TLDR 2023-03-03

Bing AI custom personalities 🧍, humanoid robot startup 🤖, Linux app store proposal 👨‍💻

Big Tech & Startups

Microsoft now lets you change Bing’s chatbot personality to be more entertaining (2 minute read)

Microsoft’s Bing chatbot has added a feature that lets users toggle between different response tones: creative, balanced, and precise. The balanced mode will be the default, providing a balance between accuracy and creativity. The new chat modes are already available to around 90 percent of Bing AI users. Microsoft has also issued an update that will reduce cases of Bing’s unresponsiveness and hallucinations in answers and added a shortcut to the Bing chatbot on the Windows 11 taskbar.

Tesla plans to offer a $30 monthly subscription for unlimited overnight home charging. It will launch in Texas because the windy nights help generate power (5 minute read)

Tesla plans to offer a subscription service of $30 every month for overnight home charging of electric vehicles in Texas, where windy nights help generate sustainable energy. The service, which will be part of Tesla Electric, is set to offer customers in Texas sustainable energy plans starting in July. Customers usually spend around $56 per month to charge their vehicles at home. Customers must have Tesla's Powerwall energy-storage battery and reside in an approved location in Texas to sign up for the plan.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Figure emerges from stealth with the first images of its humanoid robot (3 minute read)

Figure is a new startup that aims to build a general-purpose bipedal humanoid robot. The company boasts a 40-strong team that includes alumni from Boston Dynamics, Tesla, IHMC, Apple SPG, Alphabet X, and Cruise. Figure believes that it can commercialize robots primarily developed for R&D purposes over the last 20 years. The alpha version of its robot was completed in December and is being tested at the company's Sunnyvale offices. Figure is committed to a vision of scalable horizontal hardware that can expand to many applications, including for use in manufacturing, fulfillment, logistics, and retail.

Japanese company brings astronomically expensive space tourism within reach of the common masses (2 minute read)

Iwaya Giken, a start-up based in Sapporo, Japan, aims to make space tourism available for everyone. It has developed a two-seater cabin and a balloon that will rise 15 miles into the sky. The cabin can carry one pilot and a passenger. The balloon, filled with helium gas, will make the drum-shaped cabin rise up into the air, completing the ascent in about two hours and staying there for an hour. It will then descend for over an hour back to its point of origin. The company aims to lower the boarding price tag from an initial $180,000 to a five-figure cost.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Bling (GitHub Repo)

Bling is a tool that provides a set of transpilation utilities for use with client/server remote procedure calls (RPCs), environment isolation, module splitting, and more. It can create isomorphic server-side RPCs, scope any expressions to the server-side bundle only, create server-side only files, and code-split any asynchronous function on both server and client side at build-time.

ChatML and the ChatGPT API (2 minute read)

OpenAI recently launched the ChatGPT API. It is significantly cheaper than its leading competitor, the text-davinci-003 model. Included in the launch is the release of ChatML, a markup language utilized to generate chat experiences via large language models. The ChatGPT API requires structured input provided through ChatML, as opposed to relying on unstructured text. ChatML is important because it is moving the field towards structured input, its use indicates that there is likely more orchestration in the background, and creating a language could create lock-in and differentiate OpenAI from its competitors.

Linux desktop powers consider uniting for an app store (3 minute read)

The GNOME Foundation, KDE Foundation, and Debian Linux are considering building an app store on top of Flatpak, a universal Linux software deployment and package management program. Flatpak can run on any Linux distribution by containerizing applications with all the necessary libraries and associated files. The new app store would not only make it easier to find and install programs but will also replace traditional ways of delivering Linux desktop apps. The proposal aims to promote diversity and sustainability in the Linux desktop community by adding payments, donations, and subscriptions to the app store on Flatpak, making it more user and developer-friendly.

Q&A About FTC Proposed Rule to Ban Non-Compete Restrictions (6 minute read)

The Federal Trade Commission has proposed a new rule that would prohibit most non-compete agreements between employers and workers. The new rule includes restrictive non-disclosure agreements and onerous training reimbursement provisions. The only exception to the ban would be for those selling or disposing of a substantial ownership interest in a business entity. Employers will have 180 days to rescind existing non-competes and notify current and former employees of the rescission. The Proposed Rule has received over 10,000 comments, with many objections. This article contains a summary of the questions and answers from a webinar hosted by BakerHostetler attorneys regarding the new rules.
Quick Links

How OpenAI CTO Mira Murati became one of tech’s most influential innovators (23 minute read)

This article discusses Mira Murati's work with OpenAI, including the company's efforts to commercialize its products and improve them through human feedback.

You Don't Need a Build Step (12 minute read)

Removing the build step allows developers to move faster, be more productive, stay in flow for longer, and deploy faster.

Human augmentation with robotic body parts is at hand, say scientists (3 minute read)

Robotic body parts could increase productivity and allow people to more precisely control the things around them.

Hard times ahead for the average PM & PM Manager (2 minute read)

Many managers will soon be questioned about their productivity and whether their roles are necessary.

AWS is Asleep at the Lambda Wheel (4 minute read)

Lambda's managed runtimes are out of date and it is causing developers to have to create their own solutions.

A Senior Engineer's Guide to the System Design Interview (19 minute read)

This guide teaches the most commonly discussed concepts in system design interviews in depth to increase readers' odds of excelling during an interview.

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