Thursday February 22nd, 2024

Google summarization gets it wrong again

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Google summarization gets it wrong again. is awesome, but not a musical artist...

Beware fan generated merch

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GPT copilots

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Every time I see We have updated our

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Every time I see "We have updated our terms of service" (privacy policy, whatever), I mentally append "pray that we don't update them any further."

Every Game Has the Community It Deserves

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I've long thought about how seemingly subtle changes in UX of online applications can have dramatically different impacts on the social dynamics of the community that surrounds them. This is a great read on that: Every Game Has the Community It Deserves

Original version on the author's blog: Rhys Frampton: Every Game Has the Community It Deserves

Wednesday February 21st, 2024

Amaranth HDL playground

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Oh MacOS Text field not showing

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Oh MacOS... Text field not showing up, so I use the view inspector in XCode to see that it's indeed there, click "continue" in XCode, and now suddenly it appears.

Woohoo. I love this platform.

I miss when computing at least kinda felt deterministic.

diversion from church maintenance, like bell polishing

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Spain: Priest arrested in Don Benito for 'selling Viagra'

Via Girl on the Net who observed:

Looks like he'll be doing some...

... hard time.


RT Thank Fuck January’s Over

@girlonthenet I bet he received a stiff sentence

Chris (so far)<?a>

@pdcawley @girlonthenet @guffo I’d be surprised if the church doesn’t rise to the occasion here and make a hard stand against this kind of dickery.

Thank Fuck January’s Over

@girlonthenet @perigrin @pdcawley I assume the church has the situation firmly in hand. I'm surprised the priest managed to pull it off for so long!

RT Chris (so far)

@guffo @girlonthenet @pdcawley Fair. I think we can agree he has likely shafted his future with the church … just tossed it out

Matt Jones

@guffo @girlonthenet @perigrin @pdcawley I expect there’ll be a lot of criticism of the higher clergy for allowing this to occur - we’re sure to see a lot of bishop bashing over this

Latin for 'horny layer'

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Today I learned that the outer layer of skin is called the Stratum Corneum which Wikipedia reports is "Latin for 'horny layer'".

Pulsar Code Editor

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I occasionally think about moving from Emacs as my basic editor. I know VSCode is kind of the "npm" of modern editors: Don't think about the build process for this platform, just install this plugin and everything "works", but I also know that VSCode is deliberate Microsoft lock-in.

Pulsar, the best code editor makes a case for the MIT Licensed offshoot of VSCode, Pulsar. Many of the justifications are kinda sketch, the fact that it's GUI only means that it likely doesn't work terribly well over an SSH session (it's been a while since I used X forwarding, and I think Wayland is deprecating that?), but it seems worth a try.

Looks like it has basic block operations (similar to how XCode does it), but lacks built-in record and playback features, which feels like a deal-breaker. I'll have to dig further. It also looks like the window/pane management, and file management, wants a lot of mousing...

Car harm: A global review of automobility's harm to people and the environment:


  • Summarises car-related harm including crashes, pollution, land use, and injustices.
  • 1 in 34 deaths are caused by cars and automobility with 1,670,000 deaths per year.
  • Cars and automobility have killed 60–80 million people since their invention.
  • Car harm will continue unless policies change; example interventions are discussed.

Tuesday February 20th, 2024

When a square dance caller asks for

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When a square dance caller asks for recommendations of recent releases of modern pop, and an MWSD music producer responds with a version of something that peaked on the Billboard charts in January of 1990...

Modern Western Square Dancing may have a bit of an age/culture issue, huh.

iOS trojan stealing facial recognition data

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Further DMCA abuse

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UK Tax Policy Associates: The invisible campaign to censor the internet

There’s an enormous and largely invisible campaign to use fraudulent notices under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act to remove critical articles from the internet. We don’t know who is running the campaign, but we do know it’s facilitated by Google’s amazingly trustworthy approach to DMCA complaints made by companies that don’t exist.

Monday February 19th, 2024

LLMs for teaching: maybe not so much

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Wall Street Journal: We Tested an AI Tutor for Kids. It Struggled With Basic Math.

Khanmigo, a ChatGPT-powered bot, made frequent calculation errors during a Journal reporter’s test

Apparently Khan Academy thought it'd be great to teach arithmetic with an LLM, and that's going exactly as horrifically as you could have predicted.

Police spending & crime clearance rates

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Center on Juvenile & Criminal Justice: California Law Enforcement Agencies Are Spending More But Solving Fewer Crimes

This steep decline in crime-solving has occurred despite ballooning law enforcement budgets. From 1990 to 2022, Californians’ per-capita spending on law enforcement rose by 52% in constant, inflation-adjusted dollars to a total of roughly $25.5 billion...

Bad 'West Wing' Fan Fiction

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Just putting this in a place I can find it again, because I know I'm gonna get a message from someone at some point and I'm going to want to find this again: Ezra Klein’s Plan For Replacing Joe Biden Is Bad 'West Wing’ Fan Fiction

RIP Jan Graham

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College of Law mourns Jan Graham, alum and former Utah attorney general, who first became famous for pointing out the hypocrisy in BYU's Testing Center rules about women's attire:

Graham, who attended BYU when women were unable to take tests while wearing jeans, went to the Testing Center in jeans and was denied permission to take a test.

She contested to no avail, and didn”t want to face winter winds and snow to go home and change.

She went into the bathroom, took off her pants, buttoned her long coat and went back to take her test.

The Testing Center employee believed Graham had a skirt on underneath her coat and let her take her test.

Graham wrote into the Daily Universe afterwards complaining.

“She said there was something perverse about a dress code that would prohibit a woman wearing blue jeans testing privileges, but permit the same student wearing no pants at all to take a test,” said Wood.

Via 🌈Dr. Frizzle

Germany punishes responsible disclosure

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RT S March Nevan Sarah Aureli

you thought banning flipper zero was bad? get on Germany's level:
banning f12 and looking at the source code.

punishable with 3000 bucks.

and not for doing anything malicious with it. no. for responsible disclosure. IE: reporting a vuln to the company running it, waiting for it to be fixed, then reporting on it widely so people affected know they are pawned.

the company in question: Modern Solution (yes, that is actually their name.)
the sentencing: (in german, but you can probably google translate)

what this means worst case: don't have any data stored with german companies, if you do, assume you are pawned and nobody can tell you, for fear of legal retribution.


Kara Swisher in The Washington

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Kara Swisher in The Washington Post: How Trump pushed Silicon Valley off the rails


Pair of vegan raw Meyer lemon

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Pair of vegan raw Meyer lemon "meringue" tarts being prepped for delivery to unsuspecting neighbors, 'cause the tree is coming in and ya gotta get rid of that fruit somehow...

The Cafe Gratitude cookbooks strike again.

Sunday February 18th, 2024

It's been a long time since high school

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It's been a long time since high school French, and I'm not sure I can trust any of the online pronunciation guides since they don't match my memory on several other words, but a special "fuck you" to the sheet music writer who wrote "peine" with the "pein" on a quarter note, and the "-e" on a whole note, because I don't think there's any way to actually pronounce this appropriately that way.

the other racism in ChatGPT

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Climate Change of the Moment

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Why State Land Use Reform Should Be a Priority Climate Lever for America

RMI analysis shows enacting state-level land use reform to encourage compact development can reduce annual US pollution by 70 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2033. This projection, based on 2023 data, underscores the potential for significant impact within a decade. It would deliver more climate impact than half the country adopting California’s ambitious commitment to 100% zero-emission passenger vehicle sales by 2035. Here’s another way of looking at this: addressing America’s chronic housing shortage intelligently — by building more housing where people most need it — can deliver similar climate impact as the country’s most aspirational transportation decarbonization policy. How’s that for a two-for-one deal?

Via Kurt Nordback

Related: RT Mark Ingalls

Something that stood out to me at AMS is that without significant change to GHG emissions, we’re likely to see CO2 levels around those of the Miocene within the next 50 years or so.

Temps during the Miocene were 3-4°C warmer on average than today. Iceland had a subtropical #climate, Greenland was ice free.

It will take temps time to catch up with GHG content, but us changing the atmosphere this rapidly was shocking to me. This CO2 concentration is likely to occur before I die.


Friday February 16th, 2024

Second force-quit of XCode today

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Second force-quit of XCode today. Too much more of this and I'm not going to feel special....

Jira Requires regular

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Jira. Requires regular shift-reloads, randomly logs you out, *and* uses significant energy.

Image: Safari telling me "this web page was reloaded because it was using significant energy" on a Jira page...

Thursday February 15th, 2024

Just realized that Stardew Valley is

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Just realized that Stardew Valley is completely colonialist and extractive, as you rampage through advanced underground civilizations that are capable of building gorgeous tiled spaces and woven cloth, collecting advanced magics and technological wonders, but isn't really capitalist, in that at some point you peak out on the resources you can accumulate without personal effort.

Even as the desert, beach and road are filled with fermentation barrels and jewel creation machines.

Just a GiftArticle link to _Washington

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no cloud voice assistant

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Stored because we're starting to get some home automation stuff, and integration with non-cloud systems is a priority for me: Can you manage your house with a local, no-cloud voice assistant? Mostly, yes. If you're tired of Alexa and Google listening, a DIY option is possible.

J.K. Rowling's history of transphobia

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RT BlueLegend

Absolutely mind blown today. Found a website that summarizes terms of service for lots of services out there such as Facebook, Reddit, Amazon and others; ranking them from grade A, very good, to grade E, awful. Take a look and you might be shocked by some of the stuff we all miss because we don't read TOS. Needless to say, this is going in my important sites list. Additionally, you can follow @ToSDR which is the official account for the site.

Traffic enforcement

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Portland Police Bureau officer admits traffic enforcement messaging was politically motivated

Various people have looked at San Francisco's enforcement suggestions say that it sure looks like SFPD has stopped doing traffic enforcement.

Via Matt Haughey 🦣 who notes:

During covid, the Portland Police Bureau's budget was cut by 5% and the cops revolted, stopped enforcing crimes, and claimed it was due to defunding. The city is less safe due to the last few years of cops not doing their jobs.

I missed last summer when during a press conference a cop admitted they disbanded their traffic enforcement, told everyone in public there was no traffic enforcement, and all to score political points and get their funding back.


it's kind of amazing when something dumb happens in city politics, and everyone says hey it looks like they're faking a story to push fear into the public while holding the city hostage until we pay the cops off (cops are already the biggest portion of the city budget), and then two years later a cop admits on record yeah, we totally made all that shit up to force everyone into a funding increase for cops.

the danger of commutes

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RT Lalit Patnaik

@davidho When I was working at CERN, they conducted an independent safety and hazards audit for all employees. In presence of particle accelerators with high energy proton beams, radioactive materials, powerful lasers, and cryogenic systems, the most dangerous aspect of work was found to be the daily commute to work.

LLMs lie. It's what they do.

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Air Canada's chatbot gave a B.C. man the wrong information. Now, the airline has to pay for the mistake

Air Canada, for its part, argued that it could not be held liable for information provided by the bot.

"In effect, Air Canada suggests the chatbot is a separate legal entity that is responsible for its own actions. This is a remarkable submission. While a chatbot has an interactive component, it is still just a part of Air Canada’s website," Rivers wrote.

Civil Resolution Tribunal: Moffatt v. Air Canada


As such, starting from today, I will no longer participate in nginx development as run by F5. Instead, I’m starting an alternative project, which is going to be run by developers, and not corporate entities:

Yelp in a wig and sunglasses

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RT Joseph Thomas

Why do people think reporting a company to the Better Business Bureau does anything? It’s not an enforcement agency. It’s a just a private company. The BBB is basically Yelp in a wig and sunglasses.

AI cynicism of the morning

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RT Jared White

The breathless coverage of AI right now on The Verge is a prime example of how media *choosing* to give oxygen to a technology increases its perception of legitimacy whether they intend to or not.

Imagine a major news publication writing story after story like:

"And here's another person cheerfully going about their day getting work done, and they aren't using any generative AI.”

“How does it feel not to use AI today?”

“I feel pretty great, actually.“

“Aren't you behind?”


“Well OK!”

Dan Sugalski

It's pretty clear that the big winners from the AI revolution are going to be those companies who manage to not destroy themselves before the AI revolution flames out.

Josh Collinsworth: I worry our Copilot is leaving some passengers behind

2023 Hugo Awards and the Chinese Communist Party

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The 2023 Hugo Awards: A Report on Censorship and Exclusion

When the Hugo Award voting and nomination statistics were released, no detailed explanation was given for why multiple authors and works were deemed “not eligible” even though they had enough nominations to make the award’s final ballot. The only official explanation came from overall Hugo Awards administrator Dave McCarty, who said “After reviewing the Constitution and the rules we must follow, the administration team determined those works/persons were not eligible.”

However, emails and files released by another member of that Hugo administration team, Diane Lacey, shows that the rules “we must follow” were in relation to Chinese laws related to content and censorship.

Diane Lacey's apology letter. Same Letter on Facebook

Kat Jones wrote:

I would not be willing to participate in any way in the administration of an award under such circumstances again. I don’t think we, as a community, should put our Hugo Award administration teams in this kind of no-win situation.

Scalzi: The 2023 Hugo Fraud and Where We Go From Here

Wednesday February 14th, 2024

Ugh Sonoma 143 with a scaled view

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Ugh. Sonoma 14.3 with a scaled view that's drawing a solid color has some weird-ass artifacts that indicate that they're not handling the seams between draw regions very well.

This is impacting my screen share video production. It's also a new bug.

Brexit Tackle

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Why are kids doing the ‘Brexit tackle’? They’re having fun at adults’ expense – and mocking our toxic politics — Lola Okolosie

So where did the “Brexit tackle” come from? The phrase “Brexit means Brexit” became a joke right from its inception because it was so obviously meaningless – as even a Tory minister admitted at the time. In the face of great complexity, we were given what Fintan O’Toole called “ludicrous tautology”. That young people now repeat the political slogan during aggressive play should tell us that the phrase has become symbolic of a kind of empty-headed belligerence. If we keep in mind that the tackler is willing to hurt themselves – either by getting sent off the pitch or injuring themselves physically – then it can also be read as a pugnacious attempt to make things worse for yourself, just to make a point.

US Internet Securence division leaked emails

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Holy crap... U.S. Internet Leaked Years of Internal, Customer Emails

The Minnesota-based Internet provider U.S. Internet Corp. has a business unit called Securence, which specializes in providing filtered, secure email services to businesses, educational institutions and government agencies worldwide. But until it was notified last week, U.S. Internet was publishing more than a decade’s worth of its internal email — and that of thousands of Securence clients — in plain text out on the Internet and just a click away for anyone with a Web browser.

The money quote...

“The feedback from my team was a issue with the Ansible playbook that controls the Nginx configuration for our IMAP servers,” Carter said...

As Brian Krebs observed:

Also, I'm still struggling to understand why they put Nginx in front of their IMAP servers. That's just one example of their reply that made no sense.

All I had to read was "Ansible"...

Facebook algorithm Offering up stale

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The Facebook algorithm. Offering up stale news amidst pages and pages of outrage bait.

Image shows an event announcement for "tonight", 4 days old.

Mozilla downsizing refocusing on

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Mozilla downsizing, refocusing on AI. What stands out to me is that they're scaling down these various fads in order to pursue another fad.

Rather than maybe fixing PDF handling, all the mobile glitches, packages for Amazon Fire, making it so I don't have to switch to something else for buying music (square dance and sheet), using my insurance and financial serviCes sites, etc...

Taking a break from the SPAR of the

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Taking a break from the SPAR of the Oyster Cove project to do some shopping, and trying to figure out why this iteration feels so much less exciting. I think the restructuring around exterior balconies and complete ceding of the inner area to automobiles is a large part of it. It now feels like an outward facing condo project rather than pedestrian-oriented community.

E2EE & EU Comission

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RT Patrick Breyer

🇬🇧European Court of Human Rights today bans general weakening of secure end-to-end encryption #E2EE because it keeps us all safe. (par. 76 pp.)

This makes the client-side scanning on all smartphones contained in the EU Commission's #ChatControl 2.0 proposal clearly illegal.

EU governments must now finally remove the destruction of secure encryption from the #Chatcontrol 2.0 plans - as well as the blanket surveillance of non-suspects! We #Pirates will continue to fight for this.

Tuesday February 13th, 2024

thing I love about this collection of

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The thing I love about this collection of bizarre pictures about misrepresentations in stock photography of tech issues is that it makes clear that GAN generated images are not the beginning of WTF? in corporate communications.

Monday February 12th, 2024

Waymo fireworks in the cabin

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There are a number of different takes on this: San Francisco crowd attacks Waymo driverless car. Apparently the vehicle tried to drive through the middle of a Chinese New Year celebration in Chinatown.

I like this one: RT Charlie Stross

@AndyGER @mastodonmigration Reading between the lines: an EMPTY car tried barging its way through a Chinese New Year CROWD in Chinatown. Totally unsurprised they got angry!

Secrets of Consulting

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Deciphering Glyph: Let Me Tell You A Secret

In which I provide you with hundreds of dollars worth of software consulting, for free, in a single blog post.

Well might be time to wire all of

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Well, might be time to wire all of those security cameras: Edina Minnesota police warn that burglars are using WiFi jammers. Given the way that my Chevy Bolt drops Android Auto sometimes, I bet these things are pretty widely deployed.


I regret that I never got to know Robert

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I regret that I never got to know Robert, but Sharon's a friend, and writes about her husband's (terminal) dementia, and.... A funny from dementia's front lines

Watched _Bathtubs Over Broadway_

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Watched Bathtubs Over Broadway last night, and quite enjoyed it, but/and it also gave me more to think about in terms of the "what history is worth saving?" and "what does history mean to us as a culture vs individually?"

But it was fun to see a niche of Americana that isn't widely exposed.

Programmers & Time Zones

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Since I've done some timezone stuff, all this, and more: Falsehoods programmers believe about time zones

Tempted to smoke a Super Bowl in honor

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Tempted to smoke a Super Bowl in honor of the day, but my voice can't really handle that, and edibles seem kinda out of the spirit of things. Plus I have projects to work on this afternoon.