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


That is as we speak’s version of The Obtain, our weekday publication that gives a each day dose of what’s happening on the earth of expertise.

These unique satellite tv for pc pictures 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 might home as much as 9 million individuals in a zero-carbon megacity, 170 kilometers lengthy and half a kilometer excessive however simply 200 meters broad. Inside its mirrored, car-free partitions, residents can be whisked round in underground trains and electrical air taxis. 

Satellite tv for pc pictures of the $500 billion mission obtained solely by MIT Expertise 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, nonetheless, and you will note 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 expertise. And if the most important city development website on the planet doesn’t seem on Google Maps, what else can’t we see? Learn the complete story.

—Mark Harris

Why infants sleep a lot

Infants spend way more time asleep than they do awake. Scientists nonetheless aren’t precisely positive 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.

Through the first few months, infants’ brains are creating connections at a charge of roughly one million synapses a second. These connections are thought to play a key function in serving to infants study to make sense of the world round them, setting essential foundations for the remainder of their life. Learn the complete story

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

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you as we speak’s most enjoyable/vital/scary/fascinating tales about expertise.

1 Covid information is beginning to disappear in China
It’s about to enter its deadliest part of the pandemic. How lethal? We received’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 aid—but in addition fear and confusion. (NYT $)
Right here’s what scientists must say about it. (Nature)

2 AI selfies are in every single place
You’ll be able to thank the app Lensa, and the very fact individuals can’t resist sharing how horny it makes them look. (WP $)
Nevertheless, it generates troublingly NSFW pictures. 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 principally 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 Expertise Evaluate)

4 A lawsuit claims girls had been focused for Twitter layoffs
In engineering roles, 63% of girls 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 Info $)
Elon Musk is overtly courting a far-right, conspiracy obsessed fan base. (Wired $)

5 CoinDesk’s FTX scoop shot its personal mum or dad firm within the foot
Possession constructions 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 large Activision Blizzard. (Vox)

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

9 The worldwide spy ware business has spiraled uncontrolled
And the US is taking part in each arsonist and firefighter, adopting the exact same instruments it condemns. (NYT $)
It’s exhausting to manage spy ware expertise when it’s in such excessive demand from governments all over the world. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

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

Quote of the day

“Globalization is sort of lifeless. Free commerce is sort of lifeless. And lots of people nonetheless want they’d come again, however I actually don’t assume that will probably be again for some time.”

—Morris Chang, founding father of Taiwanese chip large 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 older residences beneath the purview of the New York Metropolis Housing Authority don’t scream innovation. The biggest landlord within the metropolis, housing practically 1 in 16 New Yorkers, NYCHA has seen its buildings actually crumble after many years of deferred upkeep and poor stewardship. It could require an estimated $40 billion or extra, at the least $180,000 per unit, to return the buildings to a state of excellent restore.

Regardless of the dimensions 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 could possibly be big—and good for the planet. 

In spite of everything, it’s much more sustainable to retrofit present buildings than to tear them down and construct new ones. Learn the complete story.

—Patrick Sisson

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

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

+ This Photoshop comedian about changing the sky is de facto beautiful.
+ Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas: no matter you name him, he’s obtained a lengthy and illustrious historical past
+ How one can nail dressing neatly, but casually.
Cowboy butter, anybody?



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