Big Tech &
Amazon to give Prime customers one-day shipping, cutting free delivery time in half (2 minute read)
Amazon has started to roll out free one-day delivery for some customers, and the service is expected to be available to all Prime customers soon. Two-day delivery has been available for years and is one of the main selling points for the Prime subscription. During a conference call related to Amazon’s quarterly earnings report, CFO Brian Olsavsky explained that Amazon will be investing heavily to achieve this goal. Amazon expects that this project will take time and investors will have an update on their progress by the end of Q2.
FCC approves SpaceX’s plans to fly internet-beaming satellites in a lower orbit (3 minute read)
SpaceX has gained approval from the FCC to fly their Starlink satellites at a lower altitude of 550 kilometers. By operating at this orbit, Starlink will have a much shorter signal latency and will also require 16 fewer satellites. There have been objections to the approval by other companies such as OneWeb, who are developing their own satellite internet network, and Kepler Communications. They claim that Starlink will use similar signals to their satellites and will cause interference, and that there would be a higher chance of satellites colliding at that orbit. The FCC ruled that interference would not be an issue, and SpaceX claims that their satellites have thrusters and will be able to navigate out of the way of other objects. SpaceX aims to launch a total of 12,000 satellites, with at least 6,000 in the next six years.
DARPA is Eyeing a High-Tech Contact Lens Straight Out of 'Mission: Impossible' (3 minute read)
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is reportedly interested in a new high-tech contact lens being developed by a French team. DARPA has been looking for a high-tech eyepiece for more than a decade. The contact lens is able to relay visual information wirelessly and provide augmented vision assistance. It uses a flexible micro-battery that is able to power an LED for several hours. The lens was originally designed for medical and automotive applications, but it has also gained interest for other uses by DARPA and Microsoft.
'Biosolar leaf' project targets air pollution on London campus (2 minute read)
A new ‘Biosolar leaf’ is able to clean up carbon dioxide and release oxygen to the air more efficiently than normal trees. The invention uses minute plant life on solar panel structures that can be built almost anywhere. It also produces nutritious plant proteins. While other air-processing technologies require high pressures, this technique can clean air even in low-pressure environments. Council members in the UK are excited to be the first to roll out the technology.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Principles and Techniques of Data Science (Website)
This is the textbook for Data 100, the Principles and Techniques of Data Science, at UC Berkeley. The course assumes that the student is comfortable with the information presented in Data 8, Berkeley’s Foundations of Data Science course. Previous knowledge of Python and familiarity with partial derivatives, gradients, vector algebra, and matrix algebra is also required.
Elon Musk makes deal with SEC not to discuss Tesla's finances without a lawyer's approval (4 minute read)
Elon Musk has reached an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over his use of Twitter. The agreement, which outlines what kind of information requires formal legal review prior to being published, still requires approval by a judge. It includes topics regarding the company’s decisions, financial position, and other topics that may affect shareholders. Tesla shares rose after the news. The full proposed agreement between the SEC and Musk is available to read at the end of the article.
If Facebook Wants Our Trust, Mark Zuckerberg Must Resign (6 minute read)
Facebook will be kicking off their annual F8 developer conference on April 30, and a big chunk of the conference will likely focus on privacy. Mark Zuckerberg has been talking a lot about private communications lately and plans to integrate encryption into all of Facebook’s chat platforms. Facebook has previously been involved in many privacy breaches and slip-ups, some of which are recent or still being resolved. Critics say that Zuckerberg needs to resign before Facebook can be trusted with their privacy policies.