TLDR Daily Update 2019-08-26
Google internal communication rules, publishers sue Amazon
Big Tech &
Google bans political discussion on internal mailing lists (3 minute read)
Google has started rolling out a central flagging tool that allows employees to report internal communications content to a new team of community managers. The managers review the content and will attempt to educate employees on how they may have violated the rules before resorting to disciplinary actions. Google's communication guidelines require employees to follow its values: to respect the user, respect the opportunity, and to respect each other. Employees are to be inclusive and considerate in their communications. They must also treat Google's data with care and not violate its Data Security Policy.
Major book publishers sue Amazon’s Audible over new speech-to-text feature (5 minute read)
Seven book publishers have jointly filed a lawsuit against Audible because of a new speech-to-text feature that they claim is a violation of copyright law. A new feature called Captions allows users to view a transcribed text of an audiobook as it plays. It is restricted to view only the section where the audio is currently playing, generating text as the audio is played. The US Authors Guild claims that the feature is copyright infringement and would lead to fewer ebook sales and lower royalties for authors. Amazon says that the feature was designed to help people to engage with reading more through listening, and that Captions was never intended to be used to produce text copies of books.
Researchers Demonstrate The World’s First Quantum Radar (2 minute read)
A team of researchers in Austria have created the first quantum radar. Quantum entanglement is when pairs or groups of particles' quantum states cannot be described independently of the other's state even when separated by a large distance. The quantum radar works by creating pairs of microwave photons using a superconducting device called a Josephson parametric converter. It uses low power and is more precise than conventional radars used today. The quantum radar is able to reach larger distances while remaining undetectable over background noise.
Scientists bioprint living tissue in a matter of seconds (1 minute read)
A new optical system can bioprint complex, highly viable living tissue in just a few seconds. It works by projecting a laser down a spinning tube containing hydrogel full of stem cells, solidifying targeted locations to create a useful 3D shape. When the shape is completed, endothelial cells are added to create vessels in the tissue. The technique has been used to create heart-like valves, a complex femur part, and a meniscus. While it can only print tissues a few inches across, the technique is still clinically useful. Being able to produce customized organs with speed could be helpful for implants and repairs. It might also reduce the need for animal testing as organs can be produced as needed.
Programming, Design & Data Science
PacVim (GitHub Project)
PacVim is a game that teaches the player Vim commands. It uses the concept of the classic game Pacman to get users to practice Vim commands in a fun environment. It comes with 10 levels and users can create their own maps.
Postwoman (GitHub Project)
Postwoman is a tool to view API requests and easily modify them to test responses. A functioning demo is available to use.
I took a huge pay cut for a more meaningful job, and it was nothing like I expected (8 minute read)
Moving away from a high-earning job in order to chase more fulfilling activities may have varying results. Some people are able to manage their own businesses well and eventually earn more than their previous roles. People who leave their high-paying jobs to work for lower-paying companies or organizations usually find that their lifestyles had to be significantly changed to fit their new budgets. Those who had significant others who were employed and supportive or a significant amount of savings and investments found the transition to be a lot easier than those who depended on their income. Timing was important, as the financial burdens of reality play a large role in determining whether the decision is viable.