Friday, June 21, 2024

Download: Recycling Batteries, and Augmented Reality Hit Store


this is today’s edition of download, Our weekday newsletter which provides your daily dose of what’s happening in the world of technology.

Why your iPhone 17 may come with a recycled battery

Lithium-ion batteries power most of our personal electronics today. Mining the metals that make up those batteries can mean a lot of pollution, as well as harmful conditions for workers.

The good news is that a growing number of groups are working to recycle batteries – and some of those efforts are becoming mainstream, including Apple’s recent announcement that its batteries will use 100% recycled cobalt in 2025. .

This says a lot about where the battery recycling industry is and where it is going. Read full story.

-KC Crownheart

Casey’s story is from his weekly climate and energy newsletter, The Spark. Sign up To receive it in your inbox every Wednesday.

Snap is launching augmented-reality mirrors in stores

What are you saying: Snap is planning to launch augmented-reality mirrors that allow shoppers in stores to instantly see how clothes look on them without physically trying on them. The mirrors are set to appear later this year in some US Nike stores and at the Men’s Wearhouse in Paramus, New Jersey.

Why? The mirrors are part of Snap’s new effort to start offering AR products in the physical world. AR has driven Snapchat filters and lenses (the company’s term for its in-app AR experiences) for years, but these additional uses of the tech create a potential revenue stream for Snap outside of the social media platform’s app. Read full story.

-Tanya Basu

learning to code isn’t enough

A decade ago, tech powerhouses like Microsoft, Google and Amazon helped promote the nonprofit, a learn-to-code program. This spawned a wave of nonprofits and for-profits alike dedicated to learning coding and computer science, and many US states have made coding a high school graduation requirement.

But just learning to code is neither a path to a stable financial future for people from economically precarious backgrounds, nor a panacea for the inadequacies of the educational system. Read full story.

-Joey Lisi Rankin

This story is from our upcoming Education print issue, which is due to launch next Wednesday. If you are not already a subscriber, you can sign up by simply $69 a year—A special low price to mark Earth Week.

Must read

I’ve scoured the internet to find you the funniest/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology today.

Better to be safe than sorry with AI
And yet, the largest laboratories are not investing in proper security. ,economist ,
, Google is using Generative AI for its new advertising campaigns. ,feet ,
, The discussion about AI risk is long overdue. ,new scientist ,
, Do AI systems need to come with security warnings? (MIT Technology Review)

2 people with long covid are still suffering
And they are feeling increasingly isolated because of the lack of restrictions. ,the Atlantic ,
, But new clinical trials are looking promising. ,wired ,
, We have only just begun examining the racial disparities of long covid. (MIT Technology Review)

3 Matt Walsh’s Twitter Hacker Did This To Stir Up Drama
They say they accessed Walsh’s phone with the help of an “insider”. ,wired ,
, Twitter is getting rid of legacy blue checks—for real this time, ,WP ,

4 All US Facebook users are owed money
But it’s not much, and isn’t coming anytime soon. ,WSJ ,

North Korea says it has built its first spy satellite
The satellite could play an important role in the country’s weapons programmes. ,feet ,
, Soon, satellites will be able to see you everywhere, all the time. (MIT Technology Review)

The US Supreme Court has delayed its abortion pill decision
It will take a decision on availability of Mifepristone on Friday. ,BBC,
, Texas is trying new tactics to restrict access to online abortion pills. (MIT Technology Review)

7 TikTok’s algorithm keeps sending suicide content to minors
Depression, despair and death are common themes. ,Bloomberg ,

8 Erotic Hypnosis Is Ruining Women’s Lives
Violent men are using recordings to groom vulnerable people online. ,buzzfeed,

WeChat’s ultrashort soap operas are flouting China’s decency laws
Dramas are more stimulating than traditional TV shows. ,rest of the world,

10 How Video Games Help People Cope With Their Grief

It gives them an opportunity to process their feelings in the digital realm. ,Guardian,

Today’s thought

“Bard is worse than useless: please do not launch.”

—An internal Google note to employees outlines problems with the company’s AI chatbot, which it launched last month. Bloomberg Report.

big story

How robotic bees and hives could help the species fight back


October 2022

Something was wrong, but Thomas Schmickle couldn’t quite put a finger on it. 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 conspicuously absent.

Schmichel, who now heads the Artificial Life Lab at the University of Graz in Austria, was not wrong. Insect populations around the world are actually declining or changing.

Robotic bees, he believes, could help both real things and the nature around them, a concept he calls ecosystem hacking. Read full story.

-Elizabeth Preston

we can still have good things

A place for comfort, fun and distraction during these strange times. (Got any ideas? drop me a line Or tweet them at me,

+ nothing like that teen bedroom,
+ If you’re looking to mix up your podcast library, this List Provides some handy hints.
+ Shah, don’t tell anyone about America’s hottest and hottest secret, restaurant,
+ stealing close to $200,000 off dimes Seems like more trouble than it’s worth.
+ Kenny Loggins still writing—writing winnie the pooh songs,