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.
Inside Charm Industrial’s big bet on corn stalks for carbon removal
In recent weeks, a crew of staffers from a company called Charm Industrial have been working on the edge of Kansas corn fields, moving rolled bales of stalks, leaves, husks, and tassels up to a semi-trailer.
Inside, a contraption called a pyrolyzer uses high temperatures in the absence of oxygen to break down the plant material into a mix of biochar and bio-oil. This oil is pumped into EPA-regulated deep wells used for industrial waste, or into salt caverns. Charm says it solidifies there, locking away carbon for thousands to millions of years that would otherwise go back into the air as farmers burn crop remains or leave them to rot.
The San Francisco startup has been sequestering carbon this way for the past two years, working on behalf of companies including Microsoft. Late last year, it announced that the process has safely locked up nearly the equivalent of 5,500 tons of CO2 so far, claiming that’s the largest amount of long-term carbon removal delivered to date.
But there are still plenty of questions about how reliable, scalable, and economical this approach will prove to be. Read the full story.
How Charm Industrial hopes to use crops to cut steel emissions
Charm Industrial is also exploring whether the same bio-oil could be used to cut emissions from iron and steelmaking, pursuing a new technical path for cleaning up the dirtiest industrial sector.
The approach could be welcome news to companies compelled to explore cleaner production methods, amid hefty emissions and increasingly strict climate policies. Read the full story.
I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.
1 The Texas gunman detailed his plans in Facebook messages before the shooting
Meta said the direct messages weren’t discovered until after the tragedy. (WP $)
Repeated mass shootings is a problem unique to America. (New Yorker $)
AI-powered metal detectors are a controversial solution. (WP $)
Three false claims surrounding the shooting are circulating online. (NYT $)
2 Twitter has been fined for sharing users’ phone numbers
It allowed numbers and email addresses to inform targeted advertising. (Variety)
Elon Musk needs more money if he wants to buy the company. (FT $)
3 A quantum network has successfully teleported information
Good news for the future of a super-secure quantum internet. (New Scientist $)
We still don’t know if quantum computers will ever live up to their potential. (Vox)
Quantum computing has a hype problem. (MIT Technology Review)
4 Carbon removal companies are betting big on kelp
Seaweed seems an attractive natural solution to our growing carbon problem. (The Atlantic $)
But eager companies may be rushing ahead of the science. (MIT Technology Review)
5 Dyson is turning its attention to household chore robots
And wants them in our homes by 2030. (The Guardian)
This tiny robotic crab is smaller than a flea. (TechCrunch)
6 The obvious flaw in our hunt for alien life
Our assumptions that they live as we do could be blinding us to real clues. (The Economist $)
+ The best places to find extraterrestrial life in our solar system, ranked. (MIT Technology Review)
7 Improving plant-based food is an uphill struggle
While vegan startups have boomed in recent years, not all their offerings are good. (Vox)
And the appeal of plant-based dishes isn’t international, either. (Economist $)
Battles over patents isn’t making it easy for the alt-meat industry. (Sifted)
Your first lab-grown burger is coming soon—and it’ll be “blended”. (MIT Technology Review)
8 Teens are running social media coping workshops to help their peers
Their lived experience can be more valuable than programs run by adults. (Time $)
9 China’s short-video obsession is giving faded celebrities a second shot at fame
Shopping channel-style livestreams are extremely lucrative—for a lucky few. (Rest of World)
TikTok can be a scary place if you’re pregnant. (LA Times)
10 Meet the artist who’s been making computer art since the 1950s
And it’s taken him until now to gain the recognition he deserves. (Elephant)
Quote of the day
“If we enter a real recession, NFTs are going
By: Rhiannon Williams
Title: The Download: Locking up carbon with corn, and the path to greener steel
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2022/05/26/1052787/download-carbon-capture-corn-charm-industrial-greener-steel-iron/
Published Date: Thu, 26 May 2022 12:54:14 +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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