TLDR 2023-11-20

OpenAI fires CEO 🤖, SpaceX's Starship success 🚀, unlimited PTO a scam? 💼

G2 Infographic: Leading vendors in Managed File Transfer (MFT) software (Sponsor)

Progress MOVEit places first in the G2 Fall 2023 Report for Managed File Transfer (MFT) solutions. The evaluation is based on factors including customer satisfaction, features and functionality, and market presence.

The G2 Grid report aggregates reviews and other publicly available information to determine the most prominent MFT vendors on the market.

Download the infographic to discover the main competitors in this space, MOVEit’s top-rated features, and how customers think about the solution. Get it for free here

Big Tech & Startups

A timeline of Sam Altman’s firing from OpenAI — and the fallout (6 minute read)

Sam Altman was fired as CEO of OpenAI late Friday. The company's president and co-founder Greg Brockman and three senior OpenAI researchers resigned following Altman's departure. The situation is fast-moving. This article presents a timeline to make it easier to follow what's happening.

SpaceX launches Starship for the second time, going farther than ever before (4 minute read)

SpaceX flew Starship for the second time on November 18. While both the Super Heavy booster and the Starship upper stage had to be blown up mid-air, the test was still a huge success for SpaceX. It appears that the new water deluge system successfully protected the launch infrastructure. The hot staging separation technique was also successful. A video of the test is available in the article.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Scientists 3D print a robotic hand with human-like bones and tendons (3 minute read)

One of the reasons robots seem to move differently from living creatures is due to their lack of bones and flexible tissues. Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and US-based startup Inkbit have figured out how to 3D print a robotic hand with an internal structure composed of human-like bones, ligaments, and tendons. The technique can create robots that outperform hard robots in terms of flexibility and overcome the design and scale-related issues faced by soft robots. A picture of the 3D-printed robot hand is available in the article.

Why superconductor research is in a ‘golden age’ — despite controversy (9 minute read)

Superconductivity research is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance fueled in part by the new capabilities of computer simulations to predict the existence and properties of undiscovered materials. Scientists have unearthed several families of materials over the past few years that could have revolutionary properties. This article covers some of the history behind superconductivity research and the current state of the field.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Victor Mono (Website)

Victor Mono is a monospaced font with optional semi-connected cursive italics and program symbol ligatures. It features a slender, crisp, and narrow typeface with a large x-height and clear punctuation. Victor Mono comes in seven weights and Roman, Italic, and Oblique styles. Examples are available on the site.

All of the writing I did in a week as a software engineer (7 minute read)

Empathy and communication are less obvious skills that are helpful for working as a software engineer. One of the ways software engineers communicate is through writing. This article takes a look at all of the writing that a software engineer working at the Cloud Gateway team at Netflix does in a single week. In a week, the engineer wrote zero emails, a few dozen lines of code, a handful of Jira tickets, a couple of investigation and debugging docs, a few technical docs, and hundreds of Slack messages. An ergonomic keyboard is a very worthwhile investment.

A Timeline of the OpenAI Board (7 minute read)

OpenAI's board has undergone numerous changes over the years, especially recently. These changes weren't big news, so they didn't spark the concerns that they maybe should have. This blog post goes through the Internet Archive and OpenAI's non-profit filings to try to make sense of OpenAI's governance. It attempts to chronicle the composition of OpenAI's board, point out conflicts, and show what led to Sam Altman being fired. It should be noted that the people involved in this act of corporate governance are roughly the same people trying to position themselves to govern policy on artificial intelligence.

Here is how far we are to achieving AGI, according to DeepMind (6 minute read)

The path to achieving artificial general intelligence remains a topic of debate among scientists. A team of scientists from Google DeepMind has proposed a new framework for classifying the capabilities and behavior of AGI systems and their precursors. It is critical for the AI research community to explicitly reflect on what it means when discussing AGI. This article explores the framework, which includes criteria for measuring artificial intelligence, a matrix that measures performance and generality, and another matrix for measuring autonomy and risk.
Quick Links

On Value in a Post-Scarcity World (5 minute read)

A look at what a post-Artificial General Intelligence or post-Artificial Super Intelligence world actually means.

Why Apple is working hard to break into its own iPhones (8 minute read)

This article takes a look at Apple's approach to iPhone security.

An Attempted Taxonomy of Web Components (5 minute read)

This page contains a collection of web components for readers to learn from.

Ask HN: Is Unlimited PTO a Scam (Hacker News Thread)

Workers with unlimited PTO arrangements feel safer taking less time off compared to employees in jobs with fixed vacation days.

Ransomware gang files SEC complaint over victim’s undisclosed breach (3 minute read)

The ALPHV/BlackCat ransomware operation has filed a US Securities and Exchange Commission complaint against one of its victims for not complying with the four-day rule to disclose a cyberattack.

Business lobby attacks as New York nears a noncompete ban, rare in the US (3 minute read)

Companies using noncompete agreements to trap workers in their jobs prompted New York legislators to pass a bill last June that bans noncompete agreements.
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