Semgrep: Fast Code Scanning to Find Bugs and Enforce Code Standards (Sponsor)
Semgrep is a fast, open-source tool that supports 20+ languages. Its 1,500+ rules and simple syntax mean you don’t have to deal with unwieldy regexes or a thorny domain-specific language. Code is analyzed on your computer or build environment, and never sent elsewhere. And with Semgrep App you can enforce and monitor security across your organization. Learn more.
Big Tech &
This is the Osom OV1, a new phone from Essential’s former engineers and designers (3 minute read)
Osom has released new details about its upcoming OV1 phone meant to compete with flagships from Apple, Google, and Samsung. The device will have a stainless steel and titanium housing, a ceramic back, Corning Victus cover glass, and a Qualcomm processor. Osom was founded by Essential's employees after the startup went under. The OV1 was scheduled to be fully revealed this week but Osom pushed back the announcement and ship date to upgrade the phone's processors. Many more details about the phone are available in the article.
Netflix is launching a daily trivia series called Trivia Quest (2 minute read)
Netflix's new interactive series Trivia Quest will launch on April 1. Similar to its other interactive series like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Trivia Quest will involve viewers in the story by allowing them to make choices. Viewers will answer game questions to help free the friends of the protagonist. A new episode will air every day throughout April, with 24 questions available in a multiple-choice format per episode. A trailer for the show is available in the article.
A new satellite system sucks in air to provide unlimited propulsion (3 minute read)
Barcelona-based startup Kreios Space plans to send satellites on very low Earth orbit (VLEO) missions. VLEO is a zone between 95 to 250 miles of altitude. Most satellites operate at a higher altitude, where they can maintain a geostationary orbit with minimal thrust. Satellites in VLEO need to generate constant thrust in order to not deorbit. Kreios Space plans to use a system that creates thrust by absorbing air and using it to generate plasma. Satellites in VLEO do not leave space debris as they deorbit and disintegrate into the atmosphere. A video from Kreios showing how the propulsion system works is available in the article.
Scientists Watch a Memory Form in a Living Brain (6 minute read)
Scientists from the University of Southern California were able to visualize memories forming in the brains of genetically modified zebrafish in the lab. The team expected the brains to form new neurons after learning a fear response but instead found that synapses were pruned from an area related to associative memories. It is possible that fish brains use different methods to encode different types of memories. They may choose to prune synapses to form stronger responses when presented with fear-stimuli. The researchers hope to see if their findings will translate to other animals.
Programming, Design & Data Science
miniboss (GitHub Repo)
miniboss is a Python application for managing containers locally. It can run a collection of interdependent docker services locally, individually rebuild and restart them, and manage application state with lifecycle hooks. Using Python allows for lifecycle hooks, a mechanism that executes scripts when the state of a container changes.
Become an effective engineering manager with Reforge (Sponsor)
To succeed as managers, engineering managers must build upon the skills that made them excel as individual contributors. With Reforge's Engineering Management Program, you'll learn how to effectively manage engineering work, stakeholders, your team, and yourself. Created by Nick Caldwell (Twitter) and Heidi Williams (Grammarly). Learn more.
Samsung caught throttling 10,000 phone apps—and its own home screen (2 minute read)
Samsung has been accused of throttling 10,000 Android apps. It uses an app called the Game Optimizing Service to throttle non-benchmark apps, dropping performance by up to 45%. The behavior has been observed on the Galaxy S10, S20, S21, and S22. Users have been able to produce wild performance changes by changing app package names. The throttling applies to many apps, not just games. It even applies to Samsung's own apps and home screen.
What Chimpanzees Know About Giving Medicine (3 minute read)
The chimpanzees of the Rekambo community in Gabon, West Africa, have been observed applying insects to their open wounds and the wounds of other community members. No other animal, apart from humans, has ever been seen treating the wounds of others. Self-medication with plant material is common, but the use of insects to treat wounds is unique. It is unknown which insects were used, or whether the treatment is effective. The behavior may be evidence that chimpanzees can display prosocial behaviors.