TLDR Daily Update 2022-05-04

Meta opens AI model πŸ–₯️, Rocket Labs catches rocket πŸš€, Microsoft Edge passes Safari πŸ“ˆ Β 

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Big Tech & Startups

Meta has built a massive new language AIβ€”and it’s giving it away for free (5 minute read)

Meta's AI lab has created a new language model similar to GPT-3. The Open Pretrained Transformer will be available to any researcher who wants to study it. It has been audited by Meta to remove some harmful behaviors, but the company believes that researchers should have access to a more complete model as it would be better for science. The move to more transparency in AI research was driven largely by Joelle Pineau, the managing director at Meta AI.

Instagram is testing a TikTok-like full-screen feed (2 minute read)

Instagram is experimenting with full-screen vertical home feeds. The feed is designed to make video more immersive as part of the platform's response to TikTok. Instagram has changed its ranking algorithm to reward original content over reposted content. It has been investing in creator tools to bring more creators to its platform.
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Science & Futuristic Technology

Rocket Lab launched and recovered a rocket mid-air in a world first (3 minute read)

Rocket Lab launched an Electron rocket from New Zealand on May 2 and caught the rocket's first stage mid-air using a helicopter. The helicopter pilot released the rocket seconds after the recovery due to different load characteristics than were expected from tests. The rocket landed in the ocean and was picked up by a ship. An 11-second clip of the moment when the helicopter caught the rocket is available in the article.

A single memory is stored across many connected brain regions (6 minute read)

Scientists from MIT have discovered evidence that the mammalian brain stores single memories across a widely distributed, functionally connected complex spanning many brain regions. Storing memories across many regions could make them more efficient and resilient. It could allow brains to remember events even if a few regions are impaired. The findings imply that targeting memory cells in undamaged regions of the brain could restore memory function in some cases of memory impairment.
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Programming, Design & Data Science

snipli (GitHub Repo)

snipli is a command-line interface for sharing code snippets from local files. It can create, delete, and edit gists on GitHub.

trdsql (GitHub Repo)

trdsql is a command-line tool that can execute SQL queries on CSV, LTSV, JSON, and TBLN. It is similar to tools like q and textql except that trdsql supports PostgreSQL and MySQL syntax. trdsql can output to various formats.

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Miscellaneous

Microsoft Edge surpasses Safari as the second most popular desktop browser (2 minute read)

Microsoft Edge is now the second-most popular desktop browser after Google Chrome. A recent analysis by Statcounter shows that Microsoft Edge has surpassed Safari in users. The number of Safari users is decreasing, possibly due to the redesign introduced during WWDC 2021. Firefox almost surpassed Safari in February.

Botnet that hid for 18 months boasted some of the coolest tradecraft ever (8 minute read)

A botnet group called UNC3524 has spent the past 18 months breaking into networks with unusual stealth. It uses a unique backdoor that runs on devices that don't support antivirus or endpoint detection. The backdoor uses file names and creation dates similar to legitimate files on the infected device and favors common Windows programming interfaces and tools over custom code. It also used an unusual method to connect to attacker-controlled infrastructure. Details about the botnet are available in the article.

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