The Download: LinkedIn scammers, and annual covid photographs

This is as we speak’s version of The Download, our weekday publication that gives a every day dose of what’s occurring on the planet of know-how.

The 1,000 Chinese SpaceX engineers who by no means existed

If you have been simply his LinkedIn web page, you’d actually suppose Mai Linzheng was a top-notch engineer. With a bachelor’s diploma from Tsinghua, China’s prime college, and a grasp’s diploma in semiconductor manufacturing from UCLA, Mai started his profession at Intel and KBR, an area tech firm, earlier than ending up at SpaceX in 2013. Except all is just not because it appears.

The profile of “Mai Linzheng” is definitely one of many tens of millions of fraudulent pages arrange on LinkedIn to lure customers into scams. Scammers like Mai declare affiliation with prestigious faculties and corporations to spice up their credibility earlier than connecting with different customers, constructing a relationship, and laying a monetary lure.

Victims have now misplaced tens of millions of {dollars} by scams that originated on the platform, and the issue is just rising. Read the full story.

—Zeyi Yang

Podcast: How retail is utilizing AI to stop fraud

We’ve all skilled the frustration of a blocked bank card, triggered by a transaction deemed suspicious that was, actually, completely unusual. It’s essentially the most seen method that the advanced internet of programs designed to root out fraud fails, however removed from the one one.

In the newest episode of our podcast, In Machines We Trust, we clarify the way it’s a technological arms race between firms and scammers, with us caught within the center. And AI is enjoying an more and more essential function within the struggle. Listen to it on Apple Podcasts, or wherever else you normally pay attention.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you as we speak’s most enjoyable/essential/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 The US is planning an annual covid vaccine
Like the annual flu shot, a covid booster ought to provide a excessive diploma of safety for a full 12 months, in response to the White House. (WP $)

2 The Merge is crypto’s best take a look at thus far
If it’s profitable, it might remedy most of the business’s issues. (Economist $)
+ The Ethereum improve will significantly enhance its safety. (Protocol)

3 Doomscrolling is dangerous to your well being 
Partially avoiding the information made the examine individuals really feel much less distracted. (The Guardian)
+ How to fix your damaged pandemic mind. (MIT Technology Review)

4 Apple’s relationship with China is lengthy and complex
The firm’s plans to shift some iPhone manufacturing to India might not go as easily as hoped. (NYT $)
+ Apple is planning to attraction Brazil’s determination to ban iPhones offered with out chargers. (Bloomberg $)

5 Twitter and Elon Musk’s attorneys met at a pre-trial listening to
Whistleblower Peiter Zatko’s claims loomed massive over the assembly. (WSJ $)
+ Musk cited the battle in Ukraine as a purpose to delay the takeover. (FT $)
+ Twitter’s new edit button will be capable to change tweets as much as 5 instances. (TechCrunch)

6 No, the shift to wash vitality isn’t elevating the chance of grid failures
It’s a typical argument that’s essentially flawed. (Vox)
+ India’s reply to Silicon Valley is basically underwater due to intense flooding. (FT $)
+ These plastic batteries might assist retailer renewable vitality on the grid. (MIT Technology Review)

7 Mobile playing is birthing a brand new era of addicts
Heightened by the fixed accessibility of the units. (Motherboard)

8 How Minecraft turned its again on the blockchain
Causing its gamers to lose hundreds of {dollars}’ price of crypto within the course of. (Rest of World)

9 How the web solved a six-year thriller
Starring a mysterious pointy-eared man. (New Yorker $)

10 TikTok’s academics tread a positive line
Between shining a light-weight on their occupation and respecting scholar privateness. (Wired $)

Quote of the day

“One of the claims is, ‘This is digital blackface.’”

—James O. Young, a professor of philosophy on the University of Victoria, explains the backlash surrounding digital rapper FN Meka, which critics declare perpetuated Black stereotypes, to the New York Times.

The huge story

Technology uncovered Syrian battle crimes time and again. Was it for nothing?

October 2019

Syria was one of many first main conflicts of the social media period, with many Syrians had cell telephones with cameras and entry to high-speed web.

The materials collected by Syrians allowed folks far-off from the precise preventing to participate within the investigative efforts too. In 2012 Eliot Higgins, then an unemployed British blogger, started sifting by movies and images posted from Syria, making an attempt to determine the weapons getting used; later he began a web site, Bellingcat, and assembled a crew of volunteer analysts.

Spurred on by the optimism that social media and digital connectivity may very well be a drive for good, and the encouragement of Western politicians, such efforts made the Syrian battle essentially the most totally documented in human historical past. Someone simply wanted to behave on the detailed data collected from the bottom. Read the full story.

—Eric Reidy

We can nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction in these bizarre instances. (Got any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

  • There’s an entire web site devoted to bread tags, due to course there’s.
    + São Paulo’s barbers certain are a inventive bunch.
    + Balloon jousting will solely finish in tears.
    + The solely good tattoo is a bad tattoo, apparently.
    + For the science-minded amongst you, right here’s an intriguing reading list for fall.



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