Sunday, June 4, 2023
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Download: Asteroid Deflection and Florida Hurricane Approaching

WHAT HAPPENED: NASA is celebrating the success of humanity’s first test of a planetary defense system: crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid to change its orbit. NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test Vehicle, or DART, was deliberately rammed into the asteroid Dimorphos at 7.14pm ET last night, marking the end of a successful 10-month mission.

Installed on DART, the spacecraft’s steady progress toward a 160-meter-wide asteroid about 6.8 million miles from Earth was broadcast live and back to the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory ‘s controller. The strike was “basically a bullseye,” mission systems engineer Elena Adams said. Hit Earth, the project demonstrates NASA’s ability to deflect dangerous meteorite collisions in the future. Read the full article.

—Rhiannon Williams

Focus: Algorithm Communication

Algorithms is MIT Tech Review’s relaunched AI newsletter, bringing you all the latest news and perspectives on the cutting edge of AI. In this week’s issue, our Senior AI Reporter Melissa Heikkilä takes a deep dive into how DeepMind is working to make its chatbot smarter and less toxic. Read the full newsletter.

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I’ve combed through the web for your funniest/most important/horrific/fascinating tech stories today.

1 Florida is preparing for Hurricane Ian
Climate change makes it harder to predict the speed and severity of hurricanes. (Vox)
+ Tampa residents have been ordered to evacuate. (Guardian)
+ Hurricane Ida escaped flood protection in New York City. (MIT Technology Review)

2 Experts split on right time to get flu vaccine However, they agree that premature vaccination is a bad idea. (The Atlantic $)

3 TikTok reaches a preliminary agreement with the US
data security protocols will allow the platform to continue operating there. (NYT $)
+ Meanwhile, TikTok faces huge fine in UK for failure Protect your child’s privacy. (Guardian)

4 The Korean chip industry is in crisis
The country is caught in an escalating chip war between the US and China. (FT $)
+ Corruption is sending shockwaves through China’s chip manufacturing industry . (MIT Technology Review)

5 Meta may condense Facebook and Instagram into one interface
Linking accounts makes it easier to switch between the two. (CNBC)

6 Successful merger proves crypto haters wrong
At least, that’s how Ethereum sees it. (Wired $)
+ Bitcoin’s transition to sustainable energy is slow. (Reuters)
+ Cryptocurrencies rise again , but for how long? (CNBC)
+ Why merge Could be bad news for UK investors. (Bloomberg $)
why Ethereum switches proof of stake. (MIT Technology Review)

7 In the campaign against Asian hatred
Other political agendas fuel a vile wave of racism. (The Verge)

8 Why Texas’ Big Bet on Marijuana Failed The supposedly drought-resistant crop struggled in the summer. (Undark)
+ The rainforest in Guatemala is growing. (New Scientist $)

9 How do we find new songs these days
Playing songs on the soundtrack of a hit TV show certainly helps, but there are other ways too. (The Guardian)

10 Public wifi networks are not as notorious as they used to be
But that doesn’t mean your data is completely safe. (WP $)

Quotes of the day

“I’m experiencing so much music, but am I really listening?”

– Boston Bakery worker Meg Lethem explained After her decision to ditch her music streaming subscription, she hopes to find inspiration for The Guardian elsewhere.

The Big Story

Can SpaceX and Blue Origin Go Beyond Decades Former Russian rocket engine designs?

June 2019

On May 24, 2000, an unusual rocket took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Like most rockets, the Atlas 3 inherits the ICBM design. But the rocket has a new first stage that’s far more powerful than what it replaces.

The RD-180, as the engine was named, was built in a factory outside Moscow. In an unimaginable marriage at the height of the space race, Russian engines powered American rockets. But after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, the RD-180’s days as a staple of American rockets were numbered.

Congressional opponents of the engine successfully passed a ban on the engine’s use in U.S. rockets after the end of 2022 as relations with Russia soured. But how did the decades-old Russian engine become the standard by which America’s best rocket scientists measure themselves? Read the full article.

— Matthew Bodner

We can still have good things

A comfortable, fun place Distraction in these strange times. (Any thoughts? Leave me a comment or tweet.)

+ 1994 Internet Roundup, courtesy of the BBC program The Future Gaze Tomorrowland is out (thanks Niall!)+ Take a few minutes to enjoy these impressive tech photos.
+ WOW – The iconic video game The Hobbit is literally 40 years old.
+ Wipe the Dust Off Your Headphones: A slew of exciting new albums coming this fall, including Brian Eno, Björk and 1975.
+ Oops, that shark’s smile is so disturbing.



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