Big Tech &
YouTube’s TikTok clone, “YouTube Shorts,” is live in the US (3 minute read)
YouTube Shorts is now rolling out in the US. The feature was first launched in India in September. It functions just like TikTok, except that you can dislike videos. Shorts will also show up on the channel's page and in subscription feeds like normal videos. TikTok is expected to hit one billion users in 2021. A majority of its users are in China, with only around 40 million users in the US. YouTube Shorts receives more than 3.5 billion daily views in India, where TikTok has been banned since June.
Square’s in-house bank kicks off operations (2 minute read)
Square Financial Services has started operations. The bank's main purpose is to offer business loan and deposit products. Square received conditional approval to operate the bank late last year. The bank is not expected to have a material impact on the company's balance sheet, net revenue, gross profit, or adjusted earnings. It will operate under an asset-light business model by selling loans to third-party investors.
Scientists Have Invented Light-Up OLED Tattoos (3 minute read)
Researchers in Europe have created the world's first light-emitting tattoos based on OLED screen technology. While tattoos can be a form of self-expression, they are also useful as medical tools. The tattoos are made from an extremely thin layer of an electroluminescent polymer that glows when a charge is applied. They can be applied to surfaces using the same wet transfer process used in temporary tattoos and can be easily washed off when no longer needed. When combined with other wearable technologies, these tattoos could start flashing whenever certain body signals are triggered. A lot more research is required before the technology can be used on human skin.
Gatorade’s new Gx Sweat Patch tests your sweat for smarter hydration (2 minute read)
The Gx Sweat Patch is a wearable from Gatorade that tests sweat to let the wearer know when to best rehydrate after working out. They are sold in packages of two for $25. The patches offer insight into how much body fluid was lost during a workout and how much sodium needs to be replenished. The Gx app can recommend how much to drink before, during, and after each workout. Each patch can only be used once. Gatorade recommends using a single patch to create a sweat profile for each type of workout that a person does.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Universal Radio Hacker (GitHub Repo)
The Universal Radio Hacker (URH) is a suite for wireless protocol investigation. It allows for easy demodulation of signals and automatic detection of modulation parameters, making it easy to identify data in the air. Guides on how to hack stuff with URH are available in the repository.
How a 10-second video clip sold for $6.6 million (5 minute read)
Last week, a 10-second video by artist Beeple sold for $6.6 million. The sale was made possible through a type of digital asset called non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which authenticates ownership of digital assets using blockchain technology. Each NFT is unique. OpenSea, a marketplace for NFTs, saw monthly sales grow from $8 million in January to $86.3 million in February. The NBA's Top Shot website, which allows users to trade NFTs in the form of video game highlights, has seen nearly $250 million in sales since its launch 5 months ago. NFTs could be the future of digital ownership.