weekly reel April 28, 2024

Hi geeks, and music with classy new Thom Yorke + new old CocoRosie.

Thom Yorke – Knife edge (youtube-nocookie.com)

Elevator Angels, by CocoRosie and Gael Rakotondrabe (bandcamp.com)


Feathers are one of evolution’s cleverest inventions, via Kottke.

Technology connections - Simmerstats: The genius old tech that controls your stovetop.

McSweeney’s: A message from the chancellor on the recent student protest.


Why you need a “WTF Notebook”, via Kottke.

NeoPragma: Random musings on the Agile Manifesto.

The Verge on internet undersea cables.

Drew DeVault: Copyleft licenses are not “restrictive”.

JS naked day, thx Grâg.

Prime reacts: The plight of Cobol mainframe programmers 👏👏👏.

Christmas shopping online in 1996, via waxy.


Molly White: AI isn't useless. But is it worth it?

Daniel Lemire: Large language models (e.g. ChatGPT) as research assistants.


Cold Take: Stop killing games (website).

Shitty tech ℹ️

Ed Zitron: The man who killed Google Search.

Tracker Beeper, 2022 software having your computer makes noise every time it sends data to a surveillance company. Via Nelson.

Wordpress’ “growth hacking”, via jwz.

Rick Perlstein: My dinner with Andreessen, via jwz.

weekly reel April 21, 2024

Bonjour bonsoir frendz, and music with Jim Guthrie.

Below OST, by Jim Guthrie (bandcamp.com)


Lola Dupre, via waxy.

Kottke: Beavers.

SMBC: So much of school is pointless, Nice people with ideas about pedagogy.

[fr] Pourquoi la Suisse est pétée de thunes, merci Berthe.


A curious device from 1985 called the “Etak Navigator”, whoaaaa. HN.

Asianometry: The birth of SQL and the relational database, The rise of Oracle, SQL and the relational database.

Git manpage generator 😄. HN.

doom-htop: “the classic DOOM game over htop, the text-based process viewer” 😄. HN.


[fr] Monsieur Phi : « GPT est NUL aux échecs et n’y comprend rien ! » — Voici pourquoi j’avais tort, et c’est fascinant.

Majeed Kazemitabaar & Zustin Z. Henley: Learning to code with and without AI, interesting results. Direct links to PDF papers: Studying the effect of AI code generators on supporting novice learners in introductory programming and How novices use LLM-based code generators to solve CS1 coding tasks in a self-paced learning environment.


NeverKnowsBest: The past and present of the “Gamergate” culture wars around video games.

weekly reel April 14, 2024

Holaaa. This week’s music is Adrianne Lenker, thx Berthe.

Bright Future by Adrianne Lenker (bandcamp.com)


[fr] Alain Damasio : Un monde repensé par la Silicon Valley.

The case for a maintenance mindset, thx James.

Oh the urbanity: Solving Vancouver’s housing crisis.

Kelly and Zach Weinersmith (authors of A City on Mars and SMBC): The lie of colonizing Mars.

Adam Neely: The bizzare ban on musical tempo of Chechnya (and also former UK and USA).

Kottke: The best photos and videos of the 2024 solar eclipse, High-diving penguin chicks.

[fr] La statistique expliquée à mon chat : Monsieur le président, avez-vous vraiment gagné cette élection, merci Adrien.

SMBC: Art school.


MattKC: I backported .NET to Windows 95.


[fr] Kombo : Les incroyables speedruns SA/SO de Hitman et Super Mario Kaizo +++ : Trials of Fire, merci Sylvain.

Modern Vintage Gamer: Why the limitations of the N64 and PS1 mattered.

Jim Stephanie Sterling: Why proposing tip jars for mainstream “AAA” videogames is either stupid or malicious.

weekly reel April 7, 2024

Bonjour bonsoir, geeks, and music with Buvette.

Tales of the countryside by Buvette (bandcamp.com)


Farm animal family photos.

SMBC: Perhaps.


500 mile email, “a curated list of absurd software bug stories”.


LLMs are like a trained circus bear that can make you porridge in your kitchen. It’s a miracle that it’s able to do it at all, but watch out because no matter how well they can act like a human on some tasks, they’re still a wild animal. They might ransack your kitchen, and they could kill you, accidentally or intentionally! — Alex Komoroske, via Simon Willison.


Stop Killing Games, via Ross Scott: The largest campaign ever to stop publishers destroying games.

LambHoot: The game where you argue with AI… as a vampire.

Dialogue Trees.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Amazon ditches “Just Walk Out” checkouts at its grocery stores, which was powered by 1000 people working in India reviewing transactions.

Microsoft opens a “high priority” bug in ffmpeg impacting MS Teams, attempting to leech the free labour of the maintainers. HN.

weekly reel March 31, 2024

👋, and music with the WipEout soundtrack.

wipE'out'' - The Zero Gravity Soundtrack by CoLD SToRAGE (bandcamp.com)


[fr] Clément Viktorovitch en entreveue chez Blast : Le journalisme neutre n’existe pas.

Kottke: Gou Miyagi skates very mellow, Tyshawn Jones skates fast, Fabio Wibmer bikes fast, Ryan Williams’ mindbreaking BMX Free Willy.


That was quite the eventful security week:

Dom Marti: Internet users preferences about advertising, personalization, and privacy, varies wildly.

Real Engineering: The engineering of the Gameboy.

Prime Reacts: DHH - Be less precious.


NYC’s AI chatbot tells businesses to break the law. Tasty skewer of factual errors presented as facts by a chatbot supposed to be authoritative. Via waxy.

Oh hey, Google Search is experimenting with pushing AI results first.


[fr] Thief 2 - Une brève analyse.

weekly reel March 24, 2024

Woop woop, have some new Squarepusher.

Dostrotime by Squarepusher (bandcamp.com)


[fr] Science4All - Pourquoi encore se battre pour la démocratie ?

Why weather forecasts have gotten so good.

Jacob Kaplan-Moss (Django maintainer) on consensus, snipped from Django Chat - Talking about Django’s history and future.

Lengthy memoranda and gobbledygook language: Be short and use plain English, via DF.

Ghanaian fantasy coffin maker Paa Joe.

25 years of Windowlicker! Merci Berthe.

SMBC: Together, Consciousness, Caveman.


Redis adopts dual source-available licensing. The race to replace Redis (HN). “SSPL is bad” (HN). Prime Time: The downfall of Redis.


Making a game last forever.


Releasing Common Corpus: the largest public domain dataset for training LLMs, via swillison.

Ars: ASCII art elicits harmful responses from 5 major AI chatbots.

Shitty tech ℹ️

There is no EU cookie banner law.

Reddit’s “Advertise like a Redditor” ad product a.k.a. misleading ads disguised as actual “organic content”. Via nelson.

weekly reel March 17, 2024

Bonjour bonsoir, and music with new TOO MANY ZOOZ and Linus Åkesson covering clown core.

Retail Therapy by TOO MANY ZOOZ (bandcamp.com)

Linus Åkesson - ClownC0re cover: “Computers” on Computers (youtube-nocookie.com)

clown core - computers (youtube-nocookie.com)


[fr] Science4all : Les limitations du réductionnisme énergétique.

[fr] Arte - Les dangers du sucre.

Kottke: The neo-luddite movement.

Oh the urbanity: Edmonton is the Canadian city to beat on housing reform, The disturbing death disparity on North American roads.

SMBC: Philosophy, Underwear, Play doctor.

xkcd #2907: Schwa (Wikipedia).


[fr] Science Étonnante - L’algorithme de Diffie-Hellman.

Johan Halse: Care. HN.

Gunpei Yokoi’s Lateral thinking with withered technology, via swillison.


Quake Speedruns Explained: The history of Quake world records.

Gen Z gamers are doomed.

BreakTime: Running Breakout inside Google Calendar, via HN.


swillison: The GPT-4 barrier has finally been broken.

The Claude 3 system prompt, explained, via swillison.

You can now train a 70b language model at home, via swillison + HN.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Roku locks devices until users agree to new terms of service.

weekly reel March 3, 2024

Hi geeks, and music with fresh new Godspeed songs from their tour:

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - New songs 2024-02-24: “Flowers”, “Flames”, “Feathers” (youtube-nocookie.com)


[fr] Monsieur Phi - Dilemme du prisonnier et agents Kantiens.

NYT: The absurd problem of New York City trash, via nelson. Same in Montréal –and many (most?) North America cities–, trash management here is Bad™.

Comics: xkcd #2899: Goodhart’s Law, SMBC: Post.


Prime: TigerBeetle, the fastest and safest financial transactions database 👏👏👏. Also, Tiger Style, their style & design guide which is 👏👏👏 too.


EMO: Emote Portrait Alive - Generating expressive portrait videos with Audio2Video diffusion model under weak conditions, via waxy.

Who am I? Conditional prompt injection attacks with Microsoft Copilot, via Simon Willison.

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

weekly reel January 21, 2024

👋 frendz, and music with Peter Broderick.

Blackberry by Peter Broderick (bandcamp.com)


[fr] Science Étonnante - LENIA, une nouvelle forme de vie algorithmique.

RobWords: Why E̱nglish shoul̆d start ūsing accėnt màrks, thx Isa.


SMBC: After, Farming life, Am.


Prime: Carson Gross, creator of HTMX, talks HTMX 👏👏👏.

Andy Baio: The quiet death of Ello’s big dreams.

Prime: Are developers ok? and I fixed git.


Ross Scott - Dead game news: The Crew neatly complements A wholly subscription-driven games industry would be “savage”, says Larian CEO.

Under The Mayo: The problem with remaking Silent Hill 2 – Modern audiences and censorship.

NeverKnowsBest: Lies, hate and the story of Emil Pagliarulo. A dissection of exponential spiralling hatefarming & defamation on youtube / reddit / twitter. Reminiscent of Hbomberguy’s video about plagiarism, but focused on { personal attacks, spitballing, entitlement, power tripping } instead of simple plagiarism. A reminder that angry liars can be dangerous when they have a platform.

weekly reel January 14, 2024

Woop woop. Bonjour bonsoir, en musique avec encore Vincent Peirani.

Vincent Peirani - Living Being II (Night Walker) (youtube-nocookie.com)


[fr/qc] Télé Québec - Récolter l’hiver.

[fr] Osons causer - Sécurité des centrales nucléaires françaises.

[fr] Le Réveilleur - Le charbon et ses impacts.

[fr] Clément Viktorovitch - Le “réarmement” : inflexion politique ou concept marketing ?

Zeynep Tufekci: The truth about airplane safety.

Dan Olson: About that Idris Elba gold documentary.

SMBC: Lion, Meaning, Ideology.


Andy Wingo: Missing the point of webassembly.

matklad: Write less.

Niklaus Wirth: A plea for lean software (1995), via DF.


Meta admits use of pirated book dataset “Books3” to train AI.

OpenAI’s answer to the New York Times lawsuit.

Amazon product listing spam.

jwz - Bill Gates’ 1996 “Electronics gives us a way of classifying things” optimism.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Unity’s Open-Source Double Standard: the ban of VLC, via HN.

weekly reel January 7, 2024

👋 friends, have some Daniel Lanois.

Daniel Lanois - Marie Claire (youtube-nocookie.com)


[fr] Osons causer - Critique de la position de JB Fressoz sur la transition énergétique.

[fr] Léonora Miano @ Médiapart - Racisme en France.

How coop “S Group” became Finland’s dominant retailer, via Kottke.

Julia Doubleday: COVID reinfections are not to be taken lightly, as they lead to increasingly-probable Long COVID, via jwz.

Scott Alexander: Singing the blues.

Oh the urbanity: Reasons for the success of Montréal’s St-Denis REV bike lane.

“1000 matchsticks” stop motion animation.

Ed People: “Can you teach me your favorite dance move?”, via waxy.

SMBC: Afterlife, Lightness, Unity, New year, Quote.


American Dialect: 2023 Word of the Year is “enshittification”, via waxy.

How “Standard Ebooks” serves millions of requests per month with a 2GB VPS; or, a paean to the classic web 👏.

matklad: Of rats and ratchets, Git things.

Anil Dash: “VC qanon” and the radicalization of the tech tycoons.

Asianometry: The rise of Unix and the seeds of its fall, A Chronicle of the Unix wars.


Jonathan Blow and Tiago Loureiro: The future of software development in video games.

Paku Paku, a.k.a. 1D-Pacman.


antirez: LLMs and Programming in the first days of 2024.

Simon Sillison: Stuff we figured out about AI in 2023, It’s OK to call it Artificial Intelligence.

weekly reel December 30, 2023

Bonjour bonsoir nerds, feliz año nuevo tout ça tout ça, et musique avec Rajna Swaminathan.

Apertures by Rajna Swaminathan (bandcamp.com)


[fr/qc] L’Histoire nous le dira - Accent québécois : origine et mode d’emploi.

Not just bikes: Montreal’s urban infrastructure is good by North America standards, but a far cry from leading European cities.

Jennifer Jenkins - Mickey, Disney, and the Public Domain: a 95-year love triangle.

Vox: The world slaughters 18 billion animals a year, and then wastes 25%.

“China Export” mark.

SMBC: Normal.


NBC: Woman using dating app to find January 6 fascists, get them to talk, and send the info to the FBI, via jwz.

Drew DeVault: Why Prusa is floundering, and how you can avoid their fate.


Thief: The Black Parade is my Game Of The Year 2023.

RPS: China’s upcoming regulation on online games addictive / exploitative monetization.


Simon Willison - Embeddings: What they are and why they matter.

Facebook is being overrun with stolen, AI-generated images that people think are real.

Jussi Pakkanen - AI silliness: getting to a “no”.

NYTimes sues OpenAI and Microsoft over A.I. use of copyrighted work

Prompt-Brush is “a non-AI generative model: if you suggest an image prompt, Pablo Delcan will make you a drawing with black ink and send it to you”. Via Kottke.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Mike Masnick: Substack turns on its “nazis welcome!” sign.

The Hyperloop was always a scam.

jwz: Remember when Mozilla made a web browser? Also, HN blah.

jwz: Migrating away from 1Password.

weekly reel December 17, 2023

Hi geeks, and music with old Vincent Peirani.

Living being by Vincent Peirani (bandcamp.com)


[fr] Angelo Mathémélo - Le théorème du singe savant.

[fr] Stupid Economics - 2050 : Conséquences de la fin de “l’abondance”.

[fr] C’est une autre histoire - Sabotage.

Cory Doctorow: It all started with a mouse.

[fr] Osons comprendre - Profs : le grand déclassement.

The insane engineering of the Space Shuttle.

SMBC: Behold, I.e., Down, Soulmate.


Kitboga: Using ChatGPT to scam scammers.

Simon Willison: The AI trust crisis.

Shitty tech ℹ️


Engadget: 23andMe frantically changed its terms of service to prevent hacked customers from suing.

Robert Reich: How Amazon is ripping you off.

weekly reel December 10, 2023

Hola, and music with Zeal and Ardor.

Live in London by Zeal and Ardor (bandcamp.com)


[fr] Angelo Mathémélo : Vous êtes éclatés en probabilités (et moi aussi), Les fonctions “monstres” de Weierstrass.

AlphaPhoenix: Watch electricity hit a fork in the road at half a billion frames per second.

[fr] Philoxime - COP28 : Faut-il dealer avec les pétroliers ?

hbomberguy: Plagiarism and You(Tube).

SMBC: Remember, Generivore, Family, Loosen.


Kitboga: Sending Facebook scammers the wrong gift cards.

Brother printers have gotten to where they are now, by not innovating (HN).


Thief: The Black Parade is amazing.


Schneier: AI and Trust.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Jeff Atwood: I fight for the users.

Muta: Sony sincerely fists you “because of changes in licensing agreements”.

EFF: EU’s eIDAS 2.0 article 45 will roll back web security by 12 years (HN).

23andMe confirms hackers stole ancestry data on 6.9 million users.

weekly reel November 19, 2023

Bonjour bonsoir, nerdz. Have some DJ Shadow.

Action Adventure by DJ Shadow (bandcamp.com)


Bobby Fingers: Jeff Bezos rowing boat, 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏.

LambHoot: The dead game in Hedbanz. Cool story around kids remixing a found board game lacking a rulebook, into a non-competitive social game reminiscent of Cards Against Humanity.

A perfectly designed Climate Report cover.

[fr] L’Histoire nous le dira #227 - La saga de l’avortement au Québec : Chantale Daigle.

Winners of the Landscape Photo Awards 2023, via Kottke.

SMBC: Discrete.


Linus Akesson: C64 Vivaldi summer presto (“The storm”)

Heyyy, raise a glass to feudal Big Tech bending a micrometre to EU regulation! No Bing, no Edge, no upselling: De-crufted Windows 11 coming to Europe soon (HN), RCS support is coming to iPhones (HN).


Quake Speedruns Explained: 19 years to beat Quake’s E1M6 record.

Friends Per Second #34: How The Escapist died and Second Wind was born.

Valve: Half-Life 25th anniversary documentary.

Shitty tech ℹ️

[fr/qc] Le Devoir : L’IA en santé, entre conflits d’intérêt et millions de dollars perdus.