TLDR Daily Update 2019-09-09

Wikipedia DDoSed, Huawei's noise-canceling earbuds

Big Tech & Startups

Huawei Delivers World First With New Noise-Cancelling FreeBuds 3 (2 minute read)

Huawei has revealed its FreeBuds3 wireless earbuds. They feature noise-cancellation, a world's first for truly wireless earphones. Unlike other noise-canceling headphones, the FreeBuds3 has an open-fit design, meaning that it will not form a sealed barrier between the ears and the outside. This design may mean that more high-frequency sounds may be heard even with noise cancellation. When asked about the design, Huawei said that its primary focus was on comfort and that the ability to hear some high-frequency sounds may be beneficial for the safety of the listener as they would be more aware of their surroundings.

Wikipedia blames malicious DDOS attack after site goes down across Europe, Middle East (2 minute read)

Wikipedia was taken offline across Europe and parts of the Middle East by a Distributed Denial of Service attack at around 7 pm BST on September 7. An official statement by Wikipedia condemned the takedown attack as these kinds of attacks threaten people's rights to freely access and share information. The website sometimes attracts 'bad faith' actors as it is one of the most popular sites in the world.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Strange life forms found deep in a mine point to vast 'underground Galapagos' (8 minute read)

Organisms have been discovered 7,900 feet below the surface inside Canada's Kidd Mine. The dark waters in the mine contain single-celled organisms that breathe sulfur and live off pyrite, also known as fool's gold. Other organisms have been discovered in deep areas, including boreholes, volcanic vents on the bottom of the ocean, and in sediments far beneath the seafloor. These areas have no light, air, or any connection to the surface, and may help us understand how life started on our planet, as well as on other planets. Some of these organisms are able to live in temperatures well above the boiling point of water, and others can withstand pressures 20,000 times higher than the air pressure at sea level. Due to these conditions, the organisms' cellular metabolism can be different from that of those on the surface, with some organisms surviving for thousands of years or more without dividing.

Gene-edited cattle have a major screwup in their DNA (11 minute read)

A flaw has been discovered in the genetically modified cattle made by Recombinetics. Recombinetics created modified bovine which do not grow horns, but in the process, bacterial DNA was mixed up with the cows' DNA, resulting in antibiotic resistance within the cows. While it is probably safe to eat the cattle, scientists are worried that the genes may be passed onto the bacteria inside their guts, leading to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Bacterial DNA present in their genome means that the cows will not receive regulatory approval as food. This is an example of how DNA editing can go wrong. Independent scientists still haven't had a chance to confirm whether the genetically modified Chinese twins born last year have any unintended mistakes in their DNA.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Differential Privacy (GitHub Repo)

This repository contains a library of algorithms that can be used to produce statistics over numeric data sets that contain private or sensitive information. It can compute the count, sum, mean, variance, standard deviation, and provide order statistics. The algorithms are suitable for research, experimental, or production use cases.

Ask HN: What Have You Learned at Google as a Software Engineer? (Hacker News Thread)

Working at Google means you have many amazing tools at your disposal to help your productivity, but the organization and management can result in frustration. It is impossible to escape the politics of the workplace, and at Google, developers are very competitive. Co-workers are usually quite intelligent, and continual skill development is important and encouraged.

The Best Imitation-Meat Burgers (9 minute read)

The success of Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods has led to other plant-based meat replacements appearing in the market. 18 vegetable-based burgers, seven black bean burgers, and eight meat-analogue burgers were rated for their taste, texture, and appearance. The Impossible burger outperformed every other contender in every category, with tasters commenting on how all aspects of the plant-based meat was similar to a real meat burger. Beyond Meats burger came second, losing points on appearance. The Grillers Original Burger from MorningStar Farms was third place. Tasters thought that the flavor was bland, its appearance was unappealing, and said that the patty felt dry. Generally speaking, tasters were unenthusiastic about burgers that were not produced by Impossible or Beyond.

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