Big Tech &
Disney Assumes Full Control of Hulu in Deal With Comcast (4 minute read)
Disney now has complete control over Hulu after a deal was reached with Comcast to sell the platform for at least $5.8 billion. Comcast’s NBCUniversal will continue to license content to Hulu until 2024. However, after next year the content will no longer be exclusive to Hulu, and by 2022, NBCU will be able to cancel most of its licensing agreements with Hulu. NBCU will launch a free, ad-supported streaming service in 2020. With Disney in control of Hulu, they will be able to set a new strategic map for the service, including launching it internationally. Comcast continues to hold a 33 percent share of Hulu, but in 2024 either Comcast can demand that Disney purchase this share, or Disney can require Comcast to sell its share for fair market price.
Google is about to have a lot more ads on phones (2 minute read)
Google will introduce new types of ads that are designed for more interaction on mobile devices. Searches will now display new gallery ads which will have multiple images for users to swipe through. Gallery ads usually result in 25 percent more interaction than normal text or banner ads. Google’s discover feed will also feature ads in between news stories. These ads are designed to be more noticeable, which makes sense as Google’s ads are provided on a pay-per-click basis. New ads will also be seen on YouTube within the recommended videos section.
Estonia to Empower AI-Based Judge in Small Claims Court (5 minute read)
An AI-based judge will be used in Estonia to settle small claims cases. The AI will take case submissions from both parties in a trial and determine the outcome without an actual human judge making the decision. If the parties disagree with the decision made, then they can further appeal to a human judge and a full case. The government is planning up to 50 different applications for AI in the public sector by 2020.
The deepest-ever dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench found litter there (2 minute read)
Retired naval officer Victor Vescovo piloted his submarine to 10,927 meters below the sea’s surface and spent around four hours at the bottom. This was the deepest-ever dive ever in the Mariana Trench, 50 feet lower than James Cameron’s dive in 2012. While Vescovo potentially discovered four new species on his dive, he also found plastic bags and candy wrappers. According to the United Nations, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050.
Programming, Design & Data Science
hacker-laws (GitHub Repo)
This repository lists several laws, theories, principles, and patterns that developers will find useful. It presents an explanation for each topic but specifically does not advocate for any of them. It is up to the developer to choose whether these laws are applicable to their work.
3D Game Shaders For Beginners (GitHub Repo)
This repository contains a collection of shading techniques to allow developers to add textures, lighting, shadows, normal maps, glowing objects, ambient occlusion, and more to their 3D games. Each technique is explained in a way that can be applied to whatever stack a developer chooses. Examples are given using the Panda3D game engine and OpenGL Shading Language.
New secret-spilling flaw affects almost every Intel chip since 2011 (5 minute read)
Zombieload, a new vulnerability discovered in Intel chips, is made up of four bugs which allow for a side-channel attack to target Intel chips by exploiting design flaws. Almost every computer with Intel chips dating back to 2011 is affected by the vulnerability. AMD and ARM chips are not affected. A proof of concept by researchers demonstrates that they can surveil someone else’s computer while they are browsing the internet. Cloud and virtual machines are also affected by the bug. No real-world attacks have been recorded, and Intel has already released code to patch some of their chips.