Archive for Technology

Printing presses

Every so often, I get it into my head that I desperately need a tiny printing press. At which point I go through a mental process (and series of web searches) that goes something like this: I could buy a Speedball Press or other small art press. Art, ink, paper, squeeze them together—boom! printing! …But […]

Google’s conversational AI, the Turing Test, and equity

In early 2020, Google posted about Meena, “a Conversational Agent that Can Chat About…Anything.” The post gets fairly technical, but it also includes two brief sample dialogues with Meena in which Meena pretty much passes the Turing Test as far as I’m concerned. (In one dialogue, Meena makes a couple of on-topic puns; in the […]

Tiny cute 2TB portable hard drive

For this trip, I decided it would be a good idea to have a portable external hard drive to back up to. (I also keep remote backups via Backblaze, but I wanted to be able to use Time Machine.) So I bought a 2TB Western Digital My Passport SSD. And I’m amazed at both its […]

Replacing an incandescent bulb with LED

I’ve been hesitating about buying LED lightbulbs for years (and CFLs before that), because there seemed to be a lot of variables and a lot of confusing terminology and contradictory information about them. I had bought a few over the years, but not many. But recently, my last 65W incandescent floodlight bulb burned out (for […]

Some vids

I enjoyed the vid party at WisCONline last week. Here are half a dozen of my favorites—some sweet, some thoughtful, some angry. “Come ’Round for Tea” (2014), by Garrideb Showing female friendships in Marvel comics, with all the words in word balloons replaced by hearts. (song: “Baltic Sea,” by The Social Services) (2 min) “Pipeline” […]

Model 3 first-day notes

My Tesla Model 3 arrived yesterday. I ordered it on the morning of the first day they were open for pre-order: March 31, 2016. The expected delivery date kept getting pushed back (for about a year, starting in late 2017, their delivery estimator said my car would be ready in 4–6 months); even after the […]

Face recognition and tracking people

Content warning for mention of possible use of publicly available tracking technology by stalkers and harassers. The New York Times published an article last week about creating a face-recognition system using publicly available camera feeds: To demonstrate how easy it is to track people without their knowledge, we collected public images of people who worked […]

Jim’s visit + roundsing

Jim was in town this week. Good visit—played various boardgames, went through some Puzzled Pint puzzles (you can download past puzzle sets from their archives), chatted about stuff, went to the Moffett Field Historical Society Museum, had a roundsing. Even though I’ve lived in this area for most of my life, I didn’t know the […]

Highlighting

There are lots of things I love about ebooks, including their portability and their searchability. But one of the things I love most about them is their highlightability. I’ve never had any desire to mark up paper books. I’m one of those people with a deeply rooted sense that books should be kept inviolate; I […]