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Saturday Overnight Open Thread (12/2/23) It's Here! Zappa Month!!! And Christmas Music Too!!! | Main | Sunday Morning Book Thread - 12-03-2023 ["Perfessor" Squirrel]
December 03, 2023

Daily Tech News 3 December 2023

Top Story

  • Rule One of Online Publishing: A hate click is still a click.

    How are things going for the boys and girls over at Tech Crunch?

    Not great, it seems. The article - by the managing editor - on Tesla shipping the Cybertruck to customers is titled The end of Elon. (Tech Crunch)

    The comments at Tech Crunch are heavily censored, but even so 95% are asking if the writer needs a bottle and a nap.

  • How are things going for the boys and girls over at Kotaku?

    Never mind, it's Kotaku. (Tech Crunch)

    After a solid decade of autistic screeching over breast physics in computer games (life tip: breasts do move if you are jumping around) the site is absolutely giddy over, uh, dick physics.

Tech News

  • How are things going for the boys and girls over at The Verge?

    The Ember Tumbler is overpriced, over-teched garbage that nobody should buy. (The Verge)

    Oh. Good.

    It's a $199 electrically heated cup that keeps your coffee at the perfect temperature - but does a worse job at it than a $30 brand name insulated mug.

    And The Verge actually tested that, measuring temperatures over the course of an entire day, both before and after the Ember's battery ran out.

  • Google is escalating its war on ad blockers. (Ars Technica)

    The coming "Manifest V3" update to Chrome is already planned to cripple adblock extensions.

    What Google has done now is to change the rules further so that updates to adblock filter rules have to go through the Chrome Web Store - and be approved by Google every time - instead of downloading directly from the adblock developer or a public repository.

    I recommend Brave and Vivaldi.

  • A former Wall Street banker paid $2 million for an old coal mine with the hope of reopening it. Then he conducted a study of the mine's potential with the Department of Energy and discovered an estimated $37 billion worth of rare earth elements. (Yahoo Finance)

    The trick here is that rare earth elements aren't actually rare. They're just expensive and messy to extract, so we allowed China to take on that job.

    With increasing use of electrical vehicles we need a source that isn't asshole, the same thing that is driving lithium mining in Australia.

    This mine - the Brook Mine in Wyoming - originally operated from 1914 to 1940. Apparently it still contains a billion tons of coal as well as the rare earths. (These details aren't in the article, but it's amazing what you can find on the internet.)

    Mining operations for both coal and rare earths are planned to commence in Q4 of 2023. (Mining Technology)

    Which is now.

  • ChatGPT is successful at convincing people it is human 14% of the time. (Ars Technica)

    ELIZA, a chat bot written in 1964, is successful 27% of the time.

    Humans meanwhile are successful 63% of the time. Don't knock it, it's a passing grade.

  • Amazon's new AI platform, Q, has severe "hallucinations" - that is, it lies constantly - and also leaks confidential data. (Platformer)

    That's a pretty solid combination.

    Great subhed to the article:[quote>Some hallucinations could "potentially induce cardiac incidents in Legal," according to internal documents[/quote>Amazon, of course, denies everything.

  • Google has released the Android studio hedgehog. (Thurrott)

    I hope it can survive in the wild with winter coming - wait, that's a version name?

    Never mind.

  • ChatGPT isn't coming for your coding job, because it's shit. (Wired)

    ChatGPT - LLMs in general - are very good at form but absolutely terrible at function. That's because they are supercharged autocorrect engines; they know only what words fit where, statistically.

    They can make a legal filing that looks correct, but it will reference laws and decisions that don't even exist.

    They perform slightly better at coding - because it's easy to run the generated code to see if it at least compiles - but not much.

    Where they genuinely are transformative is in visual art, because there form largely is function. In a remarkably short time AI image generation has progressed from putting too many fingers on hands - or attaching hands at the elbow - to putting the hinges on the wrong side of the door. (As in, adjacent to the doorknob.)

    I haven't had time to play with AI art much lately but I'd like to get back into it. Last time I tested it it fell apart when you tried to put more than one character in a scene, and I'm hoping for some progress there.

Disclaimer: New slow cooker arrived. I'm going to test it out next week with a duck. That was not the plan but somehow the supermarket is out of chickens.
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