Big Tech &
Cameo launches Cameo Calls, a service for fans to video chat with celebs (2 minute read)
Cameo Calls lets fans chat one-on-one with influencers and celebrities. Users can book calls through Cameo's website or app. The talent sets the duration, time, and price of the call. There is a dedicated photo opp at the end of each call. Cameo thinks that Cameo Calls could replace celebrity meet-and-greets. While the sessions are only a few minutes long, the fan receives a more personal experience.
Tesla will open controversial FSD beta software to owners with a good driving record (2 minute read)
The latest beta version of Tesla's Full Self-Driving will become more widely available starting September 24. Owners who have paid for FSD will be offered access to the beta. Drivers who want to participate in the beta will need to give Tesla's insurance calculator access to their driving behavior data. The new update enables automated driving on highways and city streets. It is a Level 2 driver assistance system, so drivers are still required to pay attention and have control of the vehicle at all times.
Architects Design World's First Houses With '3D-Printed Steel Exoskeleton' (2 minute read)
Madre Natura is a project in Sardinia that features the world's first 3D printed modular houses. The houses are designed to let wind pass through and provide renewable energy resources. An energy tower at the center of each building harvests energy from solar and wind. The homes are equipped with smart cameras and fire detectors. There are no stairs for the buildings as residents will be able to use the natural terrain instead.
China prepares to test thorium-fuelled nuclear reactor (5 minute read)
An experimental nuclear reactor that uses thorium as fuel is about to begin tests in China. The reactor uses molten salts instead of water to act as a coolant and substrate for the fuel. Molten salt reactors are relatively safe, with a reduced risk of explosive meltdowns. Many countries are building molten salt reactors, but only China is attempting to use thorium as fuel. Thorium is a waste product of the rare-earth mining industry in China. It is more plentiful than uranium and its waste products have less chance of being weaponized.
Programming, Design & Data Science
borb (GitHub Repo)
borb is a Python library for reading, writing, and manipulating PDF documents. It represents PDF documents as JSON-like data structures of nested lists, dictionaries, and primitives. borb can extract and change text and images, add annotations, change meta-information, and much more.
Seed (GitHub Repo)
Seed is a Rust front-end framework for creating fast and reliable web apps with an Elm-like architecture. It uses a templating system with a macro syntax that makes linting, formatting, and commenting work like in Rust. Clear and extensive documentation is available.
Apple reportedly threatened to boot Facebook from the App Store over human trafficking concerns (2 minute read)
Apple threatened to kick Facebook off its App Store after a report in 2019 detailed how the platform was used to sell victims of human trafficking. Facebook was aware of the practice before the report, having conducted its own investigations. Facebook's AI content moderators can't detect most languages used on the platform, and its human moderators don't know how to speak the languages used in those markets. This has resulted in criminal organizations using the platform to conduct their business.
In Finland, scientists are growing coffee in a lab (1 minute read)
The amount of land suitable for coffee plantations is shrinking due to climate change. Researchers in Finland are experimenting with growing coffee from plant cells in bioreactors. They are using the same techniques that others are using to make lab-grown meat. It is easier to grow plants using this method compared to meat as the nutrient media for plant-cell cultures are much less complex and plant cells grow freely without attaching to surfaces. Coffee created with this technique tastes and smells like ordinary coffee. The process can be modified to generate different blends of compounds.