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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.

Doctors using AI catch breast cancer more often than either does alone

The news: Radiologists assisted by an AI diagnose breast cancer more successfully than when they work alone, according to new research. That same AI also produces more accurate results in the hands of a radiologist than it does when operating solo.

Why it’s important: The large-scale study, published this month in The Lancet Digital Health, is the first to directly compare an AI’s performance in breast cancer diagnosis according to whether it’s used alone or to assist a human expert. The process meant that close to three-quarters of screening studies didn’t need to be reviewed by a radiologist, which could help to ease the global shortage of specialists. 

What happens next: While the findings are promising, the next step would be to confirm how well the AI performs over a long period of time in actual clinics with real patients. The hope is that in the future, such systems could save lives by detecting cancers doctors miss, freeing up radiologists to see more patients, and easing the burden in places where there is a dire lack of specialists. Read the full story.

—Hana Kiros

Materials with nanoscale components will change what’s possible

Materials scientists have long been fascinated by the hierarchical patterns found in nature that repeat all the way down to the molecular level, imbuing material with remarkable strength, durability and color. In the future, we may be able to engineer such properties directly into manufactured materials, and even program some degree of intelligence directly into them, which could make new features and functionality possible.

Those on this year’s list of MIT Technology Review Innovators under 35 list are working towards the ultimate goal of creating architected materials and devices imbued with the ability to make decisions on their own. Read more about their work and what’s needed to help them to succeed in this essay by Julia R. Greer, a materials scientist at the California Institute of Technology. 

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.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 A new wave of covid is sweeping across the US
At a time when there’s next to no public health measures in place. (WP $)

2 Elon Musk and Twitter are heading to court 
But whether the company can force the volatile Musk to buy it remains to be seen. (WSJ $)
In a legal fight, experts reckon Twitter has the edge. (FT $)
Musk’s response to Twitter’s threat to sue him, was, of course, a meme. (Bloomberg $)

3 Crypto traders want their money back
And that can only mean one thing: lawsuits. Lots and lots of lawsuits. (The Information $)
+ What crypto companies can learn from the dot-com bust. (Protocol)

4 Uber’s executives behaved even more badly than you might think
It breached laws and exploited violence against its drivers, leaked files have revealed. (The Guardian)

5 Costa Rica is struggling to recover from a crippling cyber attack
Even though the group that hacked the country has fallen apart. (FT $)
US defense firm L3 Harris is no longer in talks to buy NSO Group. (The Guardian)
A hacking group called Predatory Sparrow claims it started a fire an Iranian steel maker. (BBC)

6 AI has an ethics disconnect problem
Some researchers resent having to think about how their inventions will be used in the real world. (Protocol)
Big Tech’s guide to talking about AI ethics. (MIT Technology Review) 

7 Artists are experimenting with DALL-E 2
But finding that it doesn’t quite measure up to their imagination. (The Guardian)
The dark secret behind those cute AI-generated animal images. (MIT Technology Review)

8 Meet the YouTubers hunting—and eating—invasive species 
Experts are divided on whether it’s a useful or positive development. (The Information $)
Scientists worry that species are going extinct before we’ve even discovered them. (CNET)
Why you shouldn’t trust everything nature identification apps tell you. (Slate)

9 Pro-vasectomy influencers are having a moment
In a post-Roe world, interest is growing in more permanent methods of birth control. (The Atlantic $)

10 The optimal shape for a home in space might be a cone
It could help with recreating the gravity humans are used to. (Quartz)

Quote of the day

“This was worst case scenario for Twitter, and now it’s happened.”

Dan Ives, a tech analyst at Wedbush Securities, tells the Washington Post just how much chaos Twitter has been plunged into since Elon Musk announced he was pulling out of buying

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By: Rhiannon Williams
Title: The Download: cancer-spotting AI and a new covid wave
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Published Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2022 12:04:18 +0000

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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

Jersey NFTs

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.

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Title: LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys
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Published Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 15:19:02 +0000

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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.

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Title: Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth
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Published Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2022 08:10:38 +0000

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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.

Map USA grid
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

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By: James Temple
Title: Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens
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Published Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2022 08:00:00 +0000

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