the weekend making a series of tweets questioning Twitter's business and future. If Musk had joined the board, he would have had a fiduciary responsibility to shareholders, which he has so far shown no interest in. Musk is already dealing with many legal issues. This article looks at Musk's recent purchase, why he may have decided not to become a Twitter board member, and what will likely happen next.