The Passing of an Innovator


Xerox's Gary Starkweather Invented the Laser Printer

Gary Starkweather, who defied his boss at Xerox to invent the laser printer—a revolutionary innovation that made it possible to print images and text directly from computer terminals—died Dec. 26, the Washington Post reported this week. He moved to Rochester to work for Bausch & Lomb before joining Xerox. He received a master’s degree in optics from the University of Rochester in 1966.


Slack Goes Wild


Slack employees in San Francisco can step from the desert, to the mountains, to a glacier—all without leaving the office, Business Insider reports. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield loves hiking and the outdoors, so Studio O+A based the office design on the Pacific Crest Trail, with each floor representing a different landscape along the trail.


How Advanced Filtering Can Enhance UX

The Bell Co. has a broad geographic scope and works with a wide range of verticals. When redesigning Bell’s site, Dwaiter needed to give visitors the ability to easily filter and pinpoint projects in Bell's ever-growing portfolio.


Will This App End Privacy?


A tiny company, Clearview AI, has devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app that can match photos of unknown people to their online images, the New York Times reports. Its system, which uses a database of more than 3 billion images scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites, goes far beyond anything ever built by the U.S. government or Silicon Valley titans.


Can a Worker Plan a Rival Startup While Still in a Job? 


Attorneys for a former Apple executive this week tried to convince a skeptical judge of a core tenet of tech startup culture—that employees can plan a competing venture while still in a job, Reuters reports.


Snyk's Value Tops $1 Billion

Snyk this week announced a $150 million investment that brings its valuation to more than $1 billion, TechCrunch reports. The company wants to help developers secure their code as part of the development process.


The Push to Regulate Facial Recognition


As a bipartisan group in Congress wants action on facial recognition regulation, while roughly a dozen state governments are weighing legislation, and the European Commission is considering a five-year moratorium, VentureBeat reports. Lawmakers seem to be acknowledging the dangers inherent in the current lack of standards for facial recognition use.


What to Double-Check Before Launching

Websites are complex, and when it's time to go live with a new site, many things are easily overlooked, like a broken link or a misspelled word or a data capture form that fails to work properly. HubSpot offers a list of 60 important things to double-check before launching.


The Top 5 Books for Developers

Covering subjects ranging from legacy code to web design, Tom Merritt of Tech Republic recommends five books every developer should check out. His list includes "Working Effectively With Legacy Code" by Michael C. Feathers and "Programming Pearls" by John Bentley.


Brick-Building Bacteria


Researchers have developed a living substance that can transform from a gooey sand mixture into a solid brick—and then help build more copies of itself, Scientific American reports. They say it could be used to make a building material that requires relatively few resources and absorbs greenhouse gases instead of releasing them.