Content about tech

iOS 18 to Use AI to Summarize Notifications, Add to Calendar, and More (macrumors.com)

He also noted that a ChatGPT-like chatbot will be noticeably absent from Apple's upcoming AI features. Apple executives are said to have admitted that they're "playing catch-up" internally.

Sounds like we'll get some baby steps with AI in iOS 18. I look to see Apple turn its slower pace on AI into a positive at the upcoming WWDC, touting guardrails and privacy. I think that's a winning strategy, btw. Non-techie, "regular people" are intrigued by chatGPT right now, but they're also concerned and a little afraid. I think a turtle that provides comfort and allays fears wins this race, and I think that's exactly what Apple intends to do.

tags: ai tech apple

posted by matt in Sunday, May 19, 2024

Your attention span is shrinking, studies say. Here’s how to stay focused | CNN (cnn.com)

"To me, email is probably the worst because it's become a symbol of work," she said, adding that her research has found a direct correlation between email and more stress. "We cut off email for some workers in an organization for one workweek," she said. "Using heart rate monitors, we found that they became significantly less stressed and were able to focus significantly longer."

I remind myself daily that email is an application that can be closed. I don't have any personal data, but I can feel the drop in stress and increase in focus mentioned in that quote when my email app is closed. It's hard, but I'm trying to get to a point where I only check it three to four times a day.

tags: tech health

posted by matt in Wednesday, May 15, 2024

This video from Cleo Abram is the most provocative thing I've seen about the Apple Vision Pro. It's a teleportation device, or at least will be once the technology improves. But here's the key - exploration of far away lands like a Star Trek landing party won't be its biggest impact. That will be fun and exciting, of course, but the bigger deal is the impact it will have on human relationships. Physical distance between people will become less of an impediment to human interaction. Indeed, it might become largely irrelevant. You won't be alone even though you live three states away from your kids. Or parents. Interactions with the Apple Vision Pro will feel like actual in-person visits. So much so that we'll think of them as such, unlike letters, phone calls, and even modern video calls.

And why stop with erasing the impediment of physical distance? Why not erase the impediment of time, too?

They look a bit ridiculous right now, but someday a future version of the Vision Pro, or a similar product, will be commonplace.

And it's going to be incredible.

tags: tech apple visionpro

postposted by matt in Monday, May 13, 2024

OpenAI launches GPT-4o in time for rumored iOS 18 Apple deal - 9to5Mac (9to5mac.com)

WWDC is going to be quite interesting this year, I think. Apple has been touting its focus on privacy lately, so an "on device" aspect to its AI feels natural. But it's also working with OpenAI, so a connected aspect must be in play, too. Will users have options? In a global setting...at each interaction?

tags: tech ai apple

posted by matt in Monday, May 13, 2024

Apple's Tim Cook teases AI ambitions in latest earnings call (appleinsider.com)

"We believe in the transformative power and promise of AI, and we believe we have advantages that will differentiate us in this new era, including Apple's unique combination of seamless hardware, software, and services integration, groundbreaking Apple Silicon with our industry-leading neural engines, and our unwavering focus on privacy, which underpins everything we create."

Apple is arriving late to the generative AI party and is bringing a different approach with it. Sound familiar? This is how the company came to dominate portable music players, smartphones, earbuds, tablets, laptops, etc. The strategy doesn't always work (think cars), but I'm betting it will in AI.

tags: tech ai apple

posted by matt in Thursday, May 2, 2024

Disney reportedly wants to bring always-on channels to Disney Plus (theverge.com)

There's value in television that's just...on. Always. It might be a generational thing, but we like having the tv on even when we're not focused on a particular show. Background noise, I guess. We've watched the Harry Potter movies that way several times over the years, catching random bits here and there. And that's not to mention Golden Girls, Fraser, Friends, and other series we 'watch' as we fall asleep at night. It's interesting, and a little funny, to see a streaming service recognize this.

tags: tech media tv streaming

posted by matt in Monday, April 15, 2024

Artificial intelligence technology behind ChatGPT was built in Iowa — with a lot of water (apnews.com)

"Microsoft disclosed that its global water consumption spiked 34% from 2021 to 2022 (to nearly 1.7 billion gallons, or more than 2,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools), a sharp increase compared to previous years that outside researchers tie to its AI research."

The Midwest has ready access to a lot of fresh water, and tech is coming for it. Intel is building a giant fab facility near Columbus and, apparently, OpenAI developed ChatGPT in Iowa.

Cities like Toledo, Detroit, Cleveland, and Chicago should really benefit from tech's growing thirst for water. I hope Ohio and the other Great Lakes states are ready and prepared to protect our resources. I'm all for progress, and the Midwest should leverage the need for water to gain economically from this, but ensuring sustainability of our natural resources should be the first priority.

tags: tech environment greatlakes

posted by matt in Sunday, September 10, 2023

Futuristic stuff that we've waited decades for seems now to be arriving in rapid fire succession. AI, of course, has garnered headlines (and mind space) for the last several months as ChatGPT rolled out new versions. And Congress received seemingly credible whistleblower testimony alleging that the U.S. government has been covering up, for decades, evidence of aliens and their spaceships.

On the good and not-so-scary side of this, we have had the Dick Tracy watch for some time now (with the Apple Watch).

Maybe flying cars are right around the corner.

tags: future tech

postposted by matt in Sunday, July 30, 2023

Loaf-size mission to improve hurricane forecasting is ready to launch | CNN (cnn.com)

Each CubeSat will orbit at about 340 miles (550 kilometers) above Earth’s surface and capture hourly observations of the precipitation, temperature and humidity of tropical storms. Current satellites take similar data, but only about every six hours, which makes it more difficult to measure the intensity of storms.

More frequent data can help scientists understand the rapid changes that can occur within a storm, impacting its structure and stability, and help meteorologists improve their prediction and forecasting models.

Looks like hurricane data will grow six-fold this season. Hopefully that finds its way into weather apps for phones and tablets, which, I think, is where most people track storms (true for me).

tags: weather tech space

posted by matt in Sunday, May 7, 2023

Gas leaf blowers and lawn mowers are shockingly bad for the planet. Bans are beginning to spread. (usatoday.com)

“For the majority of residents who own single family homes, it’s going to be all electric, all day long," said Daniel Mabe, founder and president of the American Green Zone Alliance.

Electric vehicles are the obvious elephant in the room when it comes to gas-powered engines. But, once you think of all the lawnmowers, blowers, trimmers, edgers, snowblowers, and other small equipment out there, it's easy to see that, collectively, they could be a bigger deal.

And the shift to electric for the lawn is well underway—a visit to an big box store this spring revealed that. All are stacked to the ceiling with electric mowers and trimmers.

We bought our first electric mower this year. I mostly love it. The battery claims are bullshit, of course. It doesn't even come close to the range listed on the box. My thick lawn and the wet conditions we've had so far are probably not the conditions they used to test the battery to support those claims, but I don't think my lawn is much different than most. But, it's no big deal. I just break the job up a bit, and will likely buy a second battery someday.

tags: ev tech home lawn environment

posted by matt in Sunday, April 30, 2023

GM is ditching CarPlay in all future EVs and teaming up with Google instead (9to5mac.com)

"This change, the report explains, will help GM 'capture more data on how consumers drive and charge EVs.'"

Future GM owners just became the product.

Our next vehicle will have CarPlay, which means it won't be a GM.

tags: tech apple ev

posted by matt in Friday, March 31, 2023

OpenAI's ChatGPT Blocked In Italy: Privacy Watchdog (barrons.com)

"...no legal basis to justify the mass collection and storage of personal data for the purpose of 'training' the algorithms underlying the operation of the platform."

Italy is taking an interesting angle on guard railing AI—privacy.

tags: tech ai

posted by matt in Friday, March 31, 2023

Midjourney ends free trials of its AI image generator due to 'extraordinary' abuse | Engadget (engadget.com)

"Midjourney is putting an end to free use of its AI image generator after people created high-profile deepfakes using the tool."

And they're surprised by this? Really? Give me a break.

tags: tech ai

posted by matt in Friday, March 31, 2023

I've played around with ChatGPT a bit over the last few days. I'm wondering how it might be useful for Daystream. I can't get past the basic inaccuracies in the system, though.

For example, today I asked it to "Describe some events or happenings that occurred on March 29, 1983." I thought API calls using a prompt like that might be an interesting way to generate user-independent content for historical days. I'm not sure why I picked 1983, but 40 years ago today seemed like a decent test. I was 13.

ChatGPT quickly gave me a list of seven events that, according to the AI, "occurred on March 29, 1983." The first event on the list caught my eye because I have specific memories of it: "The final episode of the television series 'MAS*H' aired on CBS, drawing a record-breaking 125 million viewers in the United States."

Unfortunately, ChatGPT got this one wrong. Basic web research using Wikipedia and IMDB reveals that the final episode of MASH, Goodbye, Farewell and Amen, actually aired on February 28, 1983, 40 years and 1 month ago.

This is an easy one to get right, too. The last episode of MASH is generally considered to be one of the most-watched scheduled television episodes of all time. It's the GOAT of episodic television. If AI got details wrong on something that is so easy to verify, what might it get wrong on things that aren't as easy to check? Or that can't be checked? What about a historical event or item that has such a low level of general interest that people only touch its details once a generation, once every other generation, or less? Human verification of AI generated historical content isn't just something that should be done, it's something that must be done to avoid a quiet rewriting of the details of human history. Anything that isn't human-verified should be labeled as such, and treated accordingly.

ChatGPT, and AI generation of content generally, still intrigues me and I think there might be a place for it in Daystream at some point. But, in light of errors like this that are revealed with basic fact-checking, I currently have no confidence in using it to assert that something actually happened on a particular day in the past, or that a list of various things occurred on a particular day.

tags: daystream tech ai

postposted by matt in Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Wozniak, Musk & more call for 'out-of-control' AI development pause | AppleInsider (appleinsider.com)

"AI labs and independent experts should use this pause to jointly develop and implement a set of shared safety protocols for advanced AI design and development that are rigorously audited and overseen by independent outside experts," it continues. "These protocols should ensure that systems adhering to them are safe beyond a reasonable doubt."

We need Asimov's Laws of Robotics for AI. Frankly, I'd feel better if that came in the form an actual law, not an agreement among companies. An international treaty would be best.

tags: tech ai law policy

posted by matt in Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Mark Zuckerberg said he missed a giant shift in social networking (cnbc.com)

“So in that world, it is actually somewhat less important who produces the content that you’re finding, you just want the best content,” the Facebook founder said.

He's right, of course. And I love that. Go on, Zuck, chase that red ocean. The ocean I'm swimming in gets bluer every day.

tags: daystream social tech

posted by matt in Friday, October 14, 2022

Samsung’s latest remote turns router radio waves into energy | Engadget (engadget.com)

I didn't know radio frequency (RF) harvesting was a thing. Using otherwise wasted energy from radio waves to recharge batteries seems sort of genius, even if it is "best suited [for] low-power devices such as TV remotes." There's a few of those on the planet (hell, we probably have a dozen lying around), so it's not hard to see the potential impact of this tech.

tags: tech environment

posted by matt in Sunday, January 2, 2022

I did some maintenance on Daystream user RSS feeds tonight. Fixed a few minor issues that broke feed validation from time to time (depending on the items in the feed at any given time.)

Digging into RSS is always a source of frustration for me. It's beautiful and, yes, simple. It's amazing to me that more people don't use it to consume content from the web. I get why publishers moved away from it - eyeballs on sites are more valuable than quickly scannable content in a reader.

They won, we lost.

tags: dev daystream tech

postposted by matt in Tuesday, December 28, 2021

If the Webb telescope sunshield doesn't open, here’s what NASA will do (mashable.com)

"Like working on a jammed desk drawer, the ground crew could push or pull harder on devices to try to unstick them. Or imagine gently shaking that drawer to loosen the clutter lodged in it. The crew could also initiate a low-level vibration — a “shimmy” — by firing its rockets in different sequences."

So the ground crew can built in the "push harder" and "shimmy and shake" options, but what if it needs a good, swift kick to get things moving?

tags: tech space

posted by matt in Tuesday, December 28, 2021

GM takes a stake in electric boating start-up Pure Watercraft (cnbc.com)

Nice - electric boats are coming, too.

I spent a lot of time on an inland lake in Michigan as a kid, and can still see the film of gasoline that always seemed to spread behind our old Evinrude...and to which no one paid any attention. Boat people can connect with this visual because they've all seen it. I bet electric outboards will be well received once widely available and affordable.

tags: tech environment

posted by matt in Monday, November 22, 2021

‘Spirit of Innovation’ stakes claim to be the world’s fastest all-electric vehicle (rolls-royce.com)

As well as a stunning technical achievement, the project and world record runs provided important data for our future electric power and propulsion systems for all-electric urban air mobility and hybrid-electric commuter aircraft. The characteristics that ‘air-taxis’ require from batteries, for instance, are very similar to what was developed for the ‘Spirit of Innovation’. 

Development of electric planes seems to be moving along quite a bit faster than I though. And it seems like the technology will grow the field, enabling urban air-taxis.

tags: tech flying aviation innovation

posted by matt in Monday, November 22, 2021

Intel's Expensive New Plan to Upgrade Its Chip Technology - and US Manufacturing - Slashdot (slashdot.org)

Intel is done with stock buybacks, a financial move in which a company uses its cash to buy stock and thereby increase its price. "We're investing in factories," he told me. "That's going to be the use of our cash...."

Intel is heading back to the future, and putting a heck of a lot of dough into the trip. Fabs everywhere, and it's hard to view that as a bad thing.

tags: tech

posted by matt in Sunday, November 21, 2021

This trip has really highlighted for me the drastic ways in which travel has changed in recent years. Not that it happened all at once — there's been a series of nudges that, summed together, create an entirely different travel experience, from beginning to end.

It starts with Renee's parents. They hadn't flown in years, so, last week, we set them up with the Delta app on their phones. I had really taken the convenience of etickets for granted a simple question from them - "are you sure we don't have to print these out?" - highlighted it to me.

Lodging? Yep, totally different. In Cambridge, we opted for an Airbnb instead of a hotel. This was my first Airbnb experience. We didn't really know what to expect on arrival as far as cleanliness, supplies, etc., which is one of the downsides of Airbnb as I see it (I pretty much know what to expect when I book a room at a Hilton or a Marriott, even if I've never been there before). But, we got an entire house, which was perfect for the size of our party and better than any combination of multiple hotel rooms would have been. And cheaper. And closer to Jonathan's dorm. And. And. And.

We used Uber to get around town during our visit. And not just for going from point A to point B, that's not really new. We did use it in a new way for us, though. Renee's mom gets tired after walking a bit, and the uneven sidewalks of Cambridge certainly didn't help that. So we told her — do what you can, and when you're ready, let us know and we'll get an Uber to take you back (to the Airbnb). I'm not sure she could have done this trip — to visit her grandson at Harvard for the first time — without this option. That's powerful, and really underscores the impact of some of the ways in which travel has changed.

And the food! Yes, we ate at some local restaurants. But, with long days of walking around campus, the option of having food delivered to our Airbnb was too convenient to resist. And not just traditionally delivered options like pizza. We had donuts and bagels delivered for breakfast, and Chinese food delivered for dinner. And, yes, pizza. But here's the thing with that — we weren't limited to the pizza joints that happened to offer delivery to our location. In fact, we didn't even think to search for a pizza place based on that criteria. Instead, we went straight to the website of Jonathan's favorite pizza place — Pinocchio's — and checked for delivery options. DoorDash for the win! So the entire family got to relax and visit with Jonathan, eating his favorite pizza in the comfort of a living room.

Entertainment? Well, we went to the Harvard v. Cornell hockey game on Friday night, which was a fairly traditional experience (Uber rides to and fro notwithstanding). And the Crimson won in dramatic fashion, which was great. On Saturday evening, as we ate our DoorDash-delivered Chinese food in our Airbnb living room, we realized the Crimson were playing again, this time against Colgate. We had so much fun the night before that we actually had a somewhat serious discussion about going again, but then realized we could stream it from the ESPN+ app onto the AppleTV in the living room. Ivy League hockey on the big screen in the living room while eating delivered takeout, all with family while visiting with Jonathan (and celebrating his 20th birthday, btw)...that moment, that evening, just could not have been a better experience (maybe if we had realized white rice is a separate menu item that needs to be ordered alongside the entrees...practical knowledge for next time!).

It's pretty remarkable when you think about it. A series of little changes, each quite innovative in its own lane, have suddenly congealed to revolutionize travel in a way that changes the experience for the better. They expand it, really. I think we've entered a new era of travel experiences, and I'm looking forward to the trip.

tags: travel tech

postposted by matt in Sunday, November 7, 2021

Zillow reportedly needs to sell 7,000 houses after it bought too many (theverge.com)

Apparently Zillow explained that it had underestimated how unpredictable the housing market is. Think about that admission and Zillow's main service offering.

tags: tech stayinyourlane

posted by matt in Tuesday, November 2, 2021

You can now add your COVID vaccine card to iPhone's Apple Wallet. Here's how to set it up (yahoo.com)

Something tells me the postcard/sticker/hand writing system used in Toledo is incompatible with this new iOS feature. I'll have to keep a picture of my vaccine card in my favorites album on my iPhone.

tags: ios vaccine health tech

posted by matt in Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Facebook is planning to rebrand the company with a new name (theverge.com)

"Facebook is planning to change its company name next week to reflect its focus on building the metaverse....The coming name change...is meant to signal the tech giant’s ambition to be known for more than social media and all the ills that entail."

I'm not sure that an effort to focus on the metaverse will help Facebook's real branding challenge — the distrust people have for the company. Telling people that the company is "bigger than social media" and wants to "build the metaverse" will probably hurt the level of trust people have for Facebook, not help it. Especially when so many people have no idea what the "metaverse" is. It does sound scary and all-encompassing, though.

tags: tech facebook social

posted by matt in Wednesday, October 20, 2021

iPhone 13 Cinematic Mode video shot on the street with no extra equipment (9to5mac.com)

Cinematic Mode on the iPhone 13, in the hands of a professional videographer but without any other equipment, is impressive. Not perfect, but impressive for sure. And this is the first go...it will certainly get even better over time.

tags: apple iphone tech video

posted by matt in Thursday, September 23, 2021

Comparison of SpO2 and heart rate values on Apple Watch and conventional commercial oximeters devices in patients with lung disease - Scientific Reports (nature.com)

The impact of the Apple Watch and other wearables on health and health care is only beginning to be understood. "We observed strong positive correlations between the Apple Watch device and commercial oximeters when evaluating heart rate measurements...and oximetry measurements...."

tags: health apple tech

posted by matt in Thursday, September 23, 2021

What Is Everybody Doing on Discord? (wsj.com)

The money quote, literally, on subscription v. ad models for social platforms:

"You’re bank­ing on mak­ing more rev­enue from a small sub­set of pas­sion­ate cus­tomers will­ing to pay for the prod­uct than you could from show­ing ads to the whole cus­tomer base....It’s risky to rely on keep­ing con­sumers pay­ing over long pe­ri­ods of time, but beau­ti­ful if it works."

Read that carefully. It's risky only because you might not achieve theoretical maximum revenue through a subscription model. The ad model could bring in more revenue than subscriptions...that's the risk you're taking as a business owner when you choose a subscription model over an ad model.

As most business owners know, some risks are worth taking.

tags: tech finance daystream discord

posted by matt in Tuesday, March 9, 2021

I love keybase, but it feels dead since Zoom acquired it. It's no surprise I guess - looking back on that press release, the acquisition was all about acquiring talent, and had nothing to do with the product (does it even mention their product or service?). Hopefully Zoom at least maintains it. Somehow I doubt that will happen, though.

tags: tech zoom keybase cryptography

postposted by matt in Monday, March 1, 2021

I wanted to love foldable phones, but the novelty got old fast (cnet.com)

Phones with foldable displays are a technical challenge. Engineers love a challenge. That doesn't mean customers want the solution. I think Apple is smartly feigning interest here, letting others waste time on the puzzle.

tags: apple tech

posted by matt in Saturday, February 27, 2021

‘Smart’ TVs Track Everything You Watch (daringfireball.net)

So-called "smart TVs" are smart because they know how to chew on your data. They're not free, yet, but you've got to wonder if we'll get there someday. Sadly, I think plenty of people would take that deal.

tags: tech

posted by matt in Sunday, February 21, 2021

Responsive image

Dark Sky seems to be a bit out of whack. Apparently we're going to get 16-26 inches of snow today...while there's only a single hour that has a significant probability for precipitation (and even that's less than 50%). I've noticed this happen several times during the recent snow storm that crossed the country. They still can't beat the local weatherman during storms!

tags: weather tech apple

photo posted by matt in Thursday, February 18, 2021