Big Tech &
Facebook Parent Meta Is Preparing to Notify Employees of Large-Scale Layoffs This Week (2 minute read)
Meta is planning to begin large-scale layoffs this week. The announcement, expected to come as soon as Wednesday, will affect many thousands of employees. It will be the first broad head-count reduction to occur in Meta's 18-year history and could potentially be the largest job cut ever at a major technology corporation. Meta had more than 87,000 employees at the end of September. It has added more than 42,000 employees since 2020.
Starlink is getting daytime data caps (2 minute read)
Starlink will start throttling internet for residential customers who use more than 1TB of Priority Access data per month during peak hours beginning in December. Customers will start each billing cycle with an allocation of Priority Access data for use between 7 AM and 11 PM. Usage outside those hours doesn't count towards the 1TB cap. Customers' data will be deprioritized for the rest of the month if they exceed the cap. Extra Priority Access data can be purchased for 25 cents per GB.
Researchers Spin up Terrifying Hacker Drone That Can 'See Through Walls' With Wifi (3 minute read)
Researchers from the University of Ontario have created a drone that can triangulate the location of every Wi-Fi-connected device in a house. The Wi-Peep exploits security deficiencies in IEEE 802.11, a longstanding wireless protocol, to measure the distance between a signal and an object. All smart devices are primed to respond to contact attempts even if the network is secured. The researchers hope that their work leads to better protections for Wi-Fi protocols.
Google is testing a new robot that can program itself (3 minute read)
Google's robotics researchers have developed a robot that can write its own programming code based on natural language instructions. Code as Policies is a coding-specific language model that can come up with probable robot code when given comment-like prompts. The model is still new and limited in what it can do. CaP could eventually allow robots to perform a wide range of tasks without task-specific training.
Programming, Design & Data Science
tinygrad (GitHub Repo)
tinygrad is an extremely simple deep-learning framework. It supports both inference and training. The tinygrad project eventually aims to build custom hardware to make it blindingly fast, but it is currently slow. tinygrad supports Stable Diffusion, GANs, yolo, and more.
Typer (GitHub Repo)
Typer is a library for building command-line applications. It is designed to be easy to use and learn. Apps can become as complex as required. Typer is based on Python 3.6+ type hints.
Thousands Have Joined Mastodon Since Twitter Changed Hands (4 minute read)
Mastodon gained 120,000 new users in the four days following Elon Musk's Twitter acquisition. The decentralized microblogging site has around 4.5 million user accounts. Unlike other social networks, Mastodon is made up of a collection of independently-run and self-funded servers that set up their own rules for discussion. This article features an interview with Eugene Rochko, the founder of Mastodon, where he discusses Musk's Twitter acquisition, safety on a decentralized network, and how Mastodon was founded.
Elon Musk’s Twitter layoffs leave whole teams gutted (4 minute read)
Elon Musk has fired around half of Twitter's employee base. Some teams were totally or nearly completely dismissed. The most impacted teams included product trust and safety, policy communications, tweet curation, ethical AI, data science, research, machine learning, social good, accessibility, and certain core engineering teams. Some company leaders were included in the layoffs. Those impacted will continue to be paid and receive benefits until the date required by US federal and state laws.
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