Big Tech &
Facebook launches Business Suite to link messaging apps (3 minute read)
Facebook has launched a new app called Facebook Business Suite that allows small businesses to manage their pages and profiles across Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger. It is the first product Facebook has launched that combines the backend infrastructure for its apps. It will add WhatsApp to the service next year. The Business Suite allows small businesses to post content and ads to Facebook and Instagram at the same time, as well as see the performance of ads across both platforms in one place. It will be integrated with Facebook Shop more closely in the future. The tools are designed for small businesses, but Facebook will make them available for bigger advertisers eventually.
Amazon Fresh grocery store in Los Angeles opens to the public (1 minute read)
Amazon Fresh at Woodland Hills, Los Angeles is now open to the public from 7 AM to 10 PM PT daily. It features Amazon's new Dash Cart, which calculates shopping totals, displays shopping lists, and does other tasks to make the shopping experience more automated. Customers can skip a visit to the cashier if the Dash Cart detects less than two bags of groceries in the cart. When a customer leaves the store, the amount owing is automatically deducted from the credit card they have associated with their Amazon account. Echo Show stations are placed throughout the store to help point customers towards specific products. Customers can pick up same-day Amazon Prime deliveries from the store.
AI and Solar Energy Powered Mayflower Sails for Ocean Exploration (2 minute read)
ProMare, a non-profit marine research corporation, and IBM have launched an AI and solar-powered ship. In 2021, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) will sail on a route similar to its namesake Mayflower, who sailed across the Atlantic 400 years ago. It will collect data from the ocean to help scientists tackle issues such as global warming and marine mammal conservation. The onboard AI can scan the horizon for possible hazards, make informed decisions, and change its course based on live data. The MAS will carry an octopus robot named Artie, who can answer questions about the ship, the ocean, or about himself on the MAS website.
How to train a machine to see 3-D in the dark (2 minute read)
Researchers at the Australian National University have developed a method to create perfect holograms in near darkness. Optical holograms are used in ID cards to prevent forgery, in real-time imaging of living cells, and many other applications. The new method allows holograms to perform the same tasks in low light. Forming optical holograms using extremely low light usually produces grainy results. The technique uses machine learning to restore the missing information from the holograms. This method could make imaging cells easier as many cells are sensitive to light and are easily damaged.
Programming, Design & Data Science
GitHub CLI 1.0 is now available (3 minute read)
GitHub CLI is now out of beta. Using GitHub CLI, users can run their entire GitHub workflow from the terminal, call the GitHub API to script nearly any action, and connect to GitHub Enterprise Server as well as GitHub.com. Examples of how to use GitHub CLI are available in the article.
Tribuo (GitHub Repo)
Tribuo is a machine learning library in Java. It provides multi-class classification, regression, clustering, anomaly detection, and multi-label classification. Tribuo features a unified interface with implementations of popular ML algorithms and other libraries. It runs on Java 8+.
Testing Amazon Kitchen: Here’s our hot take on the tech giant’s first hot food bar at Amazon Go Grocery (4 minute read)
The Amazon Go Grocery in Redmond features a hot food section with burritos, chicken wings, soup, and other options. Amazon automatically tracks purchases in the store, so customers can just grab items off the shelf and walk out. While the technology used to create the shopping experience is impressive, the food is apparently not as great. Amazon has offsite kitchens where it prepares food, but the food is heated up in-stores daily. It also sells cold food and other pre-packaged meal options. A review of some of the food options, photos included, is available in the article.
Hubble Captures Crisp New Image of Jupiter and Europa (2 minute read)
The Hubble Space Telescope took new images of Jupiter when the planet was 653 million kilometers from Earth in August. They show a new storm brewing in the planet's atmosphere and a cousin of the Great Red Spot changing color. While it is common for storms to form, the new disturbance appears to have more structure behind it and researchers speculate that it may be the beginning of a longer-lasting spot. The Great Red Spot now measures 15,800 kilometers across, and while it is still shrinking, its rate of shrinkage appears to have slowed. Red Spot Jr, a smaller spot below the Great Red Spot, has started taking on a darker reddish hue. Hubble also captured a new multi-wavelength observation of Jupiter. The images are available in the article.