Big Tech &
Apple says apps must offer a way to delete your account starting in early 2022 (2 minute read)
Apple has announced a requirement for developers who let users create accounts on their apps to have to offer people a way to delete their accounts in apps too. Developers will have until January 31 to include the option. The rules only require developers to allow users to initiate deletion of their accounts, so apps can still direct users to a website or chat before users can actually close their accounts. App Store pages on the newest Apple platforms in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the US now have a Report a Problem button for reporting app issues directly to Apple.
Twitch source code and creator payouts reportedly part of massive leak (2 minute read)
An anonymous poster released a 125GB torrent on 4chan containing the entirety of Twitch's platform and client source code commit history, details regarding creator payouts, an unreleased Steam competitor from Amazon Game Studios, and other code and software related to the platform. User password and address information was not included in the leak. The leak was labeled as 'part one', indicating that there is more to come. Twitch has confirmed that it suffered a data breach.
A Blank Wall Can Show How Many People Are in a Room and What They’re Doing (5 minute read)
Side-channel attacks take advantage of unassuming inputs to reveal secrets. A research team from MIT has trained an AI to detect how many people are in a room and what the people are doing based on the soft shadows on a blank wall. The system only works for group sizes and activities for which it has been trained and it requires a high-resolution camera. Many side-channel attacks are impractical for real-world use, especially when most surveillance targets already carry smartphones or use smart devices.
GM reveals Ultra Cruise ‘hands-free’ system that covers ‘95 percent’ of driving scenarios (4 minute read)
General Motors has unveiled its next-generation 'hands-free' driver-assist technology, Ultra Cruise. Ultra Cruise can be used in 95 percent of driving scenarios. A light bar will communicate to the driver when they need to take control. Ultra Cruise will be available in a handful of premium vehicles in 2023. GM's driver-assist systems have been praised as safer and more capable than Tesla's Autopilot thanks to its camera-based driver monitoring system that ensures drivers keep their eyes on the road. Ultra Cruise is a Level 2 system, which means that a human is required to be ready to take control in the driver's seat at any time.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Writing a "bare metal" operating system for Raspberry Pi 4 (GitHub Repo)
Operating systems help us interact with machines by drawing on screens, processing inputs, working with hardware, and much more. This repository is the beginning of a tutorial on how to write an operating system for the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, a low-cost device used by millions of people around the world. An interest in hardware is recommended.
Medusa (GitHub Repo)
Medusa is a headless commerce engine for creating digital commerce apps. It can be used as a backend of an app, as an application, to create traditional e-commerce websites, and more. Medusa is highly customizable, flexible, and scalable. It can integrate with popular commerce tools.
Japanese Engineers Build Earthquake-Resistant Checkered Block Wall (2 minute read)
Japanese engineers have designed an earthquake-resistant block wall made from checkered blocks of Cross-Laminated Timber. CLT is a renewable resource and does not lead to carbon emissions during production. The design allows for sufficient light and ventilation for its structures. It uses steel plates and draft pins to make the walls earthquake resistant. The wall structure has been extensively tested. A picture of the wall design is available in the article.
Uber can now track your flight so a ride home is ready when you land (2 minute read)
Uber customers can now book rides up to 30 days in advance. Uber Black and Uber Black SUV customers will also have the option of putting their flight information into the app to automatically adjust reservations if flights are early or delayed. Drivers will wait up to 60 minutes for no additional cost. Uber Reserve is available at more than 20 airports across the US. A list of the airports where Uber Reserve operates is available in the article.