Big Tech &
Apple is resurrecting its high-end HomePod smart speaker (3 minute read)
Apple is releasing a new version of its HomePod smart speaker in 2023. The new HomePod will feature an S8 processor, an updated display, and possibly even multi-touch functionality. Apple discontinued the HomePod last year to focus on the HomePod Mini, leaving a hole in Apple's speaker lineup. It is unclear why Apple is bringing back the HomePod after officially announcing its discontinuation.
Meta introduces Instagram Reels APIs for developers (3 minute read)
Meta is releasing its Reels API to developers starting tomorrow. The API will be able to schedule Reels and get social interaction metrics. It will also allow developers to reply, delete, hide/unhide, and disable/enable comments on Reels. The API will be available for the current version and all previous versions of the Instagram Graph API. Developers with access to applicable APIs will not have to put their apps through additional App Reviews.
Octopus and human brains share the same “jumping genes” (3 minute read)
Researchers in Italy studying octopus brains found that octopus brains have active transposons, also known as jumping genes. Transposons help the DNA inside the nucleus of cells cut or copy and paste into different regions of the genome. Some of the transposons are similar to transposons that are active in the human brain. The similarities between the human brain and the octopus brain can be explained by convergent evolution.
Dangerous viruses 'hitchhike' on microplastics to survive in freshwater (3 minute read)
A team of researchers proved that viruses can survive and remain contagious by attaching themselves to plastics in water. Microplastics are everywhere, including in our food, drinking water, and air. They are able to shield themselves from damaging elements such as UV light by attaching to microplastic surfaces. The discovery questions the impact on human health that microplastics have.
Programming, Design & Data Science
PRQL (GitHub Repo)
PRQL is a readable, explicit, and declarative language for transforming data. It can form a logical pipeline of transformations and support abstractions. PRQL can be used with any database that uses SQL.
My Wonderful HTML Email Workflow (10 minute read)
Building an HTML email from scratch can be a gnarly adventure as email clients don't support modern luxuries like CSS, Grid, or Flexbox. This article describes a system for creating HTML emails. The system converts Markdown and custom React components into HTML that can be pasted into a newsletter tool. An example email made using the system is available.
Ask HN: How is the remote vs in-person trend looking? (Hacker News Thread)
This Hacker News thread discusses current trends in remote vs in-person work. People are getting more fully-remote job offers from recruiters, even if they are looking for in-person work. There is a big difference between working remotely for a small startup or company compared to large companies. Software engineers are in very high demand, so many are able to pick and choose which positions they want to take.
Fortnite creators are making studios to build ambitious — and branded — worlds (6 minute read)
Several companies are now creating unique experiences for Fortnite. Making these Fortnite Creative maps can be very lucrative, with projects ranging between four to six figures. Players are now spending about half of their Fortnite play time in Creative maps. Epic is planning to improve its creative tools and introduce more monetization tools. It plans to release the Unreal Editor for Fortnite later this year.