TL;DR: This week's newsletter highlights key tech updates: NSA's data privacy issues, Google's MobileDiffusion for instant mobile art, DeepSeek's AI revolutionizing coding, and OpenAI's strategies against AI-driven biothreats. Discover the Bartkira project, streamline design with Tailwind CSS's palette generator, explore the quest for the largest PDF, uncover the best hotel breakfasts worldwide, and learn about a novel "bone bandage" that accelerates healing. Engage with the latest in tech, security, and more.


NSA’s Unauthorised Data Acquisition: Recent reports have unveiled that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has been purchasing internet browsing records from data brokers, bypassing the need for a court order. This action by the NSA, as highlighted by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, is a significant breach of privacy, raising legal and ethical concerns. The data includes details on websites and apps used by Americans, posing risks as it could reveal sensitive personal information. While the NSA asserts its commitment to minimising U.S. person information collection and adhering to mission requirements, this revelation adds to ongoing discussions about government surveillance and data privacy. The practice sits in a legal grey area, with data brokers often operating without consumer awareness. This situation emphasises the need for more stringent data privacy laws and informed consent from individuals regarding their personal data usage.

Artificial Intelligence

MobileDiffusion by Google : Google introduces MobileDiffusion, a groundbreaking advancement in text-to-image technology, enabling rapid, high-quality image generation directly on mobile devices. With a compact, efficient model, MobileDiffusion can produce 512x512 images in under half a second, transforming mobile phones into powerful creative studios. This innovation opens new avenues for on-the-go digital creativity, while adhering to Google’s responsible AI practices.

DeepSeek Coder : A cutting-edge AI developed by DeepSeek AI, designed to revolutionise the way we write code. It’s built on a diverse training set, encompassing both code and natural language, with models ranging from 1B to 33B in size. This AI demonstrates superior performance across various coding benchmarks, outshining existing models with its ability to handle project-level code completion and infilling tasks. DeepSeek Coder is open-source, offering an invaluable tool for both research and commercial use.

OpenAI’s Blueprint Against Biothreats : OpenAI investigates the potential of large language models (LLMs) to inadvertently aid in the creation of biological threats, developing an early warning system to assess and mitigate risks. A study involving biology experts and students showed that GPT-4 offers a slight improvement in the accuracy of creating biological threats, emphasising the need for ongoing research and community collaboration to ensure AI advancements do not become tools for harm.


Bartkira : A creative project that combines “The Simpsons” and the Japanese manga/anime “Akira”. This project involves artists from around the world reimagining the “Akira” story with characters from “The Simpsons”.


A Splash of Digital Color: Tailwind CSS Palette Generation : offers a Tailwind CSS 11-colour palette generator based on a single hexadecimal colour input. The tool creates a comprehensive colour palette, which developers can directly integrate into their Tailwind projects. This tool simplifies the design process, allowing for quick and efficient colour scheme generation with options for customisation.

Everything Else

Crafting the Colossal PDF : Alex Chan embarks on a curious exploration to test the theoretical limits of PDF size, debunking the myth of a maximum size through a practical attempt to create a PDF document larger than Germany. Despite popular belief, rooted in a specific Adobe Acrobat limitation of 15 million inches per dimension, Chan demonstrates that it’s possible to craft a PDF with dimensions vastly exceeding this, leveraging technical insights into PDF structure and modifications to page size settings. The journey not only highlights the flexibility and potential enormity of PDFs but also underscores the amusing reality that, with enough technical savvy, one can indeed create digital documents of cosmic proportions.

The World’s Most Scrumptious Hotel Breakfasts Revealed : Morning Life’s article presents an intriguing exploration of the best hotel breakfasts globally, focusing on every capital city. They conducted extensive research using Tripadvisor reviews, counting mentions of “best breakfast”, “great breakfast”, and “excellent breakfast.” Key highlights include London’s Park Plaza Westminster Bridge offering the world’s best breakfast, Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau leading in North America, and Louisiana’s Hotel Mazarin topping the list in the US. The article also explores the best breakfasts in other regions, providing a delightful guide for travellers seeking culinary delights.

A Leap in Healing: The “Bone Bandage” : Researchers at KAIST have innovated a “bone bandage” material that accelerates bone regeneration. This biomimetic scaffold, integrating hydroxyapatite (HAp) with piezoelectric properties, promotes bone growth upon pressure application. Proven effective through in-vitro and in-vivo studies on rats, this advancement offers a new direction in biomaterials design, potentially transforming treatments for bone injuries by mimicking natural bone tissue environments for enhanced recovery.

Thank you for joining me in this week’s exploration of the tech universe. Amidst the endless stream of information, I strive to bring you news that is not only relevant but also thought-provoking. Your thoughts and feedback are always welcome. Don’t forget to spread the word about the Friday Tech Focus Newsletter and stay tuned for more curated insights next week!