TLDR Daily Update 2019-12-20

Amazon's satellite broadband HQ 🏢, whale crashes bitcoin 💰

Big Tech & Startups

Amazon will establish a new headquarters for its Kuiper satellite broadband project (1 minute read)

Amazon has added a new HQ and R&D facility to its Kuiper project. Kuiper's aim is to provide internet connectivity to people who lack access. Other companies such as SpaceX, Google, and OneWeb are also launching satellites to provide global internet coverage. Kuiper has not released a timeline around deployment or availability for customers. Its new facilities are in Redmond, Washington, which is near Amazon's overall home base in Seattle. It will cover 219,000 square feet across two separate buildings. Kuiper team members will start moving into the new site sometime next year.

Google buys triple-A game dev Typhoon Studio to beef up Stadia (5 minute read)

Typhoon Studios has been acquired by Google's Stadia cloud gaming division as part of Google's plan to create exclusive content for the Stadia platform. The game studio is about to release its first game in January 2020. Typhoon Studios has built a team of industry veterans who have experience in building many triple-A games. Stadia was announced in March this year and launched with 22 games in mid-November. More games are being continually added, and Google will launch a broader service with more content in the coming months. In order for Stadia to stand out from competitors, it must produce more exclusive content and exploit features such as its Youtube social video technology.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Robert Downey Jr.'s Series on AI Is Available on YouTube Right Now (2 minute read)

YouTube has released its new documentary series, The Age of AI. It is produced, hosted, and narrated by Robert Downey Jr. The series is eight episodes long and it looks into the future of technology and the possibilities of AI in the most humane way possible. RDJ debunks every myth about machine learning and artificial intelligence and offers insight into the latest advancements in the field. Google has recently made YouTube Originals free to watch. YouTube Premium subscribers can watch the entire show right away, while free users will have to wait a week for each new episode. A trailer for the show is available in the article.

How a Whale Crashed Bitcoin to Sub-$7,000 Overnight (3 minute read)

Scammers who had duped investors of more than $2 billion in bitcoin recently started selling their coins via over-the-counter markets. This resulted in a domino effect, causing mass liquidations in the market, which led to bitcoin's price dropping to below $7,000 within 30 minutes. Some of the scammers have been selling their coins since June when bitcoin reached its year-to-date high of around $14,000. Around the same time, Chinese authorities detained some of the people suspected of being involved with the PlusToken scam. The scammers still have a large amount of bitcoin yet unliquidated, so there is a chance that they may continue selling and push the market down further.
Programming, Design & Data Science

State of JS (Website)

21,717 people were surveyed on their views on the JavaScript ecosystem in 2019. The raw data is available for download. Most respondents were from the US, Canada, and the UK, with a median salary of between $50k-$100k. 91.3 percent of the respondents were male. Jest, TypeScript, Express, React, Mocha, and Redux were highly recommended technologies to adopt. JavaScript is constantly adding new features, and there are many that haven't been adopted into mainstream use. Typescript is still the most popular JavaScript flavor. React is the leading front-end framework again, after dropping behind Vue.js last year. All other top technologies from 2018 retained their positions in 2019. The most popular resources were CSS Tricks, Medium, Stack Overflow, Udemy, Syntax, and React Podcast. Overall, most developers are happy with the way JavaScript has been developed and its future.

This is my new favorite (free)

GitHub Actions is a continuous integration tool that also works as a general-purpose code execution platform. It is built into a website that people use to manage their everyday projects. Projects can be deployed and run using GitHub Actions. This tutorial will show you how to build a weather bot and deploy it using GitHub Actions. It will show you how to securely store environment variables, configure details within repositories, and more.

Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy (20 minute read)

Every moment, companies are tracking the movements of millions of mobile phones and storing them in gigantic data files. One of these files holds more than 50 billion location pings from more than 12 million Americans over several months between 2016 and 2017. People who have access to this data can see every place that an individual has been. The dataset discussed in the article is just a small sample of what is collected. This kind of precise, always-on human tracking gives governments and corporations huge amounts of power, and it is perfectly legal to collect and sell all this information. The data is only policed through internal company policies and the decency of individual employees. People are placing blind faith in companies who claim that the data they collect is secure and only shared with vetted partners. Even if companies are acting with the highest moral standards, data can be stolen.

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