TLDR 2024-06-10

SpaceX Starfactory šŸš€, Siri reborn šŸ“±, GPT in spreadsheet šŸ¤–

Big Tech & Startups

Siri is reborn in iOS 18 ā€” everything Apple's voice assistant will be able to do (19 minute read)

Details about Siri's new functionalities as well as prompts that Apple used to test the software have been leaked. Many of the prompts used contain natural language, often detailing descriptions of what the user is trying to do along with arguably superfluous details. Several core apps, including Notes, Photos, Safari, and Mail, will be getting enhanced Siri features in iOS 18. This article looks at all of the enhanced Siri features coming in iOS 18 and other updates that can be expected in iOS 18 and macOS 15.

SpaceX scales up Starfactory, aiming to build a Starship a day (3 minute read)

SpaceX's Starfactory started construction back in February. The upgrade gives Starbase an extra 100,000 square feet of factory floor to help SpaceX reach its ambitious goal of producing one Starship a day. SpaceX intends to start building Starship Version 2 at the new Starfactory. Starship Version 2 is said to hold more propellant, have improved reliability and a lower dry weight, and feature aerodynamic changes. There are currently over 1,800 full-time employees at Starbase.
Science & Futuristic Technology

A Revolution in Biology (15 minute read)

This article discusses different ways in which biology can be hacked without gene editing. For example, scientists have used drug combinations to create planarians with two heads or two tails. The two-headed worms produce two-headed offspring indefinitely, meaning that the scientists achieved a permanent change in the structure of the worm - without changing its genes. Studies like this open up the possibility of a perspective shift in how the body works.

Ars chats with Precision, the brain-chip maker taking the road less invasive (5 minute read)

Competition is amping up in the brain-computer interface (BCI) space as recent advances have the field buzzing with anticipation. Precision Neuroscience is one of the startups at the forefront of the field. It has placed its device on the brains of 14 human patients so far and is hoping to at least double that number by the end of this year. The company expected to have its first BCI on the market next year. This article takes a look at the BCI space, Precision's device, how it works, future designs, and more.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Spreadsheet Is All You Need (GitHub Repo)

This project, a nanoGPT pipeline packed in a spreadsheet, was created to help further understanding of how GPT works. All of the mechanisms, calculations, and matrices included are fully interactive and configurable, designed to help readers visualize the entire structure and data flow. Resources for further learning are available.

So You Want To Build A Browser Engine (5 minute read)

This blog post contains advice on building a browser engine that's competitive with Chromium. Focusing on the right set of imparted and hard use cases will help a lot in the beginning. Some of these constraining use causes include site isolation, content main thread sanctity, fast JS-DOM calls, page load performance, and typing latency. The post also contains ideas on how browsers can be improved in general. For example, they could restore state after a browser reset.

Nvidia's New Sales Booster: The Global Push for National AI Champions (6 minute read)

Governments around the world are boosting their budgets to encourage companies and multinationals to build new data centers and refit old ones to develop AI locally and train large language models in their native languages based on their own citizens' data. Nvidia says that these sovereign AI efforts are expected to bring in almost $10 billion this year. Many governments are concerned about how generative AI will impact their economies. They want sovereign clouds for their AI infrastructure and sensitive data, and US tech companies are eager to build those for them.

Building AI products (8 minute read)

Just because AI gets things wrong sometimes doesn't mean it's useless. AI models are extremely good at telling you what a good answer to a question would probably look like. Generative AI is a general-purpose technology, but developers are boxing it into single-purpose tools and experiences. One of the reasons people are so excited about large language models is that they could move through all of the levels of software and hardware abstraction to the top.
Quick Links

The Skew Programming Language (10 minute read)

Skew is a fairly conventional object-oriented program language but with wrapped types, real integer types, customizable syntax, name-based member access, open declarations, and compiler optimizations.

How a single ChatGPT mistake cost us $10,000+ (6 minute read)

ChatGPT hard-coded an ID string instead of using a function or lambda to generate UUIDs, resulting in an issue that prevented new users from subscribing.

With Marriages Declining in Japan, Tokyo's Government Is Building Its Own Dating App (2 minute read)

The Japanese government has started several initiatives in an attempt to create more couples and aid the country's falling birthrate, which is at an all-time low.

How to Build Anything Extremely Quickly (6 minute read)

Recursively create outlines, speedrun filling them in, and then once everything is almost done, go through and perfect it.

Decade of the Battery (16 minute read)

Batteries may be the defining technology of the 2020s - in just a few years, they have changed human energy supply, war, transportation, and geopolitical dominance.

Elon and AI at Tesla (3 minute read)

This post details several examples of when Elon Musk demonstrated his key role in driving AI and autonomy at Tesla.
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