The Obtain: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping infants’ brains

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That is in the present day’s version of The Download, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a every day dose of what’s occurring on the planet of know-how.

These unique satellite tv for pc photos present Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is effectively underway

In early 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia introduced The Line: a “civilizational revolution” that may home as much as 9 million folks in a zero-carbon megacity, 170 kilometers lengthy and half a kilometer excessive however simply 200 meters large. Inside its mirrored, car-free partitions, residents can be whisked round in underground trains and electrical air taxis. 

Satellite tv for pc photos of the $500 billion undertaking obtained completely by MIT Know-how Evaluate present that the Line’s huge linear constructing website is already taking form. Go to The Line’s location on Google Maps and Google Earth, nevertheless, and you will notice little greater than naked rock and sand. 

The unusual hole in imagery raises questions on who will get to entry high-res satellite tv for pc know-how. And if the biggest city development website on the planet doesn’t seem on Google Maps, what else can’t we see? Learn the total story.

—Mark Harris

Why infants sleep a lot

Infants spend far more time asleep than they do awake. Scientists nonetheless aren’t precisely certain why, however new applied sciences are beginning to shed a bit extra gentle on this thriller—and will assist reveal what’s going on contained in the quickly creating mind of a new child.

In the course of the first few months, infants’ brains are creating connections at a fee of roughly 1,000,000 synapses a second. These connections are thought to play a key function in serving to infants be taught to make sense of the world round them, setting essential foundations for the remainder of their life. Learn the total story. 

This story is from The Checkup, a weekly e-newsletter by our senior reporter Jessica Hamzelou which supplies you the low-down on all issues biomedicine and biotechnology. Sign up to obtain it in your inbox each Thursday.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to seek out you in the present day’s most enjoyable/necessary/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 Covid knowledge is beginning to disappear in China
It’s about to enter its deadliest part of the pandemic. How lethal? We gained’t know. (FT $)
A letter from Foxconn’s founder could have helped to steer China’s leaders to desert zero-covid. (WSJ $)
The coverage pivot has been met with reduction—but in addition fear and confusion. (NYT $)
Right here’s what scientists need to say about it. (Nature)

2 AI selfies are in every single place
You possibly can thank the app Lensa, and the actual fact folks can’t resist sharing how attractive it makes them look. (WP $)
Nevertheless, it generates troublingly NSFW photos. Even when the photograph is of a kid. (Wired $)
AI is getting higher and higher at producing convincing textual content too. (Vox)
Are you able to inform an actual tweet from one written by an AI? (WSJ $)

3 People are flocking to local weather hazard zones
Migration patterns are largely away from safer areas, in the direction of hotter, drier areas with extra wildfires. (Wired $)
These three charts present who’s most guilty for local weather change. (MIT Know-how Evaluate)

4 A lawsuit claims ladies had been focused for Twitter layoffs
In engineering roles, 63% of ladies misplaced their jobs in comparison with 48% of males. (NBC)
Musk’s plan to encrypt Twitter messages appears to be on maintain. (Forbes)
+ Twitter is planning to vary the price of ‘Twitter Blue’ after a spat with Apple. (The Information $)
Elon Musk is overtly courting a far-right, conspiracy obsessed fan base. (Wired $)

5 CoinDesk’s FTX scoop shot its personal mother or father firm within the foot
Possession buildings in crypto are advanced—and on this case, a bit too cozy for consolation. (The Verge)
+ Crypto execs exchanged frantic texts as FTX collapsed. (NYT $)

6 Exhausted by the web? You’re not alone.
It’s starting to really feel like a dying mall filled with shops you don’t wish to go to. (New Yorker $)
Amazon is launching a TikTok clone. Sure, Amazon. (WP $)

7 The hype round esports is fading
A wider financial downturn is inflicting sponsors and buyers to flee. (Bloomberg $)
The FTC is attempting to dam Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of online game big Activision Blizzard. (Vox)

8 What causes Alzheimer’s?
A stream of current findings counsel that it’s extra advanced than the build-up of amyloid plaques. (Quanta)
The miracle molecule that might deal with mind accidents and increase your fading reminiscence. (MIT Know-how Evaluate)

9 The worldwide spyware and adware trade has spiraled uncontrolled
And the US is enjoying each arsonist and firefighter, adopting the exact same instruments it condemns. (NYT $)
It’s onerous to manage spyware and adware know-how when it’s in such excessive demand from governments all over the world. (MIT Know-how Evaluate)

10 Xiaomi taught a robotic to play the drums
Skilled musicians can relaxation straightforward for now although, if the demo clip is something to go by. (IEEE Spectrum)

Quote of the day

“Globalization is nearly lifeless. Free commerce is nearly lifeless. And lots of people nonetheless want they might come again, however I actually don’t assume that it is going to be again for some time.”

—Morris Chang, founding father of Taiwanese chip big TSMC, made some blunt remarks about geopolitics on the launch of a brand new plant in Arizona this week, Nikkei Asia experiences.

The large story

The way forward for city housing is energy-efficient fridges

June 2022

The growing old flats beneath the purview of the New York Metropolis Housing Authority don’t scream innovation. The most important landlord within the metropolis, housing almost 1 in 16 New Yorkers, NYCHA has seen its buildings actually crumble after many years of deferred upkeep and poor stewardship. It will require an estimated $40 billion or extra, at the very least $180,000 per unit, to return the buildings to a state of excellent restore.

Regardless of the size of the problem, NYCHA is hoping to repair them. It has launched a Clear Warmth for All Problem which asks producers to develop low-cost, easy-to-install heat-pump applied sciences for constructing retrofits. The stakes for the company, the successful firm, and for society itself may very well be large—and good for the planet. 

In any case, it’s much more sustainable to retrofit present buildings than to tear them down and construct new ones. Learn the total story.

—Patrick Sisson

We will nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction in these bizarre occasions. (Bought any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ This Photoshop comic about changing the sky is actually beautiful.
+ Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas: no matter you name him, he’s obtained a long and illustrious history
+ Easy methods to nail dressing smartly, yet casually.
Cowboy butter, anybody?

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