TLDR 2020-05-12

Elon asks to be arrested 👮, Bitcoin's halving 💰, Uber video leaks 🚗

Big Tech & Startups

Spotify officially launches a shared-queue feature called Group Session (3 minute read)

Group Session is a new feature on Spotify that will allow two or more Premium users in the same space to share control over the music being played. Participants will be able to control what is playing and also contribute to a collaborative playlist for the group. Spotify already offers the ability to build collaborative playlists with friends and Premium Family plan members have a personalized playlist called Family Mix. However, neither of these features allows users to collaborate in real-time, unlike Group Session. The feature will be available soon to all Premium users worldwide.

Elon Musk defies coronavirus order and asks to be arrested (2 minute read)

Tesla has reopened its Fremont factory in violation of local shelter-in-place orders. Elon Musk will be at the factory and has asked for authorities to only arrest him if anyone is arrested. Employees are allowed to take unpaid time off leave if they feel uncomfortable coming to work. Alameda County has responded by requesting a site-specific plan from Tesla.
Science & Futuristic Technology

When AI takes on Eurovision: Can a computer write a hit song? (4 minute read)

'Can AI Kick It' is a team of Dutch academics who used AI techniques to generate music that was then entered into Eurovision. The lyrics were especially novel, but the team doesn't endorse the message that the AI-generated. AI is being used more in mainstream music composition as artists look for new inspiration. The AI Song Contest was a competition inspired by Eurovision that was supposed to be held this month, but was canceled due to the pandemic.

Bitcoin Halving Arrives: Mining Rewards Drop for Third Time in History (3 minute read)

Bitcoin's third halving has finally happened. The 630,000th block was produced at 19:23 UTC on May 11, triggering the halving event. Bitcoin was designed to reduce the rewards for mining each block by half every 210,000 blocks. The mining reward is paid to those who contribute computing power to secure the Bitcoin network. Mining rewards are reduced in order to slow down the injection of new supply into the network as time goes by. The mining reward is now 6.25 bitcoin per block. Bitcoin's mining difficulty is expected to increase by 4.9% in the next week.
Programming, Design & Data Science

awesome-baremetal (GitHub Repo)

This repository contains a list of bare-metal tools. All items on the list have been recently updated within the last 6 months or are still deemed relevant by the curator.

Pose Animator (GitHub Repo)

Pose Animator transforms 2D vector illustrations into real-time animations based on the recognition result from PoseNet and FaceMesh. It is possible to create your own design to animate. Sample files and GIF demos are available in the repository.

This ugly AF t-shirt blocks facial recognition technology (1 minute read)

Surveillance algorithms work by recognizing characteristics in an image, drawing a 'bounding box' around them, and then assigning a label to that object. Scientists have discovered a way to use colorful, pixelated patterns on t-shirts to confuse the technology into thinking you don't exist. AI classification and labeling systems get confused when it sees the patterns on the clothing, making the wearer 64% less likely to be detected. Make-up can also be used to throw off facial recognition algorithms

Watch as choked up executive tells 3,500 rideshare employees they are being laid off effective immediately over a three-minute ZOOM call (7 minute read)

Thousands of Uber employees were laid off during a three-minute Zoom call last week. Uber's business has dropped by more than half and there is no longer enough work for many frontline customer support employees. Employees will continue to stay on Uber's payroll until the date on their severance packages. Uber expects to pay out around $20 million in costs for severance and related charges. A link to a recording of the call is available in the article.
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