Sunday, December 03


Daily News Stuff 3 December 2023

Journalistic Wellness Check Edition

Top Story

  • Rule One of Online Publishing: A hate click is still a click.

    How are things going for the boys and girls over at Tech Crunch?

    Not great, it seems.  The article - by the managing editor - on Tesla shipping the Cybertruck to customers is titled The end of Elon.  (Tech Crunch)

    The comments at Tech Crunch are heavily censored, but even so 95% are asking if the writer needs a bottle and a nap.

  • How are things going for the boys and girls over at Kotaku?

    Never mind, it's Kotaku.  (Tech Crunch)

    After a solid decade of autistic screeching over breast physics in computer games (life tip: breasts do move if you are jumping around) the site is absolutely giddy over, uh, dick physics.

Tech News

  • How are things going for the boys and girls over at The Verge?

    The Ember Tumbler is overpriced, over-teched garbage that nobody should buy.  (The Verge)

    Oh.  Good.

    It's a $199 electrically heated cup that keeps your coffee at the perfect temperature - but does a worse job at it than a $30 brand name insulated mug.

    And The Verge actually tested that, measuring temperatures over the course of an entire day, both before and after the Ember's battery ran out.

  • Google is escalating its war on ad blockers.  (Ars Technica)

    The coming "Manifest V3" update to Chrome is already planned to cripple adblock extensions.

    What Google has done now is to change the rules further so that updates to adblock filter rules have to go through the Chrome Web Store - and be approved by Google every time - instead of downloading directly from the adblock developer or a public repository.

    I recommend Brave and Vivaldi. 

  • A former Wall Street banker paid $2 million for an old coal mine with the hope of reopening it.  Then he conducted a study of the mine's potential with the Department of Energy and discovered an estimated $37 billion worth of rare earth elements.  (Yahoo Finance)

    The trick here is that rare earth elements aren't actually rare.  They're just expensive and messy to extract, so we allowed China to take on that job.

    With increasing use of electrical vehicles we need a source that isn't asshole, the same thing that is driving lithium mining in Australia.

    This mine - the Brook Mine in Wyoming - originally operated from 1914 to 1940.  Apparently it still contains a billion tons of coal as well as the rare earths.  (These details aren't in the article, but it's amazing what you can find on the internet.)

    Mining operations for both coal and rare earths are planned to commence in Q4 of 2023.  (Mining Technology)

    Which is now.

  • ChatGPT is successful at convincing people it is human 14% of the time.  (Ars Technica)

    ELIZA, a chat bot written in 1964, is successful 27% of the time.

    Humans meanwhile are successful 63% of the time.  Don't knock it, it's a passing grade.

  • Amazon's new AI platform, Q, has severe "hallucinations" - that is, it lies constantly - and also leaks confidential data.  (Platformer)

    That's a pretty solid combination.

    Great subhed to the article:
    Some hallucinations could "potentially induce cardiac incidents in Legal," according to internal documents
    Amazon, of course, denies everything.

  • Google has released the Android studio hedgehog.  (Thurrott)

    I hope it can survive in the wild with winter coming - wait, that's a version name?

    Never mind.

  • ChatGPT isn't coming for your coding job, because it's shit.  (Wired)

    ChatGPT - LLMs in general - are very good at form but absolutely terrible at function.  That's because they are supercharged autocorrect engines; they know only what words fit where, statistically.

    They can make a legal filing that looks correct, but it will reference laws and decisions that don't even exist.

    They perform slightly better at coding - because it's easy to run the generated code to see if it at least compiles - but not much.

    Where they genuinely are transformative is in visual art, because there form largely is function.  In a remarkably short time AI image generation has progressed from putting too many fingers on hands - or attaching hands at the elbow - to putting the hinges on the wrong side of the door.  (As in, adjacent to the doorknob.)

    I haven't had time to play with AI art much lately but I'd like to get back into it.  Last time I tested it it fell apart when you tried to put more than one character in a scene, and I'm hoping for some progress there.

Disclaimer: New slow cooker arrived.  I'm going to test it out next week with a duck.  That was not the plan but somehow the supermarket is out of chickens.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 05:52 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 what if ChatGPT is coming for my programming job because I am actually a really bad programmer?

(Somewhat joking.  Job preservation is kinda a lousy reason to limit an automation.

Automation and mechanization have 'destroyed' a lot of terrible jobs, allowing for newer jobs that are better.

Automation does not belong where it does a worse job in the context of several trade offs.)

Part of the dispute now is a matter of competing religions, and university trained religious fascists (communists), whose experience does not equip them to understand that their creative and intellectual work is without broader value. 

Posted by: PatBuckman at Monday, December 04 2023 02:24 AM (r9O5h)

2 I've been playing around a lot with stablediffusion on my PC. It's very interesting, though it isn't really a replacement for directly doodling stuff. But it is very interesting.
It seems to me that there are two sort of modes where you can use it: 1. Mode 1: insert a string of tokens, get random images back that are sort of what you asked for.
2. Mode 2 (what is more interesting to me): A sort of "text selected" series of paintbrushes you can use in in-painting mode to compose a scene, then a final pass with img-2-img (still sort of hit or miss at this) to get things to start to gel together. I've had a bit of fun taking hand sketches of mine and doing light denoising passes to morph them into a cleaner more cartoony style. (I have not been attempting photorealism in anything). I have, however, taken some photos of my living room and turned them into a sort of cartoon version of that (though the position and nature of objects move about the room in a dreamlike manner, and I now have a door that isn't there (it better not be! :-P ))

Posted by: madrocketsci at Monday, December 04 2023 04:13 AM (hRoyQ)

3 Water has insane heat capacity. I hope most drinks are still mainly water based. Due to this, I would be surprised that a (relatively smaller volume) battery could store sufficient energy to keep water hot/reheat a mass of water more than a few times. Thermoses are probably the best way to do this.

Posted by: madrocketsci at Monday, December 04 2023 04:16 AM (hRoyQ)

4 The guy(?) is trying to keep his (checks notes) 16oz of coffee hot for (incredulously rechecks notes) 4 hours.  And yeah, a good thermos can keep coffee hot for 6 or 7 hours, but I still think they guy(?) is mentally ill: he works from his wife's boyfriend's home!  He can make hot coffee any time he wants to!

Posted by: normal at Monday, December 04 2023 05:17 AM (bg2DR)

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

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