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.
quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of
It’s a Wild West out there for artificial intelligence. AI applications are increasingly used to make important decisions about humans’ lives with little to no oversight or accountability.
The European Union thinks it has a solution: the mother of all AI laws, called the AI Act. It is the first law that aims to curb these harms by regulating the whole sector, and if the EU succeeds, it could set a new global standard for AI oversight around the world.
But its huge ambitions are faced with plenty of technical obstacles and pushback from Silicon Valley. Let us run you through why it’s a big deal.
This is the first image of the black hole at the center of our galaxy
It might not look like much, but this blurry orange-and-black picture is the supermassive black hole at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy, which has been pictured for the first time.
Although the black hole itself, known as Sagittarius A*, is entirely dark, it’s encircled by a bright ring of glowing gas that’s been warped by its own gravity. It was captured by the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, the same global team that took the famous first-ever picture of a black hole inside the Messier 87 (M87) galaxy in 2019. Read the full story.
Quote of the day
“I want to return to my family – and not in a casket.”
—Dmitri, a Russian soldier, explains why he refused to rejoin the invasion of Ukraine once back on Russian soil to The Guardian.
I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.
1 Elon Musk has put his Twitter deal “on hold”
He said he’s waiting for details supporting the calculation that spam and fake accounts represented fewer than 5% of users. (WP $)
The news comes after the company fired two of its most senior executives. (NYT $)
For celebrities, Twitter is high risk and low reward. (WP $)
Musk is pitting American Tesla workers against their counterparts in China. (The Guardian)
2 Six people have now died in North Korea amid its first covid outbreak
A further 187,800 people are being isolated and treated for the virus. (The Guardian)
Africa’s first covid vaccine factory is yet to receive a single order. (NYT $)
3 Russia’s hackers could face cyber war crime charges
Ukraine’s essential infrastructure was targeted during the war. (Wired $)
4 Crypto detectives are in high demand
Investigators are being hired to track down stolen bitcoin and NFTs. (Vox)
How the current crypto crash mirrors the 2008 financial crisis. (Foreign Policy)
NFT sales are still plummeting, too. (WSJ $)
5 Instagram’s algorithms are pushing fear and outrage content to new parents
But opting out of seeing posts that elicit knee-jerk reactions isn’t straightforward. (WP $)
A Texas law that punishes social media for “censoring” users has been reinstated. (Axios)
6 The FBI purchased Pegasus spyware to aid investigations
The Bureau previously said it bought the hacking tool to test and evaluate it. (NYT $)
Google is failing to enforce its own ban on ads for stalkerware. (TR)
7 How Japan lost its global tech head start
Now it’s trying to claw it back. (Rest of World)
8 Thousands of popular websites are tracking your typing
Keyloggers collect keystrokes before you even hit ‘submit’ on a form. (Wired $)
Yik Yak, the anonymous social media platform, exposed its users’ locations. (Motherboard)
9 Our understanding of female incels is still murky
Mainly because they aren’t a unified group with defined, shared goals. (The Atlantic $)
10 The primitive bots of the 2000s paved the way for Alexa
And they were a whole lot more fun, too. (Dazed)
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
By: Rhiannon Williams
Title: The Download: Europe’s ambitious AI Act, and picturing our galaxy’s black hole
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/05/13/1052233/download-europes-ambitious-ai-act-milky-way-black-hole-picture/
Published Date: Fri, 13 May 2022 12:18:00 +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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