Tech

The Download: China’s covid pop-up, and resolving Twitter’s ownership row


This is today’s edition of Download, Our weekday newsletter provides daily coverage of what’s happening in the tech world.

How vivid pop-ups are wreaking havoc on daily life in China

In 2020, China rolled out a contact tracing program that assigns QR codes to everyone in the country. It shows your vivid status and allows you to enter public places or take public transport. Part of China’s strict zero-covid policy, the system already exists, and some of the features that were once praised for making the country’s relatively low mortality rate now feel more burdensome than beneficial. for the citizen.
 
For example, more than 20 million people living or visiting Beijing are currently plagued by a pop-up that can randomly show up on your phone to disrupt all your plans. The persistent pop-up is designed to cover the QR code, preventing access to almost anywhere in China, and won’t go away unless the user immediately performs a PCR test.
 
The problem is, despite being touted as a high-tech pandemic solution, the app’s risk identification mechanism tends to cast a wider net than necessary, meaning no one knows why. they get the popup or when they will get it, and there is no way to prepare for it.Read full story.

—Zeyi Yang

This story is from China Report, our new weekly newsletter that keeps you up to date on everything that’s happening in China. Register to get it in your inbox every Tuesday.

Podcast: I Was There When AI Mastered Chess

In the late 90s, IBM’s Deep Blue computer defeated Garry Kasparov – the reigning world chess champion. It paved the way for a revolution in automation. On the latest episode of the MIT Technology Review’s In Machines We Trust podcast, we meet Kasparov and hear his battle with Deep Blue recounted from his side of the board. Listen to it on Apple Podcastsor anywhere else you often hear.

Things to read

I scoured the internet to find you today’s most interesting/important/scary/striking stories about tech.

Elon Musk’s Twitter Purchase Deal Seems To Be Back
The billionaire has offered to close the deal at an initial offer price, likely as early as this week. (NYT $)
+ A successful deal would make Musk’s to-do list even longer. (WSJ $)
+ It is perhaps no coincidence that this happened a few days before the trial. (FT $)
+ Twitter could eventually be folded into a superapp called ‘X’. (Bloomberg $)

2 It doesn’t look good for financial markets
Inflation in the US seems to be on the way to slowing down, but at what price? (Economist $)
+ The UN has accused wealthy nations of risking a developing recession that harms the world. (Guardians)

3 Uber driver scarcity is over
It comes after two years of a global driver shortage. (FT $)

4 Got a whole new blood type
The new ‘Er’ group is the 44th confirmed group. (Wired $)
+ Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of blood testing company Theranos, requested a new test. (BBC)

5 Adderall users considering switching drugs
Pharmacies can’t keep up with the high demand for it, and patients are suffering. (Motherboard)

6 How Ukraine’s tech workers build a new normal
Many displaced employees continue to work from other countries. Now, they are returning home. (The rest of the world)
+ It is difficult for displaced Ukrainians to prove they own their home. (Slate $)
+ Russia is increasingly relying on its own army of private mercenaries. (LA Times)

7 Dreams of a Decentralized Web
DWeb’s backers were doomed to fight an uphill battle when there wasn’t much to earn. (Atlantic $)
+ A big tech company is working to free the internet from big tech companies. (MIT Technology Review)

8 This is what quantum computers can do for us
But putting the theory into practice is the biggest challenge. (Vox)
+ What are quantum resistance algorithms — and why do we need them? (MIT Technology Review)

9 YouTube is never neutral
Its powerful recommendation algorithm has shaped the attention economy as we know it. (New Yorkers $)
+ You hate that video? YouTube’s algorithm can motivate you to be more like it. (MIT Technology Review)

10 American chess masters may have cheated more than 100 times
The thick plot! (WSJ $)

Quote of the day

“The game tells us the stories we want to tell about the conflict.”

—Ian Kikuchi, co-curator at a new exhibition exploring war in video games, told Financial Times how the game can rewrite the history of war by exaggerating the role of the individual.

Big story

Important Atlantic currents could collapse. Scientists are racing to understand the dangers.

December 2021

Scientists and technicians are searching for clues about one of the most important forces in the planet’s climate system: a network of ocean currents known as the Atlantic Meridian Circulation (AMOC). ). Critically, they want to better understand how global warming is changing it, and how much it could change in the coming decades — even if it could collapse.

The problem is that the Atlantic circulation seems to be weakening, transporting less water and heat. Due to climate change, melting ice sheets are pouring fresh water into the oceans at higher latitudes, and surface waters are retaining more heat. Warmer and fresher waters are less dense and therefore do not sink as easily, which could weaken one of the core drivers of flow. Read full story.

— Temple of James

We can still have good things

A place for comfort, fun and distraction during these strange times. (Any comments? Drop me a line or tweet ’em with me.)

+ Is there anything more iconic The Matrix’s Green Code? I do not think so.
+ How big? Infinity, really? Answer on a postcard.
+ These Pokemon Town Super cute cardboard model.
+ Optical illusions guaranteed for you to get the top of a spin.
+ There is a real number drama about domestic falcon going down in Melbourne (thanks Kirsten!)

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