Saturday, September 23


Daily News Stuff 23 September 2023

Too Many Words Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Who is the son of Tom Cruise's mother?  ChatGPT has no idea.  (Substack)

    It knows who Tom Cruise's mother was, but it doesn't know who her son is.

    This is because LLMs - what passes for AI right now - don't know anything except which words commonly go together.

  • The tragedy of Google Search.  (The Atlantic)

    Leaving aside the moment the irony of The Atlantic commenting on a once-prominent institution turned to shit.

    Google is facing an antitrust lawsuit right now, and is arguing that there are limits to economies of scale, which is absolutely true.  But Google Search has turned to shit because (a) Google has turned to shit and (b) the internet has turned to shit, and is propped up by Google spending billions to keep it the default search engine everywhere.

    The real problem here is (b).  How can anyone build a good search engine today when the good content is drowning in shit?  Breaking up Google doesn't help, because the internet is still shit.

  • Ten reasons why Windows is going in the wrong direction.  (PC Magazine)

    Actually, 10 features that show that Windows is going in the wrong direction.

    The reason is Panos Panay, who is leaving Microsoft and heading over to Amazon to ruin their devices division.

  • Can government debt solve fertility?  (Overcoming Bias)

    When the underlying problem being discussed is government debt.


    This is stupid, you're stupid, and I feel stupid for having read your nonsense.

  • The problems with Cython.  (PythonSpeed)

    Cython is a halfway house between Python and C, which is great if you want to interface Python and C, but bad for anything else.

    The solution on offer here is Rust, with code examples that look like a compiler vomited.

  • I'm fed up with it, so I'm writing a browser.  (A Day in the Life Of)

    Not me, someone else.

    Good luck.  Not an easy task but all the worthwhile advances are created by people who are fed up with the status quo.

    100 opinions I hold.

    Not me, the browser guy.

    Though almost all of them are opinions I share, which is pretty damn unusual with lists of opinions found online.

  • The PQXDH Key Agreement Protocol.  (Signal)

    How Alice and Bob can chat privately in a post-quantum world without that damn Carol sticking her nose in.

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1. Fuck you.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 04:25 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 490 words, total size 5 kb.

1 The default use of "My Computer" was all you needed to know about where MS was headed some years ago.  Not "Computer" or "The Computer" or "This Computer", which (excuse my autism) feels wrong for something I didn't label: the computer labelled itself "My Computer", so whose computer is it?  Of course that was predated by IBM's "Personal Computer".  Of course now that we have computers you can fit up your hindquarters*, I guess we really have entered the age of the Personal Computer.

*I mean, it was a bigger challenge in the 80s, but nothing is impossible if you work hard and believe in yourself.

Posted by: normal at Saturday, September 23 2023 10:53 PM (obo9H)

2 I don't remember what was the specific thing that made me flip the switch but the start of the process was the attempt to force Microsoft accounts (I note with great amusement the Chinese mini PC sellers like Beelink and Minisforum are printing instructions on how to prevent it right on the plastic wrap covering the devices).  I haven't switched fully, in that my main desktop and laptop are going to stay Windows for some time, but for the last couple of weeks I've had Mint 21 on my 1235u mini PC and outside of gaming it works great (and 2D games like Graveyard Keeper run mostly pretty well, with the only issue being a bit of stutter when you're walking and making the map scroll.)

But that brings up the fact that Linux still has warts.  Whatever file manager I've got, Thunar or something, has one annoying minor missing feature--the file select dialog doesn't have a textbox where you can type or paste text in.  Also, there continue to be weirdness around little things; I wanted to change the taskbar clock from 24 hours to 12 hours because that's the way we do it in America, and finding the setting was more difficult than it needed to be, and on top of that, all the search results I could find were outdated, and, even worse, wanted you to use a format string to specify ("just type '%d %S %m %% %x', it's so easy!" versus a dropdown with a list of stuff like "17:50", "5:50 PM" and various date formats.)  I know where the "type in your preferred format string" stuff comes from but making users do that instead is user-hostile.

Posted by: Rick C at Monday, September 25 2023 01:30 AM (BMUHC)

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

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