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Tuesday,  02/07/23  09:49 PM

Interesting how many of you emailed me about "old technology" which you still have/love, following up on my report on Hen3ry.  So cool.  I'm pretty much a relentless eBay-er; if I buy a new thing, I sell the old thing, so that it can be useful as much as to make money from it.  But there are some things which just seem like I want to keep.

At right, my iPod collection: the original (scroll-wheel!), the first "iPod Touch", with a screen, and an iPod mini, which was my cycling companion for many years.  I can still use the latter two, but the original was a Firewire device, and sadly, I no longer have any way to connect it.  A project for someday.

I remember the iPod Touch so well; it was able to connect via WiFi, and I wrote a rudimentary digital slide viewer for it, which ran in a early version of Safari.  You will recall, this was before the Apple App store and the explosion of apps for IOS (in fact, it was before IOS was a public thing).  Those were the days.  (2008!)

Apropos, from John Gruber: Connor Oliver's favorite computer: an old mac.  "This Mac has no form of notification system built in, it never begs for your attention and its applications never try to distract you from what you are doing, begging you to look at them instead. If I get distracted while using this Mac the fault lies squarely on me, not the computer and not the programs running on it."  I think he nails the key benefit; the lack of things asking for your attention. 

Harkens back strongly to my three-hour rule.  ("It takes three hours to get anything 'done'.")

This is quite sad: LeighWolf reports "the damage done to the credibility of AI by ChatGPT engineers building in political bias is irreparable".  Whether you agree with ChatGPT or not, I'm sure you'd agree it would be better if it weren't biased. 

Big news: Microsoft adds ChatGPT AI technology to Bing Search engine.  Well of course they did.  And I have to say, there is nothing better they could have done which would make me want to switch from Google to Bing.  I can't wait to try it. 

It's interesting to think about how this will work.  ChatGPT is inherently interactive, although for many purposes a single query is enough.  Most people interact with search engines via the input line at the top of their web browser.  You could certainly type a ChatGPT query there.  But to make it interactive, what will they do?  Show the chat in the search results?  Can't wait to try it!

PS thought: will this be Edge-only?  There is nothing better they could do which would make me want to switch from Chrome to Edge...

Apropos: Joanna Stern interviews Satya Nadalla (CEO of Microsoft) about Open AI's improvements to Bing and Edge. 

And of course - of course! - Google rolls out new AI search features.  Where by "rolls out" they mean, talks about; "Bard" is still in private beta. 

Shelly Palmer: Begun, the AI Wars Have.  What a time to be alive... 

WSJ: Artificial Intelligence is transforming healthcare - but is this a good thing?  Yes! 

Scott ("Dilbert" Adams wonders, Is this true?  Where "this" is: no global warming for 8 years and 5 months, per NASA satellite data.  Only eight years, but still. 

Bloomberg: Wind Turbines Taller Than the Statue of Liberty Are Falling Over.  Some?  All?  Many?  "The problems have added hundreds of millions of dollars in costs for the three largest Western turbine makers, GE, Vestas Wind Systems and Siemens Energy’s Siemens Gamesa unit.

And: Sea level is stable around the world.  Another thing I did not know.  And another "fact" which could engender incredible debate.  Don't you wish these things could be debated by scientists instead of politicians? 

Meanwhile: Harvard Medical School adds climate change to its curriculum.  Because of course. 

Loved this from the comments: 

Interesting: Hertz doubles down on electrification following record earnings, stock surges 7%.  It's not clear whether this is because car rentals have recovered from Covid, or people like renting EVs, or both.  Maybe because it eliminates the weird "do you want to pay for gas now" issue? 

From Elon Musk.  I feel like you could substitute "possible" for "easy". 

Time Magazine's Beef with Elon Musk.  Yeah, well.  Also, Time still exists? 

My favorite story of this day: For years, there'd been a square in the periodic table that scientists struggled to fill. An 'unlikely scientist' helped fill it.  The story of Clarice Phelps ... and Tennessine. 

Related: Where the elements came from.  Can you find Tennessine? 

(It's a trick question; this table goes up to element 103, and Tennessine is 117... it would be under AT, element 85... Astatine.)