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Monday, July 31

Geek

Daily News Stuff 31 July 2023

Sam The Many-Coloured Edition

Top Story

  • Sam Altman-Fried, CEO of OpenAI (corporate motto: In a world of Saurons, be a Saruman), has run into a snag with his new venture, Worldcoin: It is a transparent totalitarian takeover and existing governments don't appreciate anyone muscling in on their turf. (Tech Crunch)
    Worldcoin, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s bid to sew up the market for verifying humanness by convincing enough mobile meatsacks to have their eyeballs scanned in exchanged for crypto tokens (yes, really), only started its official global rollout this week but it’s already landed on the radar of European data protection authorities.

    Why should anyone feel the need to prove their humanness on the Internet? Well one reason is that by unleashing free power tools like ChatGPT Altman’s generative AI company is leading the charge to make it harder to distinguish between bot-generated and human digital activity. But don’t worry, he’s got an eyeball-scanning orb-plus-crypto-token to sell humanity on for that!
    Tech Crunch is sounding almost appropriately cynical here.

    The idea behind Worldcoin is they will pay their victims - I mean, their early adopters, a small amount of cryptocurrency to have their retinas scanned and recorded.

    A cryptocurrency they just made up.

    And of which they have reserved a huge chunk for themselves.

    And trust them, they would never permit all that critical biometric data to be misused in any way.

    It's basically a credit card fraud ring combined with a massive Ponzi scheme, only with venture capital funding.


Tech News

Disclaimer: At least have a lair in a dormant volcano or something. Have some fricking pride on your work.

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Sunday, July 30

Geek

Daily News Stuff 30 July 2023

Global Pomufication Edition

Top Story

  • So, that new room-temperature superconductor announcement?  Maybe not, say other scientists.  (Science)

    And one of the tests supposed to illustrate its superconducting properties might just be demonstrating Lenz's law.  Superconductors respond in interesting ways to static magnetic fields, but regular conductors can respond in similar ways to changing magnetic fields, so the actually demonstrate superconductivity you have to keep your field static, which they kind of completely failed to do, at least in one particular video.

    It's not fraud or anything, since the paper describes exactly how to create the alleged miracle material, just possible bad research.


Tech News


Disclaimer: Docker sucks.

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Saturday, July 29

Geek

Daily News Stuff 29 July 2023

Thread On The Wind Edition

Top Story



Tech News


Disclaimer: Then maybe you could move on to not intentionally killing them either.

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Friday, July 28

Geek

Daily News Stuff 28 July 2023

Do Not Meddle In The Affairs Of Lizards Edition

Top Story



Tech News



Not Tech News

Season two of Good Omens is streaming on Amazon Prime now.

Is it any good?

Yes. It is. But it is also missing Terry Pratchett's deft touch of saying things without having to say them.



Area Rabbit Conspiracy Video of the Day



In which area rabbit Pipkin Pippa explains that the lizards running the secret world government are covering up the fact that UFOs aren't real to keep us all distracted from the war with the mole people.

And then the Phase Connect girls get their CEO on the line and ask him to explain circumcision, because it's that sort of company.


Disclaimer: Do not taunt happy fun rabbit.

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Thursday, July 27

Geek

Daily News Stuff 27 July 2023

Worse Is Better Edition

Top Story

  • You can't compete with free.  (The Verge)

    Neeva was a search engine startup founded by ex-Google engineers - back when Google still had engineers - to build a better search engine.

    The founders noted a fundamental problem with Google.  Being funded by advertising, and having a limited number of ads per page, there was a deep incentive not to push the best search results to the top.

    So Neeeva built their own search engine focusing on paying customers - and went broke, because people didn't want to pay for a better solution when the bad solution was free.

    How do we get out of this bind?

    I see two possible avenues, both generally applicable:

    One, an organisation that benefits from good search tools internally and is in competition with Google in other areas open-sources their work because first this gets lots of developers to contribute free work, and second it blows a hole in the competition's revenue stream.  Facebook has done this with its AI research, clearly aiming at wrecking OpenAI and accidentally doing some good in the process.

    Two, collaborative effort.  One company can't afford $10 billion to develop a better search engine, but millions of developers pooling their resources?  It's not Facebook's own AI research that has doomed OpenAI to extinction, but hobbyists frantically iterating on incomprehensibly sophisticated algorithms at 3AM so they can produce funny videos.


Tech News


Disclaimer: Oh no!  I think I've just been outwitted by a toaster.

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Wednesday, July 26

Geek

Daily News Stuff 26 July 2023

Nuts To You Edition

Top Story

  • Conservatives died more than liberals after the COVID vaccine rollout. (Ars Technica)
    The study is just the latest to find a connection between political party affiliation and deaths during the pandemic. But, it takes the connection a step further, going beyond county-level political leanings and looking at how party affiliation linked to deaths at the individual level. The authors—all researchers at Yale University—focused on Ohio and Florida because those were the only two states with readily available public data on voter registration.

    The study involved death data on 538,159 people in Ohio and Florida, age 25 and older, and their linked voter registration files. The researchers did not have complete data—the linked data didn't contain a cause of death or vaccination status. But, they could evaluate excess weekly deaths by age, state, county, and party affiliation. They found that the gap in excess deaths was larger in counties with lower vaccination rates, suggesting that lack of vaccination among Republican voters may partly explain the higher death rates.
    So they didn't have the cause of death or vaccination status, and if you read the study to the end (which they desperately hope you won't) they only had voter registration information for 57% of the people in the study.

    And they didn't control for any confounding factors at all, because the consumers of fascist fear porn don't give a shit.


  • Indeed, all the studies so far trying to prove such a correlation have been complete garbage. (Marginally Compelling)

    A good blog about the mathematics of the pandemic (and other things) and how everyone has a vested interest in lying to you.

Tech News



Disclaimer: Nuts to you, or possibly back to the post office.

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Tuesday, July 25

Geek

Daily News Stuff 25 July 2023

Unsightly Activities Undertaken At Reasonable Prices Edition

Top Story



Tech News



Disclaimer: Because we can't have nice things.

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Monday, July 24

Geek

Daily News Stuff 24 July 2023

Three Times Is Amelia Watson Edition

Top Story

  • Telescreens: Not just behind the painting anymore.  (Forbes)

    What do you get when you deploy vast networks of traffic cameras and feed them all into AI systems to track, well, everything?

    One arrest and the eradication of privacy and Fourth Amendment rights.

    Welcome to the goldfish bowl.


Tech News

  • Solar panels built over irrigation canals could, like, do things.  (AP)

    They would reduce evaporation and generate electricity, so it's a twofer.  But the correction at the end of the article is a doozy:
    This story was first published on July 20, 2023 and was updated on July 21, 2023 to correct the erroneous statement that panels over California’s canals could provide 13 gigawatts of power, enough to supply the city of Los Angeles from January through October. The proper term of measurement would have been gigawatt-hours rather than gigawatts, but additionally, researchers now say the total amount of energy that would be generated has not yet been scientifically estimated.
    So if the corrected number is correct, it could power the city of Los Angeles for an hour each year.


  • If you don't sign in to your Ubisoft account regularly, they will protect your privacy by deleting your account, and also your games.  (PC Gamer)

    Trying to win that coveted Worst Company in the World title away from EA?


  • Testing seven M.2 2230 SSDs.  (Tom's Hardware)

    I have two laptops with 2230-size slots (in addition to 2280 slots).  Recent Microsoft Surface tablets have 2230 storage, and so do some portable devices like the Steam Deck.

    This review doesn't run the full suite of tests you usually see; just game loading times and basic read benchmarks, but all of the drives manage rates over 1.5GB per second, which is a lot for something the size of a postage stamp.


  • AMD's Ryzen 7500F is a new 6 core model without integrated graphics.  (Tom's Hardware)

    At $179 vs. $229 for the 7600 with integrated graphics, and 5.0GHz vs. 5.1GHz, it makes sense for a budget gaming build where you wouldn't use the integrated graphics anyway.

    Rumours are that Intel's upcoming 14100 could also be a six-core part (the 13100 has four cores) so that might be an even better budget part, but likely won't show up until January.


Containment Breach Video of the Day



"What about Second Kronii?"
"I don't think he knows about Second Kronii, Pippa."

The highly anticipated announcement of Hololive English Generation 3 has just been, uh, announced.  Launch video Wednesday, debuts probably a couple of days later.

With Hololive Council - Generation 2 - they left a longer gap between the launch and the debuts, and YouTube and Twitter took the opportunity to suspend all their accounts, some multiple times.  Hololive hasn't made that mistake again.

And yes, Amelia was just on holiday.



Disclaimer: Once is happenstance.  Twice is coincidence.  Three times is Amelia Watson.

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Sunday, July 23

Geek

Daily News Stuff 23 July 2023

Newsn't Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Unless it doesn't.

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Saturday, July 22

Geek

Daily News Stuff 22 July 2023

Deadn't Edition

Top Story

  • Instagram's Twitter rival Threads definitely totally isn't dead, yet.  (Tech Crunch)

    This is a response to a Wall Street Journal article reporting that daily user logins are down by 70% and the duration of those logins is also down by 75%, so total user activity is down by more than 90%.

    Which is not the trend you want to see on your brand new platform.

    I pointed out previously when Threads crossed the 100 million user mark that the platform had fewer than 100 million posts total, so most of those users weren't doing anything at all.  Twitter's userbase averages 2 to 3 posts per day - and that's after 17 years, when the shine of a new platform has definitely worn off.


Tech News



Disclaimer: The above post is a figment of your imagination.  Not only is none of it to be taken as a claim of fact, it does not exist at all.  Neither does this disclaimer.

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