Download: trolling text scams and social media censorship in China

This is today’s edition ofDownload,our weekly newsletter, which provides a daily dose of what’s happening in the world of technology.

People who use humor to troll their spam texts

That night I received a mysterious message on WhatsApp. “Dr. Kevin?” He began, the question mark suggesting that the sender felt unwell that he had interrupted my evening. “My puppy is very slow and will not eat dog food. Can you make an appointment for me?”

I was puzzled. My name is not Kevin, I am not a veterinarian and I was not able to help this man and his puppy. I almost wrote a reply that said “I’m sorry, wrong number” when I realized it was probably a scam to get me to confirm my number.

I did not answer, but many others who received similar texts. Some even return it to their spammers by running wild stories and sending funny messages to disappoint anyone on the other side. They fight snark and in some cases publish screenshots of their conversations online.

Experts do not recommend answering this way. But it’s cathartic and funny. Read the whole story.

– Tanya Basu

China wants all comments on social media to be previewed before they are published

The news: On June 17, the Chinese Internet regulator Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) released a draft update on how platforms and creators should handle online comments. One line stands out: all online comments must be previewed before they can be published.

How will it work? The regulations cover many types of comments, including everything from forum posts, responses, messages left on public bulletin boards and “bullet chats” (an innovative way that video platforms in China use to display real-time comments on video). All formats, including text, symbols, GIFs, photographs, audio and video, fall within the scope of this Regulation.

What does it mean? Consumers and observers are worried that this move could be used to further tighten freedom of expression in China. As Beijing continues to improve its control over social media, the ambiguity of recent revisions has led people to worry that the government may ignore practical challenges, forcing the platforms to hire a huge army of censors. Read the whole story.

“Zei Young.”

Required readings

I dug up the internet to find you the funniest / important / scary / fascinating technology stories today.

The value of 1 Crypto is still falling 📉
It has fallen by more than two-thirds since November, but purists are not worried. (WSJ $)
+ Bitcoin fell below $ 20,000 for the first time since last weekend. (FT $)
+ Investors are nervously watching Tether Stablecoin to see what happens next. (NYT $)
+ Crypto insurance sounds like a good idea right now. (Vox)

2 The Eternal Virality of the Juneteenth
Because freedom from slavery is something we can all agree on, regardless of political or religious affiliation. (With cable $)
+ It was a terrible year for racial politics in America. (New York Mag)

3 A comet ambush is a risky business ☄
But it will be worth it if it gives us our first real look at a primary body. (nature)
+ Astronomers mistakenly thought that Comet Borisov was quite boring. (MIT Technology Review)
+ The Pentagon is investigating the use of SpaceX rockets to thwart future threats. (The interception)
+ When is a black hole not a black hole? (Back)

4 How thousands of sea robots are fighting climate change
Spending 90% of their time at 1000 meters below the ocean surface. (IEEE spectrum)
+ Why heat pumps are emerging as a key tool for decarbonization. (protocol)
+ UN Climate Report: Carbon removal is already ‘essential’. (MIT Technology Review)
+ The Peruvian fishing community is still suffering, five months after the oil spill. (Hakai magazine)

5 AI can do much more than convince us that it is reasonable
And yet, we continue to fall into the trap of missing the bigger picture. (The Atlantic Ocean $)
+ We also miss the meaning 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
It has spread far beyond its American roots. (Slate $)

7 Can a steak made from recycled carbon dioxide ever taste good?
It only takes a few days to make an “air steak” compared to the years it takes to raise and raise a cow. (Neo.Life)
+ Why oat milk companies may have to stop selling their goods as “milk”. (Slate $)
+ Your first burger grown in the lab will be “blended”. (MIT Technology Review)

8 Why Peter Teal Quit Facebook
And what follows for the billionaire with a penchant for cryptocurrency. (WP $)
+ Facebook will be a very different place without Cheryl Sandberg. (The Atlantic Ocean $)

9 How Dril’s influence spread beyond Weird Twitter
The court jester on the platform has penetrated the mainstream. (New Yorker $)

10 What it’s like to be the worst person on the Internet
And another case of why putting images in public space can have the opposite effect. (The guardian)

Quote of the day

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

“Paul van de Laar, a professor at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, is outraged by the Amazon founder’s request to dismantle part of the rural bridge to facilitate his superyacht,” he told SETimes. Financial Times.

The 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 Zhang Dok-jun returned home after working at night with South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang and jumping in the shower. He had worked at the company’s warehouse in the southern city of Daegu for just over a year, hauling crates full of items ready to ship to delivery centers. When he did not come out of the bathroom for more than an hour and a half, his father opened the door and found him unconscious and curled up in a bathtub with his arms folded tightly around his chest. He was rushed to hospital, but without a pulse and unable to breathe on his own, doctors found him dead at 9:09 a.m. The medical examiner ruled that he had died of a heart attack.

Zhang was the third Coupang employee to die this year, adding to growing concerns about the nature of the company’s success. And it was astonishingly successful: rising to South Korea’s third-largest employer in just a few years, using a vast network of warehouses, 37,000 workers, a fleet of drivers and a range of AI-driven tools to take command of a crowded market. for e-commerce in South Korea.

Coupang’s proprietary artificial intelligence algorithms calculate everything from the most efficient way to arrange packages in delivery trucks to the exact route and order of delivery for drivers. In warehouses, AI anticipates purchases and calculates delivery deadlines for outbound packages, allowing it to promise delivery in less than a day for millions of items. Such innovations have led Coupang to confidently declare himself the “future of e-commerce” and have been the driving force behind his recent launch of Nasdaq, the largest US IPO by an Asian company since Alibaba in 2014. But what does all this innovation and efficiency mean? for company workers? Read the whole story.

– Max S. Kim

We can still have good things

A place for comfort, fun and distraction in these strange times. (Do you have any ideas? Write me a line or tweet me.)

+ Happy birthday to the only Brian Wilson, who turns 80 today. Of all his amazing tunes, this one it may just be the best.
+ A complete mystery: how it happened garbage from the United Kingdom can travel more than 1900 kilometers to Ukraine?
+ What a relief – Denmark and Canada are polite “whiskey war“It has finally been decided.
+ This Anger against the machine the show, which is played on dog toys, is a masterpiece.
+ Here is a selection of dresses we there will be nothing against Kim Kardashian ruining the next one.

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