The Obtain: saving Louisiana from sinking, and the promise of thermal batteries

That is in the present day’s version of The Obtain, our weekday publication that gives a day by day dose of what’s happening on the planet of know-how.

Easy methods to cease a state from sinking

In a 10-month span between 2020 and 2021, southwest Louisiana noticed 5 climate-related disasters, together with two damaging hurricanes. As if that wasn’t dangerous sufficient, extra storms are coming, and lots of areas should not ready.

However some authorities officers and state engineers are hoping there’s another: elevation. The $6.eight billion Southwest Coastal Louisiana Mission is betting that elevating residences by just a few ft, coupled with intensive work to revive coastal boundary lands, will hold Louisianans of their communities.

In the end, it’s one thing of a last-ditch effort to protect this slice of shoreline, at the same time as some locals choose up and transfer inland and as formal plans for managed retreat turn into extra well-liked in climate-­weak areas throughout the nation and the remainder of the world. Learn the complete story.

—Xander Peters

This story is from the following journal situation of MIT Expertise Assessment, set to go dwell on April 24, filled with tales on the theme ‘Construct’. In the event you don’t subscribe already, join now to get a replica when it lands.

How thermal batteries are heating up power storage

We want warmth to make all the things from metal bars to ketchup packets. Right this moment, a whopping 20% of worldwide power demand goes to producing warmth utilized in trade, and most of that warmth is generated by burning fossil fuels. In an effort to scrub up trade, a rising variety of corporations are working to produce that warmth with a know-how referred to as thermal batteries.

It’s such an thrilling concept that MIT Expertise Assessment readers have formally chosen thermal batteries because the reader’s selection addition to our 2024 checklist of 10 Breakthrough Applied sciences. Right here’s a more in-depth have a look at what all the joy is about.

—Casey Crownhart

If thermal batteries have piqued your curiosity, check out the remainder of MIT Expertise Assessment’s 10 Breakthrough Applied sciences, which we revealed earlier within the yr.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to seek out you in the present day’s most enjoyable/vital/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 Crypto miners are bracing themselves to lose out on billions of {dollars}
The forthcoming ‘halving’ software program replace will slash the quantity they’ll earn every day. (Bloomberg $)
+ Beware the inevitable crypto scams. (Wired $)

2 Blind individuals may benefit from synthetic imaginative and prescient
Present trials are small, however promising. (Wired $)
+ A brand new implant for blind individuals jacks straight into the mind. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

three Overzealous porn blockers are sabotaging US college students’ homework 
Colleges’ techniques have blocked entry to all the things from NASA’s website to suicide prevention sources. (The Markup)
+ Lecturers in Denmark are utilizing apps to audit their college students’ moods. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

four What do chief AI officers do, precisely?
Corporations are dashing to rent them, however no two roles are an identical. (FT $)

5 Behind the scenes, EV batteries are getting higher
The brand new and improved cells ought to make it into vehicles on sale throughout the subsequent 5 years. (WSJ $)
+ A US senator is agitating for a ban on Chinese language-made EVs. (Ars Technica)
+ Meet the brand new batteries unlocking cheaper electrical automobiles. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

6 Pumping oxygen into the ocean might revitalize ‘useless zones’
Within the hopes of bringing native ecosystems again to life. (The Atlantic $)

7 Hundreds of thousands of individuals catch Tuberculosis every year
A brand new vaccine might assist to struggle the illness, which is each preventable and treatable. (Vox)
+ These AI-powered apps can hear the reason for a cough. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

eight AI is ruining beloved films
That’s in keeping with movie aficionados, who hate the know-how’s sharp, polished look. (NYT $)

9 Colour evaluation has had a 21st century makeover
The ‘80s approach of understanding which shades swimsuit you greatest is a TikTok sensation. (WP $)
+ An in-person session might set you again $500. (NYT $)

10 Neopets is again!
Millennials are logging again on to hang around with digital pets they created 20 years in the past. (The Guardian)

Quote of the day

“In the event you had been questioning what they’re utilizing to coach GPT-5, effectively, now you understand.”

—John Levine, creator of a website designed to lure internet crawling bots, explains his website has acquired thousands and thousands of pings from OpenAI bots over current days, as they indiscriminately hoover up web knowledge used to coach AI fashions, 404 Media stories.

The massive story

How robotic honeybees and hives might assist the species struggle again

October 2022

One thing was improper, however Thomas Schmickl couldn’t put his finger on it. It was 2007, and the Austrian biologist was spending a part of the yr at East Tennessee State College. Throughout his day by day walks, he realized that bugs appeared conspicuously absent.

Schmickl, who now leads the Synthetic Life Lab on the College of Graz in Austria, wasn’t improper. Insect populations are certainly declining or altering around the globe.

Robotic bees, he believes, might assist each the true factor and their surrounding nature. Learn the complete story.

—Elizabeth Preston

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction to brighten up your day. (Acquired any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ These creative cookies are therapeutic my soul.
+ Would you prefer to hearken to the entire of Rubber Soul, nevertheless it’s simply the bass and drums? In fact you’d.
+ It’s French toast—however not as we all know it.
+ Take me to all of those seashores instantly.

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