TLDR 2023-09-18

iPhone 15 gaming 📱, inside Google's antitrust fight ⚖️, Vercel's AI for React 👨‍💻

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Big Tech & Startups

In the Google antitrust trial, defaults are everything and nobody likes Bing (13 minute read)

The US Justice Department says that Google owes its dominance thanks to a series of coercive deals that have let the search engine market stagnate. Google's anti-competitive tactics allowed it to maintain an overwhelming search engine monopoly. The company struck many deals that would make its search engine the default and then used its vast quantities of search data to improve its engine, creating a feedback loop that made it almost impossible to beat. One of the most important questions in the case is whether consumer harm can apply to free products like search engines.

Apple Answers All of Our iPhone 15 Pro Questions: 'It's Going to be the Best Game Console' (10 minute read)

Pre-orders for the iPhone 15 are now live. Four AAA games are getting native versions exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro. This article contains an interview with several members behind the development of the iPhone 15 Pro on Apple's gaming ambitions and why the tech giant believes that the phone will become 'the best game console'. The main reason is its power and portability.
Science & Futuristic Technology

“Inverse vaccine” shows potential to treat multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases (6 minute read)

Researchers from the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering have developed a new type of vaccine that can completely reverse autoimmune diseases without shutting down the rest of the immune system. The vaccine removes the immune system's memory of one molecule, stopping autoimmune reactions like those seen in multiple sclerosis, type I diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis. Initial phase I safety trials of the vaccine are currently underway.

The US military just proved it can get satellites into space super fast (6 minute read)

The US military has been pushing satellite and launch companies to become more responsive in their ability to put spacecraft into space so that assets can be rapidly replaced in orbit if they are destroyed during a conflict. It contracted with US launch company Firefly to build a spacecraft that can be put into orbit within 24 hours of receiving the go command from the military. The system was recently tested, with Firefly successfully launching a satellite within 27 hours of receiving the go command.
Programming, Design & Data Science

What Silicon Valley "Gets" about Software Engineers that Traditional Companies Do Not (17 minute read)

Silicon Valley companies consistently get a few things that traditional companies either fail to understand or implement in practice. These practices result in faster innovation, better professional growth, better utilization, and higher wages. They include giving software engineers autonomy, treating engineers as curious problem solvers rather than mindless resources, exposing engineers to the business and business metrics, investing in a less frustrating developer experience, and considering engineers as value generators. People who have worked in Silicon Valley-like environments tend to struggle to go back to the traditional workplace.

v0 (1 minute read)

v0 is effectively Midjourney for React. It takes simple prompts and generates copy-and-paste-friendly React. v0 was trained on custom code mixed with open-source and synthetic datasets. It is currently free to use while in Private Alpha. Pricing will be announced when v0 becomes publicly available.

Unity's self-combustion engine (28 minute read)

Unity recently announced a new Runtime Fee that will charge Unity developers of a certain size every time their games are installed on a new device after January 1, 2024. The charge is based on game installs, not sales. It will apply to games on streaming services, early access games, Betas, and demos that can be converted to full games. The move has resulted in a loss of trust from many developers.

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A look at Apple’s new Transformer-powered predictive text model (8 minute read)

Apple announced a new Transformer language model-based predictive text for iOS and macOS during its WWDC event. It may be one of the first Transformer-based models that Apple will ship in its operating systems. This article takes a look at the underlying model powering the feature, its architecture, and the data that was used to train the model. Many details about the model are still unclear.
Quick Links

Life-changing cystic fibrosis treatment wins US$3-million Breakthrough Prize (9 minute read)

Trikafta, a triple-drug combination, could increase life expectancy in people with cystic fibrosis from around 30 to more than 80 years.

Centaurs and Cyborgs on the Jagged Frontier (11 minute read)

The results of a new study strongly suggest that AI will have a huge impact on the future of work.

No sacred masterpieces (19 minute read)

A story of one engineer's experience working for Uber on a project that was eventually sunsetted.

A New Age of Magic (8 minute read)

Using large language models is analogous to casting spells.

Why the Next Microgrids Will Be Well Connected (13 minute read)

Microgrids are miniaturized versions of power grids - connecting them together would increase their resiliency and facilitate the integration of more renewable energy.

Catala (GitHub Repo)

Catala is a programming language adapted for socio-fiscal legislative literate programming that can compile into lawyer-readable PDFs.
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