TLDR 2020-07-29

Apple threatens Airbnb 🏠, Elon's personal Tesla 🚗, Virgin Galactic's spaceship 🚀

Big Tech & Startups

Apple threatens to remove Airbnb from App Store over virtual experiences commission (2 minute read)

Apple has demanded a 30% commission for sales of online classes sold by Airbnb and ClassPass. The platforms received notice from Apple once the companies transitioned classes to a virtual format. Other similar businesses have paid fees for years. ClassPass has until the end of the year to comply, but it has already stopped selling virtual classes via its iPhone app. Apple is still negotiating with Airbnb, who had been planning on offering online experiences since before the pandemic.

Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft has six passenger seats and lots of windows (2 minute read)

Virgin Galactic has released images of what the interior of its VSS Unity spacecraft will look like. It will be able to carry up to six passengers and fly at altitudes above 80km. Passengers will be able to view the planet via two dedicated windows and two cameras that will record their experiences. The seats will become nearly horizontal during the zero-gravity phase of the flight, maximizing the room inside the cabin. It has taken nearly two decades for the project to reach this stage. Virgin Galactic is now setting up its New Mexico facilities and finalizing the design of the VSS Unity. The images are available in the article.
Science & Futuristic Technology

World’s largest nuclear fusion project begins assembly in France (3 minute read)

The world's largest nuclear fusion project has begun in France. It will weigh 23,000 tonnes, with 200km of superconducting cables connecting 3,000 tonnes of superconducting magnets. All the components will be kept at -269C inside the cryogenic plant. The Iter project will cost €20bn and promises clean, unlimited power. It is intended to be a proof-of-concept of large-scale fusion rather than a design for a commercial reactor.

Towards ‘Eternal Sunshine’? New Links Found Between Memory and Emotion (6 minute read)

Emotionally-charged memories can seem to transport us back to those life events, creating vivid visions. Studies have found that a special group of cells in the hippocampus synchronize their activity to speak to the amygdala every time mice recall trauma. Disruption to this pathway could potentially be an easy and specific path towards emotional relief.
Programming, Design & Data Science

2020 Machine Learning Roadmap (GitHub Repo)

This repository contains a roadmap that connects the most important concepts in machine learning, how to learn them, and what tools to use to perform them. It covers the types of problems machine learning solves, the processes to solve these problems, the tools used to build the solution, and the mathematics behind machine learning. Extra resources are also provided. An interactive version and a feature-length film video walkthrough is available.

GPT-3 Sandbox (GitHub Repo)

This repository contains a tool to create web demos using the OpenAI GPT-3 API with just a few lines of Python. It automatically creates a web app for testing. An API key from the OpenAI API beta is required to run the code.

‘Unidentified Aerial Phenomena,’ Better Known as UFOs, Deserve Scientific Investigation (6 minute read)

The Pentagon officially released videos earlier this year showing 'unidentified aerial phenomena' (UAP) in our skies. While there was a lot of interest in studying UAPs in the 1960s, interest has waned for various reasons. An international and interdisciplinary approach to studying UAPs would be more viable now. UAPs are generally ignored due to their transient nature and the topic being taboo, but there may be many things we can learn from them using a modern scientific approach.

First look at Elon Musk’s personal Tesla Model S with prototype color (2 minute read)

Tesla's Gigafactory Berlin in Germany is expected to be completed in 2021. It features the world's most advanced paint shop, producing layers of colors that subtly change with curvature. A picture of Elon Musk's personal Tesla Model S showing off a new prototype color is available in the article. Tesla has reduced color options to streamline its production and simplify service repairs in recent years. Other factories will be upgraded over time as there are issues with retrofitting an operating paint shop.
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