Download: LinkedIn scammers and annual covid photos

This is today’s edition of Download, Our weekday newsletter provides daily coverage of what’s happening in the tech world.

China’s 1,000 SpaceX engineers never existed

If you just looked at his LinkedIn page, you would surely think Mai Linzheng is a top engineer. With a bachelor’s degree from Tsinghua, China’s top university, and a master’s degree in semiconductor manufacturing from UCLA, Mai began her career at Intel and KBR, a space technology company, before ended at SpaceX in 2013. Except all was not as expected. .

The profile of “Mai Linzheng” is actually one of millions of phishing sites set up on LinkedIn to lure users into scams. Scammers like Mai claim to link up with reputable schools and companies to enhance their reputation before connecting with other users, building relationships, and setting financial traps.

Victims have now lost millions of dollars through scams originating from the platform, and the problem is growing. Read full story.

—Zeyi Yang

Podcast: How Retail is Using AI to Prevent Fraud

We’ve all experienced the frustration of a blocked credit card, triggered by a supposedly suspicious transaction that is, in fact, completely normal. It’s the most obvious way that complex web systems designed to tackle fraud at its root fail, but it’s not the only way.

In the latest episode of our podcast, In the machines we trust, we explained that it was a technology arms race between companies and scammers, with us caught in the middle. And AI is playing an increasingly important role in the battle. Listen to it on Apple Podcastsor anywhere else you often hear.

Things to read

I scoured the internet to find you today’s most interesting/important/scary/striking stories about tech.

1 The US is planning an annual covid vaccine
Like the annual flu shot, the covid booster will provide a high level of protection for an entire year, according to the White House. (WP $)

2 The Merge Is Cryptocurrency’s Biggest Experiment To Date
If 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
The partial avoidance of the news made the study participants feel less distracted. (Guardians)
+ How to mend your broken pandemic brain. (MIT Technology Review)

4 Apple’s relationship with China is long and complicated
The company’s plan to move some iPhone production to India may not go as smoothly as expected. (NYT $)
+ Apple is planning to appeal Brazil’s decision to ban the sale of iPhones without chargers. (Bloomberg $)

5 lawyers for Twitter and Elon Musk meet at pre-trial hearings
Whistleblower Peiter Zatko made this clear during 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 transition to clean energy will not increase the risk of grid outages
That is a common argument that is fundamentally flawed. (Vox)
+ India’s answer to Silicon Valley is largely underwater thanks to intense flooding. (FT $)
+ These plastic panels can help store renewable energy on the grid. (MIT Technology Review)

7 Mobile gambling is giving birth to a new generation of addicts
Enhanced by the constant accessibility of devices. (Motherboard)

8 Ways Minecraft Turns Its Back on Blockchain
Causing its players to lose thousands of dollars in crypto in the process. (The rest of the world)

9 Ways The Internet Solves A Mystery That Lasts 6 Years
Featuring a mysterious pointy-eared man. (New Yorkers $)

TikTok’s 10 teachers overcome the fence well
Between illuminating their profession and respecting students’ privacy. (Wired $)

Quote of the day

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

—James O. Young, professor of philosophy at Victoria University, explains the backlash surrounding virtual rapper FN Meka, which critics say stereotypes about black people have been perpetuated, for New York Times.

Big story

Technology exposes Syria’s war crimes over and over again. It has nothing?

October 2019

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

Documents collected by the Syrians allow people far from the actual fighting to also participate in investigative efforts. In 2012 Eliot Higgins, then an unemployed British blogger, began sifting through videos and photos posted from Syria, trying to identify the types of weapons being used; Then he founded a website, Bellingcat, and assembled a group of volunteer analysts.

Driven by optimism that social media and digital connectivity can be an engine of good, and encouraged by Western politicians, such efforts have led to The conflict in Syria became the most thoroughly documented in human history. Someone just needs to act on the insights gathered from the ground. Read full story.

—Eric Reidy

We can still have good things

A place for comfort, fun and distraction during these strange times. (Any comments?Drop me a lineortweet ’em with me.)

+ There’s a whole website dedicated to bread cardbecause of course yes.
+ Sao Paulo hair dresser Definitely a creative team.
+ Hot air balloon will only end in tears.
+ The only good tattoo is one bad tattooclear.
+ For the scientifically minded, this is a fascinating thing reading list for autumn.

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