TLDR Daily Update 2020-06-02

Tesla autopilot crashes πŸš—, inside SpaceX's control room πŸš€, Silicon Valley rents plummet 🏠

Big Tech & Startups

Tesla Model 3 Drives Straight Into Overturned Truck In What Seems To Be Autopilot Failure (3 minute read)

A Tesla Model 3 has driven straight into an overturned truck on a highway in Taiwan. Video of the accident is available in the article, showing the Model 3 crashing right into the roof of the truck trailer. It appears that Tesla's Autopilot system didn't detect the large rectangular object in front of it in broad daylight and clear weather conditions. Detecting immobile objects for emergency automatic braking systems and autonomous vehicles is difficult. The systems could likely be improved with the use of LiDAR, a technology that Elon Musk famously rejected. Despite Tesla's Autopilot capabilities, drivers are still required to pay attention to the road when operating the vehicle.

Google’s DeepMind A.I. defeats human opponents in Quake III Capture the Flag (2 minute read)

Google's DeepMind AI lab was able to create a program that beat human players in Quake III Arena's Capture the Flag mode. DeepMind has beaten human players before in both Go and Starcraft. Capture the Flag requires teamwork between AI agents, which makes the achievement more impressive. The human players were only able to beat the AI in about 25% of games. Human players who were paired with an AI had a 5% greater win rate compared to a team of just AI agents.
Science & Futuristic Technology

These $50,000 tiny homes unfold out of shipping containers and can be combined into custom houses (4 minute read)

Boxabl is a startup that builds tiny homes that unfold out of shipping containers. It is looking to mass-produce modules that can be stacked to create custom buildings. Earlier this year, it released a 375-square-foot prefab studio apartment for $50,000. Images showing how the houses are constructed, as well as pictures inside of a furnished demo home, are available in the article.

Tour from Space: Inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon Spacecraft on Its Way to the Space Station (8 minute video)

This video shows Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley giving a tour of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. It begins with Hurley naming the capsule 'Endeavour'. The spacecraft features touch panel interfaces and a button panel. There are two windows and an entry/exit hatch. The astronauts are in zero gravity and demonstrated a zero gravity maneuver. Tremor the plush dinosaur was selected to accompany the astronauts by the astronaut's sons. The astronauts attempted to show the view of the Atlantic ocean from the window, but it was obstructed by a reflection.
Programming, Design & Data Science

git-fuzzy (GitHub Repo)

git-fuzzy is a CLI interface that allows developers to interact with GitHub. Users can interact with stage and unstaged changes, search for, checkout, and look at branches, interact with pull requests, and more.

Software Engineering Within SpaceX (10 minute read)

The SpaceX Software Engineering team comprises of four separate teams. The Flight Software team develops code for Falcon 9, Grasshopper, and Dragon vehicles, and simulation, communications, and analysis software. They work with Mission Control to support active missions. The Enterprise Information Systems team mainly focuses on an internal web application that nearly every person in the company uses. The Ground Software team develops the GUIs used in Mission and Launch control for engineers to monitor vehicles and equipment. The Avionics Test team writes software for testing hardware and catching problems with the hardware earlier. Software for the mission, including SpaceX's Chromium and JavaScript-based Dragon 2 flight interface, had to go through various certifications. Every mission-critical input has a physical button underneath the touch display in case of a malfunction. A real-time operating system is used for Mission Critical applications as they have a faster interrupt response and better memory protection compared to regular operating systems.

New coronavirus losing potency, top Italian doctor says (2 minute read)

A senior Italian doctor says that the new coronavirus has lost its potency, claiming that recent swabs were returning results with viral concentrations that were infinitesimally smaller than the ones carried out over the past few months. Italy has the third-highest death toll in the world from COVID-19, with the sixth-highest global tally of cases. Infections and fatalities have fallen steadily in May and the country is looking to unwind some of its most rigid lockdown restrictions. The doctor claims that other experts were too alarmist about the prospect of a second wave of infections and that politicians need to start getting the country back to normal. A member of the health ministry stated that Italians should maintain maximum caution pending scientific evidence to support the thesis that the threat of the virus has disappeared.

SF, Silicon Valley rents plunge amid downturn: 'Never seen anything like it' (6 minute read)

The cost of rent in the San Francisco Bay Area plummeted in May due to layoffs and increased flexibility in working from home. Rent prices dropped by nearly 16% in Mountain View. While rent prices have dropped all across the country, the drop was most severe in the areas that have been most attractive to tech entrepreneurs and their investors. Many tech employees are now permanently allowed to work remotely, which means they are no longer required to live in these areas. A table showing the average rent and the percent change in rent prices between May 2019 and May 2020 in the Bay Area is available at the end of the article.

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