TLDR 2018-12-13

Apple News subscriptions 📰, Amazon worker unions 👷, cockroach farms 🐜

Big Tech & Startups

Apple's 'Netflix for Magazines' Getting a Chilly Reception (3 minute read)

Apple bought an app called Texture in March, which gave Netflix-style unlimited access to about 200 magazines for a monthly subscription. Now it's going to relaunch it as a premium product within Apple News for $10/month. Apple is trying to get papers like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times to join, but there is concern that this service could cannibalize their existing subscribers. Still, Apple News is a default app on 1.3 billion devices, so it's possible they will be the ones to figure out Netflix for news.

Amazon warehouse workers push to unionize in NYC (1 minute read)

Employees at Amazon's new Staten Island fulfillment center have announced they intend to unionize. The workers say they want to address safety concerns, lengthy unpaid security checks, unreasonable hourly quotas, and insufficient breaks. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have sent Amazon a letter saying that raising minimum wage to $15/hour doesn't "give you a free pass to engage in potentially illegal anti-union behavior."
Science & Futuristic Technology

Billions of cockroaches are being farmed in China to tackle food waste (2 minute read)

Chinese cities are generating more food waste than they can handle with landfills, so now in the city of Jinan, farms with a billion cockroaches are fed 50 tons of food waste daily through pipes. These cockroaches are then used as pig feed. It's illegal to use food waste directly as pig feed due to African swine fever outbreaks. Thus, the solution is to use cockroaches as an intermediate step. A farmer asked about cockroaches escaping said "We have a moat filled with water and fish. If the cockroaches escape, they will fall into the moat and the fish will eat them all." Enjoy your breakfast!

Virgin Galactic could beat SpaceX to major milestone Thursday (2 minute read)

On Thursday, Virgin Galactic will attempt to beat out SpaceX and Blue Origin to be the first commercial launch to send a human to space without the support of a government space agency. Technically they're only going into the mesosphere (50 miles above Earth), it's a little fuzzy what the technical definition of space is. Billionaire Richard Branson, owner of Virgin, had previously said that he would send humans to space by Christmas. Eventually Virgin Galactic wants to send tourists to space, but plans have been pushed back because a crash killed one of their test pilots.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Loki (Github Repo)

Loki is a horizontally-scalable, highly-available, multi-tenant log aggregation system (similar to Prometheus for analytics if you're familiar with that). Because it only indexes metadata and not the actual contents of logs, it's really lightweight.

Epic 2019 Cross-Platform Online Services Roadmap (Announcement)

Epic Games (the company behind Fortnite) has built a bunch of internal tools in order to bring Fortnite to 200 million players across 7 platforms. Over the next year, it is planning on opening up all of this cross-platform functionality for free to other game developers (stuff like cross-platform voice comms, matchmaking, saved games, achievements and trophies, logins, profiles, etc.). If you're a game dev you should definitely check this out.

AWS Containers Roadmap (Github Repo)

AWS is publically releasing their roadmap on Github for their container services (ECS, ECR, Fargate, and EKS). This is an experimental effort to get direct feedback from customers and let customers plan their own infrastructure around AWS's future releases. Seems cool, especially for the bigger customers that need these sorts of container services.

Taylor Swift tracked stalkers with facial recognition tech at her concert (1 minute read)

Taylor Swift is now using facial recognition at her concerts to scan crowds to find potential stalkers. She has hundreds of stalkers in a database, data was streamed from the Rose Bowl to a "command post" in Nashville to monitor. This is permitted because concerts are technically private events.
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