This is today’s edition of The Download our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology.
Why business is booming for military AI startups
Exactly two weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Alexander Karp, the CEO of data analytics company Palantir, made his pitch to European leaders. With war on their doorstep, Europeans ought to modernize their arsenals with Silicon Valley’s help, he argued in an open letter.
Militaries are responding to the call. NATO announced on June 30 that it is creating a $1 billion innovation fund that will invest in early-stage startups and venture capital funds developing “priority” technologies, while the UK has launched a new AI strategy specifically for defense, and the Germans have earmarked just under half a billion for research and AI.
The war in Ukraine has added urgency to the drive to push more AI tools onto the battlefield. Those with the most to gain are startups such as Palantir, which are hoping to cash in as militaries race to update their arsenals with the latest technologies. But long-standing ethical concerns over the use of AI in warfare have become more urgent as the technology becomes more and more advanced, while the prospect of restrictions and regulations governing its use looks as remote as ever. Read the full story.
Computers will be transformed by alternative materials and approaches—maybe sooner than you think
In less than a century, computing has transformed our society and helped spur countless innovations. But while we fundamentally owe these capabilities to our ability to build progressively better computing devices, the transistor at the heart of computer chips is reaching its limits.
Those on this year’s list of MIT Technology Review Innovators under 35 list are overhauling computer performance and energy efficiency with fresh ideas. Read more about their exciting contributions to computing’s next wave in this essay by Prineha Narang, the Howard Reiss Chair Professor in Physical Sciences at University of California, Los Angeles.
This essay is part of MIT Technology Review’s 2022 Innovators Under 35 package recognizing the most promising young people working in technology today. See the full list here.
I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.
1 The US and UK are gravely concerned by China’s industrial espionage
Beijing is hellbent on stealing western technology, the countries’ spy chiefs warned (FT $)
The US is weighing up expanding restrictions on exports to China. (NYT $)
It’s also pressing a Dutch chipmaker to stop selling its gear to China. (Bloomberg $)
2 Apple’s new security feature defends against government spyware
Activating Lockdown Mode is designed to prevent Pegasus-style spyware from transmitting data to other devices. (WP $)
The vast majority of iPhone users are unlikely to ever benefit from it. (Ars Technica)
3 Why molecules could become the next microchip
Bioscience holds great promise—but it’s advancing frustratingly slowly. (FT $)
+ Biologists would love to program cells as if they were computer chips. (TR)
4 It’s a bad time to be a startup
Funding has fallen to its lowest level in three years, and more layoffs are looming. (NYT $)
It doesn’t look too rosy for the wider industry, either. (Bloomberg $)
5 Growing numbers of women want their tubes tied
But they still have to convince their doctor first. (Wired $)
+ Google should delete abortion search queries. (Bloomberg $)
6 Disinformation is Washington’s elephant in the room
The problem is, no one can agree on how to tackle it. (NYT $)
7 The UK wants to make deepfake porn illegal
The country’s Law Commission says that current laws haven’t moved with the times. (FT $)
Deepfake porn is ruining women’s lives. Now the law may finally ban it.
(MIT Technology Review)
8 Sorry, we’re not living in a simulation
Despite some theorists’ best efforts to convince us that we are. (Big Think)
This super-realistic virtual world is a driving school for AI. (MIT Technology Review)
9 Walking to earn crypto is as pointless as it sounds
Yet still, people have fallen for it. (NY Mag $)
Some American cities are still pinning their hopes on crypto. (Slate)
10 Viral hikes are becoming a problem
Instagram geotags are causing overcrowding and disruption. (The Guardian)
Quote of the day
“I think that we just assume that something so simple must have a right answer, and it bothers us that it doesn’t.”
—Developer Neal Agarwal, who developed the game ‘Absurd Trolley Problems,’ tells Vice why it’s a philosophical question we can’t resist debating.
By: Rhiannon Williams
Title: The Download: a military AI boom, and China’s industrial espionage
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/07/1055551/download-military-ai-boom-warfare-china-industrial-espionage/
Published Date: Thu, 07 Jul 2022 12:08:48 +0000
LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Bitso, a leading cryptocurrency platform operating in Latin America, and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), today announced the joint launch of the first collectible NFT of the Mexico National Team’s jerseys that was acquired in cryptocurrencies.
This morning through their social media platforms, the FMF and Bitso announced the opportunity to acquire the new official National Team fan jerseys ahead of the team’s participation in the 2022 World Cup. In just 20 minutes, the entire collection sold out.
The NFTs of the jerseys have an exclusive design for the metaverse – each is unique on the blockchain and can be resold by its owner in subsequent transactions.
The collection consisted of 100 official physical jerseys, each with a corresponding NFT version of the jersey that fans’ avatars can wear within the Decentraland metaverse. Each physical and NFT jersey set sold for the equivalent of $1,800 MXN in ethers.
“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency useful in the everyday life of Mexicans; we are committed to spreading the technology through innovative opportunities that help people throughout the country familiarize themselves with this new world. We are very excited to offer the incredible, historic opportunity for the fans of our National Team so that through their Bitso account, they can wear the colors of the National Team on and ‘off’ the field in the metaverse.”
– Bárbara González Briseño, General Director of Bitso México
Created by Bitso, the virtual jersey sports the official colors of Mexico and the new National Team shield, characteristics that will make it stand out when users wear it in the virtual world of Decentraland.
The post LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/29/latam-crypto-exchange-bitso-and-fmf-launch-nft-of-mexicos-national-team-jerseys/
Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
EXMO, a crypto exchange platform operating since 2014, announced this week a rebranded visual identity with includes a new logo, brand colors, and design features. This new branding comes as EXMO continues to grow its crypto platform while also seeking to expand its presence in other jurisdictions.
Some new developments underway at EXMO:
Soon, users will be able to earn passive income from EXMO’s new staking platform.Plans to launch an EXMO crypto debit card.Expansion of its services in international markets with the opening of offices in Poland and Lithuania.
EXMO’s new logo
The rationale for the re-brand:
“At EXMO, we have a vision of a world where crypto is in every wallet. Hassle-free. We want to achieve this by making crypto as simple and accessible to everyone as possible. And we know that you already appreciate EXMO for offering user-friendly services and helpful support. Also for the opportunity to trade anywhere and anytime, closing deals in just a few taps. Such important changes required a rethinking of our corporate style, which has long needed a massive upgrade. So today we are introducing a new brand identity for EXMO with a completely new visual concept. We are launching a new logo, brand colors, and design elements. Our key design principles are simplicity, boldness, and a pinch of fun. But most importantly, we have changed our logo. Simple and easily recognizable, it represents the humanity of our brand. The logo stands out due to the wavy letter ‘m’ which symbolizes exchange rate charts and also resembles a spring that will launch you into the crypto world.”
– The EXMO Team regarding the re-branding
The post Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth appeared first on CryptoNinjas.
Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2022/07/26/long-running-crypto-exchange-exmo-unveils-lively-rebrand-amidst-growth/
Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
The blistering heat waves that set temperature records across much of the US in recent days have strained electricity systems, threatening to knock out power in vulnerable regions of the country.
The electricity has largely stayed online so far this summer, but there have been scattered problems and close calls already.
Heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners is the biggest problem. But intense heat can also reduce the output of power plants, blow transformers, and force power lines to sag. Severe droughts across large parts of the country have also significantly reduced the availability of hydroelectric power, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).
It’s unlikely to get better soon. A number of grid operators may struggle to meet peak summer demand, creating the risk of rolling blackouts, the NERC report notes.
The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate need of upgrades to keep the lights, heat, and air-conditioning on in the midst of extreme weather events that climate change is making more common, severe, and dangerous. One clear way to ease many of these issues is to more tightly integrate the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with more long-range transmission lines.
If electricity generated in one area can be more easily shared across much wider regions, power can simply flow to where it’s needed at those moments when customers crank up air-conditioners en masse, or when power plants or fuel supply lines fail amid soaring temperatures, wildfires, hurricanes, or other events, says Liza Reed, a research manager focused on transmission at the Niskanen Center, a Washington, DC, think tank.
The problem is it’s proved difficult to build more long-range transmission and grid interconnections for a variety of reasons, including the permitting challenges of erecting wires through private and public lands across cities, counties, and states and the reluctance of local authorities to forfeit control or submit to greater federal oversight.
The case of Texas
The unreliability of the US grid is not a new problem. Severe heat and winter storms have repeatedly exposed the frailty of electricity systems in recent years, leaving thousands to millions of people without power as temperatures spiked or plunged.
One of the fundamental challenges is that the grids today are highly fragmented. There are three main electricity networks within the US: the Eastern Grid, the Western Grid, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). But there are numerous regional transmission organizations within those first two systems, including the California Independent System Operator, Southwest Power Pool, PJM Interconnection, New York ISO, and more.
These grids form a complex web of networks operating under different regulators, rules and market structures, and often with limited connections between them.
A variety of regional transmission organizations oversee different parts of the nation’s aging and fragmented grids, which operate under different rules and with often limited connections between them.
ERCOT is especially isolated, in part because of the desire among local politicians, citizens, and power companies to avoid added competition, the hassle of following other states’ rules, and oversight from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But the state offers a case study in why that can be a serious problem amid increasingly harsh climate conditions, Reed says.
The Texas grid operator pleaded with customers several times earlier this month to cut electricity use as blistering summer temperatures created demand surges that threatened to outstrip supply and require rolling blackouts. Low wind conditions, cloud cover, and outages at fossil-fuel power plants added to the strains.
Shutting off the electricity needed to run air-conditioning in triple-digit temperatures
By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/28/1056483/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/
Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000
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