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Engineering News

a scalable open-source AV1 framework

by Andrey Norkin, Joel Sole, Kyle Swanson, Mariana Afonso, Anush Moorthy, Anne Aaron Netflix Headquarters, Winchester Circle. Netflix headquarters circa 2014. It’s a nice building with good architecture! This was the primary home of Netflix for a number of years during the company’s growth, but at some point Netflix had outgrown its home and needed more space. One approach to solve this problem would have been to extend the building by attaching new rooms, hallways, and rebuilding the older ones. However,…

Transparent architecture

The ETH spin-off Archilyse developed a software that allows the analysis of real estate down to the smallest detail. Credit: Archilyse ETH spin-off Archilyse promises nothing less than the “world’s most comprehensive architecture analysis” on its website. The young entrepreneurs are attracting a lot of interest in the real estate sector. Is a four-room apartment family-friendly or more suitable for a couple? How can office space be optimally divided so that its users feel comfortable? Archilyse helps to answer these…

Scientists improve sensitivity and stretchability of room-temperature liquid metal-based sensor

a) The relationship between GF and strain. (b) The relationship of resistance change and strain. Photographs of this sensors attached on the joint (c)/fingers (d)/wrists (e) of different motions, and corresponding resistance change. Credit: WANG Lei Scientists have developed a room-temperature, liquid metal-based, super-stretchable sensor with the advantages of easy fabrication, low cost, high repeatability and a gauge factor as great as 4.95. The new device potentially takes liquid metal-based sensors to the next stage. The findings were published in…

Scientists developing technology for water purification by electric discharges

Credit: CC0 Public Domain The environment around us is becoming increasingly polluted. This includes one of our most precious natural resources—water. Clean water is essential to human survival. Due to increased pollution, water treatment methods are becoming increasingly important as well. As regards scientifically proven methods, the plasma water treatment by electrical discharge method is ousting the water chlorination method applied over the last 100 years. An international research group led by Professor at the TalTech Department of Material and…

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…