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.
Where to get abortion pills and how to use them
If the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the 1973 legal decision that enshrined abortion as a constitutional right, parts of the country will be ready to plunge into a reproductive-rights dark age in which doctors are forbidden from providing any abortions, in some states even in cases of rape, incest, or a fetus with genetic abnormalities.
But there’s still one huge loophole: most of these pending state laws exempt the person seeking the abortion from any penalties. The likely result is an increase in the number of people ending pregnancies at home using so-called abortion pills.
MIT Technology Review spoke to medical professionals and reproductive-rights lawyers to find out how the abortion pills work, where to get them, and what the risks are of using them without a doctor’s care. Read the full story.
I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.
1 The EU wants to make AI more ethical
But experts and major players are conflicted over how to achieve it—and even what it means. (New Statesman $)
A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of. (MIT Technology Review)
Google’s LaMDA AI is not sentient. (The Atlantic $)
+ But it’s unsurprising that people are increasingly fooled by human-like AI. (The Guardian)
This AI is trying to recreate Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s mind. (WP $)
2 The crypto crash is getting even worse
After a series of hacks targeted NFT project Discords. (Motherboard)
More asset exchanges are shedding workers, too. (FT $)
3 Internet Explorer is officially dead
After 27 long years of service, the browser is no more. (The Guardian)
Microsoft is under pressure to fix software vulnerabilities more quickly. (Ars Technica)
4 Brains have an inbuilt low-power mode
Which is particularly important for understanding how dieting affects people’s perceptions of the world. (Quanta)
The mysteries of the human brain. (MIT Technology Review)
5 One woman’s search for her father led to… an insemination doctor
Joining a long list of victims of fertility fraud. (The Verge)
6 Sheryl Sandberg’s legacy looms large at Facebook
But her specific brand of corporate feminism hasn’t aged well. (Slate $)
Experts are split over whether Meta’s plan to stop teenagers doomscrolling will work. (Protocol)
7 Fact checkers are debunking lies surrounding Sri Lanka’s crisis
Their protest tracking efforts are creating a comprehensive historical database. (Rest of World)
8 Virtual reality is helping children with autism to concentrate
By removing the distracting sensory stimuli of the real world. (NYT $)
Robots that teach autistic kids social skills could help them develop. (MIT Technology Review)
9 Minority Report tried to warn us
20 years on, maybe we should have listened. (The Atlantic $)
10 A love note to voice notes
Love them or hate them, they bridge the gap between calls and texts. (FT $)
Quote of the day
“Obviously, expensive digital images of monkeys are going to improve the world immensely.”
—Bill Gates sarcastically explains why he’s no fan of NFTs to a TechCrunch conference, reports CNBC.
The big story
Inside Timnit Gebru’s last days at Google—and what happens next
In December 2020, after a disagreement over the release of a research paper, Google forced out its ethical AI co-lead, Timnit Gebru. The paper was on the risks of large language models, which are a line of research core to Google’s business. Gebru, a leading voice in AI ethics, was one of the only Black women at Google Research.
The move sparked a debate about growing corporate influence over AI, the long-standing lack of diversity in tech, and what it means to do meaningful AI ethics research. Thousands of people in the industry signed a petition denouncing Gebru’s dismissal, calling it “unprecedented research censorship” and “an act of retaliation.”
We spoke to Gebru about her last days at Google—and her hopes for the future of AI. Read the full story.
We can still have nice things
A place for comfort, fun and distraction in these weird times. (Got any ideas? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)
+ Don’t you just hate it when you get a toilet roll stuck on your head?
+ These inspiring cooks are making delicious, hard-to-find Asian ingredients available in the States.
+ Break out the marmalade—Paddington 3 starts filming in 2023!
+ In defense of solo travel—and why everyone should try it at
By: Rhiannon Williams
Title: The Download: Abortion pill access, and Europe’s ethical AI
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/06/15/1054081/download-abortion-pill-roe-wade-europe-ethical-ai/
Published Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2022 12:00:00 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
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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