MasterClass founder launches Outlier, offering online courses for college credit

Aaron Rasmussen, co-founder and former creative director of MasterClass, has a new startup called Outlier.org. Like MasterClass, Outlier is bringing education online, but with a key difference — these are college classes offering real college credit.
The startup is launching a pilot version of its first two courses, Calculus I and Introduction to Psychology, for the coming fall semester. Each course is available for $400. (That covers all costs, including textbooks.)
Despite the .org name and address, Rasmussen said Outlier is very much a for-profit company, but he added, “We do want to make it clear that our goal is social impact. I believe in market solutions to problems. Coming up with a market solution to education, rather just relying on people’s charity, is far more durable.”
The problem in question is the cost of higher education. Rasmussen said that each year, 1 million students take a college-level Calculus I course in the United


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GitHub gets a CI/CD service

Microsoft’s GitHub today launched the beta of a new version of GitHub Actions with full continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) capabilities built right into the service. General availability is planned for November 13.
The company also today announced that it now has more than 40 million developers on its platform.
Ten months ago, GitHub launched Actions, its workflow automation platform. Developers could already take actions to trigger all kinds of events and use that to build custom CI/CD pipelines. At launch, the GitHub team stressed that Actions allowed for building these pipelines, but that it was a lot more than that. Still, developers were obviously quite interested in using Actions for CI/CD.
“Since we introduced GitHub Actions last year, the response has been phenomenal, and developers have created thousands of inspired workflows,” writes GitHub CEO Nat Friedman in today’s announcement. “But we’ve also heard clear feedback from almost everyone: you want CI/CD! And


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With the acquisition closed, IBM goes all in on Red Hat

IBM’s massive $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat closed a few weeks ago and today, the two companies are now announcing the first fruits of this process. For the most part, today’s announcement further IBM’s ambitions to bring its products to any public and private cloud. That was very much the reason why IBM acquired Red Hat in the first place, of course, so this doesn’t come as a major surprise, though most industry watchers probably didn’t expect this to happen this fast.
Specifically, IBM is announcing that it is bringing its software portfolio to Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat’s Kubernetes-based container platform that is essentially available on any cloud that allows its customers to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
In total, IBM has already optimized more than 100 products for OpenShift and bundled them into what it calls “Cloud Paks.” There are currently five of these Paks: Cloud Pak for Data,


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Legaltech startup Genie AI scores £2M seed for its ‘intelligent’ contract editor

Genie AI, a legal tech startup and Entrepreneur First alumni, has raised £2 million in funding. The round is a combination of equity and a U.K. government grant, and will be used to continue development of the company’s “intelligent” contract editor for law firms and an upcoming product targeting GDPR compliance.
Leading the £1.2 million equity investment is Connect Ventures, with participation from a number of angel investors, including former President of the Supreme Court Lord Neuberger and Professor Jun Wang at UCL. The £800,000 grant was awarded by UK Research and Innovation.
“Lawyers always tell us ‘I know I’ve done something like that before,’ but in large firms it’s a real pain to dig past drafting out of emails, document management systems and the minds of senior lawyers,” says Genie AI co-founder and CEO Rafie Faruq. “SuperDrafter solves this by automatically curating relevant knowledge from around the firm, and recommending clauses


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Slack speeds up its web and desktop client

Slack is launching a major update to its web and desktop today that doesn’t introduce any new features or a new user interface. Instead, it’s almost a complete rebuild of the underlying technology that makes these two experiences work. Over the course of the last year or so, Slack worked on shifting the web and desktop clients (which essentially use the same codebase) to a modern stack and away from jQuery and other technologies it used when it first introduced these tools in 2012.
“We want people to be able to run Slack alongside anything else they’re using to get their job done and have that be easy, uncumbersome, delightful even. So we took a look at the environment we’re in,” Jaime DeLanghe, director of Product Management at Slack, told me. “I think the other thing to note is that the ecosystem for client-side development has just changed a lot in


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The iPad finally outgrows iOS

As the iPad comes up on ten years since its introduction, the hardware has reached bold new heights but the software has been the limiting factor. Onstage at WWDC in San Jose, Apple announced that iPad’s software will now exist inside its own vertical OS.
iPad OS.
The new OS doesn’t look dramatically different from iOS 12, this actually might be the most low-key update that they’ve had in a while, but the name change undoubtedly makes it easier for Apple to introduce functionality to iPads that won’t exist in any capacity on the iPhone.
It’s all about focus and the fact that the company’s tablets are getting even more powerful than their macOS counterparts. It didn’t make a ton of sense for the iPad to be held back by the iPhone.
What’s new in iPadOS that you’ll get kind of excited about?
Chances are the best update is that desktop sites are now the


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Microsoft launches React Native for Windows

Microsoft today announced a new open-source project for React Native developers who want to target Windows. “React Native for Windows,” as the project is unsurprisingly called, is meant to be a new ‘performance-oriented’ implementation of React for Windows under the MIT License.
Being able to target Windows using React Native, a framework for cross-platform development that came out of Facebook, isn’t new. The framework, which allows developers to write their code in JavaScript and then run it on Android and iOS, already features plugins and extensions for targeting Windows and macOS.
With React Native for Windows, Microsoft is reimplementing React Native and rewriting many components in C++ to get maximum performance. It allows developers to target any Windows 10 device, including PCs, tablets, Xbox, mixed reality devices and more. With Microsoft backing the project, these developers will now be able to provide their users with faster, more fluid apps.
Microsoft the project is


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Windows gets a new terminal

Windows 10 is getting a new terminal for command-line users, Microsoft announced at its Build developer conference today.
The new so-called “Windows Terminal” will launch in mid-June and promises to be a major update of the existing Windows Command Prompt and PowerShell experience. Indeed, it seems like the Terminal will essentially become the default environment for PowerShell, Command Prompt and Windows Subsystem for Linux users going forward.

The new terminal will feature faster GPU-accelerated text rending and “emoji-rich” fonts, because everything these days needs to support emojis, and those will sure help lighten up the command-line user experience. More importantly, though, the Windows Terminal will also support shortcuts, tabs, tear-away windows and theming, as well as extensions. It also will natively support Unicode and East Asian fonts.
The idea here, Microsoft says, is to “elevate the command-line user experience on Windows.”
The first preview of the new Windows Terminal is now available.


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AWS expands cloud infrastructure offerings with new AMD EPYC-powered T3a instances

Amazon is always looking for ways to increase the options it offers developers in AWS, and to that end, today it announced a bunch of new AMD EPYC-powered T3a instances. These were originally announced at the end of last year at re:Invent, AWS’s annual customer conference.
Today’s announcement is about making these chips generally available. They have been designed for a specific type of burstable workload, where you might not always need a sustained amount of compute power.
“These instances deliver burstable, cost-effective performance and are a great fit for workloads that do not need high sustained compute power but experience temporary spikes in usage. You get a generous and assured baseline amount of processing power and the ability to transparently scale up to full core performance when you need more processing power, for as long as necessary,” AWS’s Jeff Barr wrote in a blog post.
These instances are built on the AWS


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