D&T Issue 23

100x faster video calls with AI, Apple’s Lidar, Trevor Milton, Hacking Apple and the oldest internet posts!

Hello! Quite a few interesting things happened this week. But I am just gonna mention that Segment got acquired for $3.2 billion by Twilio because I am money-minded that way.

Anyhoo, this week I am adding a section for honorary mentions which distracted us from because you now, they deserve it.

Here are the links for this fine evening and (morning for some of you)

AI Video Compression, Face Alignment, Conversational Avatar, Transalation, Denoise, Super-resolution, Auto frame. A long list indeed of features offered by Maxine – a toolkit for third-party firms to improve their own software. Quite impressive is the AI Video compression which uses an AI method known as generative adversarial networks or GANs to partially reconstruct callers’ faces in the cloud. Instead of streaming the entire screen of pixels, the AI software analyzes the key facial points of each person on a call and then intelligently re-animates the face in the video on the other side. This makes it possible to stream video with far less data flowing back and forth across the internet.

AI is being unleashed on battery development and that could be promising news for combating climate change. Ordinarily, it might take months to cycle the battery enough times to get that data of charge-discharge cycles and lifetime. But the researchers’ AI could predict lifetime performance after only hours of data collection, while the battery was still at its peak. Better still, in an experiment conducted, AI was able to discover the optimal method for 10-minute fast-charging a lithium-ion battery.

Aesthetic designs, in general, look easier to use and have a higher probability of being used, whether or not they actually are easier to use. Whereas, more usable but less-aesthetic designs may suffer a lack of acceptance that renders issues of usability debates. Users are more likely to want to try a visually appealing product, and they’re more patient with minor issues. However, this effect is at its strongest when the aesthetics serve to support and enhance the content and functionality of the product.
Also, check the 3 principles of Apple’s brand early promoter Mike Markkula wrote specifically the one about impute.

Bunch of new stuff came into being from Apple during the last even a couple of days ago. Mainly the announcement of the iOS 12 and foraying into 5G.
Here are some important sublinks to note:
CNBC’s exhaustive list of announcements
Apple’s handheld Lidar Tech changing the AR game
Apple’s official coverage highlights

The travelling salesman problem in CS is one of the most famous problems in computational complexity dealing with the path optimization (or cost) of a salesman’s round trip of connecting multiple cities. This problem has enigmatically enthralled many a great minds for the last 5 decades without any improvement, until now. This improvement is astronomically tiny but it shakes the foundational lack of hope that this problem poses to computer scientists. This problem has applications in diverse fields like ride-sharing and DNA sequencing.

Hindenberg research brings a long spread on the apparent web of lies and deceit that Travis Milton, CEO and founder of electric vehicle company Nikola is in the middle of. This long piece fundamentally refutes Milton’s absolute claim: ‘I never deceived anyone!’ Nikola was making news till recently for all good reasons until the most recent flop of fraud exposed around a keynote video that was fake and then it all snowballed till the founder’s resignation. Turns out Trevor Milton hasn’t done this the first time.

Being co-produced by HBO and Channing Tatum this bit is not being officially supported by Elon Musk or SpaceX as yet. But hey one can hope. It is poised to be a 6 episode series which starts from the start and finishes as recent as this last launch on the 30th of May.
Also read: Pentagon wants SpaceX to hurl cargo around the world within an hour

“To feed the planet’s growing population, global agriculture will need to produce more food in the next 50 years than in the previous 10,000 — at a time when climate change is making our crops less productive,” reads the Mineral website. Mineral is a computational agriculture project from Alphabet’s X lab. It is focused on sustainable food production and farming at large scales using the latest breakthroughs in technology.

Usenet, launched in 1980, is a discussion system similar to today’s message boards where people talk about everything. It is still active today. A user recently uploaded some of the oldest Usenet posts available to the internet to the Usenet Archive for anyone to browse(having major significance in historical archiving). The Archive currently hosts 317 million posts from 10,000 unique Usenet newsgroups.

A team of 5 gentlemen hacked Apple’s infra, apps etc through three months and found 32 vulnerabilities, got paid over $200k in gentlemanly dollars via the bug bounty program that Apple runs. They here run readers through the processes they exploit to make it rain this hard like it’s the tropics.

Alright, see you next week!

Canvs Club