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Favorites August 7th 2023
Yea, I remain very much not a fan of Zoom. Relatedly, Zoom recently shut down the accounts of Chinese pro-democracy groups under pressure from Beijing. There are many video conference alternatives, they're even pretty good.
This links to a post by Kottke summarizing a thread on Mastodon. The solutions proposed are: "taxing vehicles by weight, testing vehicles for pedestrian and cyclist safety, or requiring drivers have commercial driver's licenses for larger vehicles". I'd also add 'taxing vehicles by size'.
This is really great for Auckland, but what's especially painful is that their legislation was qute similar to our SB 827, which was quite similar. California is essentially the control group in the experiment of whether upzoning works to reduce housing prices.
There was another fun comment today about how the ChatGPT app has a built in dictation system that's better than Apple's. You could potentially use it to turn your verbal dictation into nicely formatted notes.
Very cool photo, although I spent a few minutes investigating, it's Infrared, so this isn't what it would look like to the naked eye. Taken in 2016 by Akatsuki’s IR2 camera.
• Really cool thread about trying to figure out what factors Americans use when they decide how to answer polling questions about the economy, using linear regression. TL;DR: Low unemployment and low inflation, but the data seems to indicate that folks started to care a lot more about inflation recently.
Flotsam and Jetsam
– Video of a Chinese coast guard ship harassing an unarmed Philippine Navy vessel. (src)
– Trump's lawyer says he only asked Pence to break the law in an 'aspirational' way. (src)
– Threads finally allows folks to see posts that they've liked (src)
– The No Cold War group, who opposes confrontation with China, turns out to be a front for Chinese government media. (src)
– The divide between the parties in opinions on immigration has happened because Democrats have moved left (the correct view that immigration is good for America) (src)
– Some parents actually liked remote schooling, but very few kids did better with it than with in-person. (src)
– Seems like there's a lot of cocaine use in Australia (src)
– More schooling in Mexico helped kids, but not by as much as was hoped (src)
– MLK was quite anti-communist. (src)
– In the 1980s Mckinsey told AT&T that cell phones would be a niche product, eventually costing AT&T about $12 billion. (src)
– Giant countries that protect their borders by paying neighbors to fight each other accidentally create R&D accelerators for militaries. (src)
– Fun test of your knowledge of how Large Language Models work. I got an 8, but only because I recently read Tim Lee's excellent article summarizing how LLMs work (src)
– Canada's wildfires have emitted a *lot* of CO2 (src)
– Americans always think the stock market to go down (src)
– 26 Twitter (now X) employees left when their last chunk of stocks vested this month. They have about 1000 employees left, fewer than 500 engineers. (src)