TLDR Daily Update 2019-05-09

Google's AR search, taste testing robots

Big Tech & Startups

Los Angeles Uber drivers join cities across the U.S. in strike ahead of much-anticipated IPO (5 minute read)

Uber, who is about to launch one of the tech world's most anticipated Initial Public Offerings, faced a protest from their drivers just days before the sale. Drivers across 10 cities in the US, as well as in some European locations such as London, protested against unfair pay and a lack of transparency. Passengers did not seem to notice much difference during the protest as they were still able to hail rides without much difficulty, but the goal of the protest was so legislators would take notice. A change in legislation may affect the company's value and sale price, which the protestors are trying to use as leverage against the company.

Google is adding augmented reality to search (2 minute read)

Google is adding 3D augmented reality to its searches, so users can now view product models as they would appear in real life, or see animals projected into their living room. While a few demos were given at their I/O conference, it's unclear how many results will actually have this feature. Google has been adding more and more AR features into their products as part of an arms race against Facebook, as Facebook develops its Spark AR platform for mobiles.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Artificial intelligence robots boost Chinese food factories, paving way for mass use (3 minute read)

More than 10 traditional Chinese food manufacturers took part in a trial where artificial intelligence was used for taste testing their products to ensure the quality of their food. It is estimated that the taste testing robots boosted manufacturers' profits by over $44.5 million since 2015. The robots automatically adjusted the production line conditions so that all products had the same color, smell, and taste. The job was previously done with humans and the process was slower and more limited. Chinese food is complex and varied, and standardizing recipes has been met with some opposition, so while there are regulations that describe how some food is to be cooked and presented, these are not enforced.

Algae 'Bioreactor' on Space Station Could Make Oxygen, Food for Astronauts (2 minute read)

A new algae-powered bioreactor, called the Photobioreactor, is being tested on the International Space Station for its feasibility to be used in long-duration space missions. It is designed so astronauts on long-term missions will not need additional supplies to be delivered to them during these missions. The Photobioreactor will convert the carbon dioxide released by astronauts into oxygen and edible biomass through photosynthesis. It arrived on the ISS on the SpaceX Dragon cargo ship on May 6.
Programming, Design & Data Science

cssfx (Website)

cssfx allows developers to insert CSS effects by copying the code from the website with a click. The site lists many CSS-based icons and effects, and the code is displayed to be copied when the user clicks on an item. The code is completely open sourced and MIT licensed.

self-driving-desktop (GitHub Repo)

self-driving-desktop is a desktop automation framework written in Python. It uses steps (instructions) within playlists (groups of actions) to automate tasks. A list of example uses is available, and users can customize playlists to complete their desired tasks.

Denver Voters Approve Measure To Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms (4 minute read)

A vote on the decriminalization of psychedelic mushrooms in Denver, Colorado was passed on Tuesday. Many news outlets reported that the legislation had failed, but final results of the ballot resulted in a final 51 percent to 49 percent victory. Citizens in Denver will now be allowed to possess psilocybin for personal use, and prosecuting people for mushrooms is now on the city's lowest law enforcement priority list. Other cities and states are also pursuing the decriminalization of psychedelic mushrooms after the successful decriminalization of marijuana.

'Reconstruction' begins of stone age lands lost to North Sea (4 minute read)

A lost country called Doggerland, covered by the North Sea, will be remapped in 3D using seabed mapping data. Scientists also plan to take samples from the seafloor to hopefully extract samples of remnants from the lost civilization. It is believed that the country was destroyed due to catastrophic flooding. The civilization covered about 260,00p sq km but after the ice age ended, the coastal zones became increasingly ravaged by flooding and eventually the whole area was lost.

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