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2023-12-01 20:02:43

It is a strange world we live in now, wherein the output of a computer perfectly following its programming can be said to be "hallucinating" simply because its output does not match user expectations or wishes.

And across trusted professions, academia and media people are repeating that same word without question. Journalists, corporate leaders, scientists and IT experts are embracing, supporting and reinforcing this human self-deception.

In actuality a computer that…
2023-11-29 21:49:47

Sean Carrol's solo podcast on the Large Language AIs.
* They don't model the world.
* They don't have feelings or motivations.
* They do not have intelligence, because intelligence is about that world model and motivations and planning.
But I think that there probably is some model of a world inside those simulated virtual circuits evolved in that matrix model.
Not one fine-grained one enough to work out the consequences of a wrap-around chess board, s…
2023-10-24 09:12:59

#OLH really has the best posters. #OAWeek23 #OAWeek

A 19th-century-style poster with an engraving of a lady reading next to an open cage and books flying away. The text is "Announcing the launch of the most excellent Open Library of Humanities, a charitable, scholar-run publisher of open access journals bringing together the best of traditional scholarly practice with the latest technological innovations, freely available to the public with no author fees and no subscription costs. Letting your scholarship fly freeü Ask for the OLH by name, acce…
OLH poster reading "Research is a battleground: Flip subscription journals to fee-free open access. Join our not-for-profit, international scholar-led open access publishing revolution without author fees", featuring a closed and open lock
Zombie-themed poster by OLH featuring a red hand in a cemetary background and scared characters in the foreground. Text: "Commercial publishers are eating your journal's brains! Don't be the last editor at a zombie journal. Take shelter with the OLH"
OLH Soviet-style modern propaganda poster featuring two blue-collar workers (M+F) looking into the future. Text: "Academics all over the world are building a new future for the humanities - open access, not-for-profit, and with no author fees. JOIN US!"
2023-09-25 23:44:13

I realized today that when I lost Twitter, I also lost a lot of the cool indie game devs I was following there (and the updates on their games). And that totally sucks, because I really love to play indie games. Apparently Twitter was my main source for discovering them (sheesh).
Below is a pretty big list of games (with links to them!) that I'm looking forward to. There are SO MANY games on my Steam wishlist that are still being worked on and upcoming (some of these are on itch a…
2023-09-24 15:22:27

“There's been a change in direction, from a focus on energy facilities towards law enforcement institutions which had previously not been targeted that often,” Shchyhol [head of the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine] said.
“This shift, towards the courts, prosecutors and law enforcement units, shows that hackers are gathering evidence about Russian war crimes in Ukraine” with a view to following Ukraine's investigations, he added.
2023-10-15 14:06:04

Another big earthquake in a region in which more than 1000 mostly women and children died in the past week following two previous quakes.
Solidarity with the long-suffering people of #Afghanistan.
2023-10-15 17:31:22

More states are cracking down on porn. Sure, Texas had its law postponed (though some sites implemented it anyway), but it's not alone. Xhamster, for example, gates its contents even if they can't determine you're in Virginia.
If regulated porn is out of reach, people will find unregulated porn. That world is far worse for exploitation.

Screen shot of Deeper, a porn website, with a giant pop-up window in it's HTML that reads:


Pornography is potentially biologically addictive, is proven to harm brain development, desensitizes brain reward circuits, and weakens brain function.

TEXAS HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES WARNING: Exposure to this content is associated with low self-esteem and body image, eating disorders, impaired brain development, and other emotional and mental illnesses.
Screen shot of Xhamster HTML pop-up that reads:

You must be 18+ to access xHamster

In order to comply with Virginia law, we have implemented a procedure to verify the age of users accessing our website from Virginia.

Start age verification

By clicking "Start age verification", you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy policy.

(Camera icon) Prepare a device with a camera to start age estimation

(Shield with checkmark icon) Verification is carried out by a 3rd party service prov…
2023-10-18 18:00:33

"#Federation and more competition among new apps and platforms provide a chance for different communities to create the kinds of privacy and moderation they want, rather than following top-down content moderation policies.
…in a world of smaller social networks, trust and safety could be handled by third-party companies that specialize in it."

One of the world's largest mobile data brokers, Kochava, has lost its battle to stop the Federal Trade Commission from revealing what the FTC has alleged is a disturbing, widespread pattern of unfair use and sale of sensitive data without consent from hundreds of millions of people.
US District Judge B. Lynn Winmill recently unsealed a court filing, an amended complaint that perhaps contains the most evidence yet gathered by the FTC in its long-standing mission to crack down on dat…