The Download: Part 3 of our investigation into Minnesota police

For some, the use of the tool is a dangerous step in the direction of dictatorship. Read the full story.

-Sam Richards and Tate Ryan-Mosley

The story is the third in a series of police surveillance investigations in Minnesota. First, it opens the door to a larger, larger program called Operation Safety Net, which targeted civil rights activists and journalists following the assassination of George Floyd in May 2020. Another reveals how the operation continued long after officials claimed it was over.

The man in the world has been able to communicate in sentences with a single thought

A completely paralyzed man is able to communicate complete sentences using a device that records his brain activity. The man was able to train his brain to use a device implanted in his brain, ask for massages, soups and beer, and watch movies with his son.

According to the researchers behind the work, this is the first time that a fully locked person – who is consciously and cognitively capable but completely paralyzed – is able to communicate in this way. The man, who lives in Germany, learned to listen to the whole sentence to researchers and his family.

Researchers believe that over the next 10 to 15 years, “potentially life-changing” technology could be offered to similarly locked-in individuals on a regular basis. Read the full story.

-Jessica Hemzello

I used the internet to find out some of the most fun / important / scary / compelling stories about technology today.

1 Amid heavy losses in Ukraine, the blame game has begun inside Russia
Even Putin’s supporters have to admit how much he has miscalculated. (NYT)
+ Ukrainian officials say thousands of people are still trapped in dire straits in Mariupol. (The Guardian)
+ One Kremlin refused to deny the use of nuclear weapons. (CNN)
+ How likely is it that Russia will use it? (New Scientist)
+ There is a forest fire around Chernobyl. (NYT)
+ It is a golden age for armchair generals(Sub)
+ The risk of Russian cyber attack is huge. (New Yorker 2)

2 Are We Ready to Cure Sickle Cell Disease?
Gene therapy is probably going to cure. The big question is whether we can make sure that the affected people can afford it. (New Yorker 2)
+ The first validated gene-edited children may be for sickle cell disease. (TR)

3 Top WHO officials say Europe has lifted the Covid sanctions very quickly
Cases are growing rapidly in many countries across the continent. (The Guardian)
+ One more covid bounce is possible in the US. Is she ready for it? (NYT)
+ This application measures your covid risk level(IEEE Spectrum)
+ What can we learn from Kovid’s data wizards? (Nature)
+ The CDC is still struggling to get a better handle on public health data. (Political)
+ If you’re testing fast, just do more than one. (Ars Technica)

4 Is Yandex too big to fail?
It took Arcady Volos 20 years to build it in Russia’s largest tech behemoth. It has only taken 20 days to start opening. (Wired $)

5 Dopamine seems to help you move
Interesting discovery about one of the most misunderstood chemicals in the brain. (Quanta)

Mystery revolves around the alleged hack of 6 Octa
The identity management company’s response to a breach claim by a hacking group is at best confusing. (Wired $)
+ He says it’s not a new cyber attack. (WSJ)
+ But Microsoft confirmed it. (The Verge)
+ And Octa has had to admit that hundreds of its customers could be affected. (CNN)

7 San Francisco has discontinued ride-hailing apps
Despite being the place where the most famous people were founded. (FT)
+ Uber is dropping its ‘split fair’ feature. (Mashable)
+ California plans to electrify Uber and Lift not added. (Wired $)
+ Elon Musk opens Tesla’s first factory in Europe. (WSJ)

8 We spend less time on Facebook
There is no time now before only Boomers are left. (CNBC)

9 What transhumanists do wrong in their search for human perfection
Really a lot. (Slate 2)
+ It is possible that geometry is something that only humans can understand, not animals or machines. (NYT)

10 ‘Digital Resting Points’ lets you stop doomscrolling without logging off
Here are some cool things people post to clear our timelines: Beautiful photos, fun videos, and meditation tips. (WP)

Quote of the day

“I can still feel the rush of adrenaline in my body because every flight is a fight.”

Andrei, a pilot with the Ukrainian Air Force, told the New York Times that he and his fellow pilots were still fighting against Russia, and that their numbers were much higher.

We can still have good things

A place for relaxation, pleasure and distraction in these strange times. (Any ideas? Drop me a line or tweet me.)
+ McDonald’s is bringing back its Sichuan sauce! For how long who knows. So enjoy it as long as it lasts.
+ The moral of this story seems to be that those who pretend to be world leaders are better than leaders.
+ Geographers, get your eyes on this Instagram account.
+ Baby penguin screams <3
+ A totally ridiculous legal blonde / a few good men mash-up.
+ The world’s longest suspension bridge is now in Turkey.
+ Exposing some myths about cooking beans.

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