The Download: LinkedIn scammers, and annual covid shots

2 The Merge is crypto’s greatest test to date
If it’s successful, it could solve many of the industry’s problems. (Economist $)
+ The Ethereum upgrade will greatly improve its security. (Protocol)

3 Doomscrolling is bad for your health 
Partially avoiding the news made the study participants feel less distracted. (The Guardian)
+ How to mend your broken pandemic brain. (MIT Technology Review)

4 Apple’s relationship with China is long and complicated
The company’s plans to shift some iPhone production to India may not go as smoothly as hoped. (NYT $)
+ Apple is planning to appeal Brazil’s decision to ban iPhones sold without chargers. (Bloomberg $)

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

6 No, the shift to clean energy isn’t raising the risk of grid failures
It’s a common argument that’s fundamentally flawed. (Vox)
+ India’s answer to Silicon Valley is largely underwater thanks to intense flooding. (FT $)
+ These plastic batteries could help store renewable energy on the grid. (MIT Technology Review)

7 Mobile gambling is birthing a new generation of addicts
Heightened by the constant accessibility of the devices. (Motherboard)

8 How Minecraft turned its back on the blockchain
Causing its players to lose thousands of dollars’ worth of crypto in the process. (Rest of World)

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

10 TikTok’s teachers tread a fine line
Between shining a light on their profession and respecting student privacy. (Wired $)

Quote of the day

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

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

The big story

Technology exposed Syrian war crimes over and over. Was it for nothing?

October 2019

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