The Obtain: open supply’s future, and most cancers medication shortages

That is at the moment’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a every day dose of what’s occurring on the earth of know-how.

The way forward for open supply remains to be very a lot in flux

When Xerox donated a brand new laser printer to MIT in 1980, the corporate couldn’t have identified that the machine would ignite a revolution. 

Whereas the early many years of software program improvement usually ran on a tradition of open entry, this new printer ran on inaccessible proprietary software program, a lot to the horror of Richard M. Stallman, then a 27-year-old programmer on the college. 

Just a few years later, Stallman launched GNU, an working system designed to be a free various to one of many dominant working techniques on the time: Unix. The free-software motion was born, with a easy premise: for the great of the world, all code ought to be open, with out restriction or business intervention. 

Forty years later, tech firms are making billions on proprietary software program, and far of the know-how round us is inscrutable. However whereas Stallman’s motion might appear like a failed experiment, the free and open-source software program motion will not be solely alive and effectively; it has develop into a keystone of the tech business. Learn the total story.

—Rebecca Ackermann

Rebecca’s story is from the following upcoming challenge of our print journal, which is all about ethics. In the event you don’t subscribe already, join to obtain a duplicate when it publishes.

What we are able to study from the most cancers drug scarcity 

In the event you’ve been following well being headlines, you might have heard that many pharmaceuticals are briefly provide. ADHD medicines and steroids have additionally been arduous to search out. However for most cancers sufferers, the shortage of frequent chemotherapy medication may imply the distinction between life and demise.

The present most cancers drug disaster stems from a high quality management incident in an Indian pharmaceutical manufacturing plant final fall. When it halted manufacturing, it was the primary domino to fall in a series that might result in a nationwide scarcity of most cancers remedy medication—and the affect on sufferers has been profound. Learn the total story.

—Cassandra Willyard

This story is from The Checkup, our weekly biotech e-newsletter, which Cassandra is writing whereas Jessica Hamzelou is on sabbatical. Enroll to obtain it in your inbox each Thursday.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you at the moment’s most enjoyable/necessary/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 AI-generated textual content is surfacing in educational journals
The issue is, it’s nonetheless extremely troublesome to detect reliably. (Wired $)
+ Meta desires to problem OpenAI with new code-generating software program. (The Data $)
+ AI-text detection instruments are very easy to idiot. (MIT Expertise Overview)

2 Bitcoin is plunging once more
Costs have plummeted after merchants raced to promote up. (CoinDesk)
+ One potential motive? SpaceX has bought its crypto holdings. (WSJ $)
+ The NFT ecosystem is spiraling into chaos. (The Verge)
+ Bored Ape house owners are livid that their purchases turned out to be unhealthy investments. (Ars Technica)

three The world’s forests are quickly dying  
Even together with timber that scientists believed have been nearly indestructible. (Knowable Journal)
+ Inside the search to engineer climate-saving “tremendous timber.” (MIT Expertise Overview)

four Boogaloo Fb pages preserve getting back from the useless
Followers of the motion, who’re making ready for a future US Civil Battle, have grown sensible to the corporate’s algorithmic detection strategies. (Vice)

5 Neurological system startups are booming
However a lot of them face an extended anticipate regulatory approval. (WSJ $)
+ A mind implant modified her life. Then it was eliminated towards her will. (MIT Expertise Overview)

6 We have to change the way in which we recycle our waste
Unsurprisingly, AI is being touted as an answer. (The Atlantic $)
+ AI has a foul monitor document on the subject of local weather change. (Slate $)
+ Why you would possibly recycle a battery—and easy methods to do it. (MIT Expertise Overview)

7 A Chinese language firm has pulled the plug on its romantic chatbot 💔
Leaving devoted feminine followers fully heartbroken. (Remainder of World)
+ Tinder and different courting apps are not background-checking customers. (The Verge)

eight Monetary influencers need to educate their audiences
They usually’ve acquired the {qualifications} to again it up. (FT $)
+ If you wish to earn cash from influencing, don’t depend on Amazon. (Bloomberg $)

9 The cult of Elon Musk is constructed on romance novel tropes
Simply ask his long-suffering ex-wife. (Vox)

10 Counterfeit cheese is on the rise 🧀
However microchips are one high-tech means of constructing positive that fromage is the true deal. (The Guardian)

Quote of the day

“It thinks it’s a highway and it ain’t, as a result of it ain’t acquired a mind and it could’t inform that it’s freshly poured concrete.”

—Paul Harvey, a San Francisco resident, tells information website SFGate a couple of driverless automobile that managed to lodge itself in moist concrete.

The large story

This chemist is reimagining the invention of supplies utilizing AI and automation

October 2021

Alán Aspuru-Guzik, a Mexico Metropolis–born, Toronto-based chemist, has devoted a lot of his life to considering worst-case situations. What if local weather change proceeds as anticipated, or will get considerably worse? Might we shortly give you the supplies we’ll must cheaply seize carbon, or make batteries from one thing aside from expensive lithium?

Supplies discovery—the science of making and growing helpful new substances—usually strikes at a frustratingly gradual tempo. The everyday trial-and-error method takes a median of 20 years, making it too costly and dangerous for many firms to pursue.

Aspuru-Guzik’s goal—which he shares with a rising variety of computer-­savvy chemists—is to shrink that interval to a matter of months or years. And advances in AI, robotics, and computing are bringing new life to his imaginative and prescient. Learn the total story.

—Simon Lewsen

We are able to 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.)

+ The music of Brian Eno and cleaning soap: what extra do you want for a soothing begin to your weekend?
+ Scandinavia often is the happiest space on earth, however in addition they love a little bit of heavy metallic.
+ This record of one of the best sci-fi films set in area (as chosen by an astrophysicist) is enjoyable.
+ Good luck to England’s lionesses, who’ll face Spain within the last of the ladies’s soccer World Cup on Sunday! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿
+ Oh, to be a cat chasing a sunbeam.

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