Wave of Apple Generative AI Tools on Track for WWDC Debut (1 minute read)

Apple reportedly plans to announce a series of new tools based on generative AI and WWDC as part of iOS 18. The new tools will include a revamped version of Siri, a new version of Xcode, and a tool in Apple Music for automatic playlist creation. The technology will also be used for troubleshooting problems with AppleCare. Apple's generative AI vision will likely take until 2025 to fully scale.

Google wrote a ‘Robot Constitution’ to make sure its new AI droids won’t kill us (3 minute read)

The DeepMind robotics team has revealed three new advances that will help robots make faster, better, and safer decisions in the wild. One involves a system for gathering training data with a set of safety-focused prompts instructing the model to avoid choosing tasks that involve humans, animals, sharp objects, and electrical appliances. The others are a neural network architecture designed to make the existing Robotic Transformer RT-2 more accurate and faster and RT-Trajectory, which adds 2D outlines to help robots better perform specific physical tasks.

First US moon lander since Apollo prepares to blast off on Monday (5 minute read)

Peregrine mission one aims to put a US lander on the moon on February 23. It is the first mission to fly under NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPs) initiative. The mission will carry five NASA payloads and 15 others. It is bound for an ancient lava flow called Sinus Viscositatis, or the Bay of Stickiness. The next mission under the CLPs scheme is due to launch in mid-February and may touch down before Peregrine.

Elon Musk: SpaceX needs to build Starships as often as Boeing builds 737s (5 minute read)

Elon Musk recently made a post on X saying that SpaceX might need to make up to 300 spaceships a year to achieve Mars colonization. Establishing a settlement on Mars will require rocket travel to be nearly as routine as air travel. While SpaceX will be able to reuse Starship and its Super Heavy boosters, the parts that travel into orbit won't be able to be reused as often. Ships often have to orbit the planet several times before they line up with pickup sites, so they might only be able to be used once a day.

OpenAI’s app store for GPTs will launch next week (3 minute read)

OpenAI's GPT Store will feature custom apps based on its text-generating AI models. Developers will have to review OpenAI's updated usage policies and GPT brand guidelines as well as verify their user profiles before they will be eligible for listing in the store. Making a bot doesn't require any coding experience - developers can just type the capabilities they want their bots to offer in plain language and a GPT-building tool will attempt to make it. Bots can be as simple or complex as a developer wishes. It is unclear whether the GPT Store will launch with a revenue-sharing scheme.

When "Everything" Becomes Too Much: The npm Package Chaos of 2024 (5 minute read)

An npm package called 'everything' released in the new year that depended on every other public npm package, creating millions of transitive dependencies, caused storage space to run out and system resource exhaustion for anyone that installed it.

Weird things engineers believe about Web development (20 minute read)

Many web developers have ideas about browsers and the Web that can be a bit dubious. For example, they assume that web browser engineers, web developers, and the people who make Web specifications know the Web really well. Other dubious ideas include the myth that browsers aren't meant to run SPAs, that MPAs will replace SPAs, that all sites should work without JavaScript, that web development shouldn't need a build step, and that what they know is representative of web development at large. It's easy to assume what you know is representative of web development in general, but the field is much broader and deeper than most people know.

Waymo’s driverless cars are finally ready for the highway (2 minute read)

Waymo's fully driverless vehicles will soon start carrying passengers to and from their destinations on Phoenix's freeways. The company will start by offering driverless rides to just employees and their friends before opening up the service to other paying passengers. Waymo will use the data and feedback collected from these passengers to improve the service as it increases the number of miles it drives on highways. Using highways will allow Waymo to provide faster routes, especially for customers traveling to Phoenix's airports.

from LG to samsung, transparent LED displays that project films on glass shake up CES 2024 (3 minute read)

LG and Samsung have unveiled transparent LED displays that project movies and images on glass-like holograms. LG's Signature OLED TV has a single see-through glass display that uses wireless AV transmission and reception technology to eliminate all kinds of wires other than the power source around the transparent screen. Samsung's transparent MICRO LED display can animate motionless surroundings and objects. Pictures and videos of both displays are available in the article.

What PWA Can Do Today (Website)

This site presents a showcase of what's possible with Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) today. PWAs are websites that can be installed on devices to provide an app-like experience. The site itself is a PWA, so it can be installed onto the home screen of any mobile device or on any desktop. Example features include media capture, face detection, authentication, notifications, speech recognition, and multitouch detection.

The Rabbit R1 is an AI-powered gadget that can use your apps for you (4 minute read)

The Rabbit R1 is a $199 standalone device about half the size of an iPhone powered by a 'Large Action Model'. It has a 2.88-inch touchscreen, a rotating camera for taking photos and videos, a scroll wheel/button for navigation, 128GB of storage, and a battery that lasts all day. The device runs on Rabbit OS, which features a universal controller for apps that can control music, order items from the internet, send messages, and more. It is trained on how to use existing apps for itself and has a dedicated training mode for users to teach it tasks, so developers don't have to do anything to support the device. A 26-minute-long introduction video from Rabbit about the device is available in the article.

CES 2024: Amazon Unveils Matter Casting Standard as Interoperable Alternative to AirPlay (1 minute read)

Matter Casting is a casting feature that will initially only support streaming content from Amazon's Prime Video app to Echo Show devices. The feature will support Fire TV in the coming months and a range of video services later in the year. Matter Casting is designed to be interoperable across platforms. While both Apple and Google worked with Amazon on the Matter Home standard, neither company has announced any plans to support Matter Casting.

It’s Humans All the Way Down (2 minute read)

People think that AI is going to replace a lot of jobs because everyone thinks that everyone else's job is easy. The desire to remove humans from the equation is based on ignorance. Even with the wildest of innovations, people still matter, and this can't be avoided. People want to appeal to other humans and be seen and understood.

Thousands of Software Engineers Say the Job Market Is Getting Much Worse (4 minute read)

Software engineering has been seen as one of the safest havens in the American job market for much of the 21st century. There are a growing number of signs that the field is starting to become less secure and comfortable. An industry-wide downturn and the looming threat of AI is spurring growing competition for software jobs. Many people believe that their companies will hire fewer people because of AI moving forward.

CES 2024: The weirdest tech, gadgets, and AI claims from Las Vegas (4 minute read)

CES 2024 is now in full swing in Las Vegas. This article contains a list of the eight strangest gadgets, tech, and claims from the show so far. The entries include AI-powered birding binoculars, a BlackBerry-style keyboard for iPhones, a router that looks like a picture frame, and an AI assistant that can call emergency services. Each entry includes a description of the technology along with media and links for more information. The show will end on Friday.