Big Tech &
Elon Musk hints at Tesla’s secret project ‘Dojo’ making the difference in race to full self-driving (2 minute read)
Tesla's aggressive deadline for full self-driving capability seems more possible now that Elon Musk has revealed Project Dojo. While most people were focused on Tesla's new HW3 Full Self-Driving Computer during Tesla's Autonomy Day presentations, the Dojo computer went under the radar. It only had a brief mention during the presentations where Musk described it as a super-powerful training computer that will be able to take in vast amounts of data and complete massive amounts of video training unsupervised. Current machine learning systems process videos frame by frame, but Dojo may be able to handle videos on its own. Being able to process video footage unsupervised may potentially accelerate the pace of progress with autonomous driving significantly.
Lyft bikes caught fire in Berkeley, San Jose before two reported in San Francisco (4 minute read)
Four of Lyft's electric bikes have caught on fire, causing the company to disable all its electric bikes from the East Bay, San Francisco, and San Jose areas. The cause of the fires is under investigation, with Lyft claiming that at least one of the fires was caused by vandalism. With the electric bikes disabled, Lyft now only has 2,500 pedal-powered bikes throughout the Bay Area to serve its customers. Riders have been frustrated with the sudden rollback, as many had depended on the service. Lyft has no intention of re-introducing the bikes until they discover the cause of the fires and fix the problem.
SpaceX enters smallsat launch market with a very low price (3 minute read)
SpaceX has announced a new, low-cost program to launch small satellites into a Sun-synchronous orbit. Satellites weighing up to 150kg can be launched into space for the price of $2.25 million. The Falcon 9 will be carrying these satellites into orbit at regularly scheduled intervals. SpaceX has previously flown rideshare missions using the Falcon 9, but these were organized by a third-party provider, Spaceflight Industries. The cost of launching a satellite with SpaceX is less than half of the cost of launching with other competitors, and the regular service means that smaller companies will be able to launch their satellites on time, rather than risk delays. The entry into the commercial market by SpaceX will put pressure into an already crowded field, and it means that foreign satellite launch options, such as the pseudo-commercial space companies in China, will look less attractive.
Most people would rather lose their job to a robot than another human (3 minute read)
A study by researchers at the University of Munich in Germany found that people would rather be replaced by robots than other humans. However, they would prefer their co-workers to be replaced by another human rather than a robot. The respondents were also asked about their intensity of emotions when considering employees being replaced by humans and robots, and they generally had stronger negative emotions when considering losing their own jobs to robots. Losing a job to another human may trigger feelings of doubt and make a person question their own abilities, whereas people generally don't feel like they can compete with a robot or a piece of software. Half of the jobs in the US could be done by robots in the next 20 years, with low-skill, low-income jobs at most risk.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Artichoke Ruby (GitHub Repo)
Artichoke is a Ruby 2.6.3-compatible implementation of the Ruby programming language written in Rust, aiming to run Ruby source code in the same way that MRI does. It is still a work in progress. Unlike MRI, Artichoke will only support UTF-8 and binary encodings.
git-o-matic (GitHub Repo)
git-o-matic is a tool to monitor git repositories and automatically pull and push changes. Go 1.11 or higher is required for installation.
8chan goes dark after hardware provider discontinues service (2 minute read)
Voxility has banned 8chan and its new host, Epik, as the company felt that the content on the website was 'intolerable'. Cloudflare had recently decided to cut off services to 8chan after recent mass shootings had been linked to the website. Epik had been renting web space from Voxility, and have been in trouble with Voxility before due to content. Epik states that it aims to be a neutral service provider that won't terminate accounts based on arbitrary reasoning or political pressure. The 'chan' websites are moderated and comply with relevant laws. However, Cloudflare claims that while 8chan was legal, the environment it created reveled in violating the spirit of the law.