The Download: a big DeepMind breakthrough, and fixing the US grid

This is nowadays&#8217s edition of The Download, our weekday e-newsletter that provides a every day dose of what&#8217s likely on in the world of technology.

DeepMind has predicted the construction of pretty much just about every protein regarded to science

The news: DeepMind states its AlphaFold device has correctly predicted the framework of approximately all proteins recognized to science. From now, it’s presenting its databases of in excess of 200 million proteins to any one for totally free. It’s a enormous improve to the current database of 1 million proteins it produced previous 12 months, and includes constructions for vegetation, bacteria, animals, and lots of other organisms.

Why it issues: The expanded databases opens up large alternatives for AlphaFold to have influence on significant troubles these as sustainability, gasoline, food stuff insecurity, and neglected disorders, according to Demis Hassabis, DeepMind’s founder and CEO. Experts could use the findings to better realize conditions, and to speed innovation in drug discovery and biology, he additional. Browse the comprehensive story.

—Melissa Heikkilä

AI for protein folding represents these a main progress that it was chosen as 1 of MIT Technological know-how Review’s 10 Breakthrough Technologies this 12 months. Study our story outlining why it is so enjoyable, and our profile of DeepMind’s founder Demis Hassabis, where he explains why this could be the company’s most major and long-long lasting contribution to science.

Stitching together the grid will help you save life as severe weather worsens

The blistering heat waves that established temperature information throughout a great deal of the US in latest days have strained electrical energy methods, threatening to knock out electrical power in susceptible locations of the nation. While the electrical energy has largely stayed on the web so far this summer time, weighty use of electrical power-sucking air-conditioners and the rigorous heat has contributed to scattered complications and near calls.

It’s unlikely to get much better before long. A amount of grid operators may wrestle to meet peak summer demand from customers, generating the possibility of rolling blackouts, a new report from the North American Electrical Dependability Company has identified. The nation’s isolated and antiquated grids are in desperate want of upgrades.

Just one answer would be to additional tightly combine the country’s regional grids, stitching them together with extra long-assortment transmission traces, permitting electrical power to movement amongst regions to the place it is needed much more urgently. Having said that, that is a mission that’s fraught with worries. Read the comprehensive story.

—James Temple

The ought to-reads

I have combed the online to come across you today’s most exciting/important/terrifying/interesting tales about technological know-how.

1 Meta’s profits dropped for the first time
The cracks in Mark Zuckerberg’s pivot to the metaverse are beginning to exhibit. (NYT $)
+ A lot more individuals are logging into Facebook each individual day, although. (WP $)
+ Zuck says Meta is in ‘very deep, philosophical competition’ with Apple. (The Verge)
+ Discord is a organic residence for buyers disillusioned by Instagram. (WSJ $)
+ Ex-Fb and Bumble staff have constructed their personal ‘less toxic’ social community. (Protocol)

2 Senators have advanced boy or girl on line safety legislation 
But many others argue that these types of safeguards really should implement to people of all ages. (WP $)
+ Three wannabe senators have deep one-way links to the tech companies they are railing from. (NYT $)

3 A Greek politician was specific by Israeli spy ware
He’s filed a lawsuit to pressure Greek authorities to investigate who was guiding the tried hack. (NYT $)
+ Carine Kanimba claimed the Rwandan govt employed Pegasus spy ware to spy on her loved ones. (Motherboard)
+ The hacking market faces the conclude of an era. (MIT Technological innovation Critique)

4 Bitcoin charges are rising again
Following the Federal Reserve elevated curiosity fees. (CNBC)

5 Take a journey throughout the universe 🪐
This remarkable guidebook walks you via every little thing from exoplanets to supermassive black holes. (New Scientist $)
+ Will the universe’s expansion imply planets no lengthier orbit stars? (MIT Technology Evaluate)

7 Your fashionable automobile is leaking your facts
When a whole lot of it’s anonymized, the hazard of privateness breaches is authentic. (The Markup)

8 Leading-good quality TVs lay bare negative CGI 
Displaying up all its inadequately-rendered flaws. (Vulture $)

9 Is DALL-E’s artwork stolen?
While end users can commercialize their AI creations, the design is trained on others’ work. (Engadget)
+ Lawyers could opt for to characterize AIs in long term courtroom battles. (Slate)
+ OpenAI is prepared to sell DALL-E to its to start with million consumers. (MIT Technology Review)

10 What old canines can educate us about our possess brains
Just don’t test to instruct them new tricks. (Knowable Journal)

Quote of the day

“This is not the Instagram that we used to have.”

—Tatiana Bruening, the creator of a viral article urging Instagram to halt striving to be TikTok, laments the platform’s conclusion to chase a Gen Z audience, she tells the Wall Road Journal.

The large story

She risked every little thing to expose Fb. Now she’s telling her tale.

July 2021

When Sophie Zhang went general public with explosive revelations detailing the political manipulation she’d uncovered in the course of her time as a info scientist at Facebook, she provided concrete proof to assist what critics had prolonged been indicating on the outside: that Facebook can make election interference uncomplicated, and that until this kind of exercise hurts the company’s organization pursuits, it cannot be bothered to correct the trouble.

By talking out and eschewing anonymity, Zhang risked lawful motion from the corporation, hurt to her potential career potential customers, and probably even reprisals from the politicians she uncovered in the process. Her tale reveals that it is really pure luck that we now know so significantly about how Facebook enables election interference globally, and to regulators all around the planet contemplating how to rein in the enterprise, this should be a wake-up connect with. Read the total tale.

—Karen Hao

We can even now have good matters

A spot for comfort, fun and distraction in these bizarre situations. (Got any suggestions? Drop me a line or tweet &#8217em at me.)

+ Japanese artist Hiroshige was well-identified for his stunning woodblock prints, but these instructive photos conveying how to generate shadow puppets for small children are further distinctive.
+ Uhoh, Freya the walrus is a actual boat-sinking pest.
+ Whip up these mouth-watering Mediterranean recipes and picture you’re chilling in Rome.
+ The winners of this years’ Audubon Images Awards are magnificent (many thanks Peter!)
+ If you are a enthusiast of essay-length texts, you are a paragraph girlie.