Big Tech &
Twitter rolls out Stories, aka ‘Fleets,’ to all users; will also test a Clubhouse rival (5 minute read)
Twitter has launched Fleets to its global user base. The feature allows users to post content that disappears after 24 hours. Twitter plans to test an audio-based social networking feature that will allow people to gather for live conversations. The feature is similar to a core feature in Clubhouse, an app that has faced several high-profile incidents of moderation failure, despite still being in a private, invite-only testing phase. Twitter has yet to prove that it can successfully combat online abuse, harassment, and trolling. Standard voice tweets are coming soon to Android.
Amazon jumps into the pharmacy business with online prescription fulfillment, free delivery for Prime members (6 minute read)
Amazon Pharmacy has launched in the US. The service will allow customers to order prescription medications for home delivery, with free delivery for Amazon Prime members. Amazon has been trying to enter into the $300 billion pharmacy market for several years, acquiring PillPack in 2018 for its pharmacy software, fulfillment centers, and relationship with health plans. Amazon Pharmacy will accept most forms of insurance and it has tools to verify physician orders to detect fraud. Some personal information will be collected as it is required by law to provide pharmacy care. Amazon will not deliver Schedule II controlled medications and it won't be offering vitamins and supplements through the service. Pharmacy data will be kept separate from other data that Amazon collects.
Company Aims to Make Nuclear Reactors Pocket-Sized (1 minute read)
NuScale's small modular nuclear reactors use gravity and buoyancy to spontaneously circulate cooling water. They are capable of generating 60 MWe using a small, safe, and scalable version of a pressurized water reactor technology. Around 100 of them can fit into the containment chamber of a large conventional reactor. The article links to a 13-minute video that walks the viewer through NuScale's test facilities.
This freaky sci-fi speaker beams sound directly into your brainhole (2 minute read)
Noveto's SoundBeamer 1.0 is a speaker that beams ultrasonic sound waves directly to a person's ear as they move around, allowing them to privately listen to audio without the need for headphones. It features a 3D sensing module that detects ears and then targets them with sound waves, creating pockets of sound around the user's head. The SoundBeamer 1.0 can work in spatial 3D mode, immersing the user into a world of three-dimensional sound without blocking any outside sounds. Noveto will be launching the device this Friday.
Programming, Design & Data Science
How We Build a Design System (16 minute read)
Bit is a platform that helps developers build, share, and collaborate on components. It uses a design system driven by components. This article explains the process of how Bit created its design system. It discusses the development of tools and components with examples along the way.
Google Maps updates help you cope with the pandemic (2 minute read)
Google has announced changes to Google Maps, including updates to its COVID overlay, takeout ordering features, real-time crowdedness information for public transport, and Google Assistant driving mode. Google Assistant driving mode offers voice control for phone calls, media playback, messaging, and more. The COVID-19 overlay will now show information about the number of cases in an area as well as links to information provided by local authorities. Users in some countries have been able to order food directly from Google Maps since last year, but now they will be able to see predicted delivery or pickup times. Google has added almost 250 new features to Maps this year.
FBI hires 140 robots to retrieve sensitive information (2 minute read)
The FBI has collected billions of pages of files over its existence. When designing a new facility to house about 2 billion pages in 360,000 bins, the FBI decided that manually retrieving data from the records was almost impossible due to the size of the collection. After exploring various solutions, the FBI chose to employ 140 robots to automatically file and retrieve records. The robots will streamline the data retrieval process and also optimize storage space by eliminating aisles for human access. Their software only tracks record and bin numbers, which means that they won’t have direct access to the records themselves.