TLDR Daily Update 2022-01-19

Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard 🎮, Samsung's mobile chip 📱, why consulting is great 🥳

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Big Tech & Startups

Samsung announces first mobile chip with AMD ray tracing GPU (2 minute read)

Samsung's Exynos 2200 is a new in-house mobile processor that implements a GPU with AMD's RDNA 2 graphics architecture, enabling features like hardware-accelerated ray tracing. Samsung and AMD first announced a licensing deal in 2019 and confirmed the RDNA chip last year. The chip was supposed to be announced at an event on January 11, but the event was delayed. Consumers will likely have to wait until the Galaxy S22 is out before finding out whether the GPU provides any meaningful boost in performance.

Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion (3 minute read)

Microsoft is acquiring Activision Blizzard in a deal valued at $68.7 billion. Many of Activision's games will be added to Xbox Game Pass once the deal closes in the fiscal year 2023. It will take a long time for the deal to close as Activision Blizzard operates in many markets, making receiving regulatory approval more complicated for Microsoft. Activision Blizzard was recently sued for promoting a culture of constant sexual harassment. Bobby Kotick will continue to serve as CEO of Activision Blizzard until the deal is fully closed.
Science & Futuristic Technology

Hope for your hairline may be coming as biotech startups try to reverse balding (2 minute read)

The pandemic has caused hairlines to recede faster than usual through both stress and the aftereffects of Covid-19. dNovo, a biotech startup, claims that it can create new hair using customized stem cells produced from a few drops of blood. The cells are reportedly able to evade immune responses and avoid rejection. Once implanted, the cells take around one to three months before starting to grow hair. The technology is still years away from being ready for humans, but it has shown promising results with mice.

New Ultra-Efficient Engineered Carriers Could Overhaul Genetic Therapies (5 minute read)

A team at Harvard has launched a new generation of molecular carriers inspired by viruses called eVLPs (engineered virus-like particles) that can deliver CRISPR and base editing components to anywhere in the body with minimal side effects. They can also deliver therapeutic proteins to specific sites. The eVLPs have been used to restore vision in a mouse model of genetic blindness. eVLPs are safer than current gene-editing tools as they are completely engineered and carry zero viral DNA. More details about how the technology works are available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science

The Modern Guide to OAuth - Free eBook (Sponsor)

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Five Easy to Miss PostgreSQL Query Performance Bottlenecks (8 minute read)

Using common sense to write PostgreSQL queries can lead to performance issues. This article describes five examples of optimizing seemingly obvious queries. It covers searching by function call, searching by pattern, ordering by NULLS LAST, bloated null_indexes, and updating transaction scopes. Many issues with PostgreSQL only start emerging with a large enough dataset and traffic, so it is essential to monitor production performance to keep things running at an optimal speed.

Why It’s Great To Be A Consultant (4 minute read)

Working as a consultant is great because you are working outside the company hierarchy, which means you can avoid all the baggage that comes with being a permanent employee. You will be continually thrown into new environments, which will force you to keep learning to remain competitive. Working with multiple organizations will expose you to more technology, organizational structures, and cultures. This will help develop a deeper perspective on your work and what's possible. Consulting will also mean you will meet lots of people, which can be beneficial in many ways.

Pet Cloning Becomes More Popular As Instagrammers Begin Replicating Deceased Pets (3 minute read)

ViaGen Pets is a Texas-based company that can clone pets. It famously cloned Barbara Streisand's dog in 2018. The company can clone dogs for $50,000, cats for $35,000, and horses for an initial payment of $45,000. Cloned animals will have the exact same DNA profile as the original animal, but they will still develop their own temperaments and personalities. The process can take years and result in extra clones. Instagram users have been cloning their dead pets, bringing more attention to the practice.

Tesla owner is the first to face felony charges for deadly Autopilot crash (3 minute read)

Two felony charges have been filed against a Tesla owner in the US for a deadly crash involving Autopilot in 2019. It is the first time a Tesla owner has been criminally charged in the US in a case involving Autopilot. Autopilot has contributed to a number of fatal crashes and Tesla has faced several wrongful death suits as a result. Drivers are warned that they need to still pay attention when using Autopilot, but some drivers still misuse the system.

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