The Download: the future of Chinese batteries and chips
This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s happening in the tech world.
What’s next for batteries
Every year the world runs more and more on batteries. Electric vehicles exceeded 10% of global vehicle sales in 2022, and are on track to reach 30% by the end of this decade.
The transition from gasoline-powered cars to electric vehicles will require lots of batteries, and better and cheaper ones. Today, most electric vehicles are powered by lithium-ion batteries, a decades-old technology that university labs and companies are looking to make more efficient and even more affordable.
Amid growing demand for electric vehicles and renewable energy, and an explosion in battery development, one thing is certain: batteries will play a key role in the transition to renewable energy. Here’s what to expect in 2023. Read the full story.
Chinese chips will continue to power your daily life
The global semiconductor industry is changing. The United States has begun taking steps to exclude China from the industry in 2022, pushing the sector to diversify from the Chinese supply chain and build factories elsewhere.
But as punitive U.S. government restrictions begin to bite in the coming months and China’s high-end chip industry is likely to suffer, the country could play a bigger role in manufacturing old-school chips. generation that are still widely used on a daily basis. life. Read the full story.
Zeyi’s story is taken from China Report, his weekly newsletter that gives you information on all things China. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Tuesday.
I’ve scoured the internet to find you today’s funniest/important/scariest/fascinating stories about technology.
1 China is furious at other countries’ travel restrictions
Beijing says covid testing requirements “lack scientific basis”. (The Guardian)
+ AI is not very good at detecting covid. (New Scientist $)
2 Sam Bankman-Fried Pleaded Not Guilty To All Charges
He will be tried in October. (CoinDesk)
+ It’s possible he’s trying to work out a plea deal with prosecutors. (Economist $)
3 Microsoft wants to integrate ChatGPT into Bing
He hopes to reduce Google’s search dominance. (Information $)
+ The accuracy of his answers remains up for debate. ($Bloomberg)
+ A new app claims to detect if essays have been written using ChatGPT. (Initiate $)
+ How to spot AI-generated text. (MIT Technology Review)
4 US pharmacies can sell abortion pills for the first time
Although a prescription is still required, this will greatly expand access to medical abortions. (BBC)
+ Where to find abortion pills and how to use them. (MIT Technology Review)
5 Political ads are returning to Twitter
The U-turn comes months after advertisers started leaving in droves. (Policy)
+ Covid misinformation surged on Twitter after NFL player Damar Hamlin’s meltdown. (WP$)
6 Ethereum is getting greener
However, this will not entirely solve the environmental footprint of crypto. (Motherboard)
+ Taiwan is not worried about the crypto crash. (Rest of the world)
7 Instagram pays musicians a fortune for its Reels soundtrack
It’s low effort, high reward. (New Yorkers $)
+ But it is especially more and more difficult for online creators. (Information $)
8 Amazon in Pakistan is overrun by scammers
Fraudsters are concocting increasingly elaborate schemes to deceive victims. (Rest of the world)
9 These cheap TVs come at a price
Once a staple of the American home, they are no longer the status symbol they used to be. (Atlantic $)
10 Don’t Host A Holiday Party In The Metaverse
Your colleagues are unlikely to want to join you, unfortunately. (Wired $)
quote of the day
“I can smell the stench of crime.”
—Anonymous customer criticizes crypto exchange FTX in complaint filed with FTC, Gizmodo reports.
The big story
What cities need now
Urban technology projects have long sought to manage the city. The latest “smart city” projects have a lot in common with previous iterations. Again and again, these initiatives promise new “solutions” to urban “problems”.
After a decade of pilot projects and flashy demonstrations, however, it’s still unclear whether smart city technologies can actually solve or even alleviate the challenges facing cities. What is clear, however, is that tech companies are increasingly taking on administrative and infrastructure responsibilities that governments have long assumed.
If smart cities are to avoid exacerbating urban inequalities, we need to take a long and hard look at how cities have performed so far. Read the full story.
We can still have beautiful things
A place of comfort, pleasure and distraction in these strange times. (Have ideas? Send me a message ortweet them to me.)
+ Did you hear the one about the nun and the monk who fell in love and got married? Not really!
+ The Centenarians of Oklahoma sound absolutely fabulous.
+ An English seaside town has canceled its New Year’s Eve fireworks to protect a visiting walrus.
+ Many of us will set reading goals this year, but not all of us will meet them.
+ Aww. Rats laugh at the pleasure of watching other rodents being tickled.