Big Tech &
Facebook refuses to pay revenue to Australian media (3 minute read)
The Australian government is attempting to draft legislation to force Facebook and Google to share advertising revenue they earn from news featured on their services. Leading news publishers have demanded that 10% of the revenue that these platforms make each year from news content should be given to local news organizations. Facebook has rejected calls to share its advertising revenue with the media. News sites represent a very small fraction of the content in an average user's news feed, so the impact of removing news sites from Facebook would be minimal. Google has rejected the demands, saying that it made barely $10 million a year from news-linked advertising.
Facebook contest reveals deepfake detection is still an ‘unsolved problem’ (3 minute read)
Facebook's Deepfake Detection Challenge is an open competition to find algorithms that can spot AI-manipulated videos. This year's winning algorithm could spot real-world examples of deep fakes with an average accuracy of 65.18%. Deepfakes have become an increasing threat for social media as it has the obvious potential to be misused. The political effects of deepfakes have so far been minimal. More than 35,000 detection algorithms were entered into the competition. The results of the competition show that a lot of work still needs to be done before automated systems can reliably spot deepfake content.
Three people with inherited diseases successfully treated with CRISPR (2 minute read)
Two people with beta-thalassemia and one with sickle cell disease will no longer need regular blood transfusions after their bone marrow stem cells were gene-edited with CRISPR. The treatment involved killing bone marrow cells with chemotherapy and replacing them with edited cells. While the chemotherapy caused adverse side effects, it appears that the CRISPR gene editing was safe. There were five people in the trial altogether. The patients will need to be monitored for the rest of their lives to observe the long-term effects of the treatment.
How close are we to a coronavirus vaccine? All you need to know (5 minute read)
In the next months Moderna Inc, Sinovac Biotech, and Oxford-AstraZeneca are expected to begin late-stage trials of their experimental coronavirus vaccines. Moderna's mRNA vaccine was able to stop the virus from replicating in the lab and will be tested on 30,000 volunteers in the US. Sinovac's inactivated vaccine will be tested in Brazil starting July, with 9,000 participants in the late-stage trial. Oxford-AstraZeneca's vaccine will also be testing in Brazil and the team has the capacity to create 100 million doses by the end of the year if the trials prove successful.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Chakra UI (Website)
Chakra UI is a component library for building React applications. It features a set of components that are easily styled, flexible, composable, and accessible. Each component follows WAI-ARIA guideline specifications. Most components are dark mode compatible.
Math to Code (Website)
Math to Code is an interactive tutorial to teach engineers how to use Python's NumPy library. It is useful as a quick primer in NumPy syntax. There are 13 sections, each with an explanation of a NumPy function, a small exercise, and the option to show solutions if you become stuck.
ISS Photo Explorer (Website)
The ISS photo explorer lets you explore the millions of photographs taken from the International Space Station since the year 2000. All images are loaded directly from the NASA Gateway. The latitude/longitude location of each photo is plotted over a map of Earth.
Biohacking Lite (15 minute read)
The body is like a battery that can be charged indefinitely. Energy is stored to be released when food becomes scarce. The mechanism is complex, with different storage/release methods for different bodily functions. Weight loss is about removing mass and stored energy, but it isn't as simple as just burning through exercise. A lot of weight is lost through breathing. When losing weight, you should use more energy than you take in, decreasing the size of the 'battery pack'. Weight can fluctuate a lot depending on water intake. In a personal experiment, the author was able to lose around 0.58 pounds per week over a year with an average energy deficit of 500kcal per day.