What do self-driving cars, delivery drones, flying cars, virtual reality goggles, space tourism, Mars exploration, chatbots, smart watches, Google glass, smart thermostats and toothbrushes have in common?
It is the growing collection of garbage tech projects on which the massive profits from the monetization of private data has been spent
Its not surprising because to create and iterate useful products you need to have empathy for your users which does not sit well with thinking of them as products
Google and Facebook releasing all these (objectively amazing) #opensource #machinelearning tools is shrewd in so many levels: Signals engineering strength, buys developer good will, trains potential employees, calms people down about the "scary AI", diverts attention from the real issue of private data feeding the algos...
It's sad but there isn't anything I fancy those days hardware-wise... everything is just boxes and spec's - when not in the cloud, that is
How many general purpose #programming languages do we really need? Starting with #basic and #pascal there must be a dozen I have learned (and forgot) so far. Wikipedia has a list of over fifty. When looking at some recent entrants, say #golang, #dart, #rust I am not totally convinced they were all needed.
The result of this medieval circus of little programming fiefdoms is a huge cognitive cost (wasted brain cycles). Introducing something like the metric system could do wonders to productivity
Developers, programmers, techies etc have always been portrayed as the asocial introverted geeks, more at ease fondling their keyboards than interacting with "normal" people. Yet the #opensource movement and collaborative platforms counts among the most astonishing social development in our lifetime. No other community has reshaped the narrative of what is possible so effectively. Not the artists, not the writers, certainly not the political class or the corporate world. Ponder that...
Over time I got addicted to #Google news. I liked the ability to quickscan a large number of news sources to decide if anything is worth reading
Now trying to replicate that activity using #rss. It's cumbersome and non-uniform across devices. I use #thunderbird on my laptop and #feedly on mobile. Discovering feeds is manual, not easy to sync the lists etc... Still some way to go but I already appreciate the lack of algorithmic ranking
"Why we need GNU/Linux on mobile devices (now more than ever)", Lightning talk at #35c3
If your reading workflow includes checking out web, social media, etc on smartphone, finding interesting articles, adding bookmarks and reading them later using an eBook reader, and you prefer #foss self hosted solutions, you may find #wallabag really useful.
It extracts the useful part of the links (text + images, if you prefer so) and serves them via your own host to the eBook device. And you can also export them as epub :)
Younger people might not know that there was a time when supercomputer's computing unit were vector based (like the Cray Y-MP). You had to "vectorize" your code to get the speedup
Today we call it #GPU programming
"Your days are subtly influenced by marketers, behavioral scientists, and mathematicians armed with cloud supercomputers. All of this is done in the name of maximizing profit to influence what you’re thinking, buying, and whom you will be electing…"
World Bank blog post
Thieves of Experience: How Google and Facebook Corrupted Capitalism - Los Angeles Review of Books: Thieves of Experience: How Google and Facebook Corrupted Capitalism
If you're the right kind of nerd and you're of a certain age, you lusted after the Cray-1 supercomputer. Here's a loving profile of its designer, the legendary Seymour Cray. https://hackaday.com/2019/01/15/seymour-cray-father-of-the-supercomputer/
Lots of people (esp here) think of Facebook and Google as a new manifestation of evil. I beg to differ. The duo are just the random survivors of the runnaway supply/demand loop that ended up with advertisers throwing billions at them as they (the advertisers) invent the "new TV".
The rot (treating people as manipulatable consuming automata) pre-existed, as evident in the abysmal quality of US television in particular
Trying @Purism's #PureOS in a VM: https://www.pureos.net - Looks promising so far: Debian-based, full disk encryption by default, really simple install process, PureBrowser based on FF, shipping with uBlock Origin and HTTPS Everywhere, DuckDuckGo as the default search engine. Found via @aral, thanks!
What is the outlook for automatic translation on #mastodon? It's going to be a killer app on centralized platforms, further entrenching them as "impossible to do without"
Beyond translation, empowering decentralized communication with all sorts of #machinelearning tools (eg text to voice) should be high on the agenda (imho).
I have forgotten more syntax, patterns, algorithms, languages, frameworks and libraries than you will ever know. Dissolved like tears in rain
This Mastodon instance is for people interested in technology. Discussions aren't limited to technology, because tech folks shouldn't be limited to technology either!
Hosting costs are largely covered by our generous supporters on Patreon – thanks for all the help!