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Trey Huffine
Trey Huffine

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Top weekly stories in tech and programming - The Grind: Issue #1

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📈 Trends in Tech

Microsoft: Rust Is the Industry’s ‘Best Chance’ at Safe Systems Programming — The New Stack (4min 23sec)

Microsoft has publicly stated that they are moving away from C++ in favor of the equally highly performant Rust language. The announcement follows similar adoption at other tech giants including Apple, Google, Dropbx, Cloudflare, and AWS

Facebook’s TranscoderAI can transform code to different programming languages (5min 7sec)

Transcompilation — translating code from one language to another — has been a longstanding necessary evil of developing applications for multiple platforms, or porting apps from one platform to another. Facebook’s new tool could be the beginning steps in creating a Rosetta Stone of code, where languages can seamlessly be swapped with each other.

OpenAI launches an API to commercialize its research (5min 13sec)

The company OpenAI has created an API, which constitutes a big step towards their goal of providing the power of natural language processing to the entire development community. You can request to join the API’s waitlist here.


🔐 Security

Honda halts production at some plants after being hit by a cyberattack (2min 18sec)

Honda was forced to suspend factory operations in multiple plants in the US and abroad due to a ransomware infection, echoing a similar attack against the company in 2017 using the now infamous WannaCry worm.

Google says Iranian, Chinese hackers targeted Trump, Biden campaigns (2min 19sec)

In an official statement from Google, researchers found the Biden campaign was targeted by a Chinese group, and the Trump campaign was targeted by an Iranian group. Though neither attacked appears to have succeeded, this is surely not the last attempt we’ll see against American political campaigns as the general election approaches.


📚 Tech & Society

Researchers find racial discrimination in ‘dynamic pricing’ algorithms used by Uber, Lyft, and others (7min 11sec)

Turns out the cost of your last commute might have as much to do with your skin as much as the distance or time of day you traveled. An interesting morality tale about what can happen when machine learning is applied to social data.

The Internet’s most important — and misunderstood — law, explained (17min 57sec)

When Twitter made the decision to start fact checking Donald Trump’s tweets recently, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took a bold stance against misinformation. Trump hopes to seek legal revenge by attacking the 1996 law Secion 230, which gives social media companies virtually zero accountability for the content on their platforms. But interestingly, Joe Biden feels the same way as Trump does about this law. Take a deeper dive to understand what this law is, how it might change, and how these changes could affect you.

Pentagon Documents Reveal The U.S. Has Planned For A Bitcoin Rebellion (2min 46sec)

Official documents from the U.S. Department of Defense describe a Robin Hood-esque organization called Zbellion, that converts stolen money into bitcoin. They then turn it around to fund a global anti-establishment movement.

Activists rally to save Internet Archive as lawsuit threatens site (4min 43sec)

The Internet Archive is a Non Profit organization, and the site hosts a treasure trove of culture artifacts of all sorts, including millions of movies, books, software, and audio recordings. When it temporarily suspended the waitlist feature to help address the problem of COVID-19 driven shut downs of public libraries, publishing giants Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, and Wiley sued over it. And they’re seeking damages at $210,000,000,000 (that’s two hundred and ten billion dollars). That would be game over for the Archive.


🕴 Tech Business

Facebook establishing VC arm to invest in startups (3min 24sec)

Facebook is making a big push to fund startups, hoping to get the jump on the next big thing before it blows up.

Zoom closed account of U.S.-based Chinese activist “to comply with local law” (2min 58sec)

Zoom shut down Chinese activists living in America, for holding a meeting to remember the Tiananmen Square Massacre. This was likely a move to appease China’s law prohibiting the discussing of the famous pro democracy Tiananmen protests that occurred in 1989.


Health

Is Dark Mode Such A Good Idea? (4min 33sec)

I like dark mode. At this moment, I’m tying this on my laptop on an app using dark mode. Even though I haven’t come back from the dark side just yet, this short, educational read has me second guessing this choice for the first time since dark mode has been an option.

The Reality of Developer Burnout (4min 48sec)

From a few years ago, but still highly relevant today. Most of us have experienced burnout before. Understanding how to notice it, and how to handle deal without before it’s a problem, can save you from a boatload of stress, illness, fatigue, and premature gray hairs. Solid strategies and great practical advice here.


🛠 Dev Tools

Ikonate — Fully customizable & accessible vector icons

This site is a wonderful tool for generating a set of icons for your next project, free of charge. Customize size, border density and color to match your design or idea.

Grid.js — Grid.js is a Free and open-source HTML table plugin written in TypeScript

An open source project that sets out to solve the all-too-common problem of developing robust, responsive, reusable, data driven tables. Grid.js provides a simple API, and boasts easy extensibility.

Discuss: Which tools have made you a better programmer?

A great thread, where developers from all walks of life discuss the tools that got them to where they are now. It’s a great conversation to learn about a new tool that might make a big difference for you, or share what tools you’ve benefited from over the course of your career.


Fancy Projects

Futuremood

We have no idea if the AURAFLOW 5000 sunglasses really alter your mood (the company promises it’s been “scientifically proven” 😂), but we are sure that Futuremood knows how to make an eye catching website.

Think Bear

The portfolio of digital designer Jens Nielsen has a beautifully minimalist modern design. He uses the glamorous Bigilla font to great effect, set within a restrained, black, and yellow palette. Attractive and elegant.

Meme of the Week

Does anyone do social distancing better than programmers? Probably not. We’ve had a lot of practice, and we’re up to the challenge. 💪🤓


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