Big Tech &
Walmart is working on an Amazon Prime competitor, called Walmart+ (1 minute read)
Walmart is developing a rival subscription service to Amazon Prime called Walmart+. It plans to start publicly testing Walmart+ as soon as March. Amazon Prime is currently $119 a year and includes perks such as unlimited one-day shipping and access to entertainment content. Walmart currently offers a $98 annual subscription for unlimited same-day delivery of groceries. The details regarding Walmart+ are scarce, but it is rumored that Walmart+ aims to include perks that Amazon cannot match.
Facebook cancels F8 developer conference due to coronavirus concerns (1 minute read)
The in-person portion of Facebook's F8 developer conference has been canceled due to coronavirus concerns. Facebook will replace the main F8 conference with locally hosted events, videos, and live-streamed content. While Facebook considered allowing the conference to continue, many international developers would not be able to attend. Many companies have pulled out of GDC 2020 and the Mobile World Congress was canceled earlier in February due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The new burger chef makes $3 an hour and never goes home (6 minute read)
Flippy the robot is a robotic burger chef that is able to fry chicken fingers, flip burger patties, and perform other food preparation tasks. Miso Robotics rents the robots to restaurant owners for an estimated $2,000 a month. A human doing the same job would cost significantly more, and they carry more risks. The restaurant industry has been facing a labor crisis for years, with high turnover rates and a large number of open positions. Using Flippy, restaurants will be able to meet demand while lowering costs significantly.
'Electronic nose' could smell breath to warn about higher risk of oesophageal cancer (3 minute read)
Barrett's esophagus is a condition that can lead to cancer of the esophagus. 9,000 new cases of esophageal cancer are diagnosed every year in the UK. There are often no symptoms associated with Barrett's esophagus. The diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus is usually done via an endoscopy, which can be expensive and invasive. Researchers have developed a new electronic nose that can analyze a patient's breath and produce a diagnosis. The device is easy to use and it can potentially reduce the number of cases of esophageal cancer as doctors will be able to start early interventions. Further tests of the device will still be needed before it will be available for doctors, but researchers aim to put it to market within two to three years.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Dispatch (GitHub Repo)
Dispatch is an incident-management tool that deeply integrates with existing tools used throughout an organization. It allows users to focus on creating resources, assembling participants, sending out notifications, tracking tasks, and assisting with post-incident reviews.
Heroicons (GitHub Repo)
Heroicons is a set of free, MIT-licensed, high-quality SVG icons. There are outline and solid styles, with 140 icons per style currently. Developers can just copy the source code for the icon and paste it directly into their HTML.
Coronavirus: Japan to close all schools to halt spread (5 minute read)
Japan will close all of its schools on Monday to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The closure will affect around 13 million students and continue until late March. More cases have been reported outside than inside China for the second day running, and the World Health Organization head has said that the outbreak has now reached a decisive point. Over 80,000 people in 40 countries have now been infected, with nearly 2,800 dead, mostly in China's Hubei province. The first weeks of March will be an extremely critical period for preventing virus transmission. Some patients in China and Japan may be falling ill for a second time with the virus. It is possible the virus is reinfecting patients, but it is also likely that tests have been inaccurate or are detecting the previous infection.
Here’s What Happens When an Algorithm Determines Your Work Schedule (6 minute read)
Rosters have always been an issue for businesses, especially those in the retail, hospitality, and foodservice industries. Employees in these industries often work long and unpredictable hours. Work rosters are being increasingly scheduled by algorithms that analyze seasonal sales patterns, customer trends, and even the weather to organize staff rosters. Workers claim that automated scheduling systems are making them miserable. The algorithms often fail to consider the needs of an employee the way that a human manager would. As the algorithms are essentially a black box, it is unknown whether any considerations are ever made in favor of workers. Trained algorithms are often biased towards the data they are trained on. If the data had been trained based on decisions made by someone who was prejudiced against a certain group, the resulting model will also tend to be prejudiced against these groups. Labor laws have not caught up yet to this development in technology.