Big Tech &
Apple cancels AirPower product, citing inability to meet its high standards for hardware (2 minute read)
Apple has canceled the AirPower product due to engineering issues. While developing AirPower, engineers ran into problems such as overheating and were not able to complete a design that was up to Apple's standards. Apple has a habit of announcing products before the final designs are complete but its engineers are usually able to fulfill their promises even if there are delays. It is very rare that Apple will completely cancel a product and this was unexpected as AirPower is featured on the boxes of the newly released AirPods.
Mark Zuckerberg says the internet needs a ‘more active role’ for regulators (3 minute read)
Mark Zuckerberg has highlighted four areas (data portability, election integrity, harmful content, and privacy) which he believes require regulation, in an op-ed published on March 30. He stated that a more active role is required by governments to counter broader threats in society while balancing freedom of expression. It appears that after facing years of problems relating to privacy and content, Zuckerberg feels that internet companies should have more responsibility to enforce standards on harmful content and that regulators should define this content and set out guidelines for removing it.
Boston Dynamics Releases Video of Handle, a New Warehouse Work Robot (1 minute read)
A new robot by Boston Dynamics called Handle can complete warehouse tasks such as mixed SKU pallet building, depalletizing, and sorting boxes up to 15 kg. The robots are wheeled, unlike the legged robots which Boston Dynamics is famous for, as wheels are much more practical for a warehouse and the tasks that the robots will be assigned to do. A short video is available showing the robots at work, revealing a glimpse of what the future of warehouses could be like.
Scientists find genetic mutation that makes woman feel no pain (3 minute read)
A genetic mutation has been discovered that plays a major role in pain signaling, mood, and memory. The mutation was found in a person who felt almost no pain, despite undergoing severely painful experiences, such as a late hip replacement and surgery for osteoarthritis. Two genes are affected by the mutation, one that creates an enzyme that breaks down a naturally occurring analgesic, and another, which was missing in the patient, that seems to moderate the production of the same analgesic. These mutations resulted in twice as much of the analgesic present in the patient compared to normal populations. Scientists hope to be able to apply this discovery to gene therapies to help people in chronic pain.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Dragula provides free stock images through a desktop tool. Users can enter simple keywords and Dragula will find a random image related to the word. The image can then be drag and dropped in any app that supports the feature. Dragula can even generate links and markdown code to embed the image if required.
SQLite-New (GitHub Repo)
SQLite-New is an open-source browser for SQLite database files. Users can create, define, modify and delete database files, tables, indexes, and records. It runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS, and a compiled binary is available for Windows.
Hoping to Spur ‘Learning Engineering,’ Carnegie Mellon Will Open-Source Its Digital-Learning Software (5 minute read)
In an unusual move, Carnegie Mellon University will give away many of the digital-learning software tools it has developed over the years under an open-source license. The aim is to promote learning engineering, which is the practice of applying findings from learning science to college classrooms. Carnegie Mellon has a long history of commercializing their learning tools but this practice has caused software to become less effective. It is hoped that by releasing the software as open-source, more people would contribute to the projects and share feedback, perhaps starting a scientific revolution in education.