The Download: discovering proteins, and Pakistan’s climate crisis

The must-reads

I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 Uber appears to have been hacked by a teenager
An 18-year old is claiming to be behind the cybersecurity breach, which compromised the company’s internal systems. (NYT $)
+ Meanwhile, its services are working normally for customers. (Bloomberg $)

2 An AI used medical notes to teach itself to spot disease on chest x-rays
Teaching AI models to read existing reports could save researchers from having to manually label the data. (MIT Technology Review)

3 The US government’s vast database of travelers’ data is growing rapidly
Data from phones and other devices is kept for 15 years. (WP $)

4 The White House wants Congress to drop social media’s immunity
Tech companies are protected by Section 230, which means they’re not held legally liable for content posts by their users. (Reuters)
+ Here’s why it’s worth saving. (MIT Technology Review)
+ We need clearer guidelines for what constitutes harmful online content. (The Information $)
+ Senators are asking Big Tech better questions these days. (Slate $)

5 Millions of people in India have geotagged their homes
The move, which was part of the country’s Independence Day celebrations, has privacy advocates rattled. (Rest of World)

6 Organic molecules have been found in rocks on Mars 
They could prove that life may have thrived there. (Wired $)
+ The microbes may have lived in briny lakes. (Motherboard)
+ The best places to find extraterrestrial life in our solar system. (MIT Technology Review)

7 The most sophisticated AI systems can baffle even their creators
Which is kind of the point of deep learning. (The Atlantic $)

8 Inside the wild world of leg lengthening 🦵
More and more men are willing to have their legs broken to make them appear taller—for a price. (GQ)
+ Bionic limbs could be more widely available within a decade, too. (Neo.Life)

9 TikTok is the new Google
Why trust a restaurant’s website when TikTok shows you what their food actually looks like? (NYT $)

10 The race to slow down aging 
Tinkering with a person’s epigenetic age is one place to start. (Neo.Life)
+ Aging clocks aim to predict how long you’ll live. (MIT Technology Review)

Quote of the day

“Facebook is kind of extinct.”

—Natasha Hunt Lee, 25, explains why Gen Z is embracing new digital ways of inviting friends to parties beyond the social network to the New York Times.

The big story

Two sick children and a $1.5 million bill: One family’s race for a gene therapy cure


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