CategoryGeneral Tech

Amazon head count hits 341,000

That’s a lot of people for a ‘technology company’. And the growth rate is staggering – more than 110,000 in the last 12 months. And they plan to add another 100,000 in the next 18 months. Incredible.
via GeekWire

WhatsApp backdoor misinformation

Good rebuttal to The Guardian’s report on insecurities with WhatsApp. If true (ie that The Guardian is wrong), then this is a very dangerous issue they’ve potentially created for people in some countries. Zeynep Tufekci writes: The behavior described in your article is not a backdoor in WhatsApp. This is the overwhelming consensus of the cryptography and security community. It is also...

Self-driving cars mean less organ donors

For all the good that self-driving cars will bring, there’s always a way to look on the bad side: As technology takes the wheel, road deaths due to driver error will begin to diminish. It’s a transformative advancement, but one that comes with consequences in an unexpected place: organ donation. Here’s why: It’s morbid, but the truth is that due to limitations on who can...

Most emojis in tweets give me the 💩

I wish there was an extension or app tweak that would replace emojis with words. Yes, actual words.
Emojis used to be a way to enhance a tweet or message, or add some humour to it. Perhaps even spice it up 🍆.
Now though it seems people often use them to replace writing. The result is that most tweets with emojis now take twice as long to read, due to having to decipher them first.

AI disruption and jobs

Fascinating interview with Andrew Ng, Baidu’s chief AI scientist (via The Ringer). About Andrew: A former AI researcher at Stanford, Ng is best known for spearheading the Google Brain initiative, an ambitious artificial-intelligence project that helped advance Silicon Valley’s understanding of deep-learning techniques. Instead of being programmed to respond to specific actions, a deep...

Voice UI is going to be everything. But not really.

This tweet from Benedict Evans sums it up for me:

If you think voice UIs are the future, verbally describe, aloud, everything you see and touch on your phone today.
— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) January 12, 2017

Click through to read the replies to his tweet as well – people’s views are weird sometimes.

Snapchat Surgery

When I initially read about a surgeon using Snapchat Spectacles to livestream a surgery I was ready to take the piss. But it actually turns out to be fascinating. And useful – all his students could watch it on their phones.
Here’s the another he’s done – with context – which he posted on YouTube:

100 blocks a day

I like Tim Urban’s way of thinking about your day. You have 100 blocks of 10 minutes each.
What will you do with your blocks?
via Wait, But Why.
btw here’s Tim speaking at Inbound 2016:

How scientists use Slack

Not using Slack yet? If not, why not. Here’s how a science lab uses Slack to replace email and increase collaboration. When geneticist Daniel MacArthur checks into his lab, the first thing he does is fire up Slack, a workplace messaging app. In the system, he zips through the hundreds of messages and files left in different channels by the lab’s 23 scientists — some reporting on...