Using the Oceans to Help Capture Carbon (8 minute read)

Equatic is a company that aims to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by sucking it out of the seas. The oceans absorb a quarter of global CO2 emissions - removing the gas from the oceans would make room for them to soak up more. Equatic aims to have a 10-tonne-per-day CO2 removal unit running in Singapore by 2025 and remove millions of tonnes of CO2 annually by 2028. It says that it will cost around $100 per tonne of carbon removed from the oceans.

Mice sleep 6 hours less via brain cell tweak, feel alert next day (2 minute read)

Researchers have discovered that activating astrocyte cells in mice can cause them to stay awake for six hours longer than usual with no noticeable sleep debt. Astrocytes are star-shaped brain cells that were thought for many years to be little more than a kind of biological glue holding the brain together. The cells actually play a role in sleep, regulating the sense of time, mediating exercise's effects on the brain, and controlling inflammation in the brain. The new findings could lead to techniques for boosting the productivity, safety, and health of people who keep unusual hours.

Why Does Email Development Have to Suck? (11 minute read)

Email development is often messy and tough to make sense of. This article explains why this is and gives some useful advice on how to make it easier. Emails are essentially just HTML documents, except they are visualized in an email client. While both browsers and email clients are capable of rendering, web standards for email clients are less developed. This means that some of the most terrible practices in web development are actually the best practices in email development.

Google’s plan to purge inactive accounts isn’t sitting well with some users (3 minute read)

Google will delete user accounts that haven't signed in for more than two years starting in December. It claims the move is for security reasons, but the company is currently in cost-cutting mode. Some people have criticized Google for not making its communications more clear. The new policy doesn't apply to schools or businesses using Google accounts or paying subscribers.

How Modernity Made Us Allergic (43 minute read)

Allergies have grown worse over the last few decades. The number of allergy sufferers is likely to continue growing. There are multiple theories about the causes. The environment and the makeup of our nose, gut, and skin microbiomes have a large role in influencing the rise of allergies. This article looks at how modern living is likely at the root of the recent rise in allergies.

Why You (Probably) Don’t Need to Fine-tune an LLM (14 minute read)

A base model is sufficient and adaptable to most use cases.

Russia’s first lunar mission in decades crashes into the moon (5 minute read)

Russia's Luna 25 spacecraft crashed into the Moon after communication was interrupted - it had reported an emergency situation the day before as it was trying to enter a pre-landing orbit.

What ARM’s expected debut means for the IPO market and SoftBank (5 minute read)

Arm filed for its initial public offering (IPO) yesterday. Its sale will be a major test for the IPO market, which has been heavily affected by rising interest rates. Arm is one of the most important companies in tech. Its chip designs are found in nearly every smartphone in the world. SoftBank, which owns Arm, is aiming to bounce back from a grim tech market and pivot its focus to artificial intelligence.

China keeps buying hobbled Nvidia cards to train its AI models (5 minute read)

China's leading tech companies have placed orders for $5 billion worth of chips from Nvidia, despite the fact that the chips have been deliberately hobbled to limit their capabilities for the Chinese market. Worries that the US might tighten its export controls further have prompted more orders. Training requirements for the most advanced AI systems doubles every six to 12 months, so the gap between chips sold in China and those available elsewhere will grow quickly.

The ideal viewport doesn’t exist (13 minute read)

Web developers have no control over what conditions their websites will be visited on, so it's best to create flexible rules and allow browsers to calculate the best outcomes based on the conditions they find themselves in.

Netflix plans to give away DVDs as service shuts down (3 minute read)

Netflix is shutting down its DVD rental service on September 29. Customers can keep any remaining DVDs they have after the service shuts down. Subscribers can potentially receive up to 10 discs for free as Netflix clears out its inventory. Netflix will allow people to sign up to its DVD plan until midnight on August 28 for a chance to win the DVDs.

Meta’s “massively multilingual” AI model translates up to 100 languages, speech or text (5 minute read)

SeamlessM4T is a multimodal AI model for speech and text translations. It can perform text-to-speech, speech-to-text, speech-to-speech, and text-to-text translations for up to 100 languages. Meta developed the model to help people who speak different languages communicate with each other more effectively. SeamlessM4T has been released under a research license. Its code and weights are available on Hugging Face.

Microsoft is bringing Python to Excel (3 minute read)

Microsoft is bringing Python to Excel. A public preview of the feature is now available. Excel users can now manipulate and explore data in Excel using Python plots and libraries in combination with Excel's formulas, charts, and PivotTables. No additional software is required to access the functionality. Microsoft plans to add a feature that will expose Python data within the grid of an Excel spreadsheet.

Ugly Numbers from Microsoft and ChatGPT Reveal that AI Demand is Already Shrinking (7 minute read)

Bing's market share hasn't grown at all despite Microsoft's $10 billion bet that AI would enable its search engine to surpass Google.

Meta launches own AI code-writing tool: Code Llama (2 minute read)

Meta has released Code Llama, a large language model built on top of Llama 2 that specializes in generating and debugging code. It has also released a Python-specific version and another version that can understand instructions in natural language. These models are not interchangeable. Meta claims that Code Llama performs better than other publicly available LLMs on coding tasks, but it did not specifically name which models were tested.

pixi (GitHub Repo)

pixi as a cross-platform multi-language package manager and workflow tool. It supports Python, C++, and R on Linux, Windows, and macOS. pixi provides a Cargo-like command-line interface that allows developers to install tools per-project or system-wide. A short video demo is available.

Zoom CEO Says Employees Need to Be in the Office Because It's Hard to Build Trust Over Zoom (3 minute read)

Zoom is requiring employees living within 50 miles of an office to report to the office a minimum of two days a week. The company's CEO, Eric Yuan, says that it's difficult for employees to build trust with each other on a computer screen. He claims that it's too difficult to have innovative conversations and debates on Zoom as it makes people too friendly. His comments point towards the company's belief in the ability of its platform.