Big Tech &
Here’s everything Amazon just announced: A home robot named Astro, a fitness band and more (6 minute read)
Amazon just announced a bunch of new gadgets ahead of the busy holiday shopping season. They include the Astro home robot, a smart thermostat, an Amazon Echo Show that can hang on the wall, a video calling device, a fitness tracker, and more. The announcements also included a new subscription service aimed at helping users care for elderly relatives and an invitation-only launch for the Ring security drone. Many more details are available in the article.
Microsoft opens its Windows store up to third-party app stores (3 minute read)
Microsoft has opened up its app store to allow third-party apps to integrate into the Microsoft Store. Third-party storefront apps will have their own product detail pages so that users can easily find and install them. Amazon and Epic Games will be available on the Microsoft Store over the next few months. Microsoft's more open app policies have resulted in many popular apps being listed in the store. Except for games, developers are allowed to keep 100 percent of revenue from apps if they use alternate payment platforms.
Etsy debuts shoppable virtual house (2 minute read)
Etsy House is an interactive augmented reality experience that lets shoppers tour a virtual home decorated with items from the Etsy marketplace. The house features true-to-scale renderings and 360-degree imagery, displaying items, furniture, artwork, and other goods. Users can view product information and get links to purchase items if they like what they see. Many other retailers have started using AR and virtual reality to help customers visualize products remotely and to improve social shopping.
Programming, Design & Data Science
construct-js (GitHub Repo)
construct-js is a library for creating byte level data structures. It provides an expressive API made up of standard primitives that allow developers to specify and manipulate binary data. construct-js features signed and unsigned fields up to 64 bit, nested structs, string support, different struct alignments, and more.
MASSCAN (GitHub Repo)
MASSCAN is a TCP port scanner that can scan the entire Internet in under 5 minutes from a single machine. It uses parameters similar to nmap. MASSCAN can send 300,000 packets per second on Windows and 1.6 million packets per second on Linux. It randomizes target IP addresses, so it shouldn't overwhelm any distant networks.
Working From Orbit (26 minute read)
Paul Tomlinson has spent 40-50 hours in virtual reality each week for the last two and a half years for work. He uses the virtual environment to create an office space that is comfortable, practical, and free from distractions. The article talks about the experience of working full-time in VR. It covers the setup and how it is used, the pros and cons of using VR for work, the future of the technology, and more.