Big Tech &
Apple is hosting augmented reality art walking tours in major cities (1 minute read)
Apple is hosting a project called [AR]T Walk, which aims to make AR more consumer-friendly while also portraying Apple stores as civic centers where communities can come together. [AR]T Walk will take people on a walking tour through various city centers around the globe, making digital art come alive in physical spaces. People in Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and Tokyo during mid-August can sign up for the tours online. The tour will last a couple of hours and involve a 1.5-mile walk.
Facebook just published an update on its futuristic brain-typing project (3 minute read)
Facebook's brain-reading computer interface is able to look for patterns in activity in the brain and match them with specific words and phrases in real-time. In experiments, participants answered multiple-choice questions with their thoughts, which were then translated into words by the brain-computer interface. The system was able to detect when the participant was being asked a question, understand the content of the question asked, and translate the thought answer into words. The patients in the study were using highly invasive implants, and the system was very limited. It was only able to understand nine questions and 24 total answer options with between 61 to 76 percent accuracy. Even a very basic level of thought control could make huge differences in how we interact with VR systems. The technology could help improve the lives of people who can't speak due to paralysis or other issues.
NASA taps SpaceX, Blue Origin and 11 more companies for Moon and Mars space tech (2 minute read)
NASA has partnered with 13 companies on 19 new projects that will help it reach the Moon and Mars. Blue Origin will develop a navigation system for safe landing on the Moon, a fuel cell-based power system, and engine nozzles for rockets with liquid propellant suited for lunar lander vehicles. SpaceX will be working on technology to help move rocket propellant safely around during orbit and on refining its vertical landing capabilities to adapt it to conditions on the Moon. Lockheed Martin will be creating metal powder-based materials using solid-state processing that can operate better in high-temperature environments, as well as autonomous methods for growing and harvesting plants in space. A link to more details on the other projects is available.
Chinese vlogger who used filter to look younger caught in live-stream glitch (3 minute read)
A technical glitch has revealed that a popular Chinese vlogger is actually a middle-aged woman, rather than the young glamorous girl that she portrayed. This has sparked discussions about standards of beauty across the country's social media platforms. With more than 100,000 followers, the vlogger solicited gifts from her fans, with some fans giving her more than US $14,533. After the revelation, many fans stopped following her and withdrew their transactions. The use of face filters during live-streaming is common in China. Live-streamers in China are discouraged from broadcasting publicly and are extremely restricted in what they can say.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Summer 2020 Internships (GitHub Repo)
This repository contains a database of internships for Summer 2020 in tech, SWE, and related fields. Positions are open to anyone enrolled in a Bachelor's degree program. Additional information on other prerequisites or preferences are listed.
Atomize Code (GitHub Repo)
Atomize Code is a UI Design System for web apps featuring elegant and beautiful React components. It supports modern browsers and Internet Explorer 9+, server-side rendering, and Electron.
New bill would ban autoplay videos and endless scrolling (2 minute read)
A new bill called the Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology Act, or the SMART Act, will ban features that keep users on platforms longer, targeting the tech industry's addictive designs. Big tech has designed many products using psychological tricks that make it difficult to look away. The new bill will also make it unlawful for tech companies to use deceptive designs to manipulate users into opting into services. Companies may be required to implement tools for tracking how much time users are spending on different apps and websites if the bill becomes law.