TLDR 2022-01-14

Android 13 leaks πŸ“±, flying car footage πŸš—, Second Life founder returns πŸ‘‹

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Big Tech & Startups

Android 13 leaks: More Material You options, opt-in to app notifications (7 minute read)

Android 13's first developer previews won't be out until at least March, but several sources have already begun leaking its new features. The update will expand on Android 12's dynamic theming system and change how apps will ask for permissions. It will also add a user account switcher on the lock screen, a QR code scanner, and per-app language settings. Google has stripped down developer previews in the past, so the first Android 13 development preview may not have all the final features. More details on the new features, including screenshots, are available in the article.

Microsoft invests US$50 million in alcohol-to-jet fuel biorefinery (2 minute read)

Microsoft is investing $50 million in a facility that will produce jet fuel from ethanol. The LanzaJet facility in Georgia has nearly completed on-site engineering at its biorefinery. It plans to start producing 10 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel per year from sustainable ethanol. The facility is also funded by oil majors, airlines, and other petroleum trading companies.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Japanese scientists produce first 3D-bioprinted, marbled Wagyu beef (2 minute read)

Scientists from Japan's Osaka University have produced lab-grown Wagyu beef. The team used two types of stem cells harvested from Wagyu cows, coaxing them to become the required types of cells and then arranging them into a 3D stack to resemble marbled beef. The process is highly customizable and can produce cultured meat with highly controllable amounts of fat. A picture of the meat with a diagram showing how the different fibers are stacked is available in the article.

Watch The Futuristic Flying Car Volar's Amazing First Test Flight Footage (3 minute read)

Bellwether Industries, a London-based startup, has released footage of a half-scale prototype of its eVTOL private flying car performing its first untethered flight. The half-scale prototype appears to be able to carry one passenger. It was piloted remotely in the test footage, flying up to 13 feet high at roughly 25 mph. The full-sized vehicle will be able to cruise at 3,000 feet and reach speeds of 135 mph with a battery that lasts 90 minutes. The test flight footage is available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science

I Think I Know Why You Can't Hire Engineers Right Now (13 minute read)

It has been harder to hire engineers in recent months, despite all the media about how hot the hiring market is. Attracting engineers to a position requires them to have cool stuff to work on, smart people to work with, and repeatability in the work environment. This article explores these factors and why they are important for engineers when thinking about their careers. It hypothesizes that many engineers would rather stay in their current positions as these factors would be at risk at a new company, and provides suggestions on how to handle these concerns.

What's in a Good Error Message? (7 minute read)

Good error messages for libraries and frameworks should convey context, what exactly failed, and what needs to be done to overcome the error. These error messages are typically seen by either software developers or ops, so a good error message can help save a lot of time and frustration. This article explores each of these requirements and provides some general best practices for writing good error messages.

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Second Life founder returns to revamp his original metaverse (4 minute read)

Second Life's founder, Philip Rosedale, has formed a team to work on evolving the virtual space. Rosedale co-founded a company that worked on VR tech in 2013 but became disappointed with the state of the industry. He feels that the technology hasn't reached a form that is good enough for most people to use. While the VR headset industry waits for its iPhone moment, Rosedale will focus on Second Life, a metaverse platform that doesn't require headsets. Second Life still has around 900,000 active users, with 73 million accounts created since launch.

Baby Shark is the first YouTube video to surpass 10 billion views (2 minute read)

Baby Shark is the first YouTube video to surpass 10 billion views. The second most-viewed video is Despacito with 7.7 billion views. Baby Shark now has a show on Nickelodeon, a movie, and NFTs.
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