TLDR 2024-02-08

Disney's Epic Games stake 🎮, Google's morale crisis 📉, jQuery 4.0 👨‍💻

Big Tech & Startups

Disney invests $1.5B in Epic Games, plans new “games and entertainment universe” (3 minute read)

Disney has announced plans to invest $1.5 billion into Epic Games for an equity stake. The partnership will see the companies collaborate on an all-new games and entertainment universe. Disney has attempted to enter the gaming industry several times - this is its biggest attempt yet. The announcement video is available in the article.

Apple actively developing foldable clamshell iPhone prototypes, folding 8-inch iPad (2 minute read)

Apple has been exploring foldable iPhones as early as 2018. It currently has at least two active clamshell prototypes. Apple is also developing a larger form-factor foldable iPad. The company recently discussed component orders with manufacturers in Asia. The project may still be canceled if the final product cannot meet Apple's design standards.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Europe’s deepest mine to become giant gravity battery (3 minute read)

The Pyhäsalmi Mine, an abandoned mine in Finland, is set to be transformed into a giant gravity battery to store renewable energy. The 1,400-meter-deep mine holds the potential to store up to 2 MW of energy. Gravity batteries are charged by lifting heavy weights - these weights are then released, and energy from the drop is used to power a turbine. The technology offers a potential future for mines approaching the end of their original service lives. Studies suggest that gravity batteries in abandoned mines could store enough energy to meet global electricity demands.

Momentary Fusion Breakthroughs Face Hard Reality (4 minute read)

A new paper has confirmed the National Ignition Facility's claim that they finally achieved a breakeven fusion reaction. While there is still considerable work to be done, the achievement signals a major milestone in fusion science. It demonstrated that there is nothing fundamentally limiting scientists from being able to harness fusion in the laboratory. The team has since carried out six more experiments, four of which generated significantly more energy than in the breakthrough experiment.
Programming, Design & Data Science

jQuery 4.0.0 BETA! (24 minute read)

The jQuery 4.0.0 beta features bug fixes, performance improvements, and some breaking changes, like the removal of support for IE<11. Other breaking changes include the removal of previously deprecated APIs, internal-only parameters to public functions, and support for some magic behaviors that were overly complicated. A comprehensive upgrade guide will be published before the final release. This article covers some of the highlights of the jQuery 4.0.0 beta.

Scriptisto (GitHub Repo)

Scriptisto is a language-agnostic shebang interpreter that enables developers to write scripts in compiled languages. It combines a scripting development experience with the performance of strongly typed native languages such as C, C++, and Rust. Scriptisto can build in Docker, so there is no need to have a compiler on users' machines - static binaries can be linked in the container that has all the tools.

Morale plummets at Google as workers complain bosses are 'inept' and 'boring' (5 minute read)

Google staff morale is suffering badly and workers are increasingly vocal about the slump. The company and its work culture are being described as overly corporate and generally aimless. There is a growing rift between leadership and employees. While executives seem excited about the company's future, employees are much less enthusiastic as they feel they might get laid off at any time.

Meet Me in the Eternal City (28 minute read)

A network state is the idea that an online community could eventually move offline into the real world, with the purchase of land and a community of inhabitants, and become large enough that at least one pre-existing government is moved to offer diplomatic recognition. There are many possible ways the idea can play out, but states must be based on something like a moral innovation or a 'one commandment'. There are several network-state-inspired projects underway. This article looks at the concept of the network state and the projects that are building towards it.
Quick Links

Node.js Community Debate Intensifies Over Enabling Corepack by Default and Potentially Unbundling npm (12 minute read)

Enabling Corepack, which allows developers to use Yam, npm, and pnpm without having to install them, could eventually lead to the uncoupling of Node.js releases and npm releases.

JavaScript in SVGs (3 minute read)

SVG is an XML-based format, so it is possible to use tags like CDATA, which allows the embedding of JavaScript code within XML documents, to create SVGs that interact with APIs.

YouTube TV is the US’s 4th-biggest cable TV provider, with 8 million subs (2 minute read)

YouTube TV bundles over 100 channels into one of the most expensive streaming subscriptions at $73 a month.

Meet ‘Smaug-72B’: The new king of open-source AI (6 minute read)

Abacus AI's Smaug-72B, technically a fine-tuned version of Qwen-72B, a powerful language model released by a team of researchers at Alibaba Group, surpasses GPT-3.5, Mistral Medium, and Qwen-72B in several of the most popular benchmarks.

Data Industry Primer (22 minute read)

This article looks at the history of data platforms, what a modern data platform looks like, and important companies in the data ecosystem.

Lessons Learned From Payments Startups (13 minute read)

This post contains a collection of thoughts and lessons learned from working at a number of payments companies and startups.
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