Download: Trolling text scammers and China’s social media


This is today’s editiondownload,Our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the tech world.

People using humor to troll their spam

Last night, I received a mysterious WhatsApp message. “Dr. Kevin?” began, question mark suggesting the sender was feeling bad for interrupting my evening. “My dog ​​is very slow and won’t eat dog food. Can you make an appointment for me?”

I was astonished. My name is not Kevin, I am not a veterinarian, and I was not in a position to help this person and their puppies. When I realized that this was probably a scam to get me to confirm my number, I almost typed in a response saying “Sorry, wrong number”.

I didn’t reply but many people who received similar messages did. Some even throw it back at spammers by making up crazy stories and sending funny messages to disappoint those on the other end. They battle Snark and in some cases post screenshots of their conversations online.

Experts do not recommend responding in this way. But it’s cathartic and funny. Read the full story.

—Tanya Basu

China wants all social media comments to be pre-reviewed before posting

News: On June 17, China’s internet regulator, the China Cyberspace Administration (CAC), released a draft update on how platforms and creators should handle online comments. One line stands out: all online comments must be pre-reviewed before being posted.

How would it work? The terms cover many types of comments, including forum posts, replies, posts on public message boards, and “bullet chats” (an innovative way video platforms in China display real-time comments on a video). . All formats fall under this arrangement, including texts, symbols, GIFs, images, audio and videos.

What does that mean? Users and observers are concerned that the move could be used to further tighten freedom of expression in China. While Beijing is constantly improving its controls on social media, the uncertainty of recent revisions has caused people to worry that the government may be ignoring practical difficulties, forcing the platforms to hire a large army of censors. Read the full story.

—Zeyi Yang

must read

I scoured the internet for today’s most entertaining/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 Crypto’s value still declining 📉
It has fallen more than two-thirds since November, but ranks are unaffected. (WSJ $)
+ Bitcoin fell below $20,000 over the weekend for the first time since last November.. (FT $)
+ Investors are nervously watching stablecoin Tether to see what happens next.. (NYT $)
+ Crypto insurance seems like a good idea right now. (vox)

2 Juneteenth’s untimely viral
Because liberation from slavery is something we can all agree on, regardless of political or religious affiliation. (wired $)
+ It’s been a terrible year for race politics in America. (New York Magazine)

3 Ambushing a comet is risky business ☄
But it will be worth it if it gives us our first real glimpse of a primitive body. (Nature)
+ Astronomers mistakenly thought that Comet Borisov was pretty boring. (MIT Technology Review)
+ The Pentagon is investigating using SpaceX rockets to thwart future threats. (To cut)
+ When is a black hole not a black hole? (Opposite)

How are thousands of seagoing robots tackling climate change?
Spending 90% of their time 1,000 meters below the ocean’s surface. (Spectrum IEEE)
+ Why are heat pumps emerging as an important decarbonisation tool? (Protocol)
+ UN climate report: Decarbonisation is now “necessary”. (MIT Technology Review)
+ Five months after oil spill, a Peruvian fishing community still suffers. (Hakai Magazine)

5 AI can do much more than convince us it’s responsive
Yet we continue to fall into the trap of missing the big picture. (Atlantic Ocean $)
+ We also miss the point of the Turing test. (WP $)
+ What the history of AI tells us about its future. (MIT Technology Review)

6 Anti-Vaxx conspiracies are a global problem
They span a much wider area than their American roots. (slate $)

7 Can a steak made from recycled carbon dioxide taste good?
Compared to the years it takes to raise and feed a cow, it only takes a few days to make an ‘air steak’. (Neo.Life)
+ Why oat milk companies may have to stop marketing their products as ‘milk’ (slate $)
+ Your first lab-grown burger will be “scrambled”. (MIT Technology Review)

8 Why did Peter Thiel unfriend Facebook?
And what’s next for the billionaire with a passion for crypto? (WP $)
+ Facebook would be a very different place without Sheryl Sandberg. (Atlantic Ocean $)

How did Dril’s influence spread beyond Strange Twitter?
The jester of the platform has infiltrated the mainstream. (New Yorker $)

10 What it’s like to be the worst person on the internet
And yet another case of why making images public can backfire. (Guard)

Word of the Day

“Are we going to bow our heads just to give Jeff Bezos the pleasure boat?”

— Paul van de Laar, professor at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, says the Amazon founder was infuriated at the request to dismantle part of the city’s bridge to facilitate his superyacht. Financial Times.

big story

This company delivers packages faster than Amazon, but workers pay the price

June 2021

Early one morning in October 2020, 27-year-old Jang Deok-joon came home and took a shower after working the night shift at South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang. He worked a little over a year at the company’s warehouse in the southern city of Daegu, transporting crates full of products ready to be shipped to delivery centers. When she hadn’t been out of the bathroom for more than an hour and a half, her father opened the door to find her unconscious and curled up in a ball in the tub, her arms tucked tightly against her chest. He was taken to the hospital, but doctors declared that he died at 9:09 a.m., as he had no pulse and could not breathe on his own. The coroner decided that he died of a heart attack.

Jang was the third Coupang worker to die that year, adding to growing concerns about the nature of the company’s success. And it has been surprisingly successful: It has become South Korea’s third-largest employer in just a few years, leveraging a vast network of warehouses, 37,000 workers, a fleet of drivers and an array of AI-driven vehicles to take command positions. In South Korea’s crowded e-commerce market.

Coupang’s proprietary AI algorithms calculate everything from the most efficient way of stacking packages in delivery trucks to the precise route and delivery order for drivers. In warehouses, AI predicts purchases and calculates shipping deadlines for outbound packages, allowing it to promise delivery for millions of items in less than a day. Such innovations are why Coupang confidently promotes itself as the “future of e-commerce” and is the driving force behind the recent launch of an Asian company on the Nasdaq, the largest U.S. public offering since Alibaba in 2014. . So what does all this innovation and efficiency mean? for company employees? Read the full story.

—Max S. Kim

We can still have beautiful things

A place for comfort, fun and distraction in these strange times. (Any ideas? Write me or tweet me.)

+ Happy birthday to the one and only Brian Wilson, who turns 80 today. Of all your incredible melodies, This it just might be the best.
+ A complete mystery: how it happened UK trash Can it travel more than 1,900 kilometers to Ukraine?
+ What a relief—the kindness of Denmark and Canada ‘whiskey war‘ has finally been resolved.
+ this anger against the machine The performance played in dog toys is a masterpiece.
+ Here is a selection of the dresses we chose Doesn’t mind Kim Kardashian’s next wreck.


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