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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.

Unpacking the hype around OpenAI’s rumored new Q* model

Ever since last week’s dramatic events at OpenAI, the rumor mill has been in overdrive about why the company’s board tried to oust CEO Sam Altman.

While we still don’t know all the details, there have been reports that researchers at OpenAI had made a “breakthrough” in AI that alarmed staff members. The claim is that they came up with a new way to make powerful AI systems and had created a new model, called Q* (pronounced Q star), that was able to perform grade-school level math.

Some at OpenAI reportedly believe this could be a breakthrough in the company’s quest to build artificial general intelligence, a much-hyped concept of an AI system that is smarter than humans.

So what’s actually going on? And why is grade-school math such a big deal? Our senior AI reporter Melissa Heikkilä called some experts to find out how big of a deal any such breakthrough would really be. Here’s what they had to say.

This story is from The Algorithm, our weekly newsletter giving you the inside track on all things AI. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Monday.

The must-reads

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

1 X is hemorrhaging millions in advertising revenue 
Internal documents show the company is in an even worse position than previously thought. (NYT $)
 Misinformation ‘super-spreaders’ on X are reportedly eligible for payouts from its ad revenue sharing program. (The Verge)
It’s not just you: tech billionaires really are becoming more unbearable. (The Guardian)

2 The brakes seem to now be off on AI development 
📈
With Sam Altman’s return to OpenAI, the ‘accelerationists’ have come out on top. (WSJ $)
Inside the mind of OpenAI’s chief scientist, Ilya Sutskever. (MIT Technology Review)

3 How Norway got heat pumps into two-thirds of its households
Mostly by making it the cheaper choice for people. (The Guardian)
Everything you need to know about the wild world of heat pumps. (MIT Technology Review)

4 How your social media feeds shape how you see the Israel-Gaza war
Masses of content are being pumped out, rarely with any nuance or historical understanding. (BBC)
China tried to keep kids off social media. Now the elderly are hooked. (Wired $)

5 US regulators have surprisingly little scope to enforce Amazon’s safety rules
As demonstrated by the measly $7,000 fine issued by Indiana after a worker was killed by warehouse machinery. (WP $)

6 How Ukraine is using advanced technologies on the battlefield 
The Pentagon is using the conflict as a testbed for some of the 800-odd AI-based projects it has in progress. (AP $)
Why business is booming for military AI startups. (MIT Technology Review)

7 Shein is trying to overhaul its image, with limited success
Its products seem too cheap to be ethically sourced—and it doesn’t take kindly to people pointing that out. (The Verge)
 Why my bittersweet relationship with Shein had to end. (MIT Technology Review)

8 Every app can be a dating app now 
💑
As people turn their backs on the traditional apps, they’re finding love in places like Yelp, Duolingo and Strava. (WSJ $)
+ Job sharing apps are also becoming more popular. (BBC)

9 People can’t get enough of work livestreams on TikTok
It’s mostly about the weirdly hypnotic quality of watching people doing tasks like manicures or frying eggs. (The Atlantic $)

10 A handy guide to time travel in the movies
Whether you prioritize scientific accuracy or entertainment value, this chart has got you covered. (Ars Technica)

Quote of the day

“It’s in the AI industry’s interest to make people think that only the big players can do this—but it’s not true.”

—Ed Newton-Rex, who just resigned as VP of audio at Stability.AI, says the idea that generative AI models can only be built by scraping artists’ work is a myth in an interview with The Next Web. 

The big story

The YouTube baker fighting back against deadly “craft hacks”

rainbow glue coming out of a hotglue gun onto a toothbrush, surrounded by caution tape
STEPHANIE ARNETT/MITTR | ENVATO, GETTY

September 2022

Ann Reardon is probably the last person you’d

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By: Charlotte Jee
Title: The Download: unpacking OpenAI Q* hype, and X’s financial woes
Sourced From: www.technologyreview.com/2023/11/27/1083894/the-download-openai-q-hype-x-financial-woes/
Published Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2023 13:11:00 +0000

Tech

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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Tech

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).

IMG 8109 scaledRead More

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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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