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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.

Chinese hackers exploited years-old software flaws to break into telecom giants

The news: Hackers employed by the Chinese government have broken into numerous major telecommunications firms around the world in a cyber-espionage campaign that has lasted at least two years, according to a new advisory from American security agencies. 

How it happened: The hackers allegedly breached their targets by exploiting old and well-known critical vulnerabilities in popular networking hardware. Once they had a foothold inside their targets, the hackers used the compromised devices to gain full access to the network traffic of numerous private companies and government agencies, US officials said. They did not name those affected by the campaign, nor explain the impact it had. 

What it means: The campaign is a warning about the need for better basic cybersecurity for some of the most important networks in the world, and a dramatic illustration of the danger software flaws pose even years after they’re discovered and made public. Read the full story.

—Patrick Howell O’Neill

The aviation industry can hit emissions goals, but new fuels need to take flight first

Cutting carbon emissions from planes is going to be difficult—but not impossible, according to a new report by the International Council on Clean Transportation.

The report outlines possible paths for aviation to reduce emissions enough to do its part in keeping global warming at less than 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, the target set by the Paris agreement. It says that about 60% of emissions reductions are projected to come from low-carbon fuels, with the rest coming from efficiencies, and lower demand. Read the full story.

—Casey Crownhart

The must-reads

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

1 Twitter has agreed to give Elon Musk access to millions of tweets
Which could make it much harder for him to back out of buying the company. (NYT $)
One of Musk’s financiers is linked to a Russian tycoon. (Bloomberg $)
Texas’ decision to probe into Twitter’s fake accounts is a purely political one. (NYT $)

2 How Big Tech’s data hoarding harms us all
And why sharing it wouldn’t hurt them, either. (Time $)
Collective data rights can stop big tech from obliterating privacy. (MIT Technology Review)

3 A start-up has been accused of dispensing ADHD drugs too liberally
Particularly during the pandemic, when regulations around remote prescriptions were relaxed. (WSJ $)

4 Bumpy batteries work better in freezing temperatures
Flat lithium-ion batteries struggle in the cold—changing the shape of its components could be a solution. (New Scientist $)
This startup wants to pack more energy into electric vehicle batteries. (MIT Technology Review)

5 South Korea is investigating the company behind the stablecoin crash
Over claims a worker embezzled its crypto holdings. (FT $)
Workers thinking of pivoting to web3 are having second thoughts. (Vox)

6 Smart windows are an obvious way to save energy

The problem, as ever, is making them affordable enough to go mainstream. (Knowable Magazine)

7 The Caribbean’s hurricane activity is at a historic low
And has been for a surprisingly long time. (Hakai Magazine)
We might have to start naming heat waves the way we do hurricanes. (Axios)
How to keep the power on during hurricanes and heat waves. (MIT Technology Review)
Tracking vibrations could help experts to get ahead of flash floods. (Economist $)

8 Not all NFT art is terrible

It just happens that most of the really famous pieces are. (The Verge)
Bored Apes has been dethroned as the most popular NFT project. (Motherboard)

9 A saxophonist smuggled secrets into the USSR using encrypted musical code
?
Rendering the information indecipherable to everyone but practiced musicians. (Wired $)

10 It’s time to get over The Current Thing
Our collective ability to forget what we’re outraged by should help. (FT $)

Quote of the day

“There is literally not a computer in that clinic unless I bring my laptop from home in.”

—Mia Raven, director of policy at an abortion clinic in Alabama, tells NBC News she’s stepping up security measures as part of measures to better protect clients, as the risk of Roe being repealed

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By: Rhiannon Williams
Title: The Download: Chinese hackers target telecoms, and aviation emissions
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/06/09/1052632/download-chinese-hackers-telecoms-vulnerabilities-aviation-emissions-goals-fuel/
Published Date: Thu, 09 Jun 2022 12:00:00 +0000

Tech

LATAM crypto exchange Bitso and FMF launch NFT of Mexico’s National Team jerseys

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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.

bitsonftjeysey
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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By: CryptoNinjas.net
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…
https://www.mansbrand.com/the-download-a-breakthrough-climate-bill-and-twitters-terrible-trends/

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Long-running crypto exchange EXMO unveils “lively” rebrand amidst growth

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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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By: CryptoNinjas.net
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…
https://www.mansbrand.com/stitching-together-the-grid-will-save-lives-as-extreme-weather-worsens/

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Stitching together the grid will save lives as extreme weather worsens

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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.
legend

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
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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