TLDR Daily Update 2020-12-28

Tesla Boombox πŸ“», Octopus punches fish πŸ™, GoDaddy's terrible email 🀑

Big Tech & Startups

GoDaddy wins our 2020 award for most evil company email (1 minute read)

GoDaddy recently sent its employees a fake email informing them they had received a $650 holiday bonus. The email was a phishing test and employees who clicked on the link were required to take a training course on social engineering. Phishing tests are normal, but they don't usually involve promising employees fake money.

Tesla’s new Boombox feature will let car owners fart at unsuspecting neighbors (2 minute read)

Tesla has rolled out its 2020.48.26 firmware update, which gives Tesla owners the ability to play sounds from the speakers on the outside of their cars, if they have them. There are several default sounds to choose from, or owners can upload up to five custom sounds. Tesla cars manufactured after September 1st, 2019 have the outer speakers built-in. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires the speakers so that electric cars can emit noise to alert pedestrians. An 11-minute video covering the new firmware update is available in the article.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Augmented reality in surgery: World’s first β€œreal” holographically navigated spine surgery at Balgrist University Hospital (4 minute read)

A team at Balgrist University Hospital successfully completed the first holographically navigated spine surgery with the help of Microsoft's HoloLens 2 AR glasses. The patient's internal anatomy was recreated in 3D using CT imaging before the surgery. During the surgery, the 3D model was projected onto the patient's anatomy, so that the surgeon could operate more precisely, faster, and safer. The patient suffered from lower lumbar spine degeneration, and their symptoms were gone after the surgery.

2-Acre Vertical Farm Run By AI And Robots Out-Produces 720-Acre Flat Farm (3 minute read)

Vertical indoor farms allow farmers anywhere in the world to grow food all year while using 95% less water and 99% less land. In recent years, farmers have started using drones, robots, and artificial intelligence to improve crop maintenance. As indoor farms can be located anywhere, they cut down on transportation, which reduces CO2 emissions and prices for customers. Plenty is an ag-tech startup that builds indoor farms. It has already received $400 million in investment capital and it has a deal with Albertsons stores in California to supply 430 stores with fresh produce.
Programming, Design & Data Science

JavaScript Performance in the Wild 2020 (14 minute read)

This article analyzes the top 1 million pages on the web to find out what makes the web slow. A scripted web browser was used to browse to the root page of the top 1 million domains and log render times, request counts, repaints, JavaScript errors, libraries used, and other data. The analysis provided support for several optimization tricks, such as making as few requests as possible, using HTTP2 or greater, and avoiding render blocking requests and using async where possible. JQuery is the most popular library, but the data says it significantly slows down performance.

CodeSwing (GitHub Repo)

CodeSwing is an interactive coding environment for VS Code that allows developers to have a traditional web playground directly within their highly-personalized editors. Developers can view a live preview of their web apps as they type, without compiling or bundling anything. Demos and examples are available in the repository.

Octopuses Like to Punch Fish, New Research Suggests (3 minute read)

Scientists have documented multiple occurrences of octopuses punching fish. It seems that the octopuses primarily do it for practical reasons, such as banishing a fish from a hunting group, but sometimes there appeared to be no immediate benefit to the behavior. Octopus and fish sometimes hunt together, sharing the spoils. Several videos of octopuses punching fish are available in the article.

Endnotes on 2020: Crypto and Beyond (20 minute read)

2020 was a good year to ponder how we should re-evaluate our models of the world. As the 'real world' shut down, the internet became supercharged. The internet has introduced a different type of value to the economy. A lot of older laws and ways of looking at things need to catch up to current technologies. This article discusses Vitalik Buterin's thoughts on the changing role of economics, digital nationalism, the importance of culture, big business, and more.

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