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.
Edits to a cholesterol gene could stop the biggest killer on earth
The news: A volunteer in New Zealand has become the first person to undergo DNA editing in order to lower their blood cholesterol, a step that may foreshadow wide use of the technology to prevent heart attacks.
How did they do it?: The experiment involved injecting a version of the gene-editing tool CRISPR in order to modify a single letter of DNA in the patient’s liver cells. According to the company, that tiny edit should be enough to permanently lower a person’s levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, the fatty molecule that causes arteries to clog and harden with time.
Why is it important?: While the patient had an inherited risk for extra-high cholesterol and was already suffering from heart disease, the company believes the same technique could eventually be used to prevent cardiovascular disease. In the 10 years since scientists developed CRISPR, it has only been tested on people suffering from rare diseases, and only as part of exploratory trials. If successful, it could signal far wider use of gene editing to prevent common conditions. Read the full story.
This is the James Webb Space Telescope’s “poetic” first image of the universe
The first stunning picture taken by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has been released, depicting thousands of galaxies, some dating back more than 13 billion years.
The image, unveiled by President Biden last night, shows a small portion of the sky—comparable to the span of a grain of sand held at arm’s length—enhanced considerably by the JWST’s remarkable light-collecting power. The more remote galaxies date back to not long after the birth of the universe, and have been magnified into view by a massive galaxy in the foreground. Read the full story.
There are more images to come later today—make sure to come back to technologyreview.com to see them.
Inside a radical new project to democratize AI
Inside the French National Center for Scientific Research, on the outskirts of Paris, a supercomputer has spent 117 days gestating a new large language model (LLM) called BLOOM that its creators hope represents a radical departure from the way AI is usually developed.
Unlike other, more famous large language models, BLOOM is designed to be as transparent as possible, with researchers sharing details about the data it was trained on in the hopes of making long-lasting changes in the culture of AI development—and helping democratize access to cutting-edge AI technology for researchers around the world. Read the full story.
I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.
1 The Uber whistleblower is the company’s former chief lobbyist
Mark MacGann says he’s partly to blame for the company’s outrageous conduct. (The Guardian)
2 New York City is drowning in packages
The wave of online deliveries is showing no signs of returning to pre-pandemic levels. (MIT Technology Review)
Toronto wants to kill the smart city forever. (MIT Technology Review)
Inside the experimental world of animal infrastructure. (MIT Technology Review)
3 Elon Musk has inflicted real damage on Twitter
It’ss up to its employees to pick up the pieces. (NYT $)
Twitter has called his attempt to abandon the deal “invalid and wrongful.” (WSJ $)
4 Climate change anxiety is dominated by white voices
How trauma is framed means people of color’s contributions are being edged out. (Wired $)
5 China’s tech workers are opting out
Brutal working hours, job instability and crushing stress mean laid-off workers are increasingly looking to new industries. (Rest of World)
A Utah startup is spotting the engineers most likely to steal secrets for China. (Bloomberg $)
The country has no plans to relax its strict gaming limits over the summer. (SCMP)
6 Fraudsters are holding restaurateurs to ransom over bad Google reviews
And there’s next to nothing business owners can do to stop it. (NYT $)
Anti-vaxxers are weaponizing Yelp to punish bars that require vaccine proof. (MIT Technology Review)
7 The crypto crash ruined these amateur investors’ lives
A crypto addiction rehab facility in Scotland is helping some of them to rebuild.(The Guardian)
8 Mines manned by robots are crying out for human workers
Amid an industry-wide labor crisis, finding human staff is proving a real challenge. (WSJ $)
9 Secrets adverts are hiding in plain sight on TikTok
And many of their creators don’t seem to care about declaring them. (Vox)+ Technically, TikTok could charge its users to view viewers. (Wired $)+ Italy has slapped TikTok with a warning about a supposed breach
By: Rhiannon Williams
Title: The Download: Cutting cholesterol with CRISPR, and the James Webb Space Telescope’s first image
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/07/12/1055826/download-cutting-cholesterol-crispr-gene-editing-james-webb-space-telescope-first-image-biden-galaxies/
Published Date: Tue, 12 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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