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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.

Google DeepMind’s new Gemini model looks amazing—but could signal peak AI hype

Hype about Gemini, Google DeepMind’s long-rumored response to OpenAI’s GPT-4, has been building for months. Now, the company has finally revealed what it has been working on in secret all this time. Was the hype justified? Yes—and no.

Gemini is Google’s biggest AI launch yet—its push to take on competitors OpenAI and Microsoft in the race for AI supremacy. There is no doubt that the model is pitched as best-in-class across a wide range of capabilities—an “everything machine.”

But while it’s a big step for Google, but not necessarily a giant leap for the field as a whole. Judging from its demos, it does many things very well—but few things that we haven’t seen before. Read the full story.

—Melissa Heikkiläa & Will Douglas Heaven

Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Gemini and the coming age of AI

This last year has largely been defined by the AI releases from one company: OpenAI. The rollout of DALL-E and GPT-3.5 last year, followed by GPT-4 this year, dominated the sector and kicked off an arms race between startups and tech giants alike

Now, with the release of Gemini, Google has thrown its hat into the ring. The new AI model reflects years of efforts from inside Google, overseen and driven by its CEO, Sundar Pichai.

Our editor-in-chief Mat Honan sat down with Pichai at Google’s offices in Mountain View, California, on the eve of Gemini’s launch to discuss what it will mean for the company, its products, AI, and society writ large. Read the full interview.

How carbon removal technology is like a time machine

By burning fossil fuels, we’ve released greenhouse gases by the gigaton. There’s a lot we can (and need to) do to slow and eventually stop these planet-warming emissions. But carbon removal technology has a different promise: turning the clock back.

Well, sort of. Carbon removal can’t literally take us back in time. But this time-machine analogy for thinking about carbon removal—specifically when it comes to the scale that will be needed to make a significant dent in our emissions—is a favorite of climate scientist David Ho.

Casey Crownhart, our climate reporter, has taken a look at what it might take for carbon removal to take us back far enough in time to reverse our mistakes—well, the emissions-related ones, anyway. Read the full story.

This story is from The Spark, our weekly climate and energy newsletter. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Wednesday.

The must-reads

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

1 The EU is racing to regulate AI 
Meanwhile, it seems like the US Congress is forging a very different regulatory path. (WP $)
EU lawmakers are believed to have made a provisional deal. (Reuters)
AI advances far more rapidly than policy. (NYT $)

2 Celebrities have been tricked into recording Russian propaganda
Trolls paid famous faces to record supportive clips for ‘Vladimir’ over the Cameo app. (WSJ $)
The clips rapidly spread across Russian networks and news organizations. (NYT $)

3 Startups are imploding all over the place
Once-promising multi-million dollar ventures are failing—and it’s only getting worse. (NYT $)

4 This man blew the whistle on Amazon’s abuse of teenager labor
But four years on, nothing has changed. (FT $)

5 A load of EVs are due to lose their tax credits
Cars with battery materials sourced from China will lose out on the $7,500 credit. (The Verge)
Ford doesn’t think its Mustang electric cars will qualify. (Reuters)+ EV tax credits could stall out on lack of US battery supply. (MIT Technology Review)

6 Building a gaming empire is seriously hard work
Just ask the TV streaming giants who are trying, and failing. (The Information $)

7 Forget microplastics—it’s time to worry about nanoplastics
Because they’re even smaller, they’re potentially even worse for our health. (Motherboard)
Microplastics are everywhere. What does that mean for our immune systems? (MIT Technology Review)

8 It’s time to revive the humble dry stone wall
Concrete isn’t great for the environment. Can stone walls take over? (The Atlantic $)
Inside a high-tech cement laboratory. (MIT Technology Review)

9 An AI drive-thru needed humans to handle 70% of its orders
It raises questions over how capable AI really is at these kinds of tasks. (Bloomberg $)
Even McDonald’s wants a slice of the generative AI pie. (The Verge)

10 Space telescopes are getting even bigger 
Move over JWST—the Extremely Large Telescope is here. (Economist $)

Quote of the day

“Even if Musk were

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By: Rhiannon Williams
Title: The Download: Google’s Gemini is here, and Sundar Pichai talks AI
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2023/12/07/1084648/the-download-googles-gemini-is-here-and-sundar-pichai-talks-ai/
Published Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2023 13:10:00 +0000

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Top 5 Bitcoin ATM Locations in Athens for Fast and Easy Crypto Access

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As a crypto analyst and frequent investor in the Greek digital currency market, I can confidently recommend Bcash for convenient and secure Bitcoin purchasing in Athens. With 10 strategically located crypto ATM hotspots spanning central Athens and the northern suburbs, Bcash enables instant access to leading cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, and USDT.

Experience the Leading Greek Crypto ATM Network at Bcash’s Hotspots

From first-hand experience, I’m impressed by Bcash’s easy user interface, excellent customer assistance, and fair prices. Their two-way ATM machines allow both buying with Euro cash and selling crypto for instant fiat payouts. I found the simple on-screen instructions enabled completing transactions in under 2 minutes!

Bcash’s Bitcoin ATM network stands out from competitors by aligning prices closely with real-time crypto market rates. Their typical 6-8% fees are much cheaper than traditional crypto brokers and exchanges in Greece. For investors seeking reliable local crypto access, Bcash has the solutions.

Central Athens Bcash Shops Offer Prime Buying and Selling

For maximum security while buying or selling Bitcoin, Bcash’s dedicated Athens shop locations are ideal. Their main office on Dimitrakopoulou Street in the city center contains a premier crypto ATM location open 6 days weekly. It’s close to public transit for easy access.

I also frequented Bcash’s Glyfada branch in the south shopping district. With spacious storefront access and long business hours, this hotspot proved one of my favorite crypto transaction destinations. The expert staff helped guide my buying process as a beginner too.

Glyfada Shopping District ATM Location

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The Glyfada store sits right on Gennimata Street, providing a safe and high-traffic venue for easily buying and selling leading cryptocurrencies. Open Monday through Saturday, this major Bcash outlet enjoys strong local area visibility for crypto investors.

Northern Suburbs ATM Hotspots

In Athens’ northern suburbs, I purchased Bitcoin multiple times at Bcash’s Nea Erythraia shop off Mikras Asias Street. Located just 20 minutes from the city center, it makes crypto conveniently accessible for residents across northeast Athens.

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Piraeus Port Shopping District ATM

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While recently docking overnight at the Piraeus cruise port as part of an Aegean island-hopping vacation, I encountered one of Bcash’s handy crypto ATMs just 5 minutes from the passenger terminals. Located right on Sachtouri Street inside the company’s Piraeus store, this machine proved hugely convenient for buying Bitcoin during my stay.

As one of Europe’s largest passenger ports, Piraeus receives over 4 million travelers every year who could benefit from easy access to crypto. Whether before boarding ferries to venture deeper into the Greek islands or arriving back onshore in Athens, the Bcash outlet enables obtaining coins to capture optimal valuations.

And for tourists exploring downtown Piraeus’ vast harborfront retail area, having a trusted Bitcoin ATM one block away gives peace of mind. Rather than relying solely on airport kiosks, cruise ship visitors can turn Euros into crypto almost anytime thanks to Bcash’s strategic positioning. As vacationing investors, that accessibility offers real advantages.

Bcash Brings Bitcoin to the Greek Islands

Rhodes Island BTM Location

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By: CryptoNinjas.net
Title: Top 5 Bitcoin ATM Locations in Athens for Fast and Easy Crypto Access
Sourced From: www.cryptoninjas.net/2024/03/03/top-5-bitcoin-atm-locations-in-athens-for-fast-and-easy-crypto-access/
Published Date: Sun, 03 Mar 2024 17:18:46 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…
https://mansbrand.com/the-citizen-scientists-chronicling-a-neglected-but-vital-mexican-river/

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The citizen scientists chronicling a neglected but vital Mexican river

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The city of Monterrey in northeastern Mexico is an industrial powerhouse that has rapidly devoured green space to make room for its 5.3 million people. The Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range around the city is still holding strong, though the hills are increasingly encroached on by the urban sprawl of skyscrapers, apartment buildings, industrial parks, and highways. The same can’t be said for the Río Santa Catarina, the river that has been the vital core of the city for hundreds of years.

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Lizbeth Ovalle, founder of Viaje al Microcosmos, gathers water from
the Río Santa CatarinaANDREA VILLARREAL
circle of approx 25 people seated on the rocky shore of a river
Participants in one of the Viaje al Microcosmos river walks sit to share their observations and reflect on their findings.
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Andrea Villarreal, a member of the citizen science group, shows a participant how to use the iNaturalist app, which can help identify plants and animals.

overgrowth in the area below an overpass
Viaje al Micrososmos
organized a walk along this stretch of the Río Santa Catarina in October 2023.LORENA RíOS

Today, the Río Santa Catarina looks more like a forest than a river. It is mostly a dry jumble of rocks whose water is diverted to supply the city’s growing needs. Much of the riverbed is obscured by vegetation that has grown wild since a hurricane in 2010 destroyed many structures along the river, including soccer fields, parking lots, and a mini-golf course. But despite what many city officials and residents make of it, this urban river is very much alive, and a group of young women wants to prove it.

The group, called Viaje al Microcosmos de Nuevo LeónJourney into the Microcosm of Nuevo León), is not made up of scientists but, rather, of concerned citizens. Through the use of art and citizen science, its members are documenting and sharing with others the river’s forgotten nature—its trees, bushes, birds, flowers, insects, and even microorganisms (from which the group takes its name).

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By: Lorena Ríos
Title: The citizen scientists chronicling a neglected but vital Mexican river
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2024/02/28/1088234/monterrey-mexico-rio-santa-catarina-viaje-al-microcosmos/
Published Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024 10:00:00 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…
https://mansbrand.com/what-luddites-can-teach-us-about-resisting-an-automated-future/

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What Luddites can teach us about resisting an automated future

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A story in comic format. In this first panel, two figures in silhouette look out at a modern city skyline.  The text reads,

A person's smiling headshot being uploaded.  The text reads,

The headshot from the previous panel with distroted features and a wavy new background. The text reads,

Two people look at the blank space where the framed picture of a flower has been stolen by a giant robot hand. The text reads,

Two panels. In the first, a scrabbly line resembling a signature. The text reads,

The text reads,

Text across the top continues, Read More

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By: Tom Humberstone
Title: What Luddites can teach us about resisting an automated future
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2024/02/28/1088262/luddites-resisting-automated-future-technology/
Published Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024 10:00:00 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…
https://mansbrand.com/the-worlds-most-famous-concert-pianos-got-a-major-tech-upgrade/

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