Big Tech &
DALL-E's powerful AI image generator is now available in beta (1 minute read)
OpenAI's DALL-E image generator will be made available in beta to one million people from the waitlist in the coming weeks. Users will receive 50 free image credits in their first month and 15 every following month. Each credit will offer four pictures based on one original prompt or three if there are edits or variations. Users can purchase 115 credits for $15. They will have some commercial rights to the images.
Amazon is slowly turning Alexa into a totally automated virtual assistant (4 minute read)
Amazon will make Alexa easier to use by allowing developers to create and recommend Routines to users. Alexa will also start coexisting with other manufacturers' assistants. Users who use Routines are some of the stickiest and most consistent Alexa users, but not all users want to make their own routines. Amazon is incentivizing developers to create more features by increasing revenue and launching a Skill Developer Accelerator Program.
Earthgrid aims to re-wire the USA using super-cheap tunnel tech (5 minute read)
Earthgrid is a startup that is developing a plasma boring robot that it plans to use to start rewiring America's energy, internet, and utility grids. Its robot will be able to tunnel up to one kilometer per day in its high-speed configuration. The robot's low-cost configuration will cost as little as $300 per meter, making previously unfeasible projects economically viable. Earthgrid will sell drilling as a service and build, own, operate, and maintain tunnels for customers on long-term leases or toll arrangements.
A New Antibiotic Can Kill Even Drug-Resistant Bacteria (4 minute read)
A new antibiotic developed using computational models of bacterial gene products appears to kill even antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The scientists developing the drug used algorithms to predict the structure of antibiotic-like compounds from genetic instructions within a DNA sequence. The resulting compound reliably killed Gram-positive bacteria in the lab, did not harm human cells, and successfully treated bacterial infections in mice. The study demonstrates a scalable method that researchers can use to develop new antibiotics.
Programming, Design & Data Science
Djot (GitHub Repo)
Djot is a light markup syntax based on commonmark. It supports definition lists, footnotes, tables, inline formatting, math, smart punctuation, and much more. Tools are available for converting other formats to and from djot.
Google Calendar’s ‘known senders’ filter should help stamp out spam invites (2 minute read)
Google Calendar has a new 'known senders' option that makes it easier to keep spam from appearing on calendars. Toggling the option prevents invites from people who are not on the user's contacts list, who have not interacted with them through Workspace, or who aren't in their company or organization. The option can be accessed through Events Settings in Google Calendar settings. Choosing the setting may reveal to a sender that the user doesn't have them on their contacts list.
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