Big Tech &
Google and Dell team up to take on Microsoft with Chromebook Enterprise laptops (5 minute read)
Google will be launching new Chromebook Enterprise devices with Dell in an effort to start challenging Windows in the enterprise computing market. Dell will be offering both a 14-inch clamshell and a 13-inch 2-in-1 option for its Chrome OS Latitude laptops, which have been modified to ensure that the devices are ready for IT needs. The laptops will have a range of Dell's cloud-based support services and will be able to integrate easily into existing Windows environments. Both devices will have LTE options and USB-C docking and will be able to be configured with up to Intel's 8th Gen Core i7 processors, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. Google's deal with Dell is not exclusive, and it will be making similar deals with other OEMs.
Beyond Meat and KFC partner to test fried plant-based ‘chicken’ (1 minute read)
KFC customers at one Atlanta location on August 27 will receive a free sample of fried plant-based nuggets and boneless wings when they purchase something on that day. Beyond Meat and KFC are testing the product with customers before broader testing or a potential national rollout. Many fast-food chains have tested and implemented plant-based food options recently, including Burger King, Subway, Carl's Jr., and White Castle. Beyond Meat also sells plant-based meat products in grocery stores. Its main competitor, Impossible Foods, has just had its key ingredient approved for consumption by the FDA.
Experimental US Air Force space plane breaks previous record for orbital spaceflight (2 minute read)
The US Air Force's Boeing-built X-37B space plane has broken its previous record for time spent in space at 719 days and counting. It was launched with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on September 2017. The plane's mission is classified, but it involves spending time in space and conducting experiments that can be returned to and examined on Earth. It is completely autonomous, with no crew on board, and it can land itself horizontally on a runway. The X-37 program began at NASA in 1999, after which it was transferred to DARPA, and finally to the US Air Force in 2004. It has flown four times, with a total of 2,085 days in space.
Mutant sheep are being bred in lab to fight lethal child brain disease (3 minute read)
Batten disease is a genetic disease where the waste disposal system for cells is affected, causing a loss of vision, impaired cognition, mobility problems, seizures, and early death. It affects between 100 and 150 children in the UK. There are several types of Batten disease, which is inherited from parents that both carry a rare recessive gene mutation. Scientists have used CRISPR-Cas9 to create sheep that have the disease in order to test treatments. Treatments that are successful in a large mammal with a brain that is of similar size and complexity to a human child's brain are more likely to be relevant to humans than treatments only tested in mice, rats, and cell cultures. Several treatments, all of which were developed first using traditional methods, will be tested on around 10 animals.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Radial Menu (GitHub Repo)
Radial Menu is a highly customizable radial menu. It only requires a few lines of code to set up and every part of the menu can be changed, including the rotation, color, style, icons, and size of the buttons.
portray (GitHub Repo)
portray creates documentation websites for Python projects using a Python3 command-line tool. It can automatically find documentation within the Python project directory and generate a website without customization. Developers can fully customize the website if required. The generated website is designed to be easily hosted on GitHub pages.
"He's full of shit": How Elon Musk fooled investors, bilked taxpayers, and gambled Tesla to save Solarcity (18 minute read)
In 2016, Tesla bought SolarCity for almost $5 billion as a high-stakes move to dominate America's growing market for solar energy. Tesla planned to build 10,000 solar panels per day and install them in homes, creating 5,000 jobs along the way. While Tesla received a large subsidy from New York State, its solar panel business has yet to fulfill these promises. Walmart has recently sued Tesla for breach of contract due to gross negligence which resulted in fires at seven of its stores. SolarCity's business model involved fronting up costs of installation, which meant that it was constantly in need of cash and that profits would not be realized for years. Its acquisition by Tesla included nearly $3 billion of debt. Tesla wasn't able to fulfill its promises even after quietly renegotiating its factory lease terms with New York state officials. Payments on SolarCity debts are due soon, and Tesla will pay an annual fine of $41.2 million if it fails to employ enough people at its factory by April.