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Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest - 12th February 2021

Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest - 12th February 2021
By Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest • Issue #2 • View online
Hi, welcome to the second issue of my rebooted Weekly Digest. Each issue is a collection of things that caught my eye or interested me in the preceding week. This week’s list has five items, two films, and one new music track.
As will always be the case, all links to names in the entries go to a Twitter account or a website if there isn’t an associated Twitter account.

Technology
‘Twitter Prime’ - It’s finally time for a premium Twitter - M.G. Siegler - Link
Speaking of Twitter, there are numerous indicators that there will soon be paid for services from the company. This is a good thing in my opinion. I’ve been hoping for a paid version of Twitter for over a decade. Anyone who knows me will confirm I use Twitter a lot. Once you have a reasonably sized group of followers and people you follow, it’s a brilliant place to discuss topics and get answers to your questions. As long as you mute stuff that doesn’t interest you and block accounts you never want to see (even if you are not following those accounts, others will Retweet them into your timeline). M. G. Siegler has some good thoughts on paid-for Twitter options in his 500ish article titled Twitter Prime.
A sneak peek at MetaHuman Creator: high-fidelity digital humans made easy - Unreal Engine - Link
This is unreal! Pun intended. Epic Games Unreal Engine division released a 75-second video showcasing the output from MetaHuman Creator. A forthcoming cloud-based real-time digital human creation tool. The results are stunning, and the creation process can take under an hour to do what used to take weeks or months.
Postcodes from the edge: how an upstart app is changing the world’s addresses - Financial Times - Link
A good article in the Financial Times about the hot location startup What3Words. Their premise is that addresses, postcodes, and similar are not suitable for modern world applications. Many delivery companies and others who need to find exact locations agree and are adopting the service. I agree as well. In fact, I worked on an IT-related location project in the early 2000s that this service would have been ideal for. It didn’t exist then, of course. None of the available GPS tech at the time was good enough either. Don’t forget to check and see what three words have been assigned to the square at your house!
Science
Why It Actually Took 50 Years to Make COVID mRNA Vaccines - SciShow - Link
The mRNA-based vaccines that have been developed in the last year to combat COVID-19 have been the subject of much praise due to the minimal amount of time taken. This is worthy praise; the scientists, pharmaceutical manufacturing experts, distribution managers, and many others deserve congratulation. The work that led to the mRNA-based vaccines has been ongoing for decades. It was fortunate that the final outstanding problems in the design and manufacture of this vaccine type were solved in the last few years. This 13-minute SciShow video on YouTube is a good overview of the work that went into the design of mRNA-based vaccines.
Don’t fall for quantum hype - Sabine Hossenfelder - Link
Sabine Hossenfelder is a national treasure. If such a thing can be said of a German Physicist. Her YouTube channel is excellent for videos that take topical, and not so topical, subjects that she explains in easy to understand ways. The latest one on four quantum technologies attracting interest and funding is just the latest in a long line of excellent videos. The four technologies discussed are quantum computing, quantum metrology, the quantum internet, and quantum simulations. How likely are any of these to impact our lives soon? Well worth checking the video to find out.
Culture
Films I enjoyed this week
Greenland. On Amazon Prime. Rated 7/10.
Greenland. On Amazon Prime. Rated 7/10.
Space Sweepers. On Netflix. Rated 7/10.
Space Sweepers. On Netflix. Rated 7/10.
New music I discovered this week
Zella Day - Holocene (feat. Weyes Blood) - Apple Music - Twitter
Did you enjoy this issue?
Ian Robinson's Weekly Digest

Writer, walker, atheist, optimist, Apple enthusiast, cinema lover, hobby musician, science junkie, perpetual maths student, cricket fan, chess patzer.

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