Big Tech &
Google is teaching robots to think for themselves (4 minute read)
PaLM-SayCan is a language model from Google that gives robots a broader understanding of the world. It allows robots to respond to complex human requests. Google aims to explore and understand the capabilities robots can provide before developing a robot for commercial release. It is unlikely to release a robot anytime soon. Examples of commands that PaLM-SayCan can process are available in the article.
Microsoft Dev Box now ready for developers to try cloud-powered workstations (2 minute read)
Microsoft has opened up a preview version of its Microsoft Dev Box cloud-powered workstations to developers. Microsoft Dev Box is a service that allows developers to spin up powerful cloud PCs for testing applications. Its workstations can be configured to have up to 32 virtual CPUs and 128GB of RAM. They can be accessed from anywhere using a modern browser. Microsoft plans to charge users on a per-hour basis for compute and storage. More details about Microsoft Dev Box are available in the article.
De-extinction company sets its next (first?)
A company called Colossal has partnered with an Australian lab to de-extinct the thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian Tiger. The plan involves obtaining thylacine genomes, identifying key differences between those genomes and related lineages, and then editing those differences into marsupial stem cells and using those stem cells for IVF. The project faces significant hurdles, but many factors make thylacine de-extinction more likely to be successful than mammoth de-extinction.
Researchers change blood type of kidney in transplant breakthrough (3 minute read)
Researchers from the University of Cambridge have successfully altered the blood type of three donor kidneys. They flushed the kidneys with blood infused with an enzyme that removed blood type markers from the blood vessels of the kidneys, converting them to blood type O. The technology could significantly increase the number of kidneys available for patients who need them. One of the biggest restrictions to kidney transplantations is blood-type compatibility.
Programming, Design & Data Science
JSON Convert (GitHub Repo)
JSON Convert is a command-line tool that converts the output of popular command-line tools, file types, and common strings to JSON, YAML, or Dictionaries. The output can be piped into other tools or scripts. JSON Convert can be used as a Python library. It is available as an Ansible filter plugin.
Why React Re-Renders (10 minute read)
Many developers work professionally with React for years without understanding how its re-rendering process works. This tutorial helps readers build a mental model for when and why React re-renders and how to tell why a specific component re-rendered. Knowing how React's render cycle works can help developers understand how to use React.memo and when to wrap functions in useCallback.
Instagram, TikTok, and the Three Trends (15 minute read)
This article talks about different social media platforms and three common trends between them. Platforms are shifting towards ever more immersive mediums. There is increasing use of algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Interaction models are changing from user-directed to computer-controlled. These trends are likely intertwined.
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