TLDR Daily Update 2019-07-18

Neuralink's brain-reading threads, Netflix suffers losses

Big Tech & Startups

Elon Musk unveils Neuralink’s plans for brain-reading ‘threads’ and a robot to insert them (6 minute read)

Elon Musk has shown off some of the technology that his company Neuralink has been developing for the last few years. Neuralink’s goal is to develop devices that can be implanted in paralyzed humans, allowing them to control devices with their thoughts. The company has developed thread sensors that are thinner than a human hair and can provide high-resolution signals from the brain. A robot was created in order to implant this device, as the threads were difficult to implant with current technology. Neuralink is also developing a custom chip that can read, clean up, and amplify signals from the brain. The aim is to eventually create a wireless version that can be implanted in a safe and non-invasive procedure, similar to Lasik.

Netflix suffers first major loss of US subscribers, blames price hikes (3 minute read)

Netflix saw a loss in US subscribers for the first time since 2011. The company attributes the losses to price hikes and a lack of original content to bring in new subscribers. While Netflix lost subscribers in all regions, regions with price hikes saw the biggest losses. It is still the leader in the streaming industry, but competition is set to increase soon with Apple and Disney preparing to launch their own platforms. Streaming platforms will be competing on exclusive and original content.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Boston Dynamics’ robots are preparing to leave the lab - is the world ready? (11 minute read)

Boston Dynamics has been showing off advanced robots for years, gaining a large following for their machines. After decades of developing robots, Boston Dynamics is finally set to launch its first commercial bot later this year, a quadrupedal robot called 'Spot'. Robot development is difficult and requires significant funding, resources, and highly skilled staff. Boston Dynamics' robots are different in that they are legged and able to handle unexpected interference, such as being kicked. Spot will be able to be customized, with the ability to add attachments such as robotic arms, cameras, radios, sensors, and more. It is designed to be able to replace a human in current warehouse working environments. Other companies have also been developing legged robots for different environments.

Microsoft hologram speaking Japanese (2 minute video)

In this video, a presenter demonstrates Microsoft's Mixed Reality studio's ability to generate a hologram. The presenter's hologram speaks Japanese to demonstrate a new neural text-to-speech engine that creates speech in a different language using the speaker's voice.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Recommenders (GitHub Repository)

This repository provides examples and best practices for building recommendation systems. It focuses on five key tasks: preparing data, building models, evaluating algorithms, optimizing models, and operationalizing models in a production environment.

Code Tips (Website)

Code Tips is a website that teaches programming for people with little or no prior experience. It contains short tutorials that are written in an easy to understand manner. Most tutorials are on programming basics, but there are also tutorials for Go, Python, and JavaScript.

A Google VP Told The US Senate The Company Has “Terminated” The Chinese Search App Dragonfly (2 minute read)

Information about a secret project by Google to launch a search engine in China was leaked in August, causing internal backlash from employees who did not want their work to be used unethically. At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Google's vice president of public policy said that Project Dragonfly had been terminated. Google has been saying since March that it has no plans for a search engine in China and that the employees working on Project Dragonfly have moved onto other projects. Employees at Google have been active in voicing their opinions on controversial projects through protests and petitions.

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