Big Tech &
Google Will Soon Let You Automatically Scrub Your Location And Web History From Your Account Every Few Months (1 minute read)
It is well known that Google collects a lot of data about its users, including past searches, location history, and browsing history. The data can already be manually removed, but in the next few weeks, users will start seeing an option to automatically remove the data every three or 18 months. This option will only remove location, web, and app history, but it is likely the feature will remove more information in the future. Removing data will make Google’s services less personalized, as features such as recommendations, Google Assistant, and ads rely heavily on user history.
Facebook bans Alex Jones and Laura Loomer for violating its policies against dangerous individuals (3 minute read)
Facebook removed a slew of accounts, citing its policies against dangerous individuals and organizations. Individuals or organizations who are considered to promote or engage in violence or hate, regardless of ideology, are targeted by Facebook and assessed through an extensive evaluation process. Facebook has come under more pressure to address hate speech on their platform due to the increased usage of social media to promote violence. The removed accounts were known for posting anti-religious or racist content.
Harvard system could store data in organic molecules for millennia (3 minute read)
Researchers at Harvard have developed a technique to store information within organic molecules, and this technology could potentially be used to store data securely for thousands of years. While DNA can store a lot of information, it is impractical to use as a storage medium. Other molecules can be more easily manipulated and take up less physical space. The researchers used oligopeptides, small molecules made up of amino acids, which were put into an order that could be translated into binary. In the experiments, scientists were able to read and write around 400 kB of text and image data with an accuracy of 99.9 percent. The system also works with other types of molecules and can write information faster than using DNA.
The search for the kryptonite that can stop CRISPR (9 minute read)
While CRISPR technology has the potential to help many people, it also has the potential to be used as a dangerous weapon. The technology works by editing genes within living cells, which can potentially cure, or cause, genetic diseases. In September 2016, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) began a program called Safe Genes that aimed to find an antidote against CRISPR. More than 40 anti-CRISPR proteins have already been found. Scientists have combined CRISPR and anti-CRISPR technologies to develop more targeted treatments. Finding a way to disable CRISPR technology is important as the consequences of an accident or attack can be catastrophic.
Programming, Design & Data Science
ipfs-deploy (GitHub Repo)
ipfs-deploy is designed to make it as easy as possible to deploy a static website to IPFS. It can be run without installation with npx. Users can deploy quickly to a service that doesn’t require signup using the default settings, or users can specify which services they wish to deploy to. At the moment, ipfs-deploy can be used with Infura.io, Pinata.cloud, and Cloudflare DNS.
BoTorch (GitHub Repo)
BoTorch is a library for Bayesian Optimization built on PyTorch. It is designed for researchers and sophisticated practitioners in Bayesian Optimization and AI. BoTorch can be used as a low-level API for implementing new algorithms in Ax, a machine learning optimization platform.
Pornhub Is "Extremely Interested" In Acquiring Tumblr (3 minute read)
Pornhub’s Vice President Corey Price has said that the porn-streaming giant is extremely interested in buying Tumblr. Tumblr was bought by Yahoo in 2013 and then by Verizon in 2017, and its value has been steadily declining. Last December, Tumblr banned all adult content on its platform, a move which was heavily criticized, as NSFW content was one of the cornerstones of Tumblr’s user base. Restoring the NSFW edge will be a key factor in Pornhub’s acquisition of Tumblr if it were to happen.