Big Tech &
Apple Adds Specified Trade-In Values for Select Android Smartphones (2 minute read)
Apple has updated its trade-in website to allow customers to trade in specific Android smartphones for store credit towards a new iPhone. In 2013, Apple and Brightstar began a trade-in program by offering customers up to $175 in store credit towards a new iPhone 5S for trading in their old iPhone 4S. Apple had offered store credit for Android phones for a short period in 2015, but this program was discontinued in 2016. A list of eligible Android phones, along with their maximum trade-in prices, is available at the end of the article.
Twitter to launch a revamped verification system with publicly documented guidelines (3 minute read)
Twitter has confirmed that it is developing a new in-app verification system. There has been confusion over Twitter's verification criteria in the past, resulting in the company announcing that it would reconsider its process. Twitter announced in 2018 that it was prioritizing election integrity over the overhaul of the verification system. It slowed the pace of verifications, focusing on verifying political candidates, and more recently, authoritative health experts. Twitter's new verification system will have clear guidelines for what is required for a user to be verified. It is unknown when the new system will be implemented.
MIT’s tiny artificial brain chip could bring supercomputer smarts to mobile devices (2 minute read)
Scientists at MIT have published a paper detailing a new type of artificial brain synapse that can potentially produce devices that can handle complex AI computing locally without having to connect to a data center, while remaining small and power-efficient. Tens and thousands of these synapses can be combined on a chip physically smaller than a single piece of confetti. The 'memristors' are created using alloys of silver and copper. They offer a gradient of values, as opposed to a binary state, and are also able to remember states. The goal of the project was to create dedicated hardware that could perform tasks that currently require significant GPU computing power to run.
Carbonated Ice Cream Is a Feat of Physics—and It Actually Tastes Good (4 minute read)
Ice cream manufacturers often have to race against time to put their products on shelves, an expensive task that produces massive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. A pair of researchers at Cornell University have created a system that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to create instant ice cream. When fluids expand from high pressure to low pressure, it can cause a cooling effect under the right conditions. The scientist's ice cream machine uses this principle with pressurized carbon dioxide to produce a scoop of ice cream every three seconds. With the machine, shop owners can potentially keep shelf-stable mixtures on hand and produce ice cream as required. The system can also be potentially used to create instant soda slushies.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Neuropod (GitHub Repo)
Neuropod makes it easy to run deep learning models from multiple frameworks by providing a uniform interface. It currently supports TensorFlow, PyTorch, TorchScript, and Keras. Researchers can use Neuropod to build models and optimize code that will run on multiple platforms, four or five versions of each supported framework, and five versions of Python.
No Design Development (Website)
This website contains a collection of tools to help developers design websites without requiring any artistic ability. Developers can select resources from categories including Art, Fonts, Color, Generators, Inspiration, Videos, and more. Examples of resources include photo libraries, CSS generators, and logo makers.
Amazon sues former AWS marketing VP Brian Hall after he takes Google Cloud job (7 minute read)
Amazon is suing its former Amazon Web Services vice president of product marketing Brian Hall as it claims that his new role at Google Cloud violates a non-compete agreement. Hall's lawyers claim that Amazon executives had led Hall to believe that the non-competition provision of his agreement would not be enforced. Hall has asked the court to rule the non-compete clause to be overbroad, unreasonable, and unenforceable. This suit is notable as it involves a marketing leader rather than an engineering executive. Hall is knowledgeable on Amazon's cloud product roadmap for the next year. Washington state does not restrict non-compete agreements where an employee earns more than $100,000 a year, an amount which Hall was earning well in excess of. Full copies of Amazon's complaint and Hall's response are available at the end of the article.
With real-life games halted, betting world puts action on Esports (10 minute read)
Since March, many bettors have switched to betting on esports as traditional sports and casinos have declined. Every significant bookmaker now offers esports. Worldwide esports gambling revenue is expected to hit around $14 billion this year. Sports gambling has been on the rise, with experts predicting that it will be third in the country after the NFL and the NBA in terms of total wagering within the next five to 10 years. Attempts at unifying the world of esports and creating some sort of central authority have met resistance from game publishers, who are reluctant to give the impression that they actively support gambling or that these authorities are required in the first place.