TLDR 2019-04-17

Apple pays Qualcomm, building a facial recognition machine

Big Tech & Startups

Qualcomm surges after announcing a settlement with Apple over patent royalties (3 minute read)

The disputes between Apple and Qualcomm have ended, with the companies reaching an agreement that involves payment of an unknown sum from Apple to Qualcomm. All litigation between the companies will end. The companies have also signed a six year licensing agreement with each other, with an option to extend for another two years. Apple will now be purchasing chips from Qualcomm. Qualcomm stocks rose sharply by more than 20% after the news was released.

Google Fiber to pay nearly $4 million to Louisville in exit deal (2 minute read)

Google Fiber has left Louisville, and as part of its agreement with the city, it will cover the costs of removing the fiber from the road and returning the streets to the same or better condition as it was before it started digging trenches in 2017. Louisville had been lobbying to get Google Fiber for years but unfortunately, Google ran into too many problems when installing fiber in the city. It is estimated that Google Fiber reached around 11,000 homes in Louisville. $3.84 million will be paid to the Metro government over 20 months, and Google has also agreed to donate $150,000 to the Community Foundation of Louisville.
Science & Futuristic Technology

How 5g is Likely to Put Weather Forecasting at Risk (5 minute read)

Weather forecasting technology has improved to the point where three day forecasts are 90% accurate. This level of prediction requires input from many factors, one of which is water vapor levels, which reduces the error in weather forecast calculations by about 17%. Satellites monitor water vapor via the 23.8 GHz frequency, which means that they might pick up interference from 5G networks, which run at 24 GHz. Interference with weather forecast frequencies may have serious consequences as forecasts are needed for natural disaster planning. Despite warnings from scientists, the FCC has started the auctioning of 24 GHz licenses, with Chairman Ajit Pai stating that there was no technical basis for objections to the sale.

We Built an ‘Unbelievable’ (but Legal)

Facial Recognition technology has developed quickly but the law has not yet caught up with it. Using public camera footage and images of people obtained through their employer’s websites combined with Amazon’s commercial face recognition service, it was possible to create a system that was able to identify individuals who had passed through the observed area. While the technology can be used for good, for example, finding missing children, the potential for abuse is high. Civil liberties advocates warn that the use of the technology by the government to target and identify citizens could have a chilling effect on free speech.
Programming, Design & Data Science

JS Cloudimage 360 View (GitHub Repo)

JS Cloudimage 360 View is a tool that creates a 360 degree view virtual tour of a product. Adding images to a page is simple and there is a large list of options to use to customize the view. Responsive integration and lazy loading are available through plugins.

Mermrender (GitHub Repo)

Mermrender is a tool that uses Mermaid or PlantUML to generate an SVG that is able to be embedded into code. Users call the API with the Mermaid or PlantUML code for the image and it will return with a link to the generated graphic. Future releases will include the ability to add custom dimensions to images.

YouTube's New Fact-Check Tool Flagged Notre Dame Fire Coverage And Attached An Article About 9/11 (3 minute read)

The Notre Dame fire was live-streamed by many news stations on YouTube but the videos were all initially flagged as possibly containing misinformation regarding 9/11. A widget popped up at the bottom of the videos containing an excerpt of an entry from Encyclopedia Britannica about 9/11. The messages were activated via an algorithm and YouTube eventually manually removed the messages from each video. The use of the information panel is a feature available in the US and South Korea and is aimed to combat the spread of misinformation on the platform.
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