Big Tech &
Google is kicking ‘sugar dating’ apps out of the Play Store (2 minute read)
Google has announced a series of policy changes that will take place from September 1. Apps that relate to compensated sexual relationships will be removed from the Play Store. Apps that promote sexual services are already banned, but many apps get around these rules by claiming that they are only providing dating services for wealthy men. Google will delete developer accounts if they remain inactive for a year, with exceptions for accounts that have apps with over a thousand installs or recent in-app purchases. Developers will be notified multiple times before their accounts are removed.
Facebook’s next hardware launch will be its Ray-Ban ‘smart glasses’ (2 minute read)
Facebook's next product release will be its Ray-Ban smart glasses. The glasses will not have an integrated display and are not classified as an augmented reality device. Mark Zuckerberg said on a call that the glasses will be able to do some 'pretty neat things', but did not expand on what the glasses' capabilities will be. The glasses will likely have to be paired to a smartphone app. Ads continue to be an important part of Facebook's strategy.
Scientists Bred Healthy Mice Using Artificial Eggs and Ovaries Made From Stem Cells (5 minute read)
In vitro gametogenesis (IVG) is a technique that uses stem cells to make sperm and egg cells. Researchers from Kyushu University have successfully created and raised mice using the technique. Eggs made from stem cells are unable to develop naturally outside of an ovary, so the researchers created an artificial ovary, also from stem cells. IVG opens up many possibilities for assisted reproduction. The team is now testing the technique on marmosets. It will still be decades before the technique can be used in humans, if it is even possible.
FDA clears Synchron's brain-computer interface device for human trials (2 minute read)
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Synchron's Stentrode implantable brain-computer interface in clinical trials with human patients. Stentrode is currently being tested in clinical trials in Australia. Two of the four patients in the Australian trials were able to control the computer with their thoughts, completing work-related tasks, sending messages, and going online banking and shopping. It takes around two hours to implant the device in a minimally invasive procedure. The device will be available to buy within five years.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Peanut (GitHub Repo)
Peanut is a tool for deploying databases and services for development and testing pipelines. It features a REST API, an admin dashboard, and a command-line tool. Peanut supports MySQL, Redis, PostgreSQL, Elasticsearch, MongoDB, and many more services. Screenshots are available.
Over half the deer in Michigan seem to have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 (3 minute read)
A survey of wild deer populations in the US has found that a large number of the animals have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2. The US Department of Agriculture was studying a variety of species to identify potential reservoirs or hosts for the virus. Deer show no symptoms when infected. The virus could pick up mutations that help it adapt to deer. A mutated virus would be less susceptible to the immune response generated by vaccines or prior infections.
Nikola founder charged with securities fraud over allegedly fake truck demo (3 minute read)
The New York federal court has charged Nikola founder Trevor Milton with securities fraud. Milton allegedly made a series of false claims about the company while raising more than $500 million in investments. He used a staged video to create a false impression that the Nikola One semi-truck prototype was able to move under its own power when the vehicle was simply rolling downhill. Milton also claimed that the company was producing its own hydrogen fuels at below market rates and that it had many billions of dollars worth of committed truck orders.