weekly reel February 25, 2024

Hi geeks, and music with new Flavien Berger.

Contrebande 02. Le disque de l’été by Flavien Berger (bandcamp.com)


[fr] Science4All : Innovation vs. sécurité.

A global review of cars harm to people and the environment, via Kottke.

Samantha Moore: Visible mending.

Things unexpectedly named after people.

SMBC: Demand, Hatero, Help, Yeep.


Simon Willison: The killer app of Gemini Pro 1.5 is video.

Scott Alexander: Sam Altman wants 7 trillion $.

[fr] Monsieur Phi : CrazyGPT.

weekly reel February 18, 2024

👋, and music with Yonatan Gat rock-covering Dvořák’s American Quartet.

American Quartet by Yonatan Gat (bandcamp.com)

Dvořák’s American Quartet, by the NY Philharmonic (youtube-nocookie.com)


[fr] Sénat - Audition de Jean-Marc Jancovici au sujet de Total Énergies.

[fr] Angelo Mathémélo - Les mathématiques du cœur.

Persistence of vision in black & white noise, via waxy.

Dan Hon: Stickers to manage internet replies, 👏👏👏👏👏.

Superb Owl Sunday VIII.

13 worst bike lanes in the world, via Kottke.

SMBC: Deepfake 2.


“Chronolog”, low-tech crowdsourced time lapses that help monitor the environment, cooooooooool.

Common programming terms (loop, patch, library, bug) derived from physical attributes of early computers, via Kottke.

DF: Apple’s reversal on RCS support stems from China regulation, not EU.


OpenAI Sora.

weekly reel February 11, 2024

Yowdy frendz. This week’s music is the Outer Wilds OST.

Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye (The Lost Reels) by Andrew Prahlow (bandcamp.com)


NJB: More highway lanes are (still) a bad thing.

David Policar: They’re made out of meat.

Kottke: Concha García Zaera’s MSPaint paintings.

RobWords: Words we’ve ruined.

xkcd: Relationship advice, Log cabin.

SMBC: Cult, Temperature.


Anil Dash: “Wherever you get your podcasts” is a radical statement.


François Chollet:

People seem to be falling for two rather thoughtless extremes:

  1. “LLMs are AGI, they work like the human brain, they can reason, etc.”
  2. “LLMs are dumb and useless.”

The reality is that LLMs are not AGI — they're a big curve fit to a very large dataset. They work via memorization and interpolation. But that interpolative curve can be tremendously useful, if you want to automate a known task that’s a match for its training data distribution.

Memorization works, as long as you don’t need to adapt to novelty. You don’t need intelligence to achieve usefulness across a set of known, fixed scenarios.

In fact, that’s the entire story of the field of AI so far: achieve increasing levels of usefulness and automation, while bypassing the problem of creating intelligence.

GOODY-2 😄.

weekly reel February 4, 2024

Bonjour bonsoir, geeks, and music with new The Smile.

Wall of Eyes by The Smile (bandcamp.com)


xkcd: Greenhouse effect.

How France’s “Centre National du Cinéma” works, hében, savais pas.

Real Eng - The insane engineering of the space shuttle: Re-entry.

[fr] Clément Viktorovitch - Janvier 2024.

Starlink’s laser system is beaming 42 PB/day (432 Mbps/laser, 9000 lasers total). HN.

SMBC: Singed, Wolf, Unspeakable, Prayer.


Tonsky: In loving memory of square checkbox.

jwz: Hypertext emerges from his well to shame the tech industry.

Shitty tech ℹ️

[pdf] Mozilla: How Microsoft compromises browser choice. HN.

Slate: How Quora died.

weekly reel January 28, 2024

Hola, and music with Giardini di Mirò.

Punk... Not Diet! by Giardini di Mirò (bandcamp.com)


Real Eng: The questionable engineering of the Boeing 737 Max, via HN.

Compound pejoratives on Reddit, from buttface to wankpuffin, via nelson.

SMBC: Flesh, Consciousness, War.

PBF: Standards.


Second Wind: 13 times people leaked military documents on War Thunder forums.

Jblow: Game devs are drowning in complicated proprietary systems, and Primeagen reacts.


RPS: Piracy & games preservation.

Pong wars, via waxy.


0xide & friends: Open-source LLMs with Simon Willison, stellar interview.

Google Research: Lumière, a text-to-video and image-to-video diffusion model for video generation.

Wired: Most top news sites block AI bots. Right-wing media welcomes them.

404 Media: YouTube deletes 1000 videos of celebrity AI scam ads.

Jakob Nielsen - The articulation barrier: Prompt-driven AI UX hurts usability, via Simon Willison & HN.

jwz: “Driverless” cars always have a driver.

Shitty tech ℹ️

The Verge: Apple’s new browser rules are “as painful as possible” for Firefox, says Mozilla. HN1, HN2. Also, DF: Apple’s Plans for the DMA in the European Union