TLDR Daily Update 2021-07-14

Apple Pay Later 💳, moon GPS 🌙, Firefox 90 💻

Big Tech & Startups

Apple developing new ‘Apple Pay Later’ service to let customers buy any Apple Pay purchases in monthly installments (2 minute read)

Apple is working on a new service called Apple Pay Later that will allow users to buy products and pay them off in monthly installments. It will be directly integrated with Apple Pay. Apple will partner with Goldman Sachs for the service. The rollout will likely draw scrutiny from regulatory bodies. Apple is currently under investigation by the European Commission over claims that it unfairly advantages Apple Pay over rival contactless payment systems on the iPhone.

Firefox 89 delivered more speed—today’s Firefox 90 adds SmartBlock 2.0 (4 minute read)

Mozilla has launched Firefox 90. It features improved print-to-PDF functionality, individual exceptions to HTTPS-only mode, a page to help identify compatibility issues with third-party applications, and SmartBlock. SmartBlock can protect users from cross-site tracking while making sure that site logins still function. The new browser is significantly faster. Details about how Mozilla tests for browser speed are available in the article.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Exclusive Q&A: Neuralink’s Quest to Beat the Speed of Type (17 minute read)

Neuralink is a fully implantable brain-machine interface that uses super-thin threads that can snake through brain tissue to pick up signals. The company has demonstrated its technology in pigs and monkeys. This article features an interview with the head of Neuralink's brain signals team, Joseph O’Doherty. The interview covers Neuralink's goals, the hardware and software used, what the team is working on now, and the limitations of the technology.

Masten Space Systems to develop a GPS-like network for the Moon (2 minute read)

Masten Space Systems will develop a lunar navigation and positioning system similar to GPS as part of a contract awarded through the Air Force Research Laboratory’s AFWERX program. Current spacecraft heading to the Moon have to carry equipment onboard to detect hazards and assist with navigation. As the costs of going to orbit and beyond have decreased, it makes sense to establish a shared navigation network since space is likely to get a lot busier. A shared navigation network will lower spacecraft costs, increase payload capacity, and improve landing accuracy.
Programming, Design & Data Science

Introducing the Android Game Development Kit (3 minute read)

The Android Game Development Kit (AGDK) is a range of tools and libraries for developing, optimizing, and delivering high-quality Android games. The libraries were built and tested with performance in mind using C or C++ APIs and they work across many different Android versions. A 16-minute video that introduces the AGDK is available in the article.

WiFi Card (GitHub Repo)

WiFi Card makes it easy to print a QR code with Wi-Fi login details. A GIF demo is available.

A Facebook engineer abused access to user data to track down a woman who had left their hotel room after they fought on vacation, new book says (3 minute read)

A new book has been released that details how Facebook fired 52 employees between January 2014 and August 2015 for exploiting user data for personal means. Most of the employees who were fired were men who took advantage of their data access to find profiles of women they were interested in. Facebook has a zero-tolerance policy for abuse and has fired every employee ever found to be improperly accessing data. An employee was found to have abused access nearly every month, but Facebook still resists limiting internal access to private data.

The ugly, geeky war for web privacy is playing out in the W3C (23 minute read)

The World Wide Consortium (W3C) is an online community where the people who operate the internet discuss how the internet should work. Decisions are made by consensus in public GitHub forums or open Zoom meetings. The W3C has become a key battleground in the war over web privacy. As browsers have started to embrace and implement web privacy measures, the companies that rely on cross-site tracking are fighting for their survival. This article covers the privacy debate from both sides.

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