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Big Tech &
Amazon executives have discussed ditching Amazon Basics to appease regulators (7 minute read)
Top Amazon executives have internally discussed abandoning Amazon's private-label business to avoid potentially harsh remedies resulting from government investigations. Amazon's private label business has come under fire from regulators because of the data that Amazon uses to create products and how its products are favored in search results. Ditching the business was considered a viable option if Amazon was ever required to negotiate a settlement. Amazon continues to invest in the business, which accounts for a low-single-digit percentage of overall product sales in its online stores.
Tesla is getting closer to integrating Steam to take its gaming platform to whole new level (3 minute read)
Tesla is getting closer to integrating Valve's Steam gaming distribution platform in its vehicles. The automaker is aiming for a demonstration next month. Tesla has been building a video game platform called Tesla Arcade and has been working to port games to it. Adding Steam support would result in a massive increase in the number of games available in Tesla vehicles. The new Model S and Model X vehicles feature a new gaming computer that is on par with the current generation of consoles.
MIT engineers design surfaces that make water boil more efficiently (5 minute read)
Researchers at MIT have found a way to improve the efficiency of heating systems and significantly reduce their energy use by using a specially tailored surface treatment. It uses three different kinds of surface modifications that had been previously studied, but not previously combined. While the researchers were able to prove that the combination of surface treatments can work, they conducted their experiments under small-scale conditions that can't be easily scaled up to practical devices. An explanation of how the technology works is available in the article.
Will AI Steal Submarines’ Stealth? (11 minute read)
Submarines are valued primarily for their ability to hide and they are key to the strategy of mutually assured destruction. Technology that can make the oceans effectively transparent could undermine the peace of the world. While engineers have created faster, quieter submarines over the years, detection technology has also improved significantly. A recent Australian study predicts that submarines may not be able to elude detection by 2050. This is an issue now as the budget for designing and building a submarine is spread out over at least 60 years.
Programming, Design & Data Science
tere (GitHub Repo)
tere is a terminal file explorer that is faster than using cd or ls. It enables fast navigation to a folder and then prints the path to that folder on exit. tere is not a file manager and it can only be used to browse folders. A GIF demo is available.
Wails (GitHub Repo)
Wails is a framework for building desktop applications using Go and Web technologies. It has the ability to wrap both Go code and a web frontend into a single binary. Wails features tools for project creation, compilation, and bundling. Its v2 beta has now been released.
Google Play hides app permissions in favor of developer-written descriptions (2 minute read)
Google Play Store's new Data Safety section is switching to an honor system. The previous system created lists of app permissions automatically by scanning apps. Developers are now responsible for making complete and accurate declarations in their app listings. If Google becomes aware of any discrepancies between app behavior and the declaration, it may take appropriate action.
New Cache Side Channel Attack Can De-Anonymize Targeted Online Users (4 minute read)
A novel technique can defeat anonymity protections and identify unique website visitors. The cache-based attack is a cross-site leak that involves privately sharing a resource through a service and then embedding the shared resource into the attack website. It works across desktop and mobile systems with multiple CPU microarchitectures and different web browsers. Website owners are recommended to design servers to return their response in constant time and make their error pages as similar as possible to content pages to counter the attack.