TLDR 2020-11-17

Apple tests foldable phones πŸ“±, Airbnb IPO 🏠, Zoom's Thanksgiving gift πŸ¦ƒ Β 

Big Tech & Startups

Foxconn allegedly testing folding iPhone, projected Sept. 2022 release (1 minute read)

According to supply chain reports, Foxconn is testing a folding iPhone for Apple. This potentially confirms a claim that Apple had ordered foldable screens from Samsung. Foxconn has been asked to test the screen as well as the folding element of the device. The new source claims that Apple plans to release the foldable iPhone in September 2022. Regular laptops are required to be opened and closed between 20,000 and 30,000 times during regular folding tests. Foxconn will be conducting over 100,000 opening and closing tests for the folding iPhone.

Airbnb files to go public, turned a profit last quarter (4 minute read)

Airbnb has filed to go public under the symbol ABNB on the Nasdaq. While the company had turned a profit last quarter, it has primarily turned net losses throughout the years, with other occasional quarters of profitability. The company will set up 9.2 million shares of non-voting stock aside in an endowment fund for hosts. Airbnb claims that its community of hosts and guests differentiates it from its competitors. The pandemic had an impact on the business, but it is starting to recover in some areas. Airbnb had numerous issues with hosts this year due to cancellations, and a host proposed a class-action lawsuit against the company earlier this month.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Moderna: Covid vaccine shows nearly 95% protection (6 minute read)

Early data from Moderna indicates that its vaccine is nearly 95% effective in protecting people against Covid-19. Its trial involved 30,000 people in the US. Out of the first 95 people to develop Covid-19 symptoms in the study, 90 had received the placebo treatment. There were 11 severe cases in the trial, but none of those occurred in people who received the vaccine. Moderna will apply to regulators in the coming weeks. It hopes to have up to one billion doses available around the world next year. The article further explains the mechanism of the vaccine and compares it to Pfizer and BioNTech's recently announced vaccine.

Scientists Find Vital Genes Evolving in Genome’s Junkyard (6 minute read)

Scientists had previously thought that essential genes were frozen in time, not evolving. Experiments have shown that the genes guiding the development of the body plans in fruit flies and mice can be swapped out because they are so similar. However, a new study has found that a large class of genes in fruit flies essential for survival are evolving extremely rapidly. The genes' ability to keep changing could be the key to their essential nature. The results also mean that gene scientists could be looking in the wrong place for important genes relevant to a variety of medical conditions and biological mysteries.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Web Development for Beginners - A Curriculum (GitHub Repo)

This repository contains a 12-week, 24-lesson curriculum on web development by Azure Cloud Advocates at Microsoft. It is a project-based course, with each lesson containing pre- and post-lesson quizzes, written instructions, solutions, assignments, and more. The projects include making a banking app, a space game, a browser extension, and more.

Standing up for developers: youtube-dl is back (8 minute read)

youtube-dl has been reinstated on GitHub after it was taken down due to a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) request. GitHub is legally required to comply with the DMCA and has to take down code if requested even if it has a multitude of non-infringing uses. youtube-dl allegedly circumvented measures to prevent access or copying of copyright material. The section that it infringed on was created in the late 1990s and hasn't been updated to reflect changes in modern technology. GitHub reviewed the request and reinstated the code and will now review its other takedown claims to ensure that they have been handled properly. It has also established a $1 million developer defense fund to help developers fight against unwarranted takedowns. GitHub will continue to petition the government to improve the law.

Zoom Thanksgiving gift: Company announces no time limits on family video get-togethers for holiday (1 minute read)

Zoom will remove time limits for family meetings during Thanksgiving for all of its users. Normally, video conferences are limited to 40 minutes unless users pay a $15 per month fee. The limit will lift from midnight ET on November 26 through to 6 am ET on November 27. Zoom now services 300 million daily video meetings and the company estimates it will do 3 trillion video meeting minutes this year.

How the U.S. Military Buys Location Data from Ordinary Apps (11 minute read)

The US military is buying movement data harvested from innocuous-seeming apps. Examples of these apps include a Muslim prayer and Quran app, a Craigslist app, and an app for following storms. X-Mode is a company that obtains data directly from apps and then sells it to contractors like the military. It encourages app developers to incorporate its SDK into their apps in exchange for a fee based on how many users the app has. Some app developers did not know who was purchasing their users' location data. While the data is anonymized, it could easily be deanonymized. Other state actors have the same access to purchase the same data.
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