TLDR 2021-08-03

Pixel 6 ๐Ÿ“ฑ, Amazon palm biometrics โœ‹, Square buys Afterpay ๐Ÿ’ฐ

Big Tech & Startups

Square to buy Afterpay, which offers a โ€˜buy now, pay laterโ€™ service, for $29 billion in stock (2 minute read)

Square plans to buy Australian company Afterpay for $29 billion in stock. Afterpay offers 'buy now, pay later' services, which have become increasingly prevalent across the web. The company serves more than 16 million customers and nearly 100,000 merchants. Square and Afterpay expect the sale to finalize in early 2022. Apple is reportedly working on a similar service called Apple Pay Later.

Google Tensor debuts on the new Pixel 6 this fall (3 minute read)

Tensor is Google's first custom-built System on a Chip specifically for Pixel phones. It will power the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones that will debut this fall. Tensor is built for AI and ML tasks and it will improve existing features, as well as make it possible to create new ones. The Pixel 6 will have the most layers of hardware security in any phone. It will have an upgraded rear camera system, with a camera bar rather than the traditional square. Pictures of the new phone are available in the article.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Amazon will pay you $10 in credit for your palm print biometrics (3 minute read)

Amazon is offering $10 in credit for customers who link their palm prints to their Amazon accounts. The company introduced palm print scanners to its stores last year, allowing customers to pay for goods by waving their palms over the scanners. Amazon stores the palm data unless the feature is unused for two years, or if the customer chooses to delete it. While the feature may prove to be convenient, everyone should be cautious about giving away biometric data.

Scientists Transform Water Into Metallic State, Allowing It to Conduct Electricity (2 minute read)

Pure, distilled water doesn't conduct electricity and is almost a perfect insulator. To make pure water conduct electricity, it has to have something in it to make it conductive or it has to be under extreme pressure. Researchers working at BESSY II have produced water with metallic and conductive properties by pouring pure water onto alkali metal alloys. The study shows that it is possible to produce metallic water on Earth. An image of the gold-colored metallic water is available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science

axum (GitHub Repo)

axum is a web application framework that takes full advantage of the tower and tower-http ecosystem of middleware, services, and utilities to get timeouts, tracing, compression, authorization, and more for free. It can route requests to handlers with a macro-free API, declaratively parse requests using extractors, and generate responses with minimal boilerplate. axum uses a simple and predictable error handling model. Usage examples are available.

Tilck (GitHub Repo)

Tilck (Tiny Linux Compatible Kernel) is an educational monolithic x86 kernel designed to be the perfect playground for playing in kernel mode while being able to compare how the same usermode bits run on the Linux kernel. It is Linux-compatible at the binary level and can run mainstream Linux programs. Screenshots and more details about how Tilck works are available in the repository.

Amazonโ€™s Lord of the Rings series will premiere in September 2022 (2 minute read)

Amazon's yet-unnamed Lord of the Rings original series will debut on Prime Video on September 22, 2022. The series will take place thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It will feature characters both familiar and new. The series was filmed in New Zealand, with fans speculating that it will be set in Valinor. It reportedly cost around $465 million to produce the first season. The official first image from the series is available in the article.

The sacking of a crypto mecca (17 minute read)

New Hampshire has become a magnet for cryptocurrency buffs, with more than 20 businesses accepting some form of cryptocurrency payment. In March, authorities raided the offices of a group that was involved in a Bitcoin dispenser business. Six people were held in custody and charged with wire fraud. Prosecutors have been treating the unregulated Bitcoin system as a loosely organized criminal conspiracy and have targeted projects that try to keep coins anonymous. This article tells the story of the raid and looks into the background of some of the people involved.
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