Big Tech &
Watch Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin test fly the latest upgrades to its space tourism rocket New Shepard (2 minute read)
Blue Origin launched the fourteenth test flight of its New Shepard rocket booster and capsule on January 14. There were no passengers on board, but the capsule can carry up to six people. The mission aimed to test a number of astronaut communication and safety alert systems. New Shepard is designed to carry people to an altitude of more than 340,000 feet and spend as much as 10 minutes in zero gravity before returning to Earth. Jeff Bezos personally funds Blue Origin's development, selling Amazon stock to fund the space company.
Samsung Galaxy S21, S21 Plus, and S21 Ultra first look: polished design (and prices)
Samsung's Galaxy S21 ($799), Galaxy S21 Plus ($999), and Galaxy S21 Ultra ($1,199) have arrived. The Galaxy S21 features almost the same specs as the S21 Plus, excluding obvious differences in screen size, battery size, and some other minor details. Samsung achieved the lower price points by changing to lower resolution screens with subtly curved edges and by reducing the RAM from 12GB to 8GB. The Galaxy S21's back panel is made of polycarbonate plastic. There are still significant internal upgrades, as well as a redesign of the lineup. The Galaxy S21 Ultra features the best of Samsung's hardware. It will be the first Galaxy S phone to support Samsung's S Pen stylus. Images of the devices are available in the article.
'Magic mushrooms' grow in man's blood after injection with shroom tea (3 minute read)
A man spent 22 days in the hospital, with eight days in intensive care, after he injected a concoction brewed from magic mushrooms into his veins. He received treatment for multisystem organ failure and was released with a long-term regimen of antibiotic and antifungal drugs. It is unknown whether the man experienced the psychoactive effects associated with ingesting the fungus orally. He had injected the mushrooms with the hope to relieve symptoms of bipolar disorder and opioid dependence. His blood had tested positive for a fungal infection from the mushrooms, meaning it was growing in his blood. Research has suggested that magic mushrooms may be a promising treatment for several conditions, but only if taken safely.
CRISPR gene-editing urgently needs an off-switch – now we have one (1 minute read)
CRISPR has the potential to fix some of life's biggest problems, from disease to malnutrition. While it has proven to be an extraordinary tool, there have been concerns about what would happen if something was to go wrong. Scientists needed a way to switch off changes if they resulted in undesired effects. Viruses have a mechanism that can already do this, so research is now trying to figure out how to use the mechanism for our own ends.
Programming, Design & Data Science
How many of you know deep down that the team is working on something that no customer wants? (7 minute read)
Often, hyper important software projects that have strict deadlines have deep flaws that result in failure. These flaws include the product not being wanted, not being differentiated enough, being packaged incorrectly, or being priced incorrectly. Agile teams can avoid these problems by solving issues discovered by the customer throughout the project. This article discusses two strategies to avoid working on something that no customer wants so teams can focus on creating the right thing.
Top 10 Frontend Frameworks of 2018 (10 minute read)
There are a wide array of frontend frameworks available, and new ones are always emerging. This article contains a list of frontend frameworks, including a description of each framework and some pros and cons of each one. When considering a framework, it is important to consider your skill level, compatibility, CSS preprocessors, appearance, prototyping, and how the framework simplifies and speeds up the website design and development process.
'Rent-a-person who does nothing' in Tokyo receives endless requests, gratitude (3 minute read)
Shoji Morimoto is a 37-year-old man from Tokyo who rents himself out to other people to do nothing. He has about 270,000 followers on Twitter and has received over 3,000 requests for his services. Morimoto charges 10,000 yen ($96) per request. He commits to doing nothing while carrying out his jobs, only giving feedback when someone speaks to him. The gig started after Morimoto left his job at a publisher, and he was inspired by a person who did nothing but get treated to meals.
The 'megascale' structures that humans could one day build (8 minute read)
As humans discover new laws governing the universe, we start to find out what our physical limits are, and also what we are not limited to. The discovery of new technologies opens up possibilities for us to build bigger things. Whenever a physical law is revealed as universal, the next natural step is to scale it up and to explore the theoretical consequences. Whether or not it is the right thing to do, it is possible to redesign Earth. Megascale engineering has already happened in parts of South East Asia, Europe, and the US. Even larger projects would require a high level of coordination. Each part of the project would need to function perfectly, as well as be maintained.