TLDR Daily Update 2019-04-03

Apple News+ success, AI  olympics

Big Tech & Startups

Over 200,000 users signed up for Apple News+ during its first 48 hours, report says (1 minute read)

Apple News+ received over 200,000 subscriptions in its first 48 hours. All of these new subscribers are taking advantage of the trial period so it is yet to be seen whether Apple will retain their numbers. More people signed up to Apple News+ than Texture, a magazine subscription service that Apple acquired last year, which Apple News+ is based on. Some publishers have become more cautious about the effects of using the subscription service. However, many are confident in Apple News’ editor in chief, who has a reputation for knowing what good content is.

YouTube reportedly discouraged employees from reporting fake, toxic videos (2 minute read)

Company executives at YouTube care more about increasing views than the type of content that is being viewed, according to many employees. Employees have been suggesting solutions to moderate or remove certain types of content for years, but the company was more interested in reaching its goal of 1 billion hours of views per day. YouTube discouraged employees outside their small moderation team searching for videos with questionable content, as their liability would have increased if there was proof that staff was aware of these videos’ existence on the platform. At least 5 senior employees have left the company due to this issue. YouTube finally started taking action on this issue in late 2016 and started demonetizing some videos in 2017.
Science & Futuristic Technology

The Animal-AI Olympics is going to treat AI like a lab rat (4 minute read)

A competition between different AI models will test their ability to solve new problems that are usually used to test for animal and human intelligence. The testing grounds will be a virtual world created in Unity, which means that participants won't need to create robots for the competition and can just focus on AI development. While it is expected that most entrants will use a reinforcement training method to build their AI systems, the researchers running the competition hope that new methods using a more cognitive approach will be used. A virtual training playground will be released later this month and entrants will be tested in June.

'Radically new' wing from NASA and MIT automatically changes shape (2 minute read)

A new type of wing created by NASA and MIT is made from hundreds of small identical pieces. This design allows the wing to change shape using motors and cables. Different maneuvers require different wing shapes, and modern wings are usually a compromise. The new wing design can respond to changes in aerodynamic loading by changing shape, making the wing perform more optimally. Researchers aim to apply this technology to other structures, such as turbines, bridges, and space antennas.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Editor.js (GitHub Repo)

Editor.js is a Block Style editor. It uses plugins to enrich features and users can easily create their own plugins. There are many built-in keyboard shortcuts and custom shortcuts can be added. Examples of how to use Editor.js are available on the repository.

Perflink (GitHub Repo)

Perflink is a JavaScript performance benchmarker that evaluates code as it is being written. Users access the tool through a web interface. The tool was designed to measure the performance characteristics of different code snippets. It is a front-end only static web app so there is no build step.

Google’s constant product shutdowns are damaging its brand (20 minute read)

In 2019 alone, Google has shut down or partially shut down 11 services. Removing all these services may be damaging Google's reputation. More importantly, these actions may damage trust from people who use Google's services. Many people and companies depend on Google's platforms, and their business decisions can have severely disruptive effects. However, these product shutdowns are unlikely to stop, as Google enjoys developing new products and testing them in the market.

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