TLDR 2020-04-15

NBC launches streaming service 🎬, China launches blockchain platform ₿, AI Art 🎨

Big Tech & Startups

Amazon fires three critics of warehouse conditions in pandemic (4 minute read)

Three employees who had criticized Amazon for its pandemic response were fired on Tuesday. Amazon claims that the employees were fired for repeated violations of internal policies and for inappropriate language and behavior. The workers criticized Amazon for not doing enough to protect staff from the novel coronavirus. Amazon has updated safety protocols and distributed protective gear in order to protect employees, but many employees feel that it is not enough and high-profile protests have been held at several Amazon warehouses. Science &

NBCUniversal officially enters the streaming wars with Peacock launch (5 minute read)

Peacock is NBCUniversal's new streaming service. It will be available for all Comcast's Xfinity X1 and Flex customers by the end of April. Non-Comcast subscribers will have access to the service from July 15th. Originally, Comcast and NBCUniversal were going to use the 2020 Summer Olympics as part of a larger launch, but the Olympics have now been delayed. When it launches for all customers in July, there will be a free tier with limited programming, an ad-supported tier that will be free to Comcast customers and $5 per month for everyone else, and a $10 per month ad-free option.
Science & Futuristic Technology

NASA Is Going to Test Drive an Alien-Hunting Robot in Antarctica (2 minute read)

NASA will test drive a robot underneath Antarctica’s sea ice in preparation for a mission in the subsurface oceans of Jupiter's moon, Europa. Buoyant Rover for Under-Ice Exploration, or BRUIE, is a two-wheeled robot that uses buoyancy to anchor itself upside-down on the bottom edge of ice in order to study the zone where ice crusts and the ocean environment interact. Life is often found at interfaces, for example, where the ice meets water. Europa likely contains more water than all of Earth's oceans combined, and it might have the potential for life. There are still many challenges to overcome before a mission to Europa will be possible.

Inside China’s Plan to Power Global Blockchain Adoption (8 minute read)

China is about to launch its national blockchain platform, the Blockchain Service Network. The BSN is designed so developers will be able to build blockchain-based applications as easily as assembling lego sets. It will be the first global infrastructure network innovated and controlled by China. Experts compare the initiative to how China has provided other countries with infrastructure in order to gain an advantage. BSN could potentially be used for smart city applications, energy conservation, and many other identity registration and data storage applications.
Programming, Design & Data Science

GitHub is now free for teams (1 minute read)

All of the core GitHub features are now free for everyone. Developers now have access to private repositories with unlimited collaborators. Paid plans are still available for advanced features, enterprise features, or personal support. The price of the paid Team plan is now $4 per user/month.

COBOL Programming Course (GitHub Repo)

Common Business-Oriented Language was designed specifically for business use and it is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the world's economy. It continues to distinguish itself from other programming languages due to its inherent ability to handle vast amounts of critical data stored on the largest servers. This repository contains training materials and labs for a beginner’s course on COBOL.

Apple is gathering data from Apple Maps to show how well people are social distancing (1 minute read)

Apple has launched a new tool that gathers anonymous data from Apple Maps to show how well people are following social distancing guidelines. It is designed for health-care professionals and the government. The information it gathers isn't tied to specific Apple IDs. An example chart from the app is available in the article.

AI Gahaku (Website)

AI Gahaku is an AI artist that can generate artwork from photos that you upload. You just have to upload a photo that shows your entire face and then select the art style that you want. Uploaded images will be automatically deleted from the server. Give feedback by replying here or messaging me on Twitter @tldrdan! If you don't want to receive future editions of TLDR, please click here.  
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