This is today’s download., Our weekly newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s happening in the world of technology.
Why your iPhone 17 could come with a recycled battery.
Lithium-ion batteries power most personal electronics today. Extracting the metals that make up those batteries can cause a lot of pollution and harmful conditions for workers.
The good news is, a growing number of groups are working to make batteries recyclable—and some efforts are becoming mainstream, including Apple’s recent announcement that its batteries will use 100% recycled cobalt by 2025.
It says a lot about where the battery recycling industry is and where it’s going. Read the full story.
– Casey Crownheart
Casey’s story is from Spark, the weekly climate and energy newspaper. sign up To receive it in your inbox every Wednesday.
Snap is launching augmented-reality mirrors in stores.
what’s happening: Snap plans to roll out augmented-reality mirrors in stores that will let shoppers instantly see what they look like without trying it on in person. The glasses are set to appear later this year in select US Nike stores and a menswear store in Paramus, New Jersey.
why? The glasses are part of Snap’s new effort to start offering AR products in the physical world. AR has powered Snapchat’s filters and lenses (the company’s in-app AR experiences) for years, but these additional uses of the technology will create a revenue stream for Snap outside of the social media platform’s app. Read the full story.
– Tanya Basu
Learning to code is not enough.
A decade ago, tech powerhouses like Microsoft, Google and Amazon helped launch the nonprofit Code.org, a learn-to-code program. There are charities and for-profit organizations dedicated to coding and computer science education, and several US states have made coding a high school graduation requirement.
But learning to code alone won’t provide a path to a stable financial future for those in economic trouble or the inadequacy of the education system. Read the full story.
– Joy Lisa Rankin
This story is from our Education issue starting next Wednesday. You can only register if you are not already registered 69 dollars per year– Special low prices to mark Earth Week.
It should be read
I’ve scoured the internet for the most entertaining/important/scary/amazing stories about technology today.
1 Better to be safe than sorry with AI
However, the larger labs are not investing in proper protection. (Economist $)
+ Google is using AI to generate new ad campaigns. (FT$)
+ Discussions around the threat of AI are long overdue. (New Scientist $)
+ Should AI systems come with security warnings? (MIT Technology Review)
2 People with long covid are still suffering.
And they are feeling isolated because of the lack of restrictions. (Atlantic $)
+ But new clinical trials are promising. (Wired $)
+ We have only just begun to examine long-term racial differences in Covid. (MIT Technology Review)
3 Matt Walsh’s Twitter hack to stir up drama
They say they tapped Walsh’s phone with the help of an “insider.” (wired $)
+ Twitter is ditching the old blue checks—for real this time. (WP$)
4 All American Facebook users owe
But not much, and it will not come soon. (WSJ$)
5 North Korea said it built the first spy satellite
The satellite can play a key role in the country’s weapons programs. (FT$)
+ Soon satellites will be able to see you everywhere all the time. (MIT Technology Review)
6 The United States Supreme Court delayed the decision on the abortion pill
A decision will be made on access to mifepristone on Friday. (BBC)
+ Texas is trying new methods to limit access to abortion pills online. (MIT Technology Review)
7 TikTok’s algorithm continues to push suicide content to minors
Depression, despair and death are common themes. (Bloomberg $)
8. Erotic hypnosis is ruining women’s lives.
Rescue men are using copies to care for vulnerable people online. (BuzzFeed)
9 WeChat Ultrashort Soap Operas Are Pushing China’s Decency Laws
The dramas are more provocative than traditional TV fare. (rest of the world)
10 How Video Games Help People Cope With Grief
It gives them the opportunity to process their emotions in digital realms. (the guard)
Quote of the day
“The bard is useless. Please don’t start.”
— An internal Google memo sent to employees described problems with the company’s AI chatbot, which launched last month, according to Bloomberg.
The big story
How robotic honey bees and hives can help fight the species
Something was wrong, but Thomas Schmeichel couldn’t put his finger on it. In the year It was 2007, and the Austrian biologist was spending part of the year at East Tennessee State University. During his daily walk, he noticed that insects seemed to be invisible.
Schmickle, who now heads the Artificial Life Laboratory at the University of Graz in Austria, was not wrong. Insect populations around the world are declining or changing.
He believes that robotic bees can understand both the nature and the nature of their environment, a concept he calls ecological abduction. Read the full story.
– Elizabeth Preston
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.)
+ There’s nothing like a teenage bedroom.
+ If you’re looking to consolidate your podcast library, this list offers some helpful pointers.
+ Shh, don’t tell anyone about America’s hottest and most secret restaurants.
+ Stealing nearly $200,000 on a dime seems like more trouble than it’s worth.
+ Kenny Loggins continues—writing Winnie the Pooh songs.