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

That is in the present day’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a every 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 nicely underway

In early 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia introduced The Line: a “civilizational revolution” that will home as much as 9 million individuals in a zero-carbon megacity, 170 kilometers lengthy and half a kilometer excessive however simply 200 meters huge. Inside its mirrored, car-free partitions, residents could be whisked round in underground trains and electrical air taxis. 

Satellite tv for pc pictures of the $500 billion challenge obtained completely by MIT Expertise Evaluation present that the Line’s huge linear constructing web site is already taking form. Go to The Line’s location on Google Maps and Google Earth, nevertheless, 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 building web site 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 growing mind of a new child.

In the course of the first few months, infants’ brains are growing connections at a price 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 e-newsletter 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 seek out you in the present day’s most enjoyable/necessary/scary/fascinating tales about expertise.

1 Covid knowledge is beginning to disappear in China
It’s about to enter its deadliest section of the pandemic. How lethal? We gained’t know. (FT $)
A letter from Foxconn’s founder could have helped to influence China’s leaders to desert zero-covid. (WSJ $)
The coverage pivot has been met with aid—but additionally fear and confusion. (NYT $)
Right here’s what scientists must say about it. (Nature)

2 AI selfies are in every single place
You may 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 Evaluation)

4 A lawsuit claims ladies had been focused for Twitter layoffs
In engineering roles, 63% of ladies 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 mother or father firm within the foot
Possession buildings 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 stuffed with shops you don’t need 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 big Activision Blizzard. (Vox)

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

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 onerous to manage spy ware expertise when it’s in such excessive demand from governments world wide. (MIT Expertise Evaluation)

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 might come again, however I actually don’t assume that it will likely be again for some time.”

—Morris Chang, founding father of Taiwanese chip big TSMC, made some blunt remarks about geopolitics on the launch of a brand new plant in Arizona this week, Nikkei Asia studies.

The massive story

The way forward for city housing is energy-efficient fridges

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June 2022

The growing older flats 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 a long time of deferred upkeep and poor stewardship. It will require an estimated $40 billion or extra, not less than $180,000 per unit, to return the buildings to a state of excellent restore.

Regardless of the size 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 profitable firm, and for society itself might be enormous—and good for the planet. 

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

—Patrick Sisson

We will nonetheless have good issues

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

+ This Photoshop comedian about changing the sky is actually beautiful.
+ Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas: no matter you name him, he’s received a lengthy and illustrious historical past. 
+ The way to nail dressing well, but casually.
+ Cowboy butter, anybody?

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