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Trash Day Roundup

Well, it’s Tuesday. Trash day. That’s the day we dutifully put our single bag of jetsam out on the curb, and watch our neighbors put out three barrels-worth, or as we call it, the day after Christmas amount. Ho-hum. We’re used to swimming against the current.

I figure it would be fun to sweep some of my bookmarks into the virtual bin, just to get in the spirit of the thing. Here’s a healthy helping of some strings too short to be saved. That I, you know, saved.

NASA | Thermonuclear Art – The Sun In Ultra-HD

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, keeps an eye on our nearest star 24/7. SDO captures images of the sun in 10 different wavelengths, each of which helps highlight a different temperature of solar material.

The sun sure is lumpy. I hear it’s pretty hot, too. Hope they went at night, when it’s cooler.

Coding interviews are stupid

I understand the problems associated with hiring the wrong people as well, which may well be the actual reason we are rightfully stuck with such fearful/timid hiring practices. For now, I’ll just keep practicing for interviews until I successfully trick someone into thinking that I know how to code and then secretely become one of the best employees they have ever had.

Yes, yes they are. Then again, pretty much all job interviews are pretty dumb. I’ve recently become vaguely interested in the tech world hiring process, because my son has entered into the want ad maelstrom. The entire Human Resources Personnel interview process is borderline insane now. And by borderline, I’m referring to the far side of the insane frontier. And by the by, Darren, I’d never hire you because that’s not how you spell “secretly.” I’m constantly mystified by people who produce computer code, where a single misspelling can cause trains to crash and planes to fall from the sky, but somehow think spelling is unimportant. That’s one thing you can say for Open AI chatbots. At least they know how to spell. They’ll be passing coding interviews soon, and coders everywhere can go back to misspelling your name on your food orders, like God and nature intended.

Report: Microsoft Working on ‘Far Larger’ In-House AI Model

Microsoft is reportedly working on a new, in-house artificial intelligence (AI) model that is “far larger” than the other open source models it has trained. The new model, MAI-1, is expected to have about 500 billion parameters, Seeking Alpha reported Monday (May 6), citing a paywalled article by The Information. It aims to compete with models created by GoogleOpenAI (in which Microsoft is an investor), Anthropic and others, according to the report.

Pretty soon computers smarter than Manhattan Projects physicists will be serving up content to users who can barely read, write, or spell. The future’s so bright, ya gotta wear a welding helmet.

Nowhere near the Apollo Program, but Meta spent almost as much as the Manhattan Project on GPUs in today’s dollars.

Well, I guess I made that Oppenheimer joke just in time. Ah, inflation. Is there anything it can’t do?

Designing furniture using the CSS grid

At first I thought of writing a Python script that would take a text description, calculate a few things and output measurements in text. But that would not be very visual, so it was hard to grasp for both ourselves and the furniture designers. Plus, I’d have to write some code that fits rectangles. I was losing motivation, as it would require some non-trivial work, and the end result would not look nice anyway. Was there any software I knew that did at least some of this work for me?

Hey, Allan: I’m extremely conversant with this topic. Try this: Graph paper, a pencil, and a ruler.

More than 100 arrested in Spain in $900,000 WhatsApp scheme

To trick their victims, the scammers contacted them on WhatsApp posing as a family member, typically a son, in some distressing situation requiring urgent financial help. Money transfers from 238 victims ranged from €800 to €55,000. The scammers were so convincing that in most cases, they managed to get continuous payments from their victims, according to the police.

“Typically a son.” Hmm. This rings true. Sons need intermittent emergency funds when they get into jams, which they invariably do, because they’re knuckleheads. Daughters need money daily, so dad might get suspicious if they ask for some twice in the same day.

Buffett Invests in T-bills instead of Stocks, Waits for Bad Stuff to Happen, Cash is King at 5%-plus

“I don’t think anyone sitting at this table has any idea how to use it [the cash] effectively, and therefore we don’t use it,” Buffett said.“We’d love to spend it, but we won’t spend it unless we think we’re doing something that has very little risk and can make us a lot of money,” he said. “We only swing at pitches we like,” he said. And right now, they’re not liking anything other than T-bills.

Vultures generally don’t land on things until they stop squirming.

Vets fret as private equity snaps up clinics, pet care companies

About a year ago, veterinarian Melissa Ezell started noticing subtle changes at the midsized animal clinic in Huntsville, Alabama, where she works. She said she and other vets were feeling pressure from management to make a certain amount of money from every appointment. If a pet owner wasn’t going to spend enough, the message from management was to offer more services. She was urged to pack in more patients outside of normal business hours.

The university graduation ceremony I attended over the weekend had a very large veterinary program. The graduates were 100% girls. I’m not sure when veterinarians swapped from 100% male to 100% female, but it happened. The veterinarians mentioned in the article apparently think that it would be fun to pat a few dogs every day and make six figures. Private equity has other ideas. The illustration in the article has four people drawing blood from a cat, so private equity might have a point.

Judge mulls sanctions over Google’s “shocking” destruction of internal chats

Google was accused of enacting a policy instructing employees to turn chat history off by default when discussing sensitive topics, including Google’s revenue-sharing and mobile application distribution agreements. These agreements, the DOJ and state attorneys general argued, work to maintain Google’s monopoly over search…

…Connor also argued that Google’s conduct wasn’t sanctionable because there is no evidence that any of the missing chats would’ve shed any new light on the case.

Got that? This was said by a lawyer, with a straight face, I assume: Because we erased the evidence, there’s no evidence that the evidence was evidence, your honor. I once met a lawyer walking down the street. “Hi,” I said. “Hello,” he lied.

No, I don’t want to fill out your contact form

Contact forms are almost always worse for users than just putting an email on your website. I explore why they’re terrible, why you’ve done it anyway, and what to do about it.

Preach it, brother. Just tell potential customers to email you, and then Google will send it to your spam folder, because reasons. That’s how it’s done.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone. I’m going to hit my thumb with a hammer now.

Tag: news

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