This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekly newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s happening in the world of technology.
When hydrogen will help climate change and when it won’t.
Hydrogen is often heralded as a climate hero because when it is used as a fuel in things like buses or steel production, there are no direct carbon emissions to worry about. As the world tries to reduce its use of fossil fuels, there could be a big demand for this carbon-free energy source.
But how hydrogen is produced can determine how useful it is. Last week, the European Commission published rules defining what it means for hydrogen to be green. But what does this mean, and how can we produce it? Read the story in its entirety.
— Casey Crownheart
Casey’s story is from The Spark, her weekly climate newsletter that brings you the scoop on all things energy. Register to get it delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.
New Report: Generative Artificial Intelligence in Industrial Design and Engineering
Generative AI has the potential to transform industrial design and engineering, making it more important than ever for leaders in these fields to stay ahead of the curve. So MIT Technology Review has created a new research report that highlights the potential benefits—and pitfalls—of this new technology.
The report includes two case studies from leading industrial and engineering companies that are already applying generative artificial intelligence to their operations, as well as many takeaways and best practices from industry leaders. It is now available for download for $195.
A must read
I’ve combed the web to find the funniest/important/scary/interesting tech stories for you today.
1 Supreme Court Considers Whether Twitter Aided Terrorists
The judges are expected to reach a conclusion by June. (vox)
+ This is the second case this week that examines the legal liability of online platforms. (NYT$)
+ The court seems wary of radical changes in the law. (Bloomberg $)
2 Bing doesn’t want to talk about your feelings
And this will close all the prompts that mention “feelings”, so don’t even try. (Bloomberg $)
+ ChatGPT’s fight for search is bigger than Microsoft or Google. (MIT Technology Review)
+ European AI startups eclipse US rivals. (sifted)
+ Why Microsoft’s mascot Clippy is the spiritual predecessor of ChatGPT. (Fast Campaign $)
3 Google claims to have reached an important milestone
It says that a way has been found to correct the errors present in modern quantum machines. (FT$)
+ What’s next for quantum computing. (MIT Technology Review)
4 Russian propagandists buy blue checks on Twitter
Allowing them to spread misinformation under the cloak of legality. (WP$)
+ The Russian-controlled publication RT is still published on YouTube, despite being allegedly banned. (The Guardian)
5 A major ransomware attack attempted to extort bitcoins from victims
This is probably one of the most common ransomware attacks in history. (FT$)
+ The US government is investigating how the military letters were leaked. (Bloomberg $)
+ Why has the ransomware crisis suddenly become so ruthless? (MIT Technology Review)
6 Arizona aims to become a major US chip hub
Just in time for the US government to release federal funding. (NYT$)
+ These simple design rules could turn the chip industry upside down. (MIT Technology Review)
7 Your smartwatch can interfere with your pacemaker
Wearable devices can create electrical interference that prevents cardiac devices from working properly. (The Guardian)
8 Get a rare look at the Demilitarized Zone of the Korean Peninsula
Courtesy of Google Street View. (WSJ$)
9 How to create your AI clone
Although it looks the part, the voice is generally dead. (motherboard)
10 One day your headphones can be made from mushrooms
This particular fungus is becoming a viable replacement for plastic. (The Verge)
+ Shrimp shells are also the new skin. (Wired $)
+ In defense of plastic (sort of) (MIT Technology Review)
Quote of the day
“Commenting for reach turns us all into robots dribbling at the feet of an algorithm.”
— Olivia Nelson, who works at an education technology company, is fed up with LinkedIn users who write “comment for reach” on posts in an apparent attempt to make them go viral, she tells the Wall Street Journal.
A great story
The cognitive dissonance of watching the end of Roe online
When the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on the morning of June 24, 2022, thousands of people heard the decision for the first time by reading the news site SCOTUSblog. Cathy Barlow, the blog’s media editor, was one of the few reporters on camera when the opinion piece was published and read it to her TikTok audience.
These days, the phone may still be the way you find out about a decision handed down by six justices, but now this device can allow us to help someone we’ve never met before travel to a state where abortion is still legal. Read the story in its entirety.
— Melissa Gear Grant
We can still have nice things
A place for comfort, fun and distraction in these strange times. (Any ideas? Scribble me a few lines or shout at me.)
+ I really enjoyed the unexpected wonders of Google Reviews (thanks, Charlotte!)
+ What do you mean, a bar of soap doesn’t actually prevent restless leg syndrome!?
+ It is fair to say that the farce is a horror film Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey was not so much poorly received as harshly criticized.
+ This enchanting timelapse a nesting blue tit very sweet indeed.
+ If I lived in 17th century Germany, I would definitely be forced to wear one of these gossip punishment masks.