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Big Tech &
Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Air will arrive within a year (2 minute read)
Apple is working on a 15-inch MacBook Air and a 12-inch MacBook. The 15-inch MacBook Air will have the same overall design as the 13.6-inch MacBook Air. It will use the same M2 processor. The new laptops could arrive in 2023, but Apple could abandon its 12-inch MacBook plans. New MacBook Pros with M2 chips could arrive as soon as this fall. The M2 Max will have 12 CPU cores and up to 38 GPU cores.
Spotify comes for audiobooks (4 minute read)
Spotify is aiming at audiobooks as its next target for industry domination. The company is in the process of acquiring audiobook platform Findaway, with the deal currently under review by the Department of Justice's antitrust division. Spotify will apply the freemium model to audiobooks with ad monetization. The model would be a massive change for the industry and will greatly expand the market.
Researchers Achieve ‘Absurdly Fast’ Algorithm for Network Flow (10 minute read)
A team of scientists has developed a dramatically faster algorithm for maximum flow, a problem that asks how much material can flow through a network if the links in the network have capacity limits. The problem has been studied since the 1950s and it has many applications, such as internet dataflow, airline scheduling, and matching job applicants to open positions. The new algorithm's run time is roughly proportional to the amount of time it takes to write down the details of the network. More information about the history of maximum flow research and the new algorithm is available in the article.
Scientists make ‘slightly sweaty’ robot finger with living skin (3 minute read)
Scientists from Japan have developed a robotic finger covered in living skin. The skin was grown by submerging the robotic finger in a solution of collagen and human dermal fibroblasts, which provided a layer for the skin cells to stick to. The skin has natural-looking wrinkles at the knuckles and it can self-heal with the help of a collagen bandage. It has to be kept moist as it has no circulatory system, giving it a slightly sweaty look. Pictures of the finger are available in the article.
Programming, Design & Data Science
sake (GitHub Repo)
sake is a command-line tool for configuring servers. It allows users to define servers and tasks in a config file and then run the tasks on the servers. sake features autocompletion of tasks, servers, and tags and it includes subcommands for logging into servers or docker containers, listing servers or tasks, and creating query tasks and presenting the info in a compact table format.
mirrord (GitHub Repo)
mirrord mirrors traffic from production environments into development environments. It captures traffic from targeted pods through a privileged pod on the same node. mirrord is both a Visual Studio Code extension and a command-line tool.
Novel techniques in never-before-seen Linux backdoor make it ultra stealthy (2 minute read)
Researchers have discovered a new Linux backdoor called Symbiote that uses novel evasion techniques to conceal its presence. It is able to scrub any sign of infection from the file system, system processes, and network traffic. Symbiote was first discovered in November targeting financial institutions in Brazil. It provides the threat actor with remote access capability and other abilities. It is unlikely that the malware is widely active, but researchers can't be sure. More details about how Symbiote conceals its tracks are available in the article.
Revoking job offers is an increasingly common cost-cutting strategy (3 minute read)
Tech companies like Coinbase, Redfin, and Twitter have started to rescind job offers after record levels of hiring over the past two years. The practice of rescinding offers was last seen widely during the financial crisis. More leaders are seeing it as a feasible strategy, as it is better than laying off employees, despite the reputational risks. The phenomenon has so far been mostly restricted to extremely well-paid tech jobs for highly in-demand workers.