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Author: engineering

Announcing AMP Real URL

The promise of the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project was that it would make the web, and, in particular, the mobile web, much more pleasant to surf. The AMP HTML framework was designed to make web pages load quickly, and not distract the user with extraneous content that took them away from focusing on the web page’s content. It was particularly aimed at publishers (such as news organizations) that wanted to provide the best, fastest web experience for readers catching…

Avoiding Double Payments in a Distributed Payments System

How we built a generic idempotency framework to achieve eventual consistency and correctness across our payments micro-service architecture. Authors: Jon Chew and Ninad Khisti Background Airbnb has been migrating its infrastructure to a Service Oriented Architecture (“SOA”). SOA offers many upsides, such as enabling developer specialization and the ability to iterate faster. However, it also poses challenges for billing and payments applications because it makes it more difficult to maintain data integrity. An API call to a service that makes…

Smart antioxidant-containing polymer responds to body chemistry, environment — ScienceDaily

Oxidants found within living organisms are byproducts of metabolism and are essential to wound-healing and immunity. However, when their concentrations become too high, inflammation and tissue damage can occur. University of Illinois engineers have developed and tested a new drug-delivery system that senses high oxidant levels and responds by administering just the right amount of antioxidant to restore this delicate balance. The findings are published in the journal Small. Many pharmaceuticals include specialized polymers and particles that control the timing…

What Earth’s gravity reveals about climate change — ScienceDaily

On March 17, 2002, the German-US satellite duo GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) were launched to map the global gravitational field with unprecedented precision. After all, the mission lasted a good 15 years — more than three times as long as expected. When the two satellites burnt up in the Earth’s atmosphere at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018, respectively, they had recorded the Earth’s gravitational field and its changes over time in more than 160 months.…

Introducing Base Web, Uber’s New Design System for Building Websites in React

At Uber, we have hundreds of  internal web applications used by developers, product managers, and operations teams—essentially everyone at the company. Since all web applications work differently, it puts additional overhead on our employees to learn how to interact with them most effectively. This can lead to engineers spending  a lot of time and effort reinventing the wheel instead of leveraging a universal design system across the company. To solve these issues, Uber assembled a dedicated design and engineering team…

How autonomous ships can lead to safer waterways

Cargo ships waiting in the harbor at the busiest port of Singapore. Credit: iStock Even radar, navigation systems, GPS tracking and radio communications don’t prevent ships from colliding. In 2017, collisions and groundings made up nearly 40% of all marine accidents, and over half of the total casualties. These incidents were primarily caused by human error. Researchers at USC Viterbi School of Engineering are attempting to remove, or at least minimize, the need for human decision in ship navigation. They…

The first-of-its-kind nanogenerator also acts as a weather station — ScienceDaily

UCLA researchers and colleagues have designed a new device that creates electricity from falling snow. The first of its kind, this device is inexpensive, small, thin and flexible like a sheet of plastic. “The device can work in remote areas because it provides its own power and does not need batteries,” said senior author Richard Kaner, who holds UCLA’s Dr. Myung Ki Hong Endowed Chair in Materials Innovation. “It’s a very clever device — a weather station that can tell…

Scientists find bounds of weather forecasting — ScienceDaily

In the future, weather forecasts that provide storm warnings and help us plan our daily lives could come up to five days sooner before reaching the limits of numerical weather prediction, scientists said. “The obvious question that has been raised from the very beginning of our whole field is, what’s the ultimate limit at which we can predict day-to-day weather in the future,” said Fuqing Zhang, distinguished professor of meteorology and atmospheric science and director of the Center for Advanced…

Hands-on activities highlight Show Me Mizzou Day

  STEM Cubs Festival provided children with a wide variety of hands-on activities to try during Show Me Mizzou Day. Photo by Danielle DuClos. View a photo album from Show Me Mizzou Day’s Engineering exhibits here. More than 2,000 people visited the University of Missouri campus for its first Show Me Mizzou Day on Saturday, April 13, and many stopped by the wide array of activities and tables in and around the College of Engineering’s Lafferre and Neff Halls. Events…

Learning on the Go: Engineering Efficiency with Concise Documentation

Uber’s Learning on the Go program shares coding tips and useful work practices on posters throughout our offices. These tips come from the Uber engineering community’s everyday experience. We will periodically share them with the engineering community at large on the Uber Eng blog. Technical documentation of products or services built by engineers helps onboard new users, spread information about how services work, and translate technical jargon into comprehensible prose. Some technology companies, including Uber, employ dedicated technical writers to…