Weekly Roundup 2nd August 2020

Dinakaran Sankaranarayanan


Weekly Roundup 2nd August 2020

Interesting reads for this week.

1.The Big Tech’s Anti-trust hearing case

This week is when the big tech companies reported record earnings and then were also grilled by the US congress on the Anti-trust hearing. CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, Google’s Sundar Pichai, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg were grilled big time on their anti-trust behaviour and these companies tries to either neutralize or destroy competition. Though people are divided on the obvious end game of the hearing, the documentary evidence is showing us what we have always believed, but now with proof. The idea of free market, market share and monopoly need to be re-visited for the digital world. Every single tech company is getting implicated one way or the other. Verge has excellent coverage with around 17+ articles on this issue.


If you do not have time to read through all of this, below 9 min video summaries the events


2. What the heck is GPT-3? Is AI coming out to take our job for real?

AI out there to take our job has been the theme for the last few years. We are still not there. But with GPT-3, the possibilities are becoming more and more real. GPT stands for Generative Pretrained Transformer and the “3” means the third generation. You can think of it as a tool that, given an initial sample of text, tries to predict what should come next.


This 30-minute podcast about GPT3 provides a good insight into GPT3 and lays out the context.


3. Amazon now launching satellites into the space to relay broadband.

Amazon now launching “Project Kuiper”, a broadband service that consists of launching a large number of satellites into space and directly competing with Space-X and Google Loon? Amazon getting into this space means there may be chances of tangible action in the near future.


4. Java celebrates 25 years. But is Java still alive?

Like a million others, I too started my programming career with Java. And Java now celebrates 25 years. A lot has changed. The world has moved on from Java to new things, thanks to the shitty behaviour of Oracle trying to make money from Java by launching a legal case against Android thereby antagonizing the entire open source community. And Java and its JVM are not that suited for the cloud-native container world that needs lightweight and super-fast boot-up and processing times. It should be interesting to see where Java goes from here.


This podcast talks about the humble beginnings of Java in mid 90’s and how it was initially used in setup boxes. And then slowly moved to the Web world with Java applet for dynamic content and then moving to build applications for multiple platforms with the idea of ‘Write Once, Run Anywhere’.


Github Artic Vault program’s mission is to preserve open-source software for future generations by storing your code in an archive built to last a thousand years. Hope the artic is not melting due to global warming.



6. Surprising stories of accidental innovation

Necessity isn’t always the mother of invention. Sometimes it’s serendipity. Dive into these nine great reads about everyday innovations that were invented by accident, from life-changing penicillin to the whimsical wonder that is Play-Doh. Turns out even the colour mauve came to us by chance.