TLDR 2019-02-22

Apple's credit card 💳, Lyft's Shared Saver 🚗, China's supergrid ⚡

Big Tech & Startups

Lyft's Shared Saver rides save you money if you're willing to walk more (1 minute read)

Lyft has launched a new Shared Saver option which will help the ride-hailing company reach its goal of having 50% of fares as shared rides by 2020. In mid-2018, 35% of Lyft’s rides were shared. The Shared Saver service will have lower pricing and is not affected by surge rates, however, users will have to walk to a designated pick-up spot and be dropped off in a location that is within walking distance to their chosen destination. Users will be notified of their drop-off locations in advanced in order to help plan their trips.

Joint Apple and Goldman Sachs credit card launching later this year, enables special features with Wallet app (1 minute read)

Apple will be launching a credit card later this year which will have features integrated with the Apple Wallet app on the iPhone. Partnered with Goldman Sachs, the new credit card will use the Mastercard network and is rumored to give users at least a 2% cashback when purchasing Apple products. The Apple Wallet app has been redesigned in the iOS 12.2 beta, including changes to help users monitor their expenses in order to encourage better spending habits.
Science & Futuristic Technology

China’s Ambitious Plan to Build the World’s Biggest Supergrid (9 minute read)

China’s massive consumption of electricity over a large area presents unique problems in power transporting. 22 ultra-high-voltage (UHV) power grids have been built in the last decade, which power more than 30,000 km of UHV lines. A single line between Gansu-Hunan moved about 24 terawatt-hours between 2017 and 2019. China produces clean energy in its north-west region but its highest power consumption is in its south-east region. While linking its power grids together to create a supergrid may solve one of the many power issues in the country, it may also make the country more vulnerable to cascading blackouts. Being a world’s first, engineers are breaking new ground and a full understanding of the problems relating to building such a supergrid is still being developed.

China’s CRISPR twins might have had their brains inadvertently enhanced (3 minute read)

The removal of the CCR5 gene has been shown to have an effect on memory, cognition, and brain recovery. A lack of the CCR5 gene also protects against HIV, as the virus requires the gene in order to attach to a host. A scientist in China used CRISPR to delete the CCR5 gene in a pair of twin girls while they were embryos. It was claimed that the procedure was done in order to make the girls immune to HIV. The scientist is under investigation by China, but there is a lack of evidence that the procedure was done with the intent of enhancing the cognition of the twins.
Programming, Design & Data Science

simdjson : Parsing gigabytes of JSON per second (GitHub Repo)

JSON documents are everywhere on the internet, and this C++ library is able to parse gigabytes of JSON data in seconds. simdjson uses fewer instructions compared to RapidJSON and sajson, while still fully validating the document. The parser creates an immutable DOM file which can later be accessed. There are instructions on installation and use, as well as performance comparisons with other JSON parsers.

Cube.js (GitHub Repo)

Cube.js is an open source modular framework to build analytical web applications. It is designed to work with large-scale datasets and has implemented various optimization techniques. Businesses can easily build custom intelligence tools or customer-facing analytics without having to worry about performance, SQL code organization, or infrastructure. Data visualization is simple with customizable dashboards.

What's the Weather on Mars? NASA's InSight Now Providing Daily Reports (2 minute read)

In order to tell the difference between a gust of wind and a ‘marsquake’, NASA needed to implement weather sensing capabilities into its InSight lander. The lander records daily temperatures, air pressure, and wind speed and direction. It is currently winter in Elysium Planitia, where the InSight lander is located, with temperatures ranging from 15 Fahrenheit (-9 Celsius) to -80 Fahrenheit (-60 Celsius). Other strange phenomenon has also been recorded, such as dust devils strong enough to tilt the ground beneath the lander.

When Kids Realize Their Whole Life Is Already Online (5 minute read)

Kids are growing up alongside social media, and some are just finding out how much of their lives are already on the internet. Parents have been sharing their kids lives on the internet since social media has existed, and the effects of that are now being revealed. Many teens are discovering that their entire lives have already been documented on the internet, without consent, when they google themselves. This has caused mixed reactions, with some teenagers feeling that it was a breach of trust with their parents, while others are pleased with the fact that they are ‘famous’ on the internet.
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