Monday, August 21

Geek

Daily News Stuff 21 August 2023

Was/Were Edition

Top Story

  • Amazon workers are demanding "data" explaining why they should return to working in the office.  (Seattle Times)  (archive site)
    Workers who have asked the company to share data have been provided anecdotes and a consistent trope that innovation is more likely to happen in person.
    Which is true.
    That has left some workers feeling demoralized, distracted and undervalued as they struggle to stay focused and motivated, according to interviews and internal communications shared with The Times.
    Well, perhaps less true with a useless pack of mopes like this lot.
    An Amazon manager, who is based on the East Coast and asked to speak anonymously to protect their job, said it is "dehumanizing," and feels as if leadership doesn’t trust its employees to understand their reasoning. In Slack messages, employees anonymously posted that Amazon’s decisions were "dystopian" and creating "just a horrible situation."
    I was going to suggest simply firing them all, but after hearing this heartfelt message I would like instead to propose turning them into jam.

Tech News

  • The LG Gram Style is a great laptop except apparently for the touchpad.  (The Verge)

    It's light - 2.7 lbs is great for a 16" laptop.  It has a beautiful 3200x2000 120Hz OLED display.  RAM is soldered but at least there's 32GB of it, paired with an Intel 1360P CPU and 1TB of SSD.  The keyboard has the Four Essential Keys albeit in the form of a three-column numpad, which is an acceptable tradeoff.  And it has two USB-C ports, one USB-A, a headphone jack, and a microSD reader.

    Oh, and it changes colour depending on the angle.

    Around $1400 at Best Buy which, so it's not exactly cheap, but not insanely expensive either.


  • Good Omens season 2 is diverse!  (The Verge)

    But is it any good?
    The sheer breadth of representation across the second season of Neil Gaiman’s divine comedy is nothing short of miraculous.
    So that's a no.

    Not that you need to take The Verge's word for it: I've watched the whole thing.

    Season one, adapted from the classic book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, is great.  Not perfect perhaps, but technically excellent, well-acted, and faithful to the book.

    Season two, by Neil Gaiman alone, is technically excellent, well-acted, and quite passable up until the final episode which is an unmitigated disaster.

    Hopefully the writers' strike will go on forever and we'll never get a season three.


  • 1.4 billion people will need to "reskill" over the next three years as AI transforms the workforce.  (IBM)

    Skills most likely to be in demand include:

    * The patience to coax a coherent response out of an utterly broken AI system
    * Apologising to customers after the company's AI has screwed up their order
    * Fixing AI errors before they send the company bankrupt
    * Switching the AI off entirely without management knowing about it


  • Russia's Luna 25 automated lander has "ceased to exist" after colliding with the Moon.  (CNN)

    That'll do it.


  • After Elon Musk suggested that the block function would be limited to DMs, so many users left Twitter for Jack Dorsey's Bluesky Social that the newer platform buckled under the load.  (Tech Crunch)

    How many?

    So many!

    Like?

    Five thousand.

    Yes, 0.0015% of Twitter's active monthly users was enough to make Bluesky cave in.

    While it's true that Thread's 100 million users didn't stay around for long, nor do much while they were there, at least the platform didn't collapse under them.


Disclaimer: Though there is time for that yet.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 05:09 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 585 words, total size 5 kb.

1 I think the bigger takeaway is that IBM is surveying executives in an attempt to predict future customer needs, and that even IBM thinks that there is a fundamental expectations mismatch between what the different surveys say. 

1.4 billion need to reskill is maybe enough that the real meaning is that executive expectations are wrong.

This is my prior, but I mainly take away that most businesses are wildly dysfunctional, and that everything is due for perhaps intolerable levels of creative destruction.

Posted by: PatBuckman at Monday, August 21 2023 10:33 PM (r9O5h)

2 That's an interesting point.  Choose the form of your destructor.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, August 22 2023 07:48 AM (PiXy!)

3 Choose the form of your destructor.


Ha!  Easy!  50 years of hideous dissipation in the form of expensive gin cocktails and stupidly priced meats.

Posted by: normal at Tuesday, August 22 2023 09:42 AM (obo9H)

4 "Executives surveyed estimate that 40% of their workforce will need to reskill as a result of implementing AI and automation over the next three years. That could translate to 1.4 billion of the 3.4 billion people in the global workforce"
Now wait just a minute.  That's carrying a trend line a bit too far.  I bet (just for example) grocery store cashiers and stockers aren't going to need to reskill because of ChatGPT and I suspect they're not all going to be replaced by shelf-stocking robot, with a nod to self-checkout.)

Posted by: Rick C at Tuesday, August 22 2023 12:55 PM (BMUHC)

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Apple pies are delicious. But never mind apple pies. What colour is a green orange?




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