The Obtain: overhauling air-con, and China’s quick trend battle 

That is as we speak’s version of The Obtain, our weekday publication that gives a day by day dose of what’s occurring on the planet of expertise.

These moisture-sucking supplies might remodel air-con

A shocking set of supplies might quickly assist make extra environment friendly air conditioners that don’t overtax {the electrical} grid on scorching days.

As excessive warmth continues to shatter data across the globe, demand for air-con is anticipated to triple within the subsequent few many years. That’s why the race to construct extra environment friendly air conditioners has change into more and more pressing. 

Though some corporations targeted on bettering present designs, others need to fully new methods that use supplies referred to as desiccants. The hope is these methods might cool extra effectively, even in excessive warmth and humidity—and, crucially, cut back stress on the grid. Learn the complete story.

—Casey Crownhart

Shein sued Temu. Temu sued Shein. The battle over quick trend is heating up.

Issues are at the moment escalating between Temu and Shein, two Chinese language e-commerce platforms. Final week Temu, the younger procuring platform at the moment bombarding US customers with social advertisements, filed an antitrust lawsuit in federal court docket towards Shein, the older, massively fashionable e-commerce web site.

The accusations within the swimsuit are fairly revelatory if you wish to study extra in regards to the state of the “ultra-fast trend” enterprise. The 2 platforms are engaged in an escalating authorized battle over what every claims is unfair competitors. Nonetheless, airing their soiled laundry so publicly might open them as much as much more criticism from eagle-eyed US politicians. Learn the complete story. 

—Zeyi Yang

Zeyi’s story is from China Report, his weekly publication delving into tech and energy in China. Enroll to obtain it in your inbox each Tuesday.

When you’d wish to learn extra about the important thing Chinese language procuring gamers, why not take a look at:

+ This obscure procuring app is now America’s most downloaded. Temu shot as much as the highest spot in app retailer charts, but it surely has a protracted solution to go earlier than it might replicate the e-commerce success it’s seen in China. Learn the complete story.

+ Shein’s attraction offensive is off to a rocky begin. The fast-fashion firm invited six influencers to look at its manufacturing unit circumstances in China, however the social media marketing campaign led to a serious backlash. Learn the complete story.

+ Why Zeyi’s bittersweet relationship with Shein needed to finish.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you as we speak’s most enjoyable/vital/scary/fascinating tales about expertise.

1 AI could possibly be used to create bioweapons
That’s what a trio of specialists warned in testimony to the US Senate yesterday. (WP $)
+ AI is already altering warfare. (Wired $)
+ However lots of the existential AI warnings are imprecise at finest. (New Scientist $)
+ It’s no shock Huge Tech is volunteering its ideas on regulation. (New Yorker $)
+ How existential danger turned the most important meme in AI. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

2 The Atlantic Ocean’s currents are in peril of collapsing
The currents govern climate patterns, and their demise could possibly be catastrophic. (New Scientist $)
+ Scientists are racing to work out what the implications could possibly be, precisely. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

three OpenAI has shut down its AI text-detection software
TL;DR: it didn’t work. (The Verge)
+ AI-text detection instruments are very easy to idiot. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

four It’s growth time for mixed-reality startups
Apple’s Actuality Professional headset has given the business a much-needed shot within the arm. (FT $)

5 Propaganda is hiding in plain sight on Threads
Accounts from Russia and China are proper there, with no labels figuring out them as state-run. (WSJ $)
+ Threads is changing into one more automobile for AI. (Wired $)

6 Knowledge facilities use an enormous quantity of water
Which is a serious downside when international locations are battling excessive warmth waves. (Bloomberg $)
+ The US’s TVA has been accused of failing to embrace clear power. (The Atlantic $)

7 Researchers are attempting to extract the advantages of psychedelics
With out forcing the topic to journey, which some argue is all the level. (Vox)
+ Thoughts-altering substances are being overhyped as surprise medicine. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

eight You possibly can’t actually study a language from a free app 🦉
However that isn’t stopping hundreds of thousands of Duolingo’s customers from making an attempt. (Slate $) 

9 How covid modified gaming for the higher
Alienated customers cast communities they nonetheless like to this present day. (The Guardian)

10 Web cafes are nonetheless going 🖨
The place else are you planning on printing that doc? (Remainder of World)

Quote of the day

“They’re seeking to his story to say ‘OK, what are the tasks for scientists growing new applied sciences that will have unintended penalties?’”

—Director Christopher Nolan muses over the parallels between his new film exploring how J. Robert Oppenheimer made the primary atomic bomb and as we speak’s AI researchers, the Washington Publish stories.

The massive story

The Atlantic’s important currents might collapse. Scientists are racing to know the hazards.

December 2021

Scientists are trying to find clues about probably the most vital forces within the planet’s local weather system: a community of ocean currents often known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). They wish to higher perceive how world warming is altering it, and the way way more it might shift within the coming many years—even whether or not it might collapse.

The issue is the Atlantic circulation appears to be weakening, transporting much less water and warmth. Due to local weather change, melting ice sheets are pouring contemporary water into the ocean on the larger latitudes, and the floor waters are retaining extra of their warmth. Hotter and brisker waters are much less dense and thus not as vulnerable to sink, which can be undermining one of many currents’ core driving forces. Learn the complete story.

—James Temple

We will nonetheless have good issues

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

+ What’s your most-loved band t-shirt? (A tatty Metallica ‘Experience the Lightning’ shirt from 1984, thanks for asking)
+ A love letter to Polaroids (however don’t shake them!)
+ Aww, this adventurous teddy bear made all of it the way in which to the highest of a mountain! 🧸
+ Any person write a horror movie about this haunted rocking horse instantly.
+ All hail the easiest one hit wonders.

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