TLDR 2019-08-12

Uber freezes hires, Google Flights price guarantee

Big Tech & Startups

Uber, losing billions, freezes engineering hires (1 minute read)

Uber has been losing over $1 billion per quarter, reporting losses of $5.4 billion in the second quarter. More than $4 billion was from one-time charges related to Uber's initial public offering. However, excluding these charges still leaves around $1.2 billion in operating losses. Uber recently laid off 400 marketing workers and has now stopped hiring for software engineers and product managers, except for its autonomous vehicle and freight-shipping divisions. With $13.7 billion in the bank after its IPO, Uber still has plenty of cash. However, the company faces pressure from Wall Street to stem the losses well before it becomes a problem.

Google Flights Offering Price Guarantee (2 minute read)

Google Flights is offering a price guarantee for a limited time, between August 13 and September 2, 2019. Some flights will start showing a price guarantee badge, and if a booking is made and the price drops, Google will refund the difference in price if it's between $5 and $500. Using price estimating algorithms, Google is offering the guarantee on flights where it is confident that the prices shown are the lowest available before the flight departs. If prices drop, Google will alert the customer and deposit the difference back into their bank account.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Scientists Successfully Turn Breast Cancer Cells Into Fat to Stop Them From Spreading (3 minute read)

Researchers have used a combination of two drugs that are already FDA approved to turn breast cancer cells into fat cells. Cancer sometimes uses a process called epithelial to mesenchymal transition, and its opposite, mesenchymal to epithelial transition, to spread throughout the body. The process is normally used for the healing or growth of organs. Trametinib is a drug that increases the transition process of cells, and Rosiglitazone, in combination with Trametinib, helps stem cells convert into fat cells. The combination of the drugs convert human breast cancer cells permanently into fat cells in mice studies. As both drugs are already FDA approved, it should be easier to get the treatment into clinical trials for humans.

Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods Are Taking on These 3 Foods After Burgers (5 minute read)

The plant-based meat industry is now worth $800 million and accounts for two percent of packaged meat sales. Both Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have started to expand their product ranges. Impossible Foods plans to work with Wow Bao, a Chicago-founded chain of Asian restaurants, to produce a steamed dumpling. The aim is to eventually move into the Asian market, which is emerging as the fastest-growing market for plant-based meat alternatives. Impossible Foods has also started the development of a fish alternative and it aims to recreate every animal-based product by 2035. Beyond Meat has teamed up with Subway to produce the Beyond Meatball Marinara sub, which will be available in 685 restaurants in the United States and Canada for a limited time from September.
Programming, Design & Data Science

What do you do as a DevOps? (6 minute read)

Working in DevOps means that you end up working with many different technologies. The role is varied and the definition can change depending on the job. It requires a wide knowledge of coding languages, infrastructures, security, networks, and also the ability to work and communicate effectively with a team.

Starter Workflows (GitHub Repo)

This repository contains templates for on-boarding a new user into GitHub Actions. The templates are written in YAML and cover solutions for continuous integration and automation.

Summer camps use facial recognition so parents can watch from home (11 minute read)

Facial recognition software is a concern for privacy advocates due to its ability to identify people from a distance without their knowledge or consent, a power which has the potential to be abused by authorities. Some cities have banned the use of the technology by public officials and police. However, many citizens enjoy the benefits of facial recognition technology in their daily lives. Many summer camps are now using the technology to help parents keep an eye on their children when the children themselves don't have access to their phones. The children are usually unaware that they are being monitored. This technology has helped relieve separation anxiety from parents and also allows them to feel like they are not missing out on an important time in their children's lives. There are currently no laws to regulate facial recognition software, but the Federal Trade Commission is considering rules that would designate kids' faces as personal information, protected under federal law.
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