TLDR 2019-07-30

Pixel 4 face scan, Vaporized trash

Big Tech & Startups

Uber Lays Off 400 as Profitability Doubts Linger After IPO (3 minute read)

Uber has laid off a third of its marketing team in a cost-cutting effort. After its initial public offering in May, investors questioned whether the unprofitable company could make money. In the past few months, Uber has lost many key executives and employees. Uber posted its slowest growth in years and a loss of more than $1 billion during its first quarter. Wall Street analysts project more losses when Uber reports its second-quarter earnings. An email sent to Uber's marketing staff said that the 400 layoffs were due to the team being bloated and that decision-making was unclear.

The Google Pixel 4 will unlock using a face scan (4 minute read)

Google has revealed two new features of the Pixel 4, face unlocking and Motion Sense. The Pixel 4's face unlock can be used for payments and app authentication, and will work in any orientation in a variety of lighting environments. It only has one front-facing camera. Motion Sense is powered by Project Soli, allowing users to skip songs, snooze alarms, and silence phone calls just by waving your hand. The capabilities of Motion Sense will improve over time.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Plant-based eggs join meatless options at Tim Hortons | CBC News (5 minute read)

A new plant-based egg omelette made by California-based company, Just, is being tested by Tim Hortons in two regions in southern Ontario. The fake omelette is made with mung bean and protein isolate. So far, the plant-based food menu items appear to be winning customers over on taste. Research shows that many Canadians are hungry for meatless alternatives, for both ethical and health reasons. While Canada's new food guide advises eating less processed and fatty meat and more plant-based protein foods, the plant-based products served at a fast-food chain are often high in sodium and saturated fat.

This startup just raised $33 million to vaporize trash (2 minute read)

Trash does not only take up space, it also becomes a major source of methane, a greenhouse gas that is almost 86 times as potent as CO2. A new startup called Sierra Energy raised $33 million through Breakthrough Energy Ventures to handle the millions of tons of waste that currently goes to landfills. Sierra Energy is able to process nearly anything, recycling everything into electricity, plastics, fuels, and a range of other products, without any external energy or emissions. It works by heating up the waste to over 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit using a chemical reaction with carbon and pure oxygen, and then capturing all the gasses and recycling them. A demonstration plant located on an Army base in California currently uses garbage to generate both fuel and electricity, but future plants will only do one or the other.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Grid studio (GitHub Repo)

Grid is a cloud-based data science tool that combines a spreadsheet view with a Python scripting environment, allowing users to explore, manipulate, and analyze data directly in the browser. It is possible to define your own spreadsheet functions. Cells can be defined as variables and manipulated easily using Python code.

Ask HN: What are the β€œbest” codebases that you've encountered? (Hacker News Thread)

'Clean Code' by Robert Martin describes concepts that define a high-quality codebase, but good examples are hard to come by. Many examples given in this thread are developer tools or programs with very specific inputs and outputs, but there are few examples given of consumer applications. Some examples of codebases where the developer carefully commented every line were provided, but it was pointed out that if code is written well, not every line requires a comment. Many consumer applications stop development after shipping, so a high-quality, well-documented codebase is not absolutely necessary.

US teenager wins $3m as Fortnite world champion (3 minute read)

Kyle Giersdorf has won $3 million becoming the world champion of the computer game Fortnite. Other competitors also walked away with a share of the record-breaking $30 million prize pool. However, the record for the largest prize pool will soon be broken by The International, an event taking place in August. The e-sports industry is estimated to be a billion-dollar industry in 2019. More than 30 nations took part in the Fortnite finals, with a majority of the players coming from the US. 200 million players are registered to play with Fortnite, a game which has been criticized by the Duke of Sussex for being 'created to addict.'
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