Big Tech &
Pilotless air taxi from China’s Ehang takes flight in the US for the first time (2 minute read)
Ehang, a Chinese drone maker, has demonstrated its autonomous taxi at a test track in North Carolina. It was the first time that the company had received permission to fly from the US Federal Aviation Administration. Ehang hopes to receive approval for passenger demonstrations in the near future. The Ehang 216 is a two-seater, all-electric vehicle powered by 16 electric rotors. It weighs about 600 pounds and can carry up to 600 pounds of cargo or passengers. Ehang has conducted over 2,000 trial flights around the world. The company has recently filed paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to go public on Nasdaq. Chinese regulators have authorized Ehang to launch a commercial air mobility service in Guangzhou.
Ring Fired Employees for Watching Customer Videos (5 minute read)
Ring has fired employees for improperly accessing Ring users' video data. There have been four incidents involving team members accessing Ring video data for reasons not related to their work. Ring promptly investigated each incident after they were made aware of the alleged conduct. The company has also taken steps to limit data access to a smaller number of people. Currently, only three employees can access stored customer videos. Ring has previously granted workers in Ukraine access to some user video for research purposes, but express consent was obtained from the users for the use of the videos. It has recently implemented new security features such as two-factor authentication.
Israel unveils breakthrough laser to intercept missiles, aerial threats (3 minute read)
Israel's Defense Ministry has created a laser that can intercept rockets and antitank guided missiles. It is based on a precision laser beam that can be focused on long-range targets and overcome atmospheric disturbances such as clouds and dust storms. Several high-energy electric laser beams are connected into one strong beam using an advanced algorithm. High-energy lasers are able to be used continually at a low cost. The weapon can be used as long as there is electricity. Israel's Defense Ministry has launched three programs that will use the laser system on the ground, on a maneuverable platform-mounted system, and in the air. There will be several trials of the weapon throughout the year, and if it is effective, it will be deployed to the Gaza border area.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Beef Programming Language (GitHub Repo)
Beef is an open-source performance-oriented compiled programming language. Its syntax and many semantics were mostly derived from C# with some influence by Rust, Swift, and Go. It was designed to develop high-performance real-time applications, such as video games, while having low-level features that make it suitable for engine development.
6 Most Important Things Every Junior Developer Should Know (5 minute read)
You don't need a computer science degree to become a software developer. The skill can be self-taught. Having patience with yourself during the learning process will allow you to easier learn from your mistakes. Good companies will understand that you are learning. The ability to learn is vital since the field is always changing. Knowing the key concepts of programming will help you adapt, as while languages, frameworks, platforms, and other things might change, the core concepts will stay the same. Always try to see if there are existing libraries in order to save time. Reading other people's code is a great way to learn how others have solved problems. You do not have to learn all by yourself. There are many resources and forums out there. Finding help in the form of a mentor can be very beneficial in your career development.
Twitter will soon let you choose who can reply to your tweets (4 minute read)
Twitter outlined the policy changes that it will implement over the next few months at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show. The changes will be implemented to promote healthy public conversation and to ensure the integrity of information on the platform. Twitter's conversation interface will be updated, making it easier to follow ongoing threads. Users will be able to choose who is able to reply to a given tweet. Twitter Topics will be able to algorithmically detect events happening around the world and it will have filters to ensure compliance with community guidelines. Machine learning moderation was able to effectively proactively remove half of all abusive tweets by the end of last year. Twitter will continue to develop these abilities and also extend them to remove misleading or otherwise toxic political messaging.
Travelex being held to ransom by hackers (4 minute read)
Hackers have forced Travelex to turn off its computer systems and resort to pen and paper. The attack occurred on New Year's Eve and it forced Travelex to take down its websites across 30 countries. A ransomware gang called Sodinokibi has claimed responsibility for the attack, demanding $6 million from Travelex. It claims to have obtained 5GB of sensitive customer data, including dates of birth, credit card information, and national insurance numbers. The Information Commissioner's Office has not received a data breach report from Travelex. Travelex has been working with police and has deployed IT specialists and external cyber-security experts to investigate the issue. Many businesses that rely on Travelex's services have been affected by the attack.