The Obtain: transphobic panic, and the US-China chip struggle

That is at this time’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a day by day dose of what’s occurring on the earth of expertise.

How the thought of a “transgender contagion” went viral—and induced untold hurt

When Jay advised his mother he was bisexual at 14, she was supportive. However when he got here out as transgender a number of years later, she pushed again. YouTube movies and on-line boards quickly satisfied her that she was proper to really feel that approach. A trans “contagion” referred to as “rapid-onset gender dysphoria,” unfold via social media, had caught maintain of him and satisfied him he was not feminine, she stated. The Web had “turned” him trans. 

Extensively launched 4 years in the past in a PLOS One paper by Lisa Littman, a doctor and researcher, the idea of ROGD hypothesizes a “potential new subcategory” of gender dysphoria—the sensation of misery that one’s gender and assigned intercourse don’t match. Younger individuals with ROGD, the idea claims, establish as trans on account of peer affect, particularly on-line.

The paper virtually instantly drew criticism. PLOS One reissued the examine with a big correction, and the Journal of Pediatrics revealed a complete examine that discovered no proof for ROGD’s existence. The scientific neighborhood agreed there was no such factor as ROGD. However did it matter? Learn the total story.

—Ben Kesslen

Contained in the software program that can change into the following battle entrance in US-China chip struggle

The times when laptop chips have been designed by hand are lengthy gone. Lately, electrical designers use digital design automation (EDA) software program to assist them design and develop ever extra advanced chips.

This software program now kinds the newest battle entrance within the tech commerce struggle between China and america. On August 12, the US Commerce Division introduced a multilateral export management on sure EDA instruments, blocking China and over 150 different international locations—basically any nation that isn’t a conventional US ally—from accessing them with out specifically granted licenses.

EDA software program is a small however mighty a part of the semiconductor provide chain, and it’s principally managed by three Western firms. That offers the US a strong level of leverage. So how has the business change into so American-centric, and why can’t China simply develop its personal different software program? Learn the total story.

—Zeyi Yang

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you at this time’s most enjoyable/vital/scary/fascinating tales about expertise.

1 Why Silicon Valley forgave WeWork’s Adam Neumann
The cult of the founder has struck once more. (Recode)
+ He’s spent tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars} on property. (Insider $)
+ Group residing, the main focus of his new startup, has a checkered historical past. (Quick Firm $)

2 Tiny caps can measure exercise in lab-grown minibrains 🧠
It may present an moral different to animal testing for chemical compounds. (MIT Expertise Assessment)
+ This man has been utilizing a brain-computer interface for longer than anybody else. (Wired $)

3Right here’s clear up aviation fuels 
The advantages are apparent, however scaling and decreasing prices are nonetheless obstacles. (Economist $)
+ The clear hydrogen business is the busiest it’s been in years. (IEEE Spectrum)
+ This $1.5 billion startup promised to ship clear fuels as low cost as gasoline. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

four How one New York hospital assessments its waste water for illness
The identical method helps well being specialists observe the unfold of illness throughout the US. (NYT $)
+ Monkeypox is in Bay Space wastewater. (MIT Expertise Assessment)

5 Salvadorans desires digital banking, not bitcoin
Fintech firm n1co desires to be the one to ship it. (Remainder of World)
+ South Korea is planning to ban international crypto exchanges. (Bloomberg $)
+ Buyers in collapsed crypto financial institution Celsius try to claw their a refund. (NYT $)
+ Uhoh, it appears like memestocks are on the rise once more. (NY Magazine)

6 Giving net customers better management over adverts simply is sensible
Not solely does it cease customers from seeing probably triggering adverts, it stops firms losing promoting {dollars}. (WSJ $)

7 China has referred to as the US Chips Act discriminatory and unfair
The nation has accused the laws, which is designed to spice up America’s chipmaking business, of violating truthful market rules. (Bloomberg $) 

eight The motion of continents can set off mass-extinction within the ocean
Slicing off oxygen to the ocean’s depths causes its lifeforms to die. (Motherboard)

9 Right here’s what two merging galaxies seem like 🌌
And it’ll take about 500 million years for them to settle. (The Atlantic $)
+ It’s attainable a second asteroid helped to kill off the dinosaurs. (Area)

10 Twitter can’t get sufficient of the USA Mullet Championship
Particularly the youngsters division. (Enter)

Quote of the day

“All people leaves politics at dwelling.”

—Giovanni Vigna, a participant within the annual DEF CON CTF hacking championship, tells Reuters about how the ‘Olympics of hacking’ brings contributors from so-called enemy nations collectively.

The massive story

The messy, secretive actuality behind OpenAI’s bid to save lots of the world

February 2020

OpenAI has change into one of many main AI analysis labs on the earth. It has made a reputation for itself producing persistently headline-grabbing analysis, but in addition for its mission—to  be the primary to create AGI—a machine with the training and reasoning powers of a human thoughts.

Their function is just not world domination; fairly, the lab desires to make sure that the expertise is developed safely and its advantages distributed evenly to the world. However there’s a misalignment between what the corporate publicly espouses and the way it operates behind closed doorways. Over time, it has allowed a fierce competitiveness and mounting stress for ever extra funding to erode its founding beliefs of transparency, openness, and collaboration, and birthed a tradition of intense secrecy within the course of. Learn the total story.

—Karen Hao

We will 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.)

+ Right here’s a wholly factual account of what actually occurred on the Teddy Bear’s Picnic ($).
+ She’s courageous, girls and gents.
+ A band of gorillas has developed a brand new name particularly for speaking with their human handlers.
+ The peak of summer time requires focaccia—right here’s make it correctly.
+ Aww, a misplaced parrot has been reunited with its homeowners after seven years on the run (wing?)

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