Big Tech &
Epic Games begins to show it’s “more than games,” acquires Bandcamp (6 minute read)
Epic Games has acquired Bandcamp, an online music-streaming service. The company plans to build a creator marketplace ecosystem for content, technology, games, art, music, and more. This suggests that developers in the future may be able to search through the Unreal asset sales ecosystem to license music for their projects. Bandcamp will remain a standalone marketplace and music community and all existing products and services will continue as normal.
Battery-electric "Infinity Train" will charge itself using gravity (2 minute read)
Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), an Australian mining company, has announced a project to create an electric infinity train that will be able to move loads of iron ore without ever needing to be charged. The battery-electric locomotive will regenerate electricity on downhill loaded sections, removing the need for recharging infrastructure. The company has mining sites where there is enough downhill slope for the idea to work. FFI's other green-tech projects include an ammonia-powered ship, hydrogen fuel cell mining trucks, and ammonia-fueled trains.
AI-designed protein awakens silenced genes, one by one (4 minute read)
Researchers have developed a method to turn on individual dormant genes by combining CRISPR technology with a protein designed by artificial intelligence. The technique disables the chemical switches that silence the genes so that they can be expressed. It will allow researchers to understand the role of individual genes in various stages of development. The approach can control gene activity without permanently changing the genome.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Huemint is a color palette generator for brands, websites, and graphics. It uses machine learning to create unique color schemes and then applies the palette to stock product and branding images. Users can adjust the generation mode, level of creativity, colors, and other parameters.
Google tells employees in Bay Area and other U.S. locations to return to offices in April (2 minute read)
Google will start having employees in the Bay Area and several other US locations return to the office starting the week of April 4. The steady decline in cases means the company can officially begin the transition to the hybrid work week. Employees will return to the office based on local conditions. Most workers will come to the office three days a week and have two days of remote work. The company has dropped its mask and testing mandates for fully vaccinated employees and reopened its amenities.
A new standard could let companies build processors out of Lego-like chiplets (3 minute read)
Chipmakers worldwide are working together to create a new system for integrating chiplets together in future semiconductor designs. Almost every major name in the industry is involved with the project. The standard will use the same broad model that PC components have used for years but for specialized chips called chiplets that only do a few specific functions. Universal Chiplet Interconnect Express (UCIe) will be a standard for connecting chiplets together to make it easier to mix and match different components when building custom processors.