Big Tech &
Amazon Plans to Split HQ2 in Two Locations
Image (3 minute read)
According to "people familiar with the decision-making process", Amazon now plans to have its second headquarters split into two different locations with 25,000 employees each. Inside sources say that Amazon is close to deals with the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens and Crystal City, Virginia, an urban neighborhood south of downtown Washington DC. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says "I am doing everything I can...I'll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that's what it takes. Because it would be a great economic boost."
Inside Tesla's factory, a medical clinic designed to ignore injured workers (15 minute read)
When a Tesla factory worker is injured, medical staff are forbidden from calling 911 without permission. Instead, Tesla's contract doctors often insist that workers be sent in a Lyft, including one worker who partially severed his finger. Stephen Nelson was working on a Model X when the trunk door slammed down on his back. He says "I couldn't walk, I couldn't sit down. I couldn't even stand up straight," but Tesla doctors refused to call him an ambulance, telling him to take a Lyft instead. 911 calls are public records and first responders are required to report severe injuries but Lyft drivers are not. Anna Watson, a former Tesla physician's assistant, says that no matter what injuries a worker came into the clinic with, the staff was instructed to send them back to work full duty. She even had to send one worker back with a broken ankle. Watson herself sent Nelson back to work 4 days after his injury. 8 days after his injury, an outside clinic diagnosed him with "crushing injury of back," contusions and "intractable" pain. Workers injuries are often dismissed as being non-work related even if they are, and at one point, there was a blanket policy to turn away temps from receiving any medical treatment at all. Tracy Lee, a temp who developed a repetitive stress injury from lifting car parts by hand after a machine broke and was turned away by Tesla's clinic, says "I really think that's messed up. Don't discriminate just because we're temps. We're working for you." Watson, who was fired after raising concerns about worker treatment, says "You go to Tesla and you think it's going to be this innovative, great, wonderful place to be, like this kind of futuristic company. And I guess it's just kind of disappointing that that's our future, basically, where the worker still doesn't matter."
React Native Newsletter (Newsletter)
React Native Newsletter offers a curated list of blog posts, libraries, and important updates about the React Native ecosystem. It's curated by Infinite Red, these guys really know their stuff, I've used some of their open source projects in the past and it's always been top notch. Definitely worth checking out if you're interested in React Native.
Glorious Demo (Github Repo)
This is a cool open source tool that makes it really easy to create an animated demo of your code in action. Very nifty, you can create a nice demo in just 5 to 10 lines of code.
A click-on bionic arm could revolutionize how amputees do simple tasks: 'We think of it like a USB connector from the body (2 minute read)
Edmund Rath is an amputee who underwent a new procedure called "osseointegration", in which surgeons implant a metal rod onto an amputee's residual limb. Then, nerves used to control his hand are connected to muscles in his upper arm. Now, when he imagines moving his hand, the muscles in his shoulder contract, and electrodes in his prosthetic arm perform the intended hand movement. It took six weeks for the implanted nerves to grow into his muscles and he can now open and close his prosthetic hand. Pretty awesome stuff, there are pictures of the prosthetic arm in the article.
Crazy Work Hours and Lots of Cameras: Silicon Valley Goes to China (4 minute read)
A group of Silicon Valley investors and executives visited Shenzhen and Beijing, China. They were struck by how fast everything moves. The speed of development is faster, and startups will raise money every six months as opposed to every 18-24 months for US based startups. China's AI development is much faster due to lax privacy laws and robust government support. Chinese startups have a concept of 996, 9am to 9pm, 6 days a week. Chinese companies tend to be more top down, while US companies give smart employees more freedom to be creative. They are much less concerned about the social impact of technology and cooperate fully with governmental efforts to track citizens. Facial recognition software is everywhere. Lan Xuezhao of Basis Set Ventures says "I live in San Francisco, but I find it helpful to visit the other parallel universe from time to time. To some degree, it’s like looking into the future."
Google has enlisted NASA to help it prove quantum supremacy within months (3 minute read)
Quantum supremacy is the idea that a sufficiently powerful quantum computer will be able to perform certain calculations that current supercomputers can't. Proving it could eventually lead to breaking currently unbreakable codes, enhancing AI, improving weather forecasts, and modeling complex molecular interactions. Google's quantum computing head, physicist John Martinis, believes that Google's new 72-qubit quantum chip Bristlecone will be capable of achieving quantum supremacy. Google is partnering with NASA to test this out, pitting Bristlecone against NASA's most powerful supercomputer Pleiades. Google and NASA signed a five year partnership in July that will give NASA access to Google's quantum computing resources over the next five years in exchange for helping test and improve Google's quantum computers, and running comparisons against traditional supercomputers.