The Obtain: an “unhackable” cellphone, and Ring’s TV present


    That is at the moment’s version of The Obtain, our weekday publication that gives a every day dose of what’s occurring on the earth of expertise.

    Erik Prince needs to promote you a “safe” smartphone that’s too good to be true

    Erik Prince’s pitch to traders was easy, however actually formidable: pay simply €5 million and treatment the largest cybersecurity and privateness plagues of our day.

    The American billionaire—greatest identified for founding the infamous non-public army agency Blackwater—was pushing Unplugged, a smartphone startup promising “free speech, privateness, and safety” untethered from dominant tech giants like Apple and Google.

    However these daring claims are undercut by a beforehand unreported pitch deck obtained by MIT Know-how Overview. It’s a messy mixture of unattainable claims, meaningless buzzwords, and outright fiction.

    Virtually each try and construct this sort of cellphone has failed. This attempt is prone to be no completely different. Learn the complete story.

    —Patrick Howell O’Neill

    Ring’s new TV present is an excellent however ominous viral advertising and marketing ploy

    Footage from Ring’s digicam units, which clients set up to guard their properties, control deliveries, and see or work together with who’s on the door, has turn into a typical sight throughout social media in recent times.

    Such movies will underpin new TV present Ring Nation when it begins subsequent month, that includes humorous animals, marriage proposals, and heartwarming neighborhood interactions.

    In addition to an prolonged viral advertising and marketing marketing campaign, it’s a intelligent try and launder the picture of Ring—an organization that has been repeatedly criticized for its often-lax strategy to buyer information, and particularly for permitting regulation enforcement to entry consumer movies with out consent. Learn the complete story.

    —Eileen Guo & Abby Ohlheiser

    The combat for “Instagram face”

    By way of magnificence filters, platforms like Instagram are serving to customers obtain more and more narrowing magnificence requirements—although solely within the digital world—at a stunningly fast tempo. There may be proof that extreme use of those filters on-line has dangerous results on psychological well being, particularly for younger ladies.

    “Instagram face” is a acknowledged aesthetic template: ethnically ambiguous and that includes the flawless pores and skin, huge eyes, full lips, small nostril, and completely contoured curves made accessible largely by filters. And whereas Instagram has banned filters that encourage cosmetic surgery, huge demand for magnificence augmentation on social media is complicating issues. Learn the complete story.

    —Tate Ryan-Mosley

    The must-reads

    I’ve combed the web to seek out you at the moment’s most enjoyable/vital/scary/fascinating tales about expertise.

    1 The US is attempting to get extra monkeypox vaccines
    By transferring manufacturing to Michigan and splitting present doses into fifths. (WP $)
    + It needs to supply 50,0000 vaccines for Pleasure occasions throughout the nation. (CNBC)
    + Every part it’s good to know in regards to the monkeypox vaccines. (MIT Know-how Overview)

    2 A Chicago metropolis sensor challenge has gone international
    It tracked all the things from air high quality to flooding. (MIT Know-how Overview)

    3 How a predatory CEO’s web fame allowed him to cover in plain sight
    Dan Value used social media to shamelessly rehabilitate his picture and management the narrative round his actions. (NYT $)
    + Value has resigned from his firm, Gravity Funds. (WP $)

    4 An Apple safety flaw leaves units weak to hacking
    Hackers might seize full admin entry to iPhones, iPads and Macs if customers fail to replace to the newest software program. (The Verge)

    5 Google employees urged the corporate to cease gathering abortion information
    The union can also be asking Alphabet to stop its political lobbying post-Roe. (The Guardian)
    + An adtech agency that reveals journeys to abortion clinics has attracted the ire of the FTC. (WP $)
    + It’s nonetheless unclear how employer insurance policies overlaying employees’ abortions will work. (The Atlantic $)
    + Huge Tech stays silent on questions on information privateness in a post-Roe US. (MIT Know-how Overview)

    6 What getting again to nature can train us in regards to the future
    A ‘hunter-gatherer’ perspective might come in useful because the local weather disaster intensifies. (Neo.Life)
    + Bioacoustics is a helpful, if restricted, technique to control wildlife. (Quick Firm $) 

    7 Google’s quantum pc has been cracked
    By an algorithm working on a regular machine. (New Scientist $)

    8 How a lot meat ought to we eat? 🥩
    We must be each lowering our consumption and farming extra sustainably. (Knowable Journal)
    + Giving up simply half your hamburgers can actually assist the local weather. (MIT Know-how Overview)

    9 Meet the musicians connecting with followers over e mail
    Overlook TikTok and Instagram, Substack’s the place it’s at today. (The Guardian)

    10 TikTokers are stealing vehicles now
    The Kia Boyz development has fueled a automobile crime wave throughout the US. (NY Magazine $)
    + The platform has reversed its choice to ban the hashtag schizophrenia. (Enter)

    Quote of the day

    “Persons are begging for monkeypox vaccines, and we’ve simply pissed off the one producer.”

    —An nameless well being official describes how the Biden administration’s choice to separate monkeypox vaccines into fifths didn’t go down properly with its maker, Bavarian Nordic, to the Washington Submit.

    The massive story

    Inside Singapore’s enormous wager on vertical farming

    October 2020

    It’s taken many years for Singapore to get up and understand that—so far as meals goes—it is among the most weak international locations on the earth.

    This threat merely hadn’t occurred to authorities again within the Nineteen Seventies, once they ripped up the crops of tapioca, candy potatoes, and greens flourishing throughout greater than 15,000 hectares of the nation’s land and changed them with high-rise workplace buildings and condos. The main target again then was finance, telecoms, and electronics, not meals. 

    However whereas this technique efficiently swelled Singapore’s economic system (it’s now the fourth richest nation on the earth, per capita), it left the nation with solely 600 hectares of farmland. Consequently, the nation has pinned its hopes on expertise, with  high-output city farms hailed as its greatest wager. However vertical farming will not be with out its skeptics. Learn the complete story.

    —Megan Tatum

    We will 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.)

    + Who doesn’t love the Seashore Boys?
    + The evocado is a extra environmentally pleasant avocado, apparently.
    + An incredible query—why *do* so many bikes find yourself on the backside of canals and lakes?
    + Right here’s a quick take a look at simply a number of the bizarre creatures lurking within the ocean depths.
    + How superb does the world canine browsing championship look? (thanks Charlotte!)


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