Big Tech &
Microsoft confirms work on ‘Keystone’ Xbox game streaming dongle (3 minute read)
Microsoft has decided to pivot away from the current iteration of its xCloud streaming device, code-named Keystone. It will refocus its efforts on a new approach that will deliver Xbox Cloud Gaming to more players around the world. It is unclear what the new approach will be. The company is working on an Xbox app that should debut on Samsung smart TVs within the next 12 months. More details about Microsoft's plans could be announced at an event on June 12.
Scientists can now grow wood in a lab without cutting a single tree (3 minute read)
Researchers from MIT have developed a technique to produce wood products of any shape or size. The technique involves giving stem cell-like properties to normal plant cells and using a gel-based medium enriched with nutrients and hormones to stimulate the cells into becoming wood. Using this technique, the scientists were able to grow wood at a rate twice that of regular trees. The team was able to 3D print custom-designed structures out of the cells cultured in the gel. The research could eventually lead to the end of deforestation.
Scientists grow cells on a robot skeleton (3 minute read)
Scientists from the University of Oxford and robotics firm Devanthro grew cells on a robot skeleton in an experiment designed to create more flexible lab-grown cells. The researchers used the robot skeleton to recreate the cells' natural growing environment as accurately as possible. The cells were grown over two weeks, during which they were 'exercised' every day. While the experiment showed that it was possible to grow cells in this way, the scientists could not tell whether the technique produced cells better than those grown in a static environment.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Imagen - Pytorch (GitHub Repo)
This repository contains an implementation of Google's text-to-image neural network, Imagen. Imagen is architecturally much simpler than DALL-E 2. A Discord community is available for developers interested in replicating Imagen.
Froebel (GitHub Repo)
Froebel is a collection of TypeScript helper functions and utilities. It is like an opinionated version of lodash but with first-class types. Froebel runs in Deno, Node.js, and in browsers.
Tangle-free magnetic USB cables are here (4 minute read)
Many no-name brands are now selling tangle-free magnetic USB cables on Amazon and Alibaba. The cables feature magnetic beads that allow them to coil up or be attached to metal surfaces. Unfortunately, while the design is great, the quality of the cables is not. There are still many issues with charging and data transfer to be fixed before the cables are worth using. Pictures of the cables are available in the article.
Proton Is Trying to Become Google—Without Your Data (9 minute read)
ProtonMail has changed its name to Proton and will now offer an ecosystem of linked products all available under one paid subscription. Proton subscribers will have access to encrypted mail, an encrypted calendar, a file storage platform, and VPN services. The company currently has more than 400 employees and nearly 70 million users. This article features an interview with Proton's CEO Andy Yen about the need for greater privacy, the dangers of Apple's and Google's dominance, and the government's attacks on encryption.