Download: LinkedIn scammers and annual covid snapshots

This is today’s issue of the magazine. The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s happening in the tech world.

1000 Chinese SpaceX engineers who never existed

If you were just looking at his LinkedIn page, you would surely think that Mai Linzheng was a top notch engineer. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Tsinghua, China’s leading university, and a master’s degree in semiconductor manufacturing from UCLA, Mai began his career at Intel and KBR, a space technology company, before moving to SpaceX in 2013. Except that everything is not what it seems. .

The “Mai Linzheng” profile is actually one of the millions of scam pages created on LinkedIn to lure users into a scam. Scammers like Mai claim to belong to prestigious schools and companies to increase their credibility before contacting other users, building relationships, and setting up financial traps.

Victims have already lost millions of dollars due to the scam that originated on the platform, and the problem is only getting worse. Read the full story.

—Zeyi Yan

Podcast: How retail is using AI to prevent fraud

We’ve all experienced the frustration of a blocked credit card caused by a transaction that was considered suspicious but was actually completely normal. This is the most obvious way in which a complex network of systems designed to eradicate fraud fails, but it is far from the only one.

On our latest podcast Into the machines we trust, we explain that this is a technological arms race between companies and scammers, and we are in the middle. And AI is playing an increasingly important role in this fight. Hear it on Apple Podcastsor wherever you usually listen.

Required Reading

I scoured the internet to find the most hilarious/important/scary/exciting tech stories to date.

1 US Plans Annual Coronavirus Vaccine
Like the annual flu shot, a booster should provide a high degree of protection throughout the year, according to the White House. (VP $)

2 The Merger Is The Greatest Test Of The Cryptocurrency To Date
If successful, this could solve many of the industry’s problems. (Economist $)
+ Upgrading Ethereum will significantly increase its security. (Protocol)

3 Doomscrolling Is Bad For Your Health
By partly avoiding the news, study participants were less distracted. (The keeper)
+ How to fix your pandemic-broken brain. (MIT Technology Review)

4 Apple’s relationship with China is long and complicated
The company’s plans to move some iPhone production to India may not go as smoothly as we would like. (New York Times $)
+ Apple plans to appeal Brazil’s decision to ban iPhone sales without a charger. (bloomberg $)

5 Twitter and Elon Musk’s lawyers met at a pre-trial hearing
Whistleblower Pater Zatko’s statements hung over the meeting. (WSJ $)
+ Musk cited the war in Ukraine as the reason for the takeover delay. (FT $)
+ The new Twitter edit button will be able to edit tweets up to five times. (TechCrunch)

6 No, switching to clean energy does not increase the risk of grid failures
This is a common argument that is fundamentally wrong. (Voice)
+ India’s answer to Silicon Valley is largely under water due to severe flooding. (FT $)
+ These plastic batteries could help store renewable energy on the grid. (MIT Technology Review)

7 Mobile gambling is spawning a new generation of addicts
Exacerbated by the constant availability of devices. (Motherboard)

8 How Minecraft turned its back on blockchain
As a result, players lose thousands of dollars of cryptocurrency. (The rest of the world)

9 How The Internet Solved A Six-Year-Old Mystery
Starring a mysterious, sharp-eared man. (New Yorker $)

10 TikTok teachers walk a fine line
Meanwhile, to shed light on their profession and respect the privacy of students. (Wired $)

Quote of the Day

“One of the statements: “This is a digital blackface”.

— James O. Young, professor of philosophy at the University of Victoria, explains the backlash surrounding virtual rapper FN Meka, who critics say perpetuates black stereotypes. The newspaper “New York Times.

big story

Technology has exposed Syrian war crimes time after time. Was it in vain?

October 2019

Syria was one of the first major conflicts of the social media era, when many Syrians had cell phones with cameras and access to high-speed internet.

The materials collected by the Syrians made it possible to take part in investigative actions and people who are far from real hostilities. In 2012, Eliot Higgins, then an unemployed British blogger, began looking at videos and photos posted from Syria in an attempt to identify the weapons being used; he later launched the Bellingcat website and assembled a team of volunteer analysts.

Such efforts, inspired by the optimism that social media and digital connectivity can bring benefits and the support of Western politicians, have made the Syrian conflict the most thoroughly documented in human history. Someone just needed to act on the detailed information gathered from the ground. Read the full story.

— Eric Reidy

We can still have good things

A place for comfort, fun and distraction during these strange times. (Any ideas?Write meorwrite me.)

+ There is a whole website dedicated to bread tagsbecause of course there is.
+ Sao Paulo hairdressers of course, the creative team.
+ Balloon competitions will end in tears.
+ The only good tattoo bad tattooapparently.
+ For those who love science, here is an intriguing reading list for autumn.

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