Creative chemistry: Adapting to the 21st century

The chemicals industry helped build the 20th century, and is urgently adapting to the 21st. Almost all daily goods rely on output from the chemicals sector, from clothes and home insulation to fertilizer and medicine. But this energy-hungry industry needs innovation to find safer, more sustainable products. With tightening regulation and growing pressure from consumers […]

Prominent cryptocurrency exchange infected with previously unseen Mac malware

Getty Images reader comments 13 with Researchers have discovered previously unknown Mac malware infecting a cryptocurrency exchange. It contains a full suite of capabilities, including the ability to steal private data and download and execute new malicious files. Dubbed JokerSpy, the malware is written in the Python programming language and makes use of an open-source […]

The Download: cutting beer’s carbon emissions, and reclaiming lost wages

What’s happening? Next year, New Belgium Brewing will swap out one of the four natural-gas-powered boilers at its main brewing facility in Fort Collins, Colorado, for an electrified version designed to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. The pilot boiler system was developed by AtmosZero, a startup also based in Fort Collins and coming out of stealth today. […]

How electrifying steam could cut beer’s carbon emissions

“To decarbonize industry, we must decarbonize heat,” says Addison Stark, chief executive and cofounder of the startup.  Indeed, heat production from industry may account for around 10% of global carbon dioxide pollution. The sector relies heavily on steam to transfer heat, sterilize equipment and goods, and separate chemicals. Globally, the practice could generate more than […]

Next-gen content farms are using AI-generated text to spin up junk websites

People are using AI to quickly spin up junk websites in order to capture some of the programmatic advertising money that’s sloshing around online, according to a new report by NewsGuard, exclusively shared with MIT Technology Review. That means that blue chip advertisers and major brands are essentially funding the next wave of content farms, likely without their […]

This app is helping workers reclaim millions in lost wages

The tool launched last October with beta testing in New York that focused on the construction industry, a sector identified as particularly rife with abuse, and helped recover $1 million in lost wages—more than double what it cost to build. In mid-May, it was expanded in a bid to give workers in businesses from manufacturing […]

Hi-Tech Awards: Against the gloom, an upbeat industry looks to the future

In the modern splendour of Christchurch’s Te Pae Convention Centre, the tech sector came together to honour its most successful, impactful and inspiring companies and individuals on Friday. Against a background of fractious election campaigning, the crisis in our universities and the country sinking into recession, technically at least, the NZ Hi-Tech Awards struck a […]

Achieving a sustainable future for AI

More compute leads to greater electricity consumption, and consequent carbon emissions. A 2019 study by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst estimated that the electricity consumed during the training of a transformer, a type of deep learning algorithm, can emit more than 626,000 pounds (~284 metric tons) of carbon dioxide—equal to more than 41 […]

The Download: advertising on junk AI websites, and forest bathing in VR

The news: AI chatbots are filling junk websites with AI-generated text that attracts paying advertisers. More than 140 major brands are paying for ads that end up on unreliable AI-written sites, likely without their knowledge, according to a new report.  Making money from junk: Most companies that advertise online automatically bid on spots to run […]

“Forest bathing” might work in virtual reality too

A group of scientists at the Czech University of Life Sciences—a psychologist in collaboration with researchers in the forestry department—has tested the hypothesis by taking a group of 15 people into the Roztocký háj nature reserve near Prague for 30-minute bathing sessions. They then used laser scanners to develop a virtual twin of the same […]