Category: Programming

  • People Matter. Even in Tech

    So Space Karen might have really broken Twitter this time. Over the holiday weekend, Twitter started behaving even worse than it usually has under Musk. First, Twitter became unavailable to anyone not logged in. Then, people began experiencing errors telling them that had been rate limited (usually a message indicating that you have hit a…

  • Or You Could Just Make Search Useful Again

    Google is rolling out a new feature apparently aimed at replicating the experience of adding “reddit” to your search queries: “Tap the filter, and you’ll exclusively see long- and short-form videos, images and written posts that people have shared on discussion boards, Q&A sites and social media platforms,” Google wrote in a blog post about…

  • Why Does All The AI Write Instead of Doing Something Useful?

    There exists in the Pacific Ocean a kind of man-made island. No one will admit to attempting to create this island, despite its impressive size — larger than France. If pressed, though, or put under torture (say, having to listen to all of Barry Manilow’s greatest hits), many of the business executives responsible for its…

  • OpenAI Acts As If They Are Thieves

    The European Union is working on regulations that would regulate certain AI systems. These regulations would require transparency regarding the system’s design and information about any copyrighted data used in training their systems. The leadership of OpenAI’s immediate response was to claim that they would have to stop operating in Europe. They backed away from…

  • Generative AI Won’t Cure Your Cold

    One of the claims for generative AI tools like ChatGPT is that they could provide things like legal, medical or therapeutic services for those people who either cannot afford those service or who do not have access to them because of language, proximity, or other barriers. On its face, this sounds like a reasonable potential…

  • Ireland Targets Facebook’s Targeted Advertising and the Political Question of Privacy and Freedom on the Internet

    Ireland has punished Facebook for ignoring its data privacy laws:  Meta (META.O) was hit with a record 1.2 billion euro ($1.3 billion) fine by its lead European Union privacy regulator over its handling of user information and given five months to stop transferring users’ data to the United States. The fine, imposed by Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner…

  • Is Google AI About to Destroy the Web?

    A bit hyperbolic? Maybe. But their vision for search has that potential: To demonstrate, Liz Reid, Google’s VP of Search, flips open her laptop and starts typing into the Google search box. “Why is sourdough bread still so popular?” she writes and hits enter. Google’s normal search results load almost immediately. Above them, a rectangular…

  • Capitalism vs. Useful AI

    The Washington Post has a fascinating story about how improved algorithms allow people with conditions that have robbed them of their speech to sound much more like themselves than the old methods. Previously, a person would record thousands and thousands of worlds over a session that lasted up to thirty hours. The system would then…

  • Is AI Coming for the Economy?

    The title is one of the fundamental questions of the next twenty years or so. Tim Lee does not think so. The post is long, but the general argument is that AI will merely move work around because there are still going to be things that AI and robotics cannot handle. In general, the “pie…

  • It’s Okay Not to be Notable: Or, Conservatives, Please Stop Whining about Twitter Checkmarks

    It’s Okay Not to be Notable: Or, Conservatives, Please Stop Whining about Twitter Checkmarks

    On April 20th, because Elon Musk has the sense of humor of a stoned college student alone on a Saturday night, Twitter removed verification (the blue check mark next to your name) indicators from all account snot paying for his Twitter Blue program. Most people and organizations did not switch and thus have no verification…