weekly reel February 19, 2023

👋 geeks, this week’s music is an old-made-new notwist.

Vertigo Days - Live from Alien Research Center by The Notwist (bandcamp.com)


Adam Neely: The Nintendo-fication of jazz. Cooool stuff.

Winners of the Underwater Photographer of the Year 2023, via Kottke.

JK Brickworks: Making an infinite LEGO domino ring, via waxy.

SMBC: Dentistry, Herd.


qntm: Lena / MMAcevedo. READ THIS NOW.

Simon Willison - Bing: “I will not harm you unless you harm me first” (HN).

Tom Scott: I tried using AI; it scared me.

Bruce Schneier: AI and political lobbying.


CoRec #085: Shipping Apple’s “Graphing Calculator”, amazing story.

Sebastian Ruiz: Design narratives to the strength of the medium.

Speedrunners “God Run”, a.k.a. finishing FromSoftware’s seven Soulsborne games without taking a single hit. Wait, what.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Jim Stephanie Sterling - Hogwarts: A legacy of hate.

New Tech Bingo.

weekly reel February 12, 2023

Bonjour bonsoir, and music with more Colin Stetson.

La Peur (original motion picture soundtrack) by Colin Stetson (bandcamp.com)


Not Just Bikes: Amsterdam’s new “bicycle stables” are awesome.

[fr] Clément Viktorovitch : L’Assemblée Nationale française s’est elle “bordélisée” ?

McSweeney’s - When to turn your heat on: a decision guide.

xkcd: Only Serifs.


Ted Chiang: ChatGPT is a blurry JPEG of the web. 👏👏👏, amazing Ted Chiang. Recent AIs (ChatGPT but also DALLE2 & Stable Diffusion) amaze me by the mere compression they achieve. Ted explores this, with a very pertinent reminder of Xerox’s JBIG2 mishap, and asks a million excellent questions. One of the best articles I’ve ever read about ChatGPT.

Peter Welch: AI is not the problem.

Scott Alexander: Mostly skeptical thoughts on the chatbot propaganda apocalypse.

DAN, the cat-and-mouse game played by r/ChatGPT trying to break free from OpenAI’s limitations of ChatGPT.


Technology Connections: A simple water heater is more clever than it seems.

Yahtzee Croshaw / Extra Punctuation: Comedy in games should be more than just quips.

weekly reel February 5, 2023

Hey geeks. Have some Colin Stetson.

New History Warfare Vol.2: Judges by Colin Stetson (bandcamp.com)


Scott Alexander: You don’t want a purely biological, apolitical taxonomy of mental disorders.

Kottke notices The minimalist photography awards for 2022.

Asianometry: When silt fills your water reservoir.

Why Canadians can’t bike in the winter (but Finnish people can), thx Uri.

Felix Colgrave: DONKS.

SMBC: Requiem for a blockbuster.


Drew DeVault: Private platforms should engage in censorship.

Ange Yaghi: What is bloom (Fraunhofer diffraction), and how is it simulated?

Google: MusicLM - Generating music from text.

Connor Oliver’s favourite computer: an old Mac.


Noclip (2021) The story of Thief & Looking Glass studios.

People make games - Working at Valve: “A fearless adventure” or “Lord of the flies”?

jm8 @ Escapist: Game difficulty is more enjoyable when designed qualitatively, not quantitatively.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Wladimir Palant - IPinside: Korea’s mandatory spyware.

jwz: Autonomous murderbots still going great.

weekly reel January 22, 2023

Yo, and music with new Atsuko Chiba.

Water, it feels like it's growing by Atsuko Chiba (bandcamp.com)


That bit at timestamp 32m24s of hbomber - Climate denial: A measured response, where a journalist interviews Patrick Moore about Roundup, is fabulous. Other good episodes of his “A measured response” series: Vaccines and autism, and The war on Christmas. Also, Woke brands and Speedrunning is awesome summed up in Hbomberguy @ XOXO Fest 2019.

xkcd: Runtime, SMBC: Drugs.


Verge: Getty Images is suing the creators of AI art tool Stable Diffusion for scraping its content.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Verge: “Extremely hardcore” Twitter.

weekly reel January 15, 2023

Woop woop, frendz, and music with Joni Void + Maya Kuroki.

AGE EP by Joni Void + Maya Kuroki (bandcamp.com)


[fr] Monsieur Phi : De quoi ChatGPT est-il vraiment capable ? EDIT: suite du 2 février, et Scott Alexander: Janus simulators.

Ars Technica: Microsoft’s new AI can simulate anyone’s voice with 3 seconds of audio.

Lawsuit challenging Stable Diffusion, and HN blah.

AI-created stills for movies that don’t exist: David Cronenberg’s Galaxy of Flesh (1985), Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Tron (1976).


Bruce Schneier: Decarbonizing PoW cryptocurrencies through taxation.

Asianometry: How semiconductors ruined East Germany.

MIT: We now understand why Roman concrete is so durable, long-lasting, and self-repairing. Via Kottke.

[pdf] Field Guide to NOTAMs, a tastily-presented snark about the irrelevant crap that goes into official pilot notifications. Said differently, “notification overload”, but for airplane pilots instead of your phone. Via Nelson.

Streamer Mikkaa simultaneously beats 2 Elden Rings with a controller and a dance mat.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Good reminder by Nick: “Smart” home devices are security & privacy trash. IT’S ALSO RIDICULOUSLY FRAGILE AND MOSTLY-USELESS OBSCENE FIRST-WORLD TECHNO-GADGETO-BABBLE BULLSHIT, GODDAMNIT. MORE TECH ≠ BETTER, ever dared thinking about it?

weekly reel January 8, 2023

Bonjour bonsoir, and music with Genghis Tron, merci Sam.

Dream Weapon by Genghis Tron (bandcamp.com)


Maciej Cegłowski: Why not [humans on] Mars, 👏👏👏.

[fr] INA - « Qui aurait pu prédire la crise climatique ? », merci Berthe.

Winners of the 2022 BigPicture natural world photo competition, and 2022 Close-up photographer of the year. Both via Kottke.

SMBC: Art, Yer mom, Imagination.


The strangest computer manual ever written.

LambHoot: The Big Fat Greek reason I haven’t played Hades, Violence in VR video games, Caught in a Dongo Adventure.

Jean-Michel Jarre’s “Oxygene pt. 4” in 19kb of JS code, via waxy.

Limmy’s show: Top secret came up while discussing the LastPass breach, thx James.

Shitty tech ℹ️

The expanding “Dark Forest” and generative AI, via waxy.

Apple fined 8.5 million $ for illegally collecting iPhone data for ads.

weekly reel January 1, 2023

Feliz año nuevo, nerdz, and music with Janel Leppin, merci Juju.

Ensemble Volcanic Ash by Janel Leppin (bandcamp.com)


Tom7 - PAC-TOM: Running every street in Pittsburgh.

SMBC: Oops, JPEG, Real life.


[fr] Jérôme Denis & David Pontille : La maintenance ou l’art invisible de faire durer les choses.

Ferd: A bridge over a river never crossed, and the idea of Falsework, “a temporary structure used to support a permanent structure while it is not self-supporting” 👍.

Wladimir Palant: South Korea’s online security dead end.

Kottke: Super Mario Bros was designed on graph paper.

The Needling: Portland startup to mine artisanal Bitcoin using only slide rules and graph paper 😄, via jwz.

jwz: Floppy disc assembly line.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Josh Strife Hayes: Abusive game monetization strategies.

ho-ho-ho reel December 25, 2022

🎄, geeks, and music with Black Ox Orkestar.

Black Ox Orkestar 3-album bundle (bandcamp.com)


[fr] Homo Fabulus - Climat : comment faire pour que les gens se bougent (une fois qu’ils ont été bien informés).

[fr] Stupid Economics : L’impossible transformation de l’Éducation Nationale.

[fr] Osons causer - Nucléaire : un atout pour l’indépendance de la France ?

Oh the urbanity: Airbnb decimates housing affordability (but it doesn’t have to)

Photos of GY!BE playing at a Mexican restaurant in Manchester UK, November 1998, via r/gybe.

Paul Fairie: The 2022 headline of the year nominees.

SMBC: Artificial Incompetence, Ceremony.


Bryan Cantrill: The container revolution: Reflections after the first decade (2016), Zebras all the way down (2017), Hardware/software co-design: The coming golden age (2021)

Asianometry: The dawn and dusk of Sun Microsystems.

Technology Connections: The optical audio of sound-on-film.

Danny Spencer: Can Doom run it? An adding machine in Doom. HN, which links to a similar thing in Quake.

NYT: The “Luddite” club, a group of NYC teens opting out of smartphones and social media, via waxy.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Hyperloop as a “Gadgetbahn”: Futuristic transportation that looks cool but is unnecessarily complicated and is definitely not built for real people.

weekly reel December 18, 2022

Woop. Music, with Benjamin Clementine, Washing machine techno, and The hardcore coffee machine (merci Rufin 😄).

Benjamin Clementine - And I have been (youtube-nocookie.com)

Washing machine techno (youtube-nocookie.com)

The Hardcore Coffee Machine (youtube-nocookie.com)


SMBC: Bad code, Addicted, Tangled.


Scott Alexander: Perhaps it is a bad thing that the world’s leading AI companies cannot control their AIs. Reddit blah.

Bryan Cantrill @ GOTO 2017 - Debugging under fire: Keep your head when systems have lost their mind.

Genders.wtf, a collection of absurd-but-real gender form fields. Via waxy.

Found this gem on a Hipster News thread, from @antihero + @lrvick:

  • Linux is like driving a car with your hands in the engine.
  • Windows is like driving a car that is actually a city bus full of hostile randos that take a lot of effort to constantly remove.
  • MacOS is like driving a car by yelling at the driver from the kids seat in the back.

... In the end, learning how an engine works to maintain one myself is not so bad.

[Shameless self-plug] By the way, if you haven’t read it yet, my linux nerd toolbox is full of good things.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Vox: Fortnite maker Epic Games has to pay 520 million $ for tricking kids and violating their privacy (HN). Good commenting by Muta, who links to Dark Pattern Games.

Meanwhile, everything’s fine at Twitter.

weekly reel December 11, 2022

Hi geeks, and music with new Zeal and Ardor.

Firewake by Zeal and Ardor (bandcamp.com)


[fr] Homo Fabulus - Quel concept scientifique mérite d’être mieux connu ? 200 intellectuell·e·s répondent.


Scott Alexander: Why I’m less than infinitely hostile to cryptocurrency. Good points that make me reconsider my admitted own infinite hostility to it. One point that Scott doesn’t mention, though, is the ecological disaster that Proof-Of-Work coins imply, but one might hope this will improve (or be fully solved with PoS?!). This is one particular axis of the problem, for which “In 2010, it was probably 100x worse than the regular financial system; now it’s maybe only 10x worse. Might there come a day when it’s no worse at all, or even better?” HN blah.

CNBC: Apple will use “Made in America” chips built at Arizona 3nm TSMC fab + TSMC to up Arizona investment to $40 billion with 2nd chip plant (HN). To put it in perspective, Asianometry: Is America stealing TSMC?

“I need privacy, not because my actions are questionable, but because your judgement and intentions are”, good way to frame the question in our days of surveillance internet! Thx Heinz.

Asianometry: AI’s hardware problem.

Making the blue robot: Some faces behind the Godot engine. Good software and good people. Via r/Godot.

Evan Martin: Chrome, 10 years later.

weekly reel December 4, 2022

👋 and music with Wacław Zimpel & Hans Kulk.

Breath of Brahma & Sri Crickets by Waclaw Zimpel & Hans Kulk (bandcamp.com)


[fr] Monsieur Phi - 1984, réalité et “fake news”.

The Guardian: 20 climate photographs that changed the world, via Kottke.

Journal of allergy & clinical immunology: Gut epithelial barrier damage caused by dishwasher detergents and rinse aids (PDF), via HN.

Cape lappet caterpillars respond to human voice & noise, thx James.


Building a Virtual Machine inside ChatGPT, 🤯.

Bryan Cantrill (2011) Fork yeah! The rise and development of Illumos, what a great talk, for {1. A supremely entertaining rant about Oracle and Larry “Lawnmower” Ellison @ 33:02, 2. A reminder of what a good license can guard against @ 41:22 }.

Drew DeVault it taking a break from blogging and lists blog posts he’s most proud of. Several excellent reads there.

CloudFlare: The DNSSEC root signing ceremony, via Nelson.

Yahtzee Croshaw / Extra Punctuation: Do games have to be fun?

SMBC: Private information.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Muta: Tencent-made style transfer AI has issues with diversity. Nothing new, but a fun reading at 13:06 of the batshit-crazy Terms of Service.

weekly reel November 27, 2022

Hi geeks, and music with Vanessa Wagner.

Mirrored by Vanessa Wagner (bandcamp.com)


SMBC: Intrinsic.


Fantasy “Jodorowsky Tron” AI visualisations by Johnny Darrell, whoaaa. Via Nelson.

Corridor Crew on the future of 3D scanning for video “Neural Radiance Fields” (NeRF), neural networks that can generate complex 3D scenes from 2D photos. Via waxy.

Give a couple $$$ to Thunderbird!

Frost @ The Escapist: Better games fail better.

LGR - The Cybiko experience: a handheld Computer for year 2000 teens.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Fb CICERO: An AI agent that negotiates, persuades, and cooperates with people. Via waxy, whose comment I’ll echo: “building extremely persuasive AIs that are more effective negotiators than humans, what could go wrong”.

weekly reel November 20, 2022

Bonjour bonsoir, and music with Moor Mother.

Jazz Codes by Moor Mother (bandcamp.com)


[fr] Jancovici : Audition à l'assemblée nationale française, 2 nov. 2022.

[fr] Philoxime - COP 27 : pertes & préjudices.

vlogbrothers: How much does humanity weigh?

Floor796, “an ever-expanding animation scene showing the life of the 796th floor of the huge space station”. Via waxy.

SMBC: Clowning 😄.


xkcd - #2699: Messaging feature comparison, #2701: Change in slope.

GMTK - Why do God of War’s characters keep spoiling puzzles?

Kevin Zurawel @ Strange Loop 2021: Game development in 8 bits.

twittoor, “cartoons about life at Twitter”.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Amazon exec gets ripped to shreds by Labour MPs over working conditions in select committee hearing, thx Jo.

weekly reel November 13, 2022

Hey geeks, and music with Swans.

The Seer by SWANS (bandcamp.com)


SMBC: Twin.

The PBF: A fit of the vapours.


Drew DeVault: In praise of Plan 9.

Pinafore’s (a Mastodon client) interesting “wellness settings”, “designed to reduce the addictive or anxiety-inducing aspects of social media”. Via Nelson.

Frost / Escapist: Why I don't play good games.

Technology Connections: Censoring bad words with 1980s tech.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Kind of a follow-up to last week’s mention of Valve’s gambling problem, Mutahar: Why Roblox is not safe for children.

weekly reel November 6, 2022

👋! Music, with Planning for burial and Horse jumper of love, thx OJ.

Natural Part by Horse Jumper of Love (bandcamp.com)

Planning for Burial / Midwife by Planning For Burial (bandcamp.com)


[fr] Homo Fabulus : Peut-on être de gauche et aimer la biologie du comportement humain ? (psycho évo #8)

vlogbrothers: My secret obsession.


John Romero @ Strange Loop 2022: The early days of id Software: programming principles or John Romero - DOOM’s development: A year of madness, they’re the same talk.

Jack Rusher @ Strange Loop 2022: Stop writing dead programs, thx Heinz.

Mike Masnick / Techdirt: Hey Elon, let me help you speedrun the content moderation learning curve.

Shitty tech ℹ️

People Make Games: Valve’s gambling problem. Wow. Had the impression that Valve was less shitty than Epic/Fortnite about gambling (probably due to a positive prior I have about Valve because of the objectively good / ecosystem-healthy work they’re doing with Linux/Proton), and oh boy was I wrong. The whole thing absolutely stinks.

Andy Baio - Invasive Diffusion: How one unwilling illustrator found herself turned into an AI model. Also, AI-generated art sparks furious backlash from Japan’s anime community.

weekly reel October 30, 2022

Hi geeks, and music with uSSSy.

Naghma by uSSSy (bandcamp.com)


[fr] Clément Viktorovitch - L'humour, Va-t-on vraiment vers la “sobriété énergétique” ?

vlogbrothers: Instantly debateable.


Marian Petre @ Strange Loop 2022: Expert software developers’ approach to error, thx James.

weekly reel October 23, 2022

Woop woop, frendz, and music with new Birds in Row.

Gris Klein by Birds in Row (bandcamp.com)


Futurology: Montreal’s 6.9 billion $ new railway network, the REM.

vlogbrothers: Vague questions that lead to the formation of simple opinions, that are likely to conflict with the opinions of others, are more likely to create conflict and to go viral. Also, often, the answers to those questions are invalid, because the questions themselves are wrong.

Asianometry: Soviet nuclear icebreakers.

SMBC: New cold war, Loot drop.

Sugar gliders.


Linus Akesson: The Commodordion is “an 8-bit accordion primarily made of C64s, floppy disks, and gaffer tape”.

Drew DeVault: In praise of ffmpeg.

matklad: Writing good troubleshooting wiki articles.

Yahtzee / Extra Punctuation: Monkey Island and the complicated art of puzzles.

r/gamedev: Funniest line of code you wrote while making a game?

Shitty tech ℹ️

ProPublica: Rent going up? One company’s algorithm could be why. via jwz.

GitHub Copilot investigation.

Most Windows OEM laptops are full of mal/bloatware that non-computerists are ill-equipped to disengage. HN.

weekly reel October 9, 2022

Bonjour bonsoir, geeks, and music with Talk Talk.

Talk Talk - Laughing stock (youtube-nocookie.com)


vlogbrothers: COMMIT TO THE BIT.

[fr] Osons causer : Faut-il manger les riches pour sauver le climat ? À regarder en entier.

Atlantic / Xochitl Gonzalez: The sound of gentrification is silence.


Technology Connections: How to make a point-and-shoot camera in 1961; !@#$% amazing design & engineering creativity.

Text-to-video AI news, via waxy: Phenaki, DreamFusion, Facebook Make-A-Video, Google Imagen.

GMTK: How game designers solved a couple problems, Should designers listen to negative feedback?

adn: Self-expression vs. vesselization.

A good read by the New Yorker on the humans behind NTP.

Ars Technica: Ethereum completes “the Merge” to Proof-of-Stake, which ends mining and cuts energy use by 99.95%.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Ross Scott “Dead Game News”:

Andy Baio - AI data laundering: How academic and nonprofit researchers shield tech companies from accountability.

weekly reel September 25, 2022

👋, human. Music, with JAWHAR.

Qibla Wa Qobla by JAWHAR (bandcamp.com)

Tasweerah by JAWHAR (bandcamp.com)


[fr] Monsieur Phi - Nous sommes spécistes. Justifions-le.

[fr] Gaël Giraud - L’économie à venir.

[fr] Usul - Violences sexistes : la gauche doit faire mieux.

John vlogbrothers Green - Against nihilism.

Kottke: Microscopic photo of vinyl record grooves.

SMBC: Candy.


The new iPhone 14 is much easier to repair (HN) and that’s excellent news.

Shitty tech ℹ️

Sébastien Wilmet: GAFAM to MAGMA.

weekly reel September 18, 2022

Well hello, friends. Music, with Monolithe Noir.

Rin by Monolithe Noir (bandcamp.com)


[fr/qc] Trucs santé avec Monsieur Mousteille, merci James.

SMBC: Pipe & beard.


Matt McMuscles: What happened? is an excellent series of gamedev post-mortems digging into the “why?” of particularly tormented game development lifecycles, often using anonymous dev testimonies. A lot of good cautionary tales, not limited to game dev, and actually not limited to development; these are good project management warnings. Chosen bits: XIII, Cyperpunk 2077.

The last person standing in the floppy disk business.