The Obtain: Locking up carbon with corn, and the trail to greener metal

That is immediately’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a day by day dose of what’s happening on this planet of expertise.

Inside Attraction Industrial’s massive guess on corn stalks for carbon removing

In current weeks, a crew of staffers from an organization known as Attraction Industrial have been engaged on the sting of Kansas corn fields, shifting rolled bales of stalks, leaves, husks, and tassels as much as a semi-trailer.

Inside, a contraption known as a pyrolyzer makes use of excessive temperatures within the absence of oxygen to interrupt down the plant materials into a mixture of biochar and bio-oil. This oil is pumped into EPA-regulated deep wells used for industrial waste, or into salt caverns. Attraction says it solidifies there, locking away carbon for hundreds to hundreds of thousands of years that may in any other case return into the air as farmers burn crop stays or depart them to rot.

The San Francisco startup has been sequestering carbon this manner for the previous two years, engaged on behalf of corporations together with Microsoft. Late final 12 months, it introduced that the method has safely locked up practically the equal of 5,500 tons of CO2 to this point, claiming that’s the biggest quantity of long-term carbon removing delivered so far. 

However there are nonetheless loads of questions  about how dependable, scalable, and economical this method will show to be. Learn the complete story.

—James Temple

How Attraction Industrial hopes to make use of crops to chop metal emissions

Attraction Industrial can be exploring whether or not the identical bio-oil might be used to chop emissions from iron and steelmaking, pursuing a brand new technical path for cleansing up the dirtiest industrial sector.

The method might be welcome information to corporations compelled to discover cleaner manufacturing strategies, amid hefty emissions and more and more strict local weather insurance policies. Learn the complete story.

—James Temple

The must-reads

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

1 The Texas gunman detailed his plans in Fb messages earlier than the taking pictures
Meta mentioned the direct messages weren’t found till after the tragedy. (WP $)
+ Repeated mass shootings is an issue distinctive to America. (New Yorker $)
+ AI-powered metallic detectors are a controversial answer. (WP $)
+ Three false claims surrounding the taking pictures are circulating on-line. (NYT $) 

2 Twitter has been fined for sharing customers’ cellphone numbers
It allowed numbers and e-mail addresses to tell focused promoting. (Selection)
+ Elon Musk wants extra money if he desires to purchase the corporate. (FT $)

three A quantum community has efficiently teleported data
Excellent news for the way forward for a super-secure quantum web. (New Scientist $)
+ We nonetheless don’t know if quantum computer systems will ever stay as much as their potential. (Vox)
+ Quantum computing has a hype drawback. (MIT Know-how Overview)

four Carbon removing corporations are betting massive on kelp 
Seaweed appears a gorgeous pure answer to our rising carbon drawback. (The Atlantic $)
+ However keen corporations could also be speeding forward of the science. (MIT Know-how Overview)

5 Dyson is popping its consideration to family chore robots
And needs them in our houses by 2030. (The Guardian)
+ This tiny robotic crab is smaller than a flea. (TechCrunch)

6 The apparent flaw in our hunt for alien life 👽
Our assumptions that they stay as we do might be blinding us to actual clues. (The Economist $)
+ The most effective locations to seek out extraterrestrial life in our photo voltaic system, ranked. (MIT Know-how Overview)

7 Enhancing plant-based meals is an uphill wrestle 🌿🍔
Whereas vegan startups have boomed lately, not all their choices are good. (Vox)
+ And the attraction of plant-based dishes isn’t worldwide, both. (Economist $)
+ Battles over patents isn’t making it straightforward for the alt-meat trade. (Sifted)
+ Your first lab-grown burger is coming quickly—and it’ll be “blended”. (MIT Know-how Overview)

eight Teenagers are operating social media coping workshops to assist their friends
Their lived expertise could be extra beneficial than packages run by adults. (Time $)

9 China’s short-video obsession is giving pale celebrities a second shot at fame
Purchasing channel-style livestreams are extraordinarily profitable—for a fortunate few. (Remainder of World)
+ TikTok is usually a scary place in case you’re pregnant. (LA Occasions)

10 Meet the artist who’s been making pc artwork for the reason that 1950s
And it’s taken him till now to achieve the popularity he deserves. (Elephant)

Quote of the day

“If we enter an actual recession, NFTs are going to be the primary to go.” 

—David Hsiao, chief government of the crypto journal Block Journal, isn’t optimistic concerning the lasting worth of NFTs in an financial downturn, he tells the Washington Submit.

The large story

How Fb and Google fund world misinformation
November 2021

Final fall, a set of inner paperwork referred to as the Fb Papers reaffirmed what civil society teams have been saying for years: Fb’s algorithmic amplification of inflammatory content material, mixed with its failure to prioritize content material moderation exterior the US and Europe, has fueled the unfold of hate speech and misinformation, dangerously destabilizing nations world wide. 

However there’s an important piece lacking from the story. Fb isn’t simply amplifying misinformation—it’s additionally funding it.

Tech giants are paying hundreds of thousands of {dollars} to the operators of clickbait pages, bankrolling the deterioration of data ecosystems world wide, an MIT Know-how Overview investigation discovered. Learn the complete story.

—Karen Hao

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

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

+ Clubbing within the metaverse nonetheless sounds terrible, I’m sorry.
+ The truth is, who wants the metaverse, while you’ve obtained DJ Gandalf on the decks?
+ Nothing however greatest needs for this joyful couple.
+ A vital investigation into why we’re all such massive followers of scrumptious shawarmas.
+ I loved this look again at cult Japanese journal FRUiTS’ coolest pictures—which shut down as a result of there have been “no extra cool children left to {photograph}.”

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