TLDR 2020-12-01

Google's AI breakthrough 🧬, Salesforce buys Slack 💬, AR Mario Kart 🏎️

Big Tech & Startups

Salesforce deal to buy Slack expected to be announced Tuesday after market close (2 minute read)

Salesforce is expected to announce its deal to buy Slack after markets close on Tuesday. The deal is expected to be about half cash and half stock. It could be one of the largest deals ever in the software sector. Slack's market cap was more than $24 billion on Monday morning.

‘It will change everything’: DeepMind’s AI makes gigantic leap in solving protein structures (8 minute read)

DeepMind's AlphaFold can determine a protein's 3D shape using its amino-acid sequence. The ability to accurately predict protein structures from their amino-acid sequence enables quicker and more advanced drug discovery. AlphaFold has the potential to change medicine, research, bioengineering, and other related fields. While there are other existing methods to solve protein structures, AlphaFold enables scientists to use lower-quality and easier-to-collect experimental data to create good structures, which means that more can be achieved with less lab equipment. Some areas of research are set to flourish soon due to the enormous amount of genomic data that can now be reliably translated into structures.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Engineers Are Building Huge Salt Caves to Store Huge Amounts of Hydrogen (3 minute read)

Scientists are using salt mines to store large quantities of hydrogen for energy. A project that involves a huge system of caves in Utah will be operational by 2025 and initially have enough energy to power 150,000 households. Hydrogen energy is hindered by logistical problems such as storage. Salt mines provide a good medium to store hydrogen energy and a location that is easy for transport to nearby municipalities. Hydrogen can be converted into water and then reconverted to electricity when required by using hydrogen electrolyzers powered by renewable energy sources.

AR Mario Kart anchors Universal’s Super Nintendo World in February (2 minute read)

Universal has announced a February 4 opening for the Japanese edition of Super Nintendo World in Osaka. Guests will be able to visit attractions with augmented reality glasses and interact with the virtual world using a Power-Up Band that can be purchased for around $30. Universal had originally planned to open the park in the summer to coincide with the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but both events were postponed due to the pandemic. The 47-second video announcement for the park opening is available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science

How I Made a Self-Quoting Tweet (12 minute read)

This article details how to create a tweet that quotes itself. The idea is to correctly guess the ID that a given tweet is going to get and then tweeting it with the profile URL. The resulting tweet doesn't display itself as somebody had done this seven years ago and cost a principal engineer an entire day of wading through heap dumps to figure out what was happening. It is possible to use this method to quote tweets from the future.

Evergreen Skills for Software Developers (GitHub Repo)

This repository contains a list of evergreen skills that can be used as an assessment of skilled software developers or engineers. The document focuses on software development best practices, cross-framework principles, and other portable skills. Trends and specific knowledge of frameworks tend to be quickly outdated and they don't reflect the real value that software developers bring to the organization.

Mysterious Monolith Update: New Mysterious Monolith Appears in Romania (3 minute read)

Another monolith, similar to the recent Utah monolith, has appeared in Romania. It stands at around the same height as its Utah twin, with deliberate scribbles scratched on its entire face. The David Zwirner gallery claims that the monolith is the work of a minimalist artist who died in 2011. A Redditor investigated the Utah monolith and discovered it was installed around five years ago. Officials at Utah's Bureau of Land Management announced that the monolith had disappeared over the weekend.

Chinese submarine reaches the deepest place on Earth (2 minute read)

Fendouzhe, a Chinese submersible more than a decade in the making, reached a depth of 35,791 feet (10,909 meters) at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The submersible completed 13 dives in the area, with eight of those dives exceeding 32,808 feet (10,000 meters). It collected sediment, rock, and biological samples from the bottom of the trench while the crew overcame difficulties such as typhoons, rains, and high temperatures. The depth world record is still held by a private equity investor who dived to 35,873 feet (10,934 meters) in June. A 44-second video summary of the event showing footage of the vessel is available in the article.
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