Big Tech &
Twitter Is Finally Doing Stories (2 minute read)
Twitter has started testing a feature called Fleets that allows users to post photos, videos, and text that disappear after a short period of time, similar to 'stories' from other social media platforms. Snapchat first invented stories in 2013 and the feature has since been copied by Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, Tinder, and LinkedIn. People are more willing to share casual, everyday thoughts through stories as the messages disappear. Users will not be able to retweet or like Fleets.
Amazon employee at Seattle headquarters tests positive for coronavirus (1 minute read)
An employee at Amazon's Seattle headquarters has tested positive for COVID-19. Amazon has 55,000 employees working at their Seattle offices. Those who had been in close contact with the affected employee have been notified. Amazon has stated that they are supporting the employee, who is now in quarantine. They went home sick on February 25 and haven't returned to work since. There were more than 100 cases in the US as of Tuesday night. More than 90,000 people in the world have been infected, with the death toll rising to around 3,000.
In A 1st, Scientists Use Revolutionary Gene-Editing Tool To Edit Inside A Patient (4 minute read)
Scientists have used CRISPR for the first time to edit a gene while the DNA is still inside a person's body. The gene-editing tool was injected into the eye of a patient blinded by a rare genetic disorder. CRISPR has been used previously on patients who have cancers and rare blood disorders, but it is too soon to know whether the treatments have worked, despite promising results. In these cases, cells were removed from the body and treated first before being implanted back into the patient's body. If the treatment is safe and successful, it could open up a world of possibilities for scientists to be able to treat thousands of other genetic diseases.
GM unveils a new electric vehicle platform and battery in bid to take on Tesla (3 minute read)
General Motors showcased its electric vehicle strategy to investors on Wednesday, along with an all-new modular electric vehicle platform called Ultium. The platform is designed to be flexible and multifaceted, allowing it to be built into a variety of vehicle types and shapes. Ultium also features an improved battery pack that is unique due to its large-format, pouch-style cells, which allow them to be stacked vertically or horizontally inside a battery pack. The batteries will supply power ranging from 50 to 200 kWh, allowing for a driving range of over 400 miles. Aluminum is used in the batteries, reducing cobalt content by 70 percent. GM is planning to release 20 electric nameplates by 2023 across all four of its brands.
Programming, Design & Data Science
FuzzBench (GitHub Repo)
FuzzBench is a free service that evaluates fuzzers on a variety of real-world benchmarks. It was designed to make fuzzing research easier to evaluate and adopt. Fuzzbench features an easy-to-use API, benchmarks from real-world projects, and a reporting library. A sample report is available.
The Only Type of API Services I'll Use (7 minute read)
API services can seem like magic when you query an endpoint for it to return back some data or complete some functionality. All API services should use usage-based pricing with automatic volume discounts. Using this model, a customer will only pay for how much they use a particular service. It means that customers will use your service more as it provides more value to them, and vice versa. This incentivizes both the customer and service provider to act in everyone's best interest as the service provider improves its service to increase value, and customers are benefitting from discounts the more they use your service. Customers who have high volume are also less likely to drop in volume as they will pay more for using the service less. Other types of pricing models usually create a situation where the customer is always paying more for your service than they want to, as they will never use their full allowances. This incentivizes people to use your service less as they want to minimize costs down to the lowest tier.
Uber driver reclassified as employee in France (2 minute read)
France's Court of Cassation has ruled that a former Uber driver was an employee, rather than a self-employed partner of Uber. As the Court of Cassation is the equivalent of the supreme court of appeal, Uber will not be able to appeal the decision. The driver filed a lawsuit against Uber in June 2017 after their account was deactivated. Uber drivers follow orders from Uber, are not allowed to create their own customer base, can't set their own prices, and are constantly being monitored by the company. The court ruled that self-employed people should be able to manage clients themselves, set prices, and choose how to execute a task.
Apple now lets apps send ads in push notifications (1 minute read)
Apple will start allowing apps to use push notifications for advertisements, as long as users agree to receive the ads first. Users will have to explicitly opt-in to receive push notification ads, and there must also be an option for users to opt-out. Apple has bent its own rules over the past few years by sending out push notifications that were borderline advertisements. This behavior was criticized as other companies could have their App Store accounts banned for the same behavior. Apple's intention was for users to not be spammed with marketing messages, and the new policy relaxes these rules while still allowing users control over what they see. There were a few other updates regarding Apple's App Store rules, including an April 30 deadline for when Sign in with Apple has to be implemented.