Big Tech &
Apple announces a new… iPod touch (1 minute read)
The new iPod touch has been announced. It will use the A10 Fusion chip, which was introduced with the iPhone 7, and comes in many new colors. The device will look similar to older versions, with a four-inch display and a classic home button. It will not support Touch ID or Face ID but it notably has a headphone jack at the bottom of the device. The new iPod is $199 for a 32GB model, $299 for 128GB, and $399 for 256GB of storage.
Google’s Shadow Work Force: Temps Who Outnumber Full-Time Employees (6 minute read)
As of March, Google works with around 121,000 temp workers and contractors, with only around 102,000 full-time employees. The growing number of temp workers brings into question the management practices at Google. Employees have reported being dismissed by their agencies after a Google manager had told the agency that they wanted them gone. Temp employees also receive fewer benefits and pay than their full-time counterparts, even though they work the same hours and have the same expectations. Google claims that it has processes and policies in place to make sure that temp workers and contractors have a good experience working for the company.
'Submarines' small enough to deliver medicine inside human body (4 minute read)
Engineers at UNSW have developed micro submarines powered by nanomotors that can deliver drugs to specific sites without external guidance. The micro submarines are able to move along a vehicle axis depending on the pH of the environment it is in. Using these micro submarines, drugs such as stomach cancer drugs can be delivered in more targeted and strong doses, increasing its effectiveness.
If DARPA Has Its Way, AI Will Rule the Wireless Spectrum (14 minute read)
A major problem with Bluetooth is that it shares similar wireless frequencies as WiFi, which means that there is always the chance of interference. DARPA's Spectrum Collaboration Challenge aims to have many teams across the world developing AI systems that will be able to effectively manage the switching of frequencies to maintain steady and fast data transmission speed. The systems are emulated in Colosseum, a special facility built for this test that can emulate more than 65,000 unique interactions between 128 radios at once. Results from the testing have been positive so far, with many teams having already developed algorithms that can handle more data transfer than traditional methods.
Programming, Design & Data Science
imgsquash (GitHub Repo)
imgsquash is a full stack website code for image compression. It contains a full-service API and front-end written in node, react, and next.js framework. Users can choose between lossy or lossless JPEG or PNG compression.
Muzli is a search engine that was created for design inspiration. Like any other search engine, users input keywords, but instead of text results, Muzli will return images and links to designs that match the keywords. Users can search for certain types of design categories, for example, apps, webpages, or UIs.
Portland quietly launches mobile location data project with Alphabet’s controversial Sidewalk Labs (8 minute read)
Portland's citizens will unknowingly be part of a trial run of Sidewalk Lab's Replica Software. The software will collect location data from smartphones, anonymize the data, and then provide reports to the city on traffic patterns, the impact of ride-sharing on traffic, and other location-reliant information. It is expected that the project will cost at least $457,000, but the information provided will hopefully be able to help the city improve its infrastructure and policy.