What’s happening elsewhere: Meanwhile, Europe also seems to be starting to enter another covid surge, with cases ticking up in countries across the continent. In the UK, cases are up nearly 50% week-on-week and, worryingly, hospitalizations are up by 17%. A combination of looser restrictions, waning immunity and BA.2, a more transmissible omicron sub-variant, are believed to be behind the increase in cases.
I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.
1 Clearview says Ukraine is using its facial recognition AI to identify Russian soldiers
But is it accurate enough to be relied upon? (Reuters $)
+ Kyiv is under increasingly heavy fire. (AP $)
+ Cheap drones are making a major dent in Russia’s aerial assault. (NBC)
+ The UN’s chief says a nuclear conflict remains a possibility. (Axios)
+ Maps that track the invasion. (NYT $)
+ The war is jeopardizing hundreds of clinical trials in Ukraine. (Wired $)
2 A NASA spacewalk is going ahead today despite international tensions
Space-based cooperation between the US and Russia is still holding, for now. (WP $)
+ Russia says it will not leave an American astronaut stranded in space. (The Verge)
3 Pfizer says we are going to need fourth covid shots
Given that less than half of fully vaccinated people in the US have even got a third dose, this feels ambitious. (Ars Technica)
4 Is tree planting going to help, or harm, the planet? 🌳
It largely depends on how it’s done. (NYT $)
+ The UN’s climate report highlights the dangers of natural solutions. (TR)
5 It’s getting a lot harder to be an influencer in Russia
They’re seeing entire livelihoods disappear overnight as platforms get banned. (The Guardian)
+ Russia has followed through on its promise to ban Instagram, which had 80 million users there. (The Verge)
+ The far-right in the US is boosting Russian propaganda. (NBC)
+ Facebook says users can’t call for Putin’s death (but Russian soldiers are fair game.) (CNBC)
+ A website lets people email Russians to tell them the truth about the war. (WSJ $)
+ An employee for a Russian TV station interrupted a live broadcast with a protest. (The Guardian)
6 Crypto miners are having to flee Kazakhstan just months after arriving
It looked like a safe haven after China’s ban came in. Now blackouts and government pressure are pushing them out. (Rest of World)
7 TikTok is getting philosophical
And philosophy professors are not entirely sure how to respond. (Slate $)
8 TV is still too dazzled by tech founders ✨
New shows about Uber, Theranos and WeWork end up pulling their punches. (Vox)
+ It’d be good if they could focus more on the people impacted by their dramatic rise. (Wired $)
+ Tech companies have been rebranding recently. Don’t buy it. (WSJ $)
9 Astronomers keep finding black holes in unexpected places 🕳️
Dwarf galaxies weren’t supposed to be able to handle objects of this size and mass. (Quanta)
10 Why we’re all going ‘goblin mode’
We’ve lived through two years of a pandemic, and have now thoroughly embraced the comforts of depravity. (The Guardian)
—Anastasia Tischchenko, a 31-year-old woman fleeing Ukraine, tells the New York Times she and a friend used Tinder to find a place to temporarily stay in Romania.
We can still have nice things
A place for comfort, fun and distraction in these weird times. (Got any ideas? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)
+ (Very!) High tea.
+ It looks like these giant tortoises have been mislabeled for a very long time.
+ Going to have to watch Pixar’s new movie, Turning Red.
+ Music critics from the New York Times talk about the songs they turn to when times get tough.
+ Does it really matter all that much where Scotch malt whisky is made?
+ This question on Reddit about how to translate board games for Ukrainian refugees gave me some hope for humanity today.