Big Tech &
Secretive data startup Palantir has confidentially filed for an IPO (2 minute read)
Palantir is a secretive data and analytics startup that provides technologies to clients such as the US government. Data provided by the company has been used to profile immigrants, leading to deportations. The company filed paperwork with the SEC to go public on Monday. Palantir is currently valued at around $26 billion. It appears that the IPO market is starting to heat up again, despite the pandemic.
Google, Facebook, and Twitter halt government data requests after new Hong Kong security law (3 minute read)
A new security law that went into effect on July 1st gives China the power to limit political dissent against the Communist Party. Many terms of the new law are vague and there are concerns about the full implications of the law. Google, Facebook, and Twitter have paused the processing of data requests from the Hong Kong government while the companies review the new law. The new law has already caused several opposition parties in Hong Kong to disband.
Physicists Discover Exotic, New 'Tetraquark' Particle We've Never Seen Before (4 minute read)
A new type of particle called a tetraquark has been discovered using data from CERN's Large Hadron Collider. The new particle is made up of four heavy quarks of the same type. It is likely to be the first in a previously undiscovered class of particles. The tetraquark was discovered by combing over the data collected and retained from the Large Hadron Collider's two operational runs.
Giant flywheel project in Scotland could prevent UK blackouts (3 minute read)
A new project in Scotland could prevent blackouts across Britain by stabilizing the energy grid's electrical frequency. The project will cost around £25m. Spinning turbines in a traditional power station help balance out Britain's power grid's frequency to about 50 hertz. Currently, renewable energy sources are shut down when there is an excess of energy. An imbalance in the frequency of the grid can cause a nationwide blackout. The project will build a flywheel to imitate the spinning turbines to keep the grid's frequency steady so that more renewable energy can be used. It will not produce any emissions.
Programming, Design & Data Science
ScaNN (GitHub Repo)
Scalable Nearest Neighbors (ScaNN) is a method for efficient vector similarity search at scale. It supports several vector search techniques and it is highly configurable.
Mastering Bitcoin (GitHub Repo)
Mastering Bitcoin is a book about Bitcoin for developers. The initial chapters cover the non-technical aspects of the cryptocurrency and can be useful for everyday users, investors, and business owners. Later chapters discuss the technical foundations of Bitcoin, the architecture of its decentralized network, Segregated Witness, and more. This repository contains the full book.
Sushi meets AI: Japanese inventor's app scopes out choice tuna cuts (2 minute read)
Tuna Scope is a smartphone app that uses a deep learning algorithm to rate the quality of raw tuna. The pandemic has restricted travel, so fish merchants are having issues visiting suppliers to check the quality of tuna being purchased. While the app can make it much easier for suppliers to check the quality of food being sold, it also means that experts who were previously checking for quality may be made obsolete.