The Download: Sam Altman’s big longevity bet, and how CRISPR is changing lives

“I independently made my money, as opposed to say, inherited an emerald mine.” —Halli, a recently laid-off Twitter worker, fires back at his former boss Elon Musk, who accused Halli of shirking his work responsibilities. The big story Why can’t tech fix its gender problem? August 2022 Despite the tech sector’s great wealth and loudly […]

How China takes extreme measures to keep teens off TikTok

When the crackdown on video games happened in 2021, the social media industry was definitely spooked, because many Chinese people were already comparing short-video apps like Douyin to video games in terms of addictiveness. It seemed as though the sword of Damocles could drop at any time.  That possibility seems even more certain now. On […]

Sam Altman invested $180 million into a company trying to delay death

There was reason to worry. In 2016, after Peter Thiel, one of Altman’s mentors, expressed interest in possibly getting age-defeating blood transfusions, he was mocked in the media as a vampire on the prowl for young victims. A year later, the HBO parody show Silicon Valley drove the stake in with an episode called “Blood […]

Google’s PaLM-E is a generalist robot brain that takes commands

Enlarge / A robotic arm controlled by PaLM-E reaches for a bag of chips in a demonstration video. Google Research reader comments 12 with Share this story On Monday, a group of AI researchers from Google and the Technical University of Berlin unveiled PaLM-E, a multimodal embodied visual-language model (VLM) with 562 billion parameters that […]

Forget designer babies. Here’s how CRISPR is really changing lives

Even then, patients won’t get the treatments if insurers and governments balk at paying. It’s a real risk. For instance, a different gene therapy for beta-thalassemia, developed by Bluebird Bio, was pulled out of the European market after governments there refused to pay the $1.8 million price.   CRISPR 2.0 The first generation of CRISPR treatments […]

Microsoft makes Outlook for Mac free, no Office or Microsoft 365 required

Enlarge / The current Outlook for Mac email client. reader comments 36 with Share this story Microsoft is making the Outlook for Mac app free to use, the company announced this week. Previously available with a Microsoft 365 account or as part of the Office for Mac app suite, the Outlook app is downloadable from […]

The Download: geothermal power’s potential, and AR for luxury jewelry

In late January, a geothermal power startup began conducting experiments where it pumped water deep below the desert floor of northern Nevada.  The results—which MIT Technology Review is reporting exclusively—suggest that Houston-based Fervo can create flexible geothermal power plants, capable of ramping electricity output up or down as needed. Potentially more importantly, the system can […]

Cartier and Tiffany are getting into AR to sell luxury to Gen Z

Tiffany and Cartier are not the first brands to team up with Snap’s AR. Louis Vuitton just partnered with the artist Yayoi Kusama to create a filter on Snap that envelops landmarks around the world in Kusama’s trademark polka dots. Snap has already collaborated with Dior, Gucci, and Prada using virtual try-on technology.  “Brands are […]