The Download: how AI could change politics, and lifting the lid on Facebook

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. Six ways that AI could change politics —Bruce Schneier & Nathan E. Sanders When it comes to how AI may threaten our democracy, much of the public conversation lacks imagination. People talk about…
The Download: how AI could change politics, and lifting the lid on Facebook

April 2019

Australia’s colonial history is dotted with fires so enormous they have their own names. The worst, Black Saturday, struck the state of Victoria on February 7, 2009. Fifteen separate fires scorched the state over just two days, killing 173 people.

While Australia is notorious for spectacular blazes, it actually ranks below the United States, Indonesia, Canada, Portugal, and Spain when it comes to the economic damage caused by wildfires over the past century.

That’s because while other nations argue about the best way to tackle the issue, the horrors of Black Saturday led Australia to drastically change its response—one of the biggest of which was also one of the most basic: taking another look at the way fire risk is rated. Read the full story.

—Bianca Nogrady

We can still have nice things

A place for comfort, fun and distraction in these weird times. (Got any ideas? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ The friendship between a cat and rabbit is the most heartwarming thing you’ll see today.
+ Looking to buy your friend the weirdest gift possible? This website’s got your back.
+ These ancient glass artifacts discovered in the Czech Republic are really beautiful.
+ It’s time to embrace cabbage, in all its glory.
+ These never-before-seen photos of Chris Cornell in Paris are quite something.