TLDR 2019-11-26

Uber loses London License 🚕, StubHub sold for $4.05B 💰

Big Tech & Startups

eBay is selling StubHub to Viagogo for $4.05 billion (2 minute read)

Viagogo has agreed to buy StubHub from eBay for $4.05 billion. The sale is pending regulators' approval and customary closing conditions. eBay originally purchased StubHub in 2007 for $310 million. Viagogo founder and CEO Eric Baker was a co-founder of StubHub. Baker claims that the deal is a win-win situation for both customers and vendors. eBay CEO Scott Schenkelsaid has stated that the company believes that the sale of StubHub was a great outcome and that the sale maximized long-term value for eBay shareholders. StubHub and Viagogo has been under regulatory scrutiny in recent years. Both StubHub and Viagogo offices were raided by the UK's competition watchdog officials in 2017 as part of an investigation into suspected breaches of consumer law. The Competition and Markets Authority has since suspended plans for legal action against Viagogo.

Uber loses London licence after TfL finds drivers faked identity (4 minute read)

London authorities discovered that Uber drivers who had faked their identity completed more than 14,000 trips between late 2018 and early 2019. Uber's license to operate in London will not be renewed, but the firm has 21 days to appeal the decision. The ride-hailing service will continue to operate in the meantime. Uber notified Transport for London about the issue in May and has since taken steps to resolve it, including implementing facial recognition technology. TfL states that the decision to cancel Uber's license was for the safety of passengers. It claims that Uber's business model is unregulatable as the company cannot guarantee that cars are properly insured or that drivers are who they say they are. The decision will affect Uber's 3.5 million riders and 45,000 licensed drivers who depend on the service in London.
Science & Futuristic Technology

"Turbo-charged" coral to breathe new life into the Great Barrier Reef (3 minute read)

Severe bleaching events have led to the widespread death of coral in the Great Barrier Reef. Researchers at Australia's Southern Cross University are planning to put millions of 'turbo-charged' coral babies into the reef's most degraded areas. Scientists collected millions of coral sperm and eggs during the most recent mass spawning event and co-cultured the coral larvae with a type of algae called zooxanthellae. This greatly increased the chances of the coral surviving. The algae gives the coral the potential to acquire more energy and possess higher thermal tolerance. If this technique is successful, it could serve as a blueprint for reef restoration efforts around the world. Scaling the operation will require a lot of work. The current method is only able to patch up small parts of a reef, rather than whole kilometers.

Successful study of Swedish vaccine candidate against diarrhea (3 minute read)

An oral vaccine against enterotoxigenic E.coli (ETEC) bacteria has been developed by the University of Gothenburg. ETEC is the primary cause of diarrhea, leading to the illness and death of many children and travelers in low-middle income countries. The vaccine consists of inactivated E.coli bacteria that express high levels of protective antigens, and the ETEC-based B subunit protein LCTBA. It is given as a drink. When tested in children, it was shown to produce immune responses in over 80 percent of children two to five years of age, and over 50 percent of infants six to 11 months of age. Only a few mild to moderate adverse reactions were observed in the test groups.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Creepyface (Website)

Creepyface is a JavaScript library that makes your face look at the pointer. It requires an image for each angle (at 45 degree intervals). Users can create their own Creepyface on the website via webcam or download the code from GitHub to make custom versions. Examples are available on the website.

React Table (GitHub Repo)

React Table is a headless UI library that has an API for building lightweight, fast, and extendable datagrids for React. It doesn't render or supply any UI elements. React Table supports columns, materialized data, sorting, filtering, grouping, pagination, expanded states, and the ability to add functionality through custom plugin hooks.

Tim Berners-Lee unveils global plan to save the web (3 minute read)

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, has launched a global action plan to save the web from political manipulation, fake news, privacy violations, and other forces that threaten to turn the world into a digital dystopia. The Contract for the Web outlines nine central principles to safeguard the web from abuse and ensure it benefits humanity. It has the backing of more than 150 organizations, including Microsoft, Twitter, Google, and Facebook. The contract requires governments to ensure that people have access to the internet and have their privacy respected, including having access to personal data and the right to object or withdraw from having that data processed. Companies are required to make internet access affordable, accessible, and to allow customers to control their privacy. They are also required to diversify workforces, consult broad communities regarding their products, and assess the risk of their technology's potential to hurt people or spread misinformation. Individuals are requested to create rich and relevant content, provide strong online communities, and to fight for the web.
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