The download: the future of batteries and Chinese chips

This is the current edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that gives a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology.

What’s next for batteries

Every year the world runs more and more on batteries. Electric vehicles accounted for 10% of global car sales in 2022 and are on track to reach 30% by the end of this decade.

The transition from gas-powered cars to electric cars requires a lot of batteries, as well as better and cheaper ones. Most EVs today are powered by lithium-ion batteries, a decades-old technology that academic labs and businesses alike are trying to make more efficient and even more affordable.

Amid the soaring demand for electric cars and renewable energy, and an explosive development of batteries, 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.

— Casey Crownhart

Chinese chips will continue to fuel your daily life

The global semiconductor industry is in full swing. The US began taking steps to ban China from the industry by 2022, forcing the industry to diversify away from the Chinese supply chain and build factories elsewhere.

But while the US government’s punitive restrictions will bite in the coming months and the high-end of China’s chip industry is likely to suffer, the country may take a bigger role in producing older-generation chips that are still widely used. in everyday life. to live. Read the full story.

— Zeyi Yang

Zeyi’s story comes from China Report, his weekly newsletter that tells you all about China. Sign up and receive it in your inbox every Tuesday.

The must reads

I’ve scoured the internet to find you the funniest/most important/scariest/fascinating stories about technology today.

1 China is outraged by other countries’ covid travel restrictions
Beijing claims the covid testing requirements “lack a scientific basis”. (The guard)
+ AI is not very good at detecting covid. (New Scientist $)

2 Sam Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty to all charges
He will stand trial in October. (CoinDesk)
It’s possible he’s trying to get a plea deal with prosecutors. (Economist $)

3 Microsoft wants to integrate ChatGPT into Bing
It hopes to get rid of Google’s search dominance. (The information $)
+ How accurate the answers will be is still up for debate. (Bloomberg$)
+ A new app claims to detect whether essays are written with ChatGPT. (Insider $)
+ How to recognize AI generated text. (MIT The Tech Warrior)

4 American pharmacies are allowed to sell abortion pills for the first time
While a prescription is still required, it will significantly broaden access to medicated abortions. (BBC)
+ Where to get abortion pills and how to use them. (MIT The Tech Warrior)

5 Political ads return to Twitter
The turnaround comes months after advertisers began leaving en masse. (Politics)
Misinformation about Covid spiked on Twitter after NFL player Damar Hamlin collapsed. (WP$)

6 Ethereum is getting greener
However, it won’t completely solve crypto’s carbon footprint. (Motherboard)
+ Taiwan is not worried about the crypto crash. (Rest of the world)

7 Instagram pays musicians a fortune to soundtrack its Reels
It’s little effort, high reward. (New York $)
+ But it usually gets harder for online creators. (The information $)

8 Amazon in Pakistan is overrun with scammers
The fraudsters come up with increasingly complicated schemes to deceive victims. (Rest of the world)

9 Those cheap TVs come at a price
Once a staple of the American home, they are no longer the status symbol they used to be. (The Atlantic $)

10 Don’t have a holiday party in the metaverse 🎉
Unfortunately, your colleagues will probably not want to participate. (TheTechWarrior $)

Quote of the day

“I smell the stench of crime.”

—An unnamed customer criticizes crypto exchange FTX in a complaint filed with the FTC, Gizmodo reports.

The big story

What cities need now

April 2021

Urban technology projects have long sought to manage the city. The latest “smart city” projects have much in common with previous iterations. Again and again these initiatives promise new ‘solutions’ to urban ‘problems’.

However, after a decade of pilot projects and flashy demonstrations, it is still not clear whether smart city technologies can actually solve or even mitigate the challenges cities face. What is clear is that technology companies are increasingly taking on managerial and infrastructure responsibilities that governments have long fulfilled.

If smart cities are not to exacerbate urban inequality, we need to take a closer look at how cities have fared so far. Read the full story.

—Jennifer Clark

We can still have fun things

A place for comfort, fun and distraction in these strange times. (Have any ideas? Message me orshe tweets to me.)

+ Did you hear about the nun and the monk who fell in love and got married? No really!
+ The Centenarians of Oklahoma sound absolutely fantastic.
An English seaside town canceled New Year’s fireworks to protect a visiting walrus.
Many of us will set reading goals for ourselves this year, but not all of us will stick to them.
+ Ouch. Rats mock the fun when they see fellow rodents being tickled. 🐀