The Obtain: chipmaking in Syracuse, and making cement greener

That is as we speak’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a every day dose of what’s happening on this planet of know-how.

The $100 billion wager {that a} postindustrial US metropolis can reinvent itself as a high-tech hub 

On a day in late April, a small drilling rig sits on the fringe of the scrubby overgrown fields of Syracuse, New York, taking soil samples. It’s the primary signal of development on what might change into the most important semiconductor manufacturing facility in the USA.

The CHIPS and Science Act, handed final yr with bipartisan congressional help, was extensively considered by trade leaders and politicians as a strategy to safe provide chains, and make the USA aggressive once more in semiconductor chip manufacturing. 

Now Syracuse is about to change into an financial check of whether or not, over the subsequent a number of many years, the aggressive authorities insurance policies—and the large company investments they spur—can each increase the nation’s manufacturing prowess and revitalize areas like upstate New York. And all of it begins with an astonishingly costly and sophisticated type of manufacturing facility referred to as a chip fab. Learn the complete story.

—David Rotman

Inside a high-tech cement laboratory

Cement is a local weather nightmare. The fabric, which is principally the glue that holds concrete collectively, accounts for about 8% of worldwide emissions.

It requires super-high temperatures to make, that means it’s important to burn fossil fuels within the course of. Secondly, there are chemical reactions concerned in remodeling minerals into working cement, and people launch carbon dioxide. 

But it surely won’t must be that approach. Elegant Methods, a Boston-based startup, is working to wash up cement. Casey Crownhart, our local weather reporter, took a visit to their lab to be taught extra. Learn the complete story.

Casey’s story is from The Spark, her weekly local weather e-newsletter. Join to obtain it in your inbox each Wednesday.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to seek out you as we speak’s most enjoyable/necessary/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 Meta’s new Threads app is now reside  
The corporate’s optimistic it could host pleasant, public conversations. (NYT $)
+ A minimum of Twitter’s given them a blueprint for what to not do. (WSJ $)
+ Greater than 10 million customers joined the platform within the first few hours. (WP $)

2 The AI race between China and the US is overhyped
China’s strict state controls imply it’s typically compelled to observe America’s lead. (WP $)

three US spies are shopping for residents’ non-public knowledge
The warrantless mass surveillance may very well be prevented with a easy Act modification. (Wired $)
+ The US navy has been experimenting with chatbots. (Bloomberg $)

four Celebrities had been left humiliated by crypto’s collapse
However their ache might be small potatoes in comparison with unusual traders’. (NYT $)
+ London is glad to supply refuge to American crypto victims. (Wired $)

5 Our summers are going to maintain getting hotter
They usually’re prone to begin sooner, too. (Vox)
+ The document for the most well liked ever day has been damaged twice this week. (New Scientist $)
+ Now we have to start out quickly adopting renewables to assist make a distinction. (New Yorker $)
+ How warmth might resolve local weather issues. (MIT Know-how Evaluate)

6 US officers canceled a gathering with Fb concerning the 2024 election
Simply at some point after the Biden administration was advised to not contact social media corporations. (WP $)

7 Two authors have filed a lawsuit in opposition to OpenAI
They declare their novels had been unlawfully used to coach ChatGPT. (The Guardian)
+ OpenAI’s starvation for knowledge is coming again to chew it. (MIT Know-how Evaluate)

Eight Nickel is important for constructing EV batteries
Indonesia is testing out new strategies for extracting it from the soil. (Economist $)
+ China has a stranglehold on its output, although. (WSJ $)
+ Meet the brand new batteries unlocking cheaper electrical autos. (MIT Know-how Evaluate)

9 Wimbledon is utilizing AI announcers for its tennis video games
It’s a must to search to seek out them, although. (The Atlantic $)

10 India is rising nearer to NASA 🚀
A possible human spaceflight partnership may very well be on the playing cards. (Ars Technica)

Quote of the day

“Might this platform have good vibes, sturdy neighborhood, glorious humor, and fewer harassment.”

—Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hopes Threads sidesteps the toxicity of its rivals, she explains in her first put up on the brand new platform, Reuters stories.

The massive story

What cities want now

April 2021

City know-how tasks have lengthy sought to handle town. The most recent, “sensible metropolis” tasks, have a lot in frequent with earlier iterations. Repeatedly, these initiatives promise novel “options” to city “issues.”

After a decade of pilot tasks and flashy demonstrations, although, it’s nonetheless not clear whether or not sensible metropolis applied sciences can really resolve and even mitigate the challenges cities face. What is obvious, nonetheless, is that know-how firms are more and more taking over administrative and infrastructure obligations that governments have lengthy fulfilled.

If sensible cities are to keep away from exacerbating city inequalities, we have now to take an extended, exhausting take a look at how cities have fared to this point. Learn the complete story.

—Jennifer Clark

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

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

+ The proper strategy to tie your footwear? Math has a solution.
+ Aww: an entire new species of octopus has been found in a deep-sea nursery 🐙
+ A automobile made out of staples works an entire lot higher than I ever would have anticipated.
+ In the event you’re discovering it too scorching to prepare dinner for lengthy, these speedy summer season recipes ought to be simply the ticket.
+ The himbo is again! Thanks Ryan Gosling.

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