Big Tech &
Google Duplex rolling out to non-Pixel, iOS devices in the US (1 minute read)
Google Duplex is currently available in 44 US states on Pixel devices and will soon be available on non-Pixel and iOS devices. The rollout will likely happen in stages as Google continues to test the platform. Google Duplex allows users to make restaurant bookings using Google Assistant. It calls restaurants on your behalf and organizes the booking before emailing you a confirmation and setting a calendar event on your phone. A video is available demonstrating how Google Duplex works.
Facebook app developers leaked millions of user records on cloud servers, researchers say (1 minute read)
Researchers from the security firm UpGuard have found a database containing hundreds of millions of unencrypted user records on publicly visible cloud servers. The records included information such as Facebook user activity, account names, and IDs. There was data for an app which included passwords to access the app. It is unknown how long the data was exposed for, but it was removed as soon as Facebook was notified of its existence by UpGuard.
Zapping Nuclear Waste in Minutes Is Nobel Winner’s Holy Grail Quest (5 minute read)
Gerard Mourou, one of the recipients of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2018, and Toshiki Tajima, a professor from California, are developing a laser that can reduce the lifespan of radioactive waste from thousands of years down to a few minutes. Nuclear energy produces low levels of emissions and is relatively cheap, but it also creates toxic waste that requires special storage due to its radioactive properties and long half-life. There are currently no good solutions for dealing with the waste. Mourou and Tajima's laser will fire high-intensity pulses at atoms to change the composition of the nucleus in a process called transmutation.
Intel buys into an AI chip that can transfer data 1,000 times faster (1 minute read)
Untether AI raised $13 million from investors, including Intel, as it works on developing a chip that can perform neural network processing at warp speed. The current design can transfer data to different parts of the chip 1,000 times faster than a conventional AI chip. Performance speed in most chips is usually slowed down by the movement of data between the chip and memory. Untether AI's chip uses near-memory computing to overcome this problem. Unlike the types of chips that are used in data centers to train large neural networks, Untether AI's chip will be an ‘interference chip’, similar to those found in mobile phones.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Gimli is a Visual Studio Code extension that enables visual tools for front-end developers. It simplifies the process of creating complex layouts. Gimli works with a range of frameworks and has been tested with React, Wordpress, Bootstrap, VueJS, Angular, and Stencil. There are videos available showing how Gimli can be used.
PyTorch-BigGraph (GitHub Repo)
PyTorch-BigGraph (PBG) is a is a distributed system for learning graph embeddings for large graphs. It trains on an input graph by identifying the source and target entities in the list of edges of the graph and outputs a feature vector for each entity, attempting to place entities with a similar distribution nearby to each other. PBG is able to train a number of models from the knowledge graph embedding literature, including TransE, RESCAL, DistMult, and ComplEx.
Verizon begins rolling out its 5G wireless network for smartphones (2 minute read)
Chicago and Minneapolis now have access to Verizon's 5G wireless network. The network will deliver speeds of up to 1 Gbps, which is roughly 10 times faster than current LTE connections. Currently, only the Motorola Z3 will support the network, but Samsung will be releasing its Galaxy 10 5G model later this year. T-Mobile and Sprint are also planning to roll out 5G later this year.