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What Are You Allowed to Say on China’s Social Networks?

Social networking sites, founded on the promise of free expression, have run into political trouble in China

7 min read
Illustration: Carl DeTorres
Illustration: Carl DeTorres


When scandal erupts in China, Internet users spread messages of dissent on social networks. This image refers to a 2010 incident in which a drunk driver told the police “My dad is Li Gang” in an attempt to escape punishment.

This is part of IEEE Spectrum’s special report on the battle for the future of the social Web.

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Tesla’s Autopilot Depends on a Deluge of Data

But can a fire-hose approach solve self-driving’s biggest problems?

5 min read
Close-up of the Autopilot screen in a Tesla

In 2019, Elon Musk stood up at a Tesla day devoted to automated driving and said, “Essentially everyone’s training the network all the time, is what it amounts to. Whether Autopilot’s on or off, the network is being trained.”

Tesla’s suite of assistive and semi-autonomous technologies, collectively known as Autopilot, is among the most widely deployed—and undeniably the most controversial—driver-assistance systems on the road today. While many drivers love it, using it for a combined total of more than 5 billion kilometers, the technology has been involved in hundreds of crashes, some of them fatal, and is currently the subject of a comprehensive investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Rhode Island’s Renewable Energy Goal Is a Beacon for Other States

Analysts say it’s not perfect, but it gets a lot right

3 min read
Wind turbines in an offshore installation

Wind turbines generate electricity at the Block Island Wind Farm on 7 July 2022 near Block Island, Rhode Island. The five-turbine, 30-megawatt project was developed by Deepwater Wind and began operations in December 2016 at a cost of nearly $300 million.

John Moore/Getty Images

Early in July, Rhode Island’s governor signed legislation mandating that the state acquire 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2033. Among the state’s American peers, there’s no deadline more ambitious.

“Anything more ambitious, and I would start being a little skeptical that it would be attainable,” says Seaver Wang, a climate and energy researcher at the Breakthrough Institute.

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As 5G evolves into 6G networks, it will be critical that it adopt the most energy-efficient technologies to reduce carbon emissions and our dependence on non-renewable resources.

In terms of increased sustainability, 6G will need to aim directly at lessening its overall environmental impact, including water consumption, raw material sourcing, and waste handling. But it is also important to consider the indirect impact of 6G networks can have on sustainability by conserving resources and minimizing waste in either existing use-cases or novel use-cases.

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