Big Tech &
Verizon agrees to sell Tumblr to owner of Wordpress (1 minute read)
Tumblr will be sold to Automattic Inc, the company that owns Wordpress, an online publishing tool. Verizon is rumored to have sold the blogging site for well below $20 million, with some sources saying that it was sold for under $10 million. Tumblr hosts more than 450 million blogs and was once a major player in the social media space. It was purchased by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013 before Yahoo was acquired by Verizon. Verizon has been trying to sell the website for a while, but the only company that was publicly interested was Pornhub. Tumblr has faced controversy in the past over its lack of monitoring of pornographic content, which Verizon banned last year.
Adobe Fresco brings the joy of painting to the iPad (3 minute read)
Adobe has released a beta version of Fresco, a drawing and painting app for the iPad. Previously known as Project Gemini, Fresco uses Live Brushes to produce realistic watercolor and oil paint strokes. Live Brushes is powered by Adobe Sensei's AI platform. Users can also import and use their own custom brushes. The user interface is similar to the one in the Photoshop for iPad beta, except that there are some sub-tools that are missing, such as clipping masks and magic wand. Fresco will launch by the end of the year as a free app on the App Store and will work with iPad Pros, the 2019 iPad mini, and the iPad Air.
A Cure for Ebola? Two New Treatments Prove Highly Effective in Congo (7 minute read)
Two experimental treatments for Ebola have proved so effective that they are being offered to all patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The treatments have a 90 percent success rate, giving hope that the epidemic in the eastern Congo can soon be stopped. A recent epidemic that started last month has infected around 2,800 known patients, killing more than 1,800 of them. People are distrustful of health workers and underreport occurrences of the disease or hide sick family members. Both REGN-EB3 and mAb-114 are cocktails of synthetic monoclonal antibodies that are infused intravenously into the blood. When treated, less than 11 percent of patients died, compared to an over 70 percent mortality rate when untreated. The epidemic has been made worse due to violence and political turmoil in the area.
You can now practice firing someone in virtual reality (2 minute read)
Virtual reality is gaining momentum as a training tool, allowing people to practice doing things that would be impossible otherwise. It is being used to train new employees at places like Walmart and Chipotle, and some offices are starting to use the technology to train for soft management skills such as interviewing, communication, and selling. Talespin, a company that offers VR training for the workplace, has characters that help train for office situations, such as firing an employee. The characters currently run with certain scripts and triggers, so the training might be limited as the skills might not transfer if people know they aren't training with a real person.
Programming, Design & Data Science
AttackSurfaceMapper (GitHub Repo)
AttackSurfaceMapper is a reconnaissance tool that combines open-source intelligence tools and active techniques to provide data that can be used to plan attacks. A two-minute video demo is available showing AttackSurfaceMapper at work, as well as the output that it provides.
Ask HN: What Neural Networks/Deep Learning Books Should I Read? (HackerNews Thread)
Most books on neural networks and deep learning present practical examples using code. The original poster of the thread, who is not interested in learning coding frameworks, asks for recommendations of technical, math-heavy introductions with exercises as well as some entertaining pop science-type books that look at the philosophical and cross-disciplinary side of neural networks.
Apple took us on a surreal walk through San Francisco, looking at digital art on an iPhone (6 minute read)
Apple's AR[T] Walk is a new program at Apple stores that takes people on an actual walk through a city while displaying digital art that can only be seen through an iPhone. The aim of the project is to promote augmented reality technology. AR[T] walk is available in six Apple stores in major cities, including New York, Hong Kong, and Paris. It takes about two hours to complete the walk. Reservations are made online, but if there are available spots, Apple will accommodate people who are there, so it is worth seeing if there are open spaces even if you can't make a reservation. During the walk, everybody is allocated a loaned iPhone XS Max with the non-public AR[T] app and a pair of Beats Solo headphones. The tour guides are able to control the experience from an iPad pro, and they also lead discussions about the artwork that is displayed. The walks will be available until at least the end of 2019.
A Tesla owner implanted the RFID chip from her Model 3’s keycard into her arm (2 minute read)
Amie DD, a software engineer and self-described 'maker of things,' implanted the RFID tag from her Tesla Model 3 directly into her arm so that she could unlock and start her Model 3 without needing to remember her keys. The Model 3 can be unlocked with a smartphone, a car-shaped key fob, or a keycard. Amie removed the RFID tag from the keycard using acetone, encased it in a biopolymer, and went to a body-modification studio to have the chip implanted into her forearm. The implanted chip has a range of about an inch, and she hopes that the range will improve once the swelling in her arm goes down.