TLDR 2018-09-26

Apple acquires Shazam 🎶, 3D printed homes 🏠, and more...

Big Tech & Startups

Why Instagram's founders are resigning: independence from Facebook weakened (5 minute read)

When Facebook acquired Instagram, there was an understanding that Instagram would remain relatively autonomous. However, in May, Instagram's VP of Product Kevin Weil was replaced by former VP of Facebook News Feed Adam Mosseri, a member of Zuckerberg's inner circle. Adam and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom did not get along according to sources. Systrom and Zuckerberg also had disagreements particularly about sharing on Instagram and Facebook, as Zuckerberg wanted more Instagram content to flow to Facebook. Recently, the shortcut to Instagram in the Facebook menu was removed, and Facebook alerts began appearing in the Instagram notifications tab. With Instagram's autonomy lessening and several long-time executives leaving, the time was right for Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger to make their departure.

Apple acquires Shazam, offering more ways to discover and enjoy music (1 minute read)

Apple has officially acquired Shazam, the popular song identification app. The $400 million deal was announced near the end of last year but was just now completed. Apple has announced that Shazam will now be ad free for all users. Shazam has over 1 billion downloads and is used by 20 million users per day.

Amazon makes first investment in a homebuilder, backing start-up focused on prefabricated houses (3 minute read)

Amazon's Alexa Fund has invested in Plant Prefab, an LA-based startup that is using automation to build prefabricated single and multi-family homes faster and at a lower cost. The Alexa Fund typically focuses on voice-based startups, but there is a natural fit here as Alexa executes on its smart home vision. Twitter co-founder Ev Williams' fund Obvious Ventures also participated in this $6.7 million dollar round.
Science & Futuristic Technology

uBlock Origin (Open Source Browser Extension)

This is the adblocker I use everyday. It's already pretty well known, but the reason I'm sharing it today is because they've just added functionality to stop javascript execution on an individual page to give you a greater degree of privacy (only the HTML and CSS would load). Honestly can't recommend these guys enough, really handy and completely free.

A controversial startup that charges $8,000 to fill your veins with young blood is opening its first clinic (3 minute read)

A startup called Ambrosia Medical that charges $8,000 to fill your veins with the blood of young people plans to launch its first clinic in New York City at the end of this year. In 2017, Ambrosia enrolled people in the first US clinical trial designed to find out what happens when the veins of adults are filled with blood from the young. While the results of that study have not yet been made public, Ambrosia CEO Jesse Karmazin told Business Insider the results were "really positive." Because blood transfusions are already approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Ambrosia's approach has the green-light to continue as an off-label treatment. So far, the company has already infused close to 150 patients ranging in age from 35 to 92 with the blood of young donors, aged 16 to 25. People in the trial paid $8,000 to participate. Other researchers say that there's no clinical evidence that this actually works. Theranos 2.0 anyone?

Millennials are causing US divorce rate to plummet (3 minute read)

The US divorce rate dropped 18 percent from 2008 to 2016. Even controlling for factors such as age, the divorce rate still dropped 8 percent, so this isn't just about an aging population. "One of the reasons for the decline is that the married population is getting older and more highly educated," says Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen, who conducted the study. Many poorer and less educated Americans are opting not to marry at all. They're living together, and often raising kids together, without tying the knot. And studies have shown these cohabiting relationships are less stable than they used to be. Other millenials are poor, single and write daily tech newsletters.

Alaska Airlines Has a New Perk: Virtual Reality (2 minute read)

First-class passengers onboard 10 flights between Boston and Seattle and Boston and San Diego on Alaska Airlines will have the opportunity to try a new virtual reality headset from a French company called SkyLights and provide feedback about the experience. According to a spokesperson, "When paired with noise-cancelling headphones, it's easy to feel like you're at the movie theater instead of flying."

These 3D-printed homes can be built for less than $4,000 in just 24 hours (3 minute read)

New Start, an SF-based housing non-profit, and ICON, a construction-technology company that designs 3D printers, partnered to create the first permitted, 3D printed home in America. Printing the 350-square-foot house cost about $10,000 and took just 48 hours. They believe they can make a 600 to 800 square foot home in just 24 hours for $4,000 or less because this house was built with the printer running at only about 25% capacity. There are pictures of the house in the article, it actually looks very livable and cozy. The test run took place in Austin, Texas, but the team plans to build their first string of homes next year in El Salvador, a country whose rough terrain and frequent floods have made housing construction difficult.

Firefox Monitor (Web Tool)

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