The Download: the future of batteries, and China’s chips

The Download: the future of batteries, and China’s chips

Plus: China doesn’t like covid travel restrictions from other countries

Today’s edition ofThe Download,Our weekday newsletter provides a daily dose on what’s happening in the world technology.

What’s next for batteries?

Each year, the world uses more batteries. Electric vehicles accounted for 10% of the global vehicle sales in 2022 and are on track to reach 30% by 2020.

Many batteries will be required to make the transition from gas-powered cars into EVs. Better and cheaper batteries will also be needed. EVs are powered by lithium-ion battery technology, which is a decades-old technology that companies and academic labs are trying to improve and make even more affordable.

One thing is certain: batteries will play a major role in the transition from fossil fuels to electric vehicles. Here are some things to look forward to in 2023. Read the complete story.

–Casey Crownhart

Chinese chips will continue to power your daily life

The global semiconductor industry is currently in flux. In 2022, the US began to take steps against China to block the industry. This pushed the sector to diversify away from China’s supply chain and create factories elsewhere.

However, while the US government’s sanctions will begin to bite in the coming months and the high-end of China’s chip sector is likely to suffer from them, the country may play a larger role in manufacturing older-generation chips still widely used in daily life. Read the complete story.

–Zeyi Yang

Zeyi’s story comes from China Report, his weekly newsletter that gives you the inside scoop on everything about China. Sign up You will receive it in your inbox every Tuesday

These are the must-reads

I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 China furious at travel restrictions in other countries
Beijing claims that the requirements for covid testing are “unscientific.”The Guardian)
AI isn’t very good at detecting covid. (New Scientist $)

2 Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty for all charges
He will be tried in October. (CoinDesk)
It is possible that he will try to reach a plea agreement with the prosecutors. (Economist $)

3 Microsoft wants ChatGPT to be integrated into Bing
It hopes to challenge Google’s search dominance. (Information $)
It is not clear how accurate their answers will be. (Bloomberg $)
ChatGPT is a new app that claims to detect essays written using ChatGPT. (Insider $)
How to spot AI-generated texts. (MIT Technology Review)

Four US pharmacies can now sell abortion pills for first time
Although a prescription is still required for medical abortions, it will significantly increase access. (BBC)
How to use and where to get abortion pills (MIT Technology Review)

Five Political Adverts are Back on Twitter
This U-turn is months after advertisers began leaving in droves. (Politico)
After Damar Hamlin, an NFL player, died, misinformation about Covid was spread on Twitter.. (WP $)

6 Ethereum is becoming greener
However, it won’t completely eliminate crypto’s environmental footprint. (Motherboard)
The crypto crash is not a concern for Taiwan. (Rest of the World)

7 Instagram pays musicians a lot to soundtrack its Reels
It’s low-effort, high-reward. (New Yorker $)
Online creators are finding it increasingly difficult. (Information $)

8 Amazon Pakistan is overrun by scammers
Fraudsters are inventing more elaborate schemes to trick victims. (Rest of the World)

9 These TVs are cheap but not cheap
They are no longer a status symbol that were once a staple of American homes. (The Atlantic $)

10 Don’t host a holiday party on the metaverse
Unfortunately, your colleagues won’t want to join. (Wired $)

Quote of the Day

“I can smell the stench crime.”

–Unnamed customer has filed a complaint with the FTC critiquing crypto exchange FTX. Gizmodo reports.

The big story

What cities are in dire need of now?

April 2021

Since long, urban technology projects have sought to manage cities. The latest “smart cities” projects share many similarities with previous iterations. These initiatives continue to promise innovative “solutions” for urban “problems.”

It’s unclear, despite a decade of flashy demonstrations and pilot projects, whether smart city technologies can solve or mitigate the problems cities face. It is clear that technology companies are increasingly taking on the administrative and infrastructure responsibilities governments have had for decades.

Smart cities must look back at the past performance of cities to avoid exacerbating urban inequalities. Read the complete story.

–Jennifer Clark

There are still nice things we can do

This is a place to find comfort, joy, and distraction during these crazy times. (Have any other ideas?Drop me a lineOrTweet ’em @ me.)

Did you hear the story about the monk and nun who fell in love and were married? No, not really!
The Oklahoma’s Centenarians Sound absolutely amazing.
A seaside English town cancelled its New Year fireworks to protect a Walrus visit.
We will all set ourselves a lot of goals reading goals This year, however, not everyone will adhere to them.
Aww. Aww. Other rodents getting tickled.

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