TLDR 2023-12-08

Google Gemini faked demo 🤖, cure for cavities 🦷, data engineering patterns 👨‍💻

Big Tech & Startups

Beeper Mini for Android sends and receives iMessages, no Mac server required (6 minute read)

It is now possible to send iMessages without handing over Apple credentials or logging in with an Apple ID on a Mac server. Beeper Mini for Android allows Android users to send iMessages with all the typing, delivered/read receipt, emoji reaction, and most other iPhone-to-iPhone message features. The app is powered by a teenager's reverse-engineering discovery. This article looks at how the app works.

Google’s best Gemini demo was faked (4 minute read)

The video demonstrating some of Google Gemini's best interactions may not be entirely real. While Gemini appears to be able to do the things that Google shows in the video, it isn't able to do them live and in the way the video implies. The video was a series of carefully tuned text prompts with still images selected to mislead viewers about the speed, accuracy, and fundamental mode of interaction with the model. A breakdown of the video is available in the article.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Defying Cavity: Lantern Bioworks FAQ (18 minute read)

Lantern Bioworks claims to have a cure for tooth decay. It has a genetically modified bacterium designed to infect patients' mouths to outcompete tooth-decay-causing bacteria, making cavities a thing of the past. One treatment with the bacteria is enough to infect users' mouths forever. This article contains an interview with Lantern founder Aaron Silverbook where he explains how the technology works, both in a biological and economic sense.

China launches world’s ‘most advanced’ nuclear reactor that’s cooled by gas, not water (2 minute read)

China has begun operations at a nuclear reactor that uses gas rather than water for cooling. Construction of the plant started in 2012 and its first reactor was connected to the country's power grid in 2021. Interest in gas-cooled reactors is increasing globally as they can provide efficient and cost-effective electricity. They can also produce high-temperature process heat for industrial applications. Pictures of the power plant are available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Jets (GitHub Repo)

Jets is a Ruby Serverless Framework that includes everything required to build and deploy an application to AWS Lambda. It maps code to Lambda functions and other AWS resources like API Gateway and Event Rules. Several live demos of Jets applications are available.

Data Engineering Design Patterns (Book)

This is a book on Data Engineering Design Patterns that aims to dissect the evolutionary paths in data engineering and identify universal design patterns applicable across the spectrum of data engineering. It explores the concept of convergent evolution, its relevance to data engineering, and how the concept can guide engineering through the Data Engineering Lifecycle and enrich their understanding and practice.

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Browsing the Eastern Side of the Personal Web (32 minute read)

The Japanese Personal Web, or as they call it, creative/doujin sites, are personal websites indexed on specialized search engines. The criteria to be listed on these search engines is strict as sites with more formal contexts (eg business sites) aren't allowed. This article takes a look at some of these Japanese personal websites and compares them to similar sites from the West. The Personal Web is still very alive in the East, with many sites surviving for over a decade or two.

Journey to the birthplace of the ELT, the largest optical telescope in the world: ‘It will be a revolution’ (8 minute read)

The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) will be the largest telescope on the planet that is able to detect visible and infrared light. It is the flagship project of the European Southern Observatory, an organization that comprises 16 countries. The telescope will allow scientists to see even the first galaxies from the dawn of the universe in greater detail. It will allow scientists to map the orbits of faraway stars in three dimensions and allow them to start developing theories based on three-dimensional models.
Quick Links

The Standard Webhooks specification (GitHub Repo)

This repository contains open source tools and guidelines for sending webhooks easily, securely, and reliably.

SuperDuperDB (GitHub Repo)

SuperDuperDB allows for the integration, training, and management of AI models and APIs directly within databases and data.

The Coming Boom in Rare Earths (11 minute read)

The US Department of Defense has awarded well over $100 million in grants, investments, and initiatives aimed at increasing US access to rare earth elements over the last few years and now it has to deal with the environmental implications of a large-scale return of rare-earth processing.

How to think about the OpenAI Q* rumors (21 minute read)

Q* is unlikely to be the crucial breakthrough that leads to artificial general intelligence, but it might be an important step toward an AI with general reasoning abilities.

Linux is getting its own Blue Screen of Death (1 minute read)

The latest release of systemd for Linux systems can generate full-screen error messages on Linux distributions.
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