This is today’s download., Our weekly newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s happening in the world of technology.
How Citizen is trying to fix itself by recruiting older Asians.
Members of Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities in the US are living with racial violence—most recently in nearby Half Moon Bay.
Most users feel that Citizen, a hyperlocal app that allows them to report nearby crimes and track notifications, is one of their best forms of protection.
But the app has a proven track record. Citizen has been criticized for highlighting paranoia around crime. Now that the company is aggressively trying to recruit users of Asian descent in the Bay Area, many of whom are elderly, experts fear the app could make matters worse. Read the full story.
– Lam Thuy Vo
How AI can really help in disaster response.
what’s happening: We often hear big (and unrealistic) hopes about AI’s potential to solve the world’s ills. But one effort from the US Department of Defense seems worthwhile: xView2, which is helping with disaster logistics and ground rescue missions after the recent devastating earthquake in Turkey.
How it works: It uses machine learning algorithms in conjunction with satellite imagery to identify building and infrastructure damage in the disaster area and assess the severity of the problem. Read the full story.
– Tat Ryan-Mosley
Tate’s story comes from The Technocrat, her new weekly newsletter that gives you the inside track on all things tech policy. sign up To receive it in your inbox every Friday.
It should be read
I’ve scoured the internet for the most entertaining/important/scary/amazing stories about technology today.
1 The US Supreme Court is preparing to hear a case against Section 230.
A lawsuit over the law protecting internet content will be heard tomorrow. (NYT$)
+ The court will hear the second similar case next Wednesday. (Fast Company $)
+ The Supreme Court can regulate how you live online. (MIT Technology Review)
2 China is rushing to create its own ChatGPT.
Its Internet giants are racing to reach the West.(FT $)+ The country’s heavy-handed regulation and censorship will not help. (now $)
+ In the chatgpt competition in China. (MIT Technology Review)
3 America is on the brink of a norovirus wave
Although not uncommon every winter, the pandemic may have made us more vulnerable.(Vox)
+ The best way to prevent them from getting caught? Wash your hands. (Atlantic $)
4 Twitter has discontinued two-factor authentication
It is more likely to make users more vulnerable to hacking. (Slate$)
+ Facebook and Instagram are reversing Twitter’s policy of charging people for blue ticks. (The Verge)
5 Crypto winters are devastating miners.
Profits are down, and they’re set for further declines. (Wired $)
+ A hedge fund that invested heavily in FTX is closing. (FT$)
+ Tim Berners-Lee thinks crypto is comparable to gambling. (CNBC)
6 AI algorithms are being deployed to fire employees.
Reputation is another tool that companies abuse to pressure people. (WP$)
7 All kinds of schools are experimenting with banning smartphones.
But enforcing the rules is much easier for private schools. (Atlantic $)
8 times are tough for video game makers.
Players have less to spend, and have to cancel games as a result. (WSJ$)
+ VR arcades are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. (the guard)
9 What it’s like to live Tik Tok morning routines
Once the top tier of #aspirational content, they are now relevancy-based. (the guard)
10 Replica says her AI companions weren’t meant to be lustful.
But users aren’t sure if the company is telling the truth. (motherboard)
Quote of the day
“Until recently, people talking about generative AI were talking about Web3 and blockchain – the Venn diagram is circular.”
— Ben Waber, CEO of AI workplace company Humanize, reflects on the problems of the AI hype train for the Wall Street Journal.
The big story
A city’s struggle to solve its water drainage problem with sensors
In South Bend, Indiana, wastewater from people’s kitchens, sinks, washing machines, and toilets flows into 35 neighborhood sewer lines. On good days, before the end of each line, a vertical throttle pipe diverts the sewage to an interceptor pipe, where solid contaminants and bacteria are filtered out.
As is the case in many American cities, when those pipes combine with storms and dump heavy rain or melting snow, they fill rivers and lakes with toxic sludge, endangering wildlife and drinking water supplies. But city officials have plans to make aging sewers significantly smarter. Read the full story.
– Andrew Zaleski
We can still have something good.
A place of comfort, relaxation and distraction in these strange times. (Do you have an idea? Drop me a line Or Tweet at me.)
+ A generous Canadian who gave away her life savings as a child has become a multi-awarded adult — she just won the lottery (thanks, Greg!).
+ Well, This Pointed but painfully true.
+ British police have nicknamed a chocolate criminal the Easter Bunny.
+ It might be a little late for Valentine’s Day, but this cat is the perfect gift.
+ Neil Young and Crazy Horse are releasing an album this spring, which is cause for celebration in my books.