TLDR 2020-01-29

Apple's record holiday 💰, video game hotels 🏨, doomsday glacier 🏔️

Big Tech & Startups

Apple's AirPods Pro, services deliver a record holiday for the iPhone maker (6 minute read)

Apple has reported an all-time record quarter for revenues and earnings. It credited its services, wearables, and its newest iPhones for the performance. There are now over 1.6 billion Apple devices actively used around the world. Apple had warned investors that its first-quarter revenue for 2019 would be weaker than expected due to lower demand from China. Since then, Apple stock has more than doubled. Apple no longer publishes unit sales for its devices, but it is estimated that iPhone revenue was worth $55.96 billion and AirPods sales were worth about $6 billion. Services were worth around $12.7 billion to the tech giant. While Apple did not publish Apple TV Plus subscriber numbers, Tim Cook has noted that the service was off to a rousing start. Apple sold around $10 billion worth of wearables in the quarter. The recent coronavirus outbreak has caused Apple and other retailers to close their stores, affecting potential earnings for this quarter.

Product Hunt Has Released YourStack, A Social Network Where People Talk About Products (2 minute read)

YourStack is a new social network that is focused on products that friends and public figures recommend. The site aims to become a Yelp for products. It is owned by AngelList, who also owns Product Hunt. Several high-profile tech executives have already joined the site in order to provide content as it launches. Review fraud will be one of the major issues that YourStack will face. The site shares spam and abuse detect systems and moderation practices with Product Hunt, and users will need a Twitter account to post, which should cut down on fake accounts.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Atari is opening eight video game hotels across the U.S. (1 minute read)

Atari is in talks to build a series of gaming hotels across the country. The first hotel is set to open in mid-2020. Last year, the games industry pulled in more than $152 billion. A hotel with this focus could be a huge draw for gamers and families. Atari promises state-of-the-art venues and studios where esports and other gaming competitions can take place. There will also be virtual and augmented reality gaming options. The hotels will also have restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, and spaces for business work. Atari did not mention whether classic Atari games will be playable at the hotels.

Trojan Horse: A nanoparticle that eats away plaques that cause heart attacks (2 minute read)

Scientists from Michigan State University and Stanford University have created a nanoparticle that can eat heart attack-causing plaques. The nanoparticle is named 'Trojan Horse' and it can potentially be a treatment for atherosclerosis, a major cause for heart attack and stroke. Trojan Horse delivers a drug that stimulates plaque cells to engulf and eat cellular debris, removing diseased/dead cells from the plaque center, resulting in decreased plaque size. There are minimal side effects due to the unprecedented selectivity of the nano-drug.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Blocking Your Adblocker (3 minute read)

More and more users are starting to use adblockers. Some websites might want to fight back and find ways to disable these adblockers so that they can still receive revenue for their content. Disabling an adblocker involves adding a few modifications to the Google Analytics code block so that it routes the ads through a custom proxy server. A simple tutorial on how to set this up is provided.

Things I believe (10 minute read)

Becoming a software developer requires certain mindsets and skills. A developer needs to be able to think through problems and solve them in the most simple and efficient manner. Coding is obviously essential, but on top of that, creating software also requires design skills. Good code not only works, but it is readable, reusable, and completes a task in the most efficient way possible. The choice of language and technologies used will have huge effects on each project. Working with others is sometimes necessary, and it is important to know how to manage employees and work with other people. It is easy to forget about self-care and self-development, but these are important areas to look after in order to progress in life.

Antarctica melting: Climate change and the journey to the 'doomsday glacier' (11 minute read)

Icefin is a remotely operated robot submarine. It was sent to investigate an area where the Thwaites glacier meets warm ocean water, causing it to start melting. The Thwaites glacier is roughly the size of Britain and currently accounts for four percent of the world sea-level rise each year. Satellite data shows that it is melting increasingly rapidly, and it could eventually raise the world sea level up by more than half a meter. It takes teams whole weeks to get to the glacier, which makes it difficult to study and understand. Before the Icefin expedition, only four other people, the advance party for the Icefin team, have ever been at the front of the glacier. The ice in Antarctica holds 90 percent of the world's freshwater. Researchers hope to find out what is causing the aggressive melting of the Thwaites by using Icefin to study the water underneath the ice.

The Rise of Smart Camera Networks, and Why We Should Ban Them (12 minute read)

Private businesses and homes are starting to link their cameras to police networks, increasing the overall public surveillance network and moving us closer to a future where our every move is filmed and interpreted using video analytics. Smart camera networks are an alarming development that threatens civil rights and liberties around the world. In the past, surveillance technology produced low-quality images and required a lot of hours and physical work to search through to find information. With advances in technology, image quality has improved, and image recognition and video analysis capabilities allow us to search through and extract more data from video faster than ever before. Advances in machine learning mean that we are moving towards the possibility of predictive policing, where data can be used to predict crimes so that police can intervene before it happens.
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