Big Tech &
TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer to leave the company (4 minute read)
TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer has resigned from the company just months after his appointment. The role that Mayer signed up for will change significantly due to the US Administration's decision to force the company to sell off its US business. Vanessa Pappas, TikTok's US general manager, will be the interim global head at the company. TikTok must be sold by September 15 or it will be banned in the US. The company filed a lawsuit against the US Government on Monday claiming that it was deprived of due process. If the lawsuit is successful, it could delay the ban and give TikTok more time to negotiate a better deal.
Amazon announces Halo, a fitness band and app that scans your body and voice (11 minute read)
Amazon has unveiled the Halo Band, a fitness band that doesn't have a screen. It pairs with an app that provides standard fitness tracking features, along with the ability to create 3D scans for body fat and listen for emotions in users' voices. The Halo Band will cost $99.99 plus a subscription service of $3.99 per month for Halo's more advanced features. Invitees to Amazon's early access program will be able to purchase the device for $64.99 with a six-month subscription included.
Researchers create neurons that can be integrated into human brain tissue (2 minute read)
Scientists have successfully generated human neurons from skin cells using cellular reprogramming technology. Using a combination of cutting-edge technologies, the researchers demonstrated that grafted cells were able to receive inputs and establish synaptic contacts with the already established neuronal network in a slice of brain cortex. As the cells used for treatment are harvested from the patient, there is no risk of graft rejection and also no ethical concerns regarding the source of the cells.
Google performed the first quantum simulation of a chemical reaction (2 minute read)
Google simulated a simple chemical reaction on its Sycamore quantum computer. Sycamore achieved quantum supremacy in 2019 after completing a calculation that would have taken an impractical amount of time to complete on a classical computer. Quantum simulations could potentially be used to develop new chemicals. A picture of a quantum computer from Google's Lab in California is available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Thoughts on 2 Years as a Remote Robotics Consultant (11 minute read)
Working as a remote consultant presents unique challenges. As you only earn when you are working, time management is important. Short breaks caused by things such as switching tasks will have a large effect on efficiency. While Upwork takes a fee, it is usually a small price to pay for connecting to clients for long-term projects. When working with clients, treating every project as if it was your own will mean clients trust you more, but it might also mean that you might have to pull the plug on a project (and earn less) if it is impractical. Having a Mastermind group can help a lot in solving issues, especially if they can give honest feedback.
Architecture Playbook (Website)
This interactive architecture playbook was designed to help developers find the knowledge they need, easily create architecture documents and deliverables, and improve the quality of their IT projects. It is divided into four sections, Business, Data, Applications, and Technology Infrastructure. All materials and tools in the playbook are open and free to use without costs.
Amazon opens its first Amazon Fresh physical grocery store in LA (4 minute read)
Amazon has opened its first Amazon Fresh supermarket in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles. The supermarket is a new grocery store experience designed from the ground up, targeting a different type of customer to Amazon's Whole Foods and Go stores. Amazon Fresh will stock a range of big brands along with Amazon's own-label lines. The stores will use Amazon's Dash Cart feature and Prime Members who shop at the store will receive free delivery. Employees at the store will have to follow Amazon's own set of health guidelines to control the spread of the novel coronavirus. A list of confirmed Amazon Fresh locations is available at the beginning of the article.
Exclusive: First look at the LG Wing with its twisty dual display (4 minute read)
The LG Wing is LG's latest take on dual-display phones. It features a secondary display that flips out in a twisting motion. An 11-second video is available that shows the phone in its T-formation configuration. The video demonstrates how the second screen can be useful. Specs for the phone haven't been released yet. There are no details on release dates or pricing, but it is expected to be launched well before Christmas.