Big Tech &
Apple releasing iOS 12.1 tomorrow with Group FaceTime, new emoji, more (2 minute read)
Apple is updating FaceTime with today's new iOS release, with features like group calling (whoever is talking will remain in focus while everyone else will be smaller in the background) for up to 32 users, stickers, Memoji and Animoji, and filters. iOS 12.1 will also include dual SIM card functionality so it will be really easy to toggle between two different phone numbers, real-time depth control (a blurring effect that gives the appearance of depth to photos), and new emojis including emojis for red heads and bald people!
Google Engineers Are Organizing A Walk Out To Protest The Company's Protection Of An Alleged Sexual Harasser (1 minute read)
More than 200 Google employees are organizing a "women's walk" to protest against Google paying out $90 million to alleged sexual harasser and Android creator Andy Rubin. The company found the allegations credible enough to dismiss Andy Rubin, but employees felt that he got away with just a slap on the wrist. Andy Rubin maintains that he is innocent. One anonymous employee said "Personally, I'm furious. I feel like there's a pattern of powerful men getting away with awful behavior towards women at Google‚ or if they don't get away with it, they get a slap on the wrist, or they get sent away with a golden parachute."
A to Z Resources for Students (Github Repo)
This is an insanely comprehensive set of resources for college students (and a lot of stuff for non-students as well), including resources to learn about any major coding language, hackathons, student discounts, internship portals, conferences for students, and more stuff like that. Definitely worth checking out, especially if you're still in school.
UK chancellor announces 2% 'digital services tax' on tech giants' revenues starting in April 2020 (3 minute read)
The UK plans to levy a 2% tax on tech companies making over £500 million a year in global revenues. The tax will only be applied on advertising and streaming entertainment, not on product sales. The taxes will be rolled out in April 2020, and will generate about £400 million in revenue. The UK is also in talks with the rest of the G20 and OECD to discuss how best to tax tech giants. It is still possible that they will scrap this plan in favor of an international plan. UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond says "This shows we are serious about this reform. It is only right that these global giants pay their fair share."
This is a newsletter about the long tail of the internet. It's full of weird, quirky stuff you won't find anywhere else, like what happens when "lost" films and television shows become found once again, hardcore use cases for Google, etc. Curated by Ernie Smith, who some of you might remember from ShortFormBlog on Tumblr.
Humanity has wiped out 60% of animals since 1970, major report finds (3 minute read)
A report by the World Wildlife Foundation involving 59 scientists has found that humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970. Other studies have shown that humans have wiped out about 83% of mammals, and even if we stop now the natural world will take 5 to 7 million years to recover. Many scientists believe that this is the sixth mass extinction, the first to be caused by a single species. The biggest causes of death are the destruction of natural habitats, followed by killing for food (300 mammals are being eaten into extinction). Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF, says "We need a new global deal for nature and people and we have this narrow window of less than two years to get it. This really is the last chance. We have to get it right this time."