Big Tech &
Apple and Google launch exposure notification API, enabling public health authorities to release apps (4 minute read)
Apple and Google have released their exposure notification API to the public. The exposure notification system is designed to notify individuals of potential exposure to people who have been confirmed to have COVID-19 while preserving privacy. Apple and Google will not be releasing their own apps - public health agencies will need to create their own apps to make use of the API. Health agencies are free to define what constitutes potential exposure in terms of exposed time and distance, and they can modify other parameters to their own standards. Apps that seek geolocation information permissions from users will not be able to use the API. Apple and Google may integrate the API as a system-level feature in a later update, but that strategy is still under revision.
Meet the first NASA astronauts SpaceX will launch to orbit (6 minute read)
Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be the first astronauts to launch in SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft. The pair will launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 27th. They will be the first people that SpaceX has ever launched into space and the first people to launch to orbit from the United States since 2011. It is unclear when the astronauts will return home. NASA will decide on a return date once the astronauts are on board the International Space Station.
Lab-grown fish just got real. San Diego startup shows off first slaughter-free yellowtail (4 minute read)
BlueNalu, a San Diego based food-tech startup, unveiled its lab-created yellowtail fish product at a small event in San Diego Bay last week. The fish meat is grown through cell cultures in a food manufacturing facility. Making food in labs is already common practice and produces popular products such as Greek yogurt, Oreos, ketchup, and more. BlueNalu's fish can withstand different cooking methods, including steaming, frying, and marinating. It can even be eaten raw. The startup hopes to launch its product into a test market within two years. Pictures of the meat prepared in dishes, as well as an infographic about how the fish meat is produced, are available in the article.
Scientists Captured a Planet's Birth and It Is Terrifying and Beautiful (3 minute read)
AB Aurigae is a star located around 520 light-years from Earth. It is encircled by a thick disk of gas and dust, creating perfect conditions for birthing new planets. Scientists have observed spiral structures within the disk, hinting at the presence of developing planets. Using a specialized instrument designed to look for exoplanets, scientists were able to capture images of the environment surrounding a planet-in-progress. A one-minute video and some images of the formation are available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Responsively App (GitHub Repo)
Responsively App is a modified browser that helps in responsive web development. It can mirror user interactions and displays for multiple devices, allowing developers to view multiple versions of their sites at once. A GIF preview is available.
Unofficial APIs (GitHub Repo)
This repository contains a collection of unofficial APIs. Each link has a description of the API, the language it is written in, the number of GitHub stars it has, and the date of the last commit. The collection includes APIs for Instagram, TikTok, Robinhood, iMessage, Tesla, and more.
Dogs Obey Commands Given by Social Robots (5 minute read)
Researchers at Yale University's Social Robotics Lab investigated whether dogs see robots more like humans or more like an object. In the study, the dogs were observed while taking instructions from robots with humanoid forms and from loudspeakers. It found that dogs seemed to respond to the robots, but further investigation was needed to find out what exactly the dogs were responding to. A one-minute video is available showing the conditions of the experiment.
Digital Overload: Average Adult Will Spend 34 Years Of Their Life Staring At Screens (3 minute read)
The results from a poll of 2,000 British adults found that the average person will spend 34 years looking at phones, computers, or televisions. Over half of respondents to the survey reported eye strain, but four out of 10 people said they would rarely stop to rest their vision. The average adult starts looking at a screen within 20 minutes of getting out of bed, with almost a third switching on a device within five minutes. More time is being spent in front of PCs than TVs. It is recommended that people take a break from looking at their screens every 20 minutes, look away for 20 seconds, and focus on something that is at least 20 feet away.