TLDR 2022-04-25

Meta hiring freeze 🥶, tracking NSA spies 🕵️, SpaceX inflight WiFi customer ✈️

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Big Tech & Startups

Google, Meta, and others will have to explain their algorithms under new EU legislation (4 minute read)

The EU's new Digital Service Act will force tech companies to take greater responsibility for content on their platforms. The new rules will distinguish between companies of different sizes, with the largest companies facing the most scrutiny. Non-compliance can result in fines of up to six percent of a company's annual turnover. The act still needs to be officially voted into law, but the last step is mostly a formality. More details about the new rules are available in the article.

Meta hiring freeze for E4-E6 (1 minute read)

Meta is cancelling scheduled virtual onsite interviews. Not all interviews are being canceled, but Blind users are reporting that some interviews between E3 to E6 were canceled. The hiring freeze suggests that Meta may be taking defensive measures against a potentially disappointing quarterly earnings report.
Science & Futuristic Technology

SpaceX signs its first deal for Starlink inflight Wi-Fi (2 minute read)

SpaceX has signed a deal with air carrier JSX to offer Starlink onboard Wi-Fi to customers. Starlink currently has around 2,000 satellites in orbit providing internet access. The company has been working on ways to implement its services on commercial aircraft over the past year. JSX customers will be able to access the service for free when it launches later this year.

Chemists develop a strategy for highly efficient and stable perovskite solar cells (3 minute read)

Perovskites are the leading contender to replace silicon in solar panels, but perovskite materials have chemically reactive components that result in shorter operational lifetimes. A team of scientists has created a new type of perovskite solar cell with a record-high efficiency of 25%. The material is able to run under continuous illumination for more than 1,500 hours while still maintaining more than 98% of its initial efficiency. This development means that perovskite solar cells could soon be ready for commercialization.
Programming, Design & Data Science

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magic-trace (GitHub Repo)

magic-trace collects and displays high-resolution traces of what a process is doing. It can be used to debug apps and discover insights into what happens in any process. magic-trace can be used to take snapshots when specific functions are called or attached and detached to running processes to trace arbitrary points in a program.

Fleet (GitHub Repo)

Fleet is a build tool for Rust. It can compile up to five times faster than cargo. Fleet works by optimizing builds using existing tooling available in the Rust ecosystem. It is still in beta.

DALL·E 2 and The Origin of Vibe Shifts (9 minute read)

Around 2015, there was a vibe shift in web design due to illustrations becoming more rare and expensive relative to photos. Sites like Unsplash that offered free photography ruined photography's function as a costly status symbol. The use of photography exploded in low-end websites but almost went extinct at the high end, which turned to using illustrations. The creation of AI-generated images makes art accessible to everyone in the same way that Unsplash did for photography. This could result in a similar vibe shift in web design.

A Surveillance Firm Reportedly Tracked NSA and CIA Spies as a Product Demo (2 minute read)

Virginia data firm Anomaly Six (A6) demonstrated its surveillance capabilities during merger talks with another surveillance startup by tracking mobile phones used by employees of the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency. A6 has embedded tracking software in hundreds of mobile apps to collect data. The company claims to surveil approximately 230 million devices a day.
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