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Big Tech &
Apple’s kind of a bank now (3 minute read)
Apple will handle the lending for its new buy now, pay later service through its subsidiary Apple Financing LLC. The subsidiary is licensed to provide lending services and will remain separate from Apple's main business. It is the first time that Apple will take on financial responsibilities like credit checks and lending. The company will run soft credit checks when customers apply for its Pay Later service. It will not extend additional credit to users who miss a payment, although missed payments won't count against users’ overall credit score. More details about Apple's new Pay Later service are available in the article.
Roku Stock Rebounds 20% Amid Reports of Possible Acquisition by Netflix (2 minute read)
Roku employees have discussed the possibility of the company being acquired by Netflix in recent weeks. The company is preventing its employees from selling vested stock. This strategy is usually employed shortly before a company makes an announcement that will impact its share price to prevent potential insider trading. Roku's experience in streaming advertisement technology could be valuable to Netflix as it prepares to deliver its own ad-supported subscription tier.
This plasma ignition system can increase engine efficiency by 20% (6 minute read)
Transient Plasma Systems' advanced ignition system replaces the conventional spark plugs in a vehicle's engine with an ignition module that uses very short pulses of plasma to ignite the fuel/air mixture within the cylinder. It will still be many years before internal combustion-powered vehicles are no longer allowed on roads, so it is worth developing technologies that lower carbon emissions in current vehicles. The plasma ignition system can be integrated into existing cars with very little modification and it increases fuel efficiency by up to 20%. Transient Plasma Systems is now in discussions to take the technology to market.
Optical brain-like chip processes almost 2 billion images per second (2 minute read)
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have developed an optical chip that can process almost two billion images per second. The device uses a neural network that processes information as light. It uses optical wires as its neurons, with each layer specializing in a particular type of classification. The device's speed comes from its ability to process information as light. The team will now work on scaling up the chip and adapting it to process other types of data. An example of the type of image that the chip was tasked with classifying is available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Deepkit Framework (GitHub Repo)
Deepkit Framework is a high-performance TypeScript framework for enterprise applications. It is currently in an alpha state but it is already being used in production. Some public APIs are subject to change.
What’s the best lossless image format? Comparing PNG, WebP, AVIF, and JPEG XL (8 minute read)
Lossless compression makes files smaller and allows the files to be decompressed back to the same original file. It works best for things like logos, screenshots, charts, and graphics. This article compares different lossless compression techniques on speed, file size, and quality. Most modern lossless image formats provide significant gains in efficiency compared to even the most optimized PNG.
Ask HN: Tesla is making us move or quit. Would I get severance? (Hacker News Thread)
Tesla has told its employees to return to the office or leave the company. The announcement could be intended to make workers quit so that the company doesn't have to pay severance. Employees affected by the new rules should seek legal advice. They should also not quit their jobs and continue to work while documenting any interactions with management.
Microsoft to curb use of non-competes, drop NDAs from worker settlements, disclose salary ranges, launch civil rights audit (3 minute read)
Microsoft has announced a series of reforms that will curtail or end some of its most controversial workplace policies and practices. It will no longer include non-compete clauses in its US employment agreements and remove them from existing agreements for all employees except senior leaders. Non-disclosure clauses that prevent employees from disclosing allegations of misconduct will no longer be included for US workers. Microsoft will publicly disclose salary ranges in job posts in the US starting in 2023. It will also commission and publish findings from a third-party civil rights audit in the upcoming fiscal year.