TLDR Daily Update 2019-11-28

Uber drivers take over office πŸš—, robot police dogs 🐢

Big Tech & Startups

Google Photos finally lets you manually tag people in pictures (1 minute read)

Users will be able to start manually tagging people in Google Photos. Previously, Photos automatically recognized faces and sorted them, but the system sometimes missed faces and users would not be able to correct the mistakes. Users can only tag faces if the system recognizes a face in the photo. Google automatically scans photos for faces if the 'face grouping' feature is turned on. It doesn't share information between accounts. If users turn off the 'face grouping' feature, the face models that have been generated for the account will be deleted.

We Spoke To Uber Drivers Who Have Taken Over The Company’s Offices In France (11 minute read)

Uber drivers across France have occupied or shut down many of the company's Greenlight Hubs in order to negotiate better working conditions. Greenlight Hubs are facilities where new drivers can be registered and be onboarded, and where existing drivers can get in-person support. Uber has attempted to move its operations over to hotels and co-working spaces. As the company grew, it increased its own cut of fares and decreased the minimum fares for trips. The drivers have nine demands in their protest. They want a driver cap and a study on Uber's market effects, dynamic pricing instead of fixed pricing, an increase in the minimum driver fare, pay for time spent driving to pick up passengers, an increase in the base pay rate, union representation, removal of the penalty for cancelling trips, the ability to review trip prices and destinations before cancelling, and a driver verification system.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Call to probe Boston police tests of 'dog' robots (2 minute read)

Massachusetts State Police have been testing Boston Dynamic's Spot robot dogs in the past three months. The American Civil Liberties Union launching and enquiry as there are no regulations governing the use of the robots and they want to ensure that the use of the robots will not trample on established civil rights and liberties or lead to racial injustice. The Massachusetts State Police stated that the robots were being used as mobile remote observation devices to look at suspicious devices or locations that might be hazardous for human officers. Spot has been used in two incidents, working with the organization's bomb squad. Boston Dynamics leased the robots to the police in order to retain control over how they are used. There are explicit clauses in the lease that prevent the police from using the robots to physically harm or intimidate people.

2 Months After Failed Moon Landing, India Acknowledges Its Craft Crashed (2 minute read)

India sent a landing vehicle to the moon back in September in an attempt to make history, but the project ended inconclusively and there was no explanation of what happened at the time. Public updates only stated that the lander had been located and that no communication had been established with it yet. The Indian government has now released a statement that revealed that the Vikram lander had malfunctioned, causing it to crash. The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft continues to be successful in collecting information during its orbit around the moon.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Flowy (GitHub Repo)

Flowy is a JavaScript library that can create WebApps with flowchart functionality. It supports responsive drag and drop, automatic snapping, block rearrangement, deleting blocks, and automatic block centering. A gif demo is available on the repository and a link to a working demo is provided.

Iced (GitHub Repo)

Iced is a cross-platform GUI library for Rust that is focused on simplicity and type-safety. It features a simple API, a responsive layout, built-in widgets, a modular ecosystem, and more. Ice was inspired by the Elm Architecture and it is still an experimental software. Due to the speed of development, the master branch can contain breaking changes.

Ask HN: Quitting Big Tech, what is it like? (Hacker News Thread)

After spending a lot of time working in FAANG companies, it might be difficult to imagine what the environment is like on the outside. Making a lot of money usually comes at the cost of very high expectations and brutal deadlines. The tools available at FAANG companies are a great help to engineers, and developers might find it difficult to work in 'real world' companies after leaving due to the lack of support. Being previously employed at a FAANG company might help with investors and being hired, but the work itself will still be difficult. Many people who try to leave and work in startups eventually find that the minimal support and validation is not worth it and return to big tech.

Former Go champion beaten by DeepMind retires after declaring AI invincible (3 minute read)

Go champion Lee Se-dol has retired from professional play, stating that his decision was influenced by the rise of AI. Lee believes that no matter how good he gets at the game, there will always be an entity that he cannot defeat. For many years, Go was considered to be impossible for computer programs to master, as it has more possible configurations for pieces than atoms in the observable universe. In 2016, DeepMind's AlphaGo defeated Se-dol four matches to one. Lee is the only human to have ever beat AlphaGo in a tournament. In 2017, DeepMind released an improved version of AlphaGo called AlphaGo Zero. AlphaGo Zero was able to beat AlphaGo 100 games to nil after three days of training. Lee will play a game in December against a South Korean AI program called HanDol.

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