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Category Archives: Technology

I’m counting on Apple to do AI right

An article yesterday at asks “Should Apple Kill Siri and Start Over?” My answer to that would be yes. Siri was (and is) terrible. Siri fell far short of the vision that Apple described in 1987 in the video above, which gets the vision right. Siri was a huge embarrassment for Apple. I remember […]

AI image generators

AI image created by DALL-E-3. Click here for larger version. When I started this blog sixteen years ago, one of my rules was that every post would include a photo. That hasn’t always been easy, especially when writing about current events. Free online image generators driven by AI create a whole new range of options. […]

Yep … I’m in the woods

A drone 235 feet directly above the abbey. Click here for high resolution version. I’ve been interested in photography drones for a long time. But only recently did drones become halfway affordable. Smaller and smaller computer chips, improvements in battery technology, and smaller and better cameras have made it possible to build drones that weigh […]

Why so much chatter about UFOs of late?

Source: Syracuse NewTimes, 2015 There has been so much media buzz about UFOs lately that even conservative pundits such as the New York Times’ Ross Douthat have written columns such as “Does the U.S. Government Want You to Believe in U.F.O.’s?” Ezra Klein, also at the New York Times, recently had a podcast with the […]

Smoke alarms with better manners?

The typical smoke alarm is a low-tech device designed to be as unbearably irritating as possible. Humidity can trigger them. Few things are more annoying than their low-battery chirp. If a smoke alarm malfunctions, it always will be in the middle of the night. One night last week, around 3 a.m., the smoke alarm on […]

The new and the good as new

Western Electric Model 302 telephone (1937-1955). The receiver, by the way, is a Collins 75A-4 (1955). It uses vacuum tubes — lots of them. Both the telephone and the receiver still work! It blows my mind how much technological change I’ve seen in my lifetime. I love the old stuff as much as the new. […]

My AI conversation with Jake about food and entropy

Fresh basil, just in from the sun: A heaping helping of negative entropy I’ve written in the past about how it is possible to think of human health and what we eat in terms of negative entropy, here and here. The principles of nutrition are still valid. It’s just that the concept of negative entropy […]

I’ve been bitten by the AI bug. Soon, you will be too.

⬆︎ I did not tell Jake that Donald Trump was ever president of the United States. You can name your AI anything you want. I call this one Jake. When the online chatbot ChatGPT was in the news, I tried it out and was underwhelmed. But ChatGPT clearly started something big, and the floodgates are […]

When design was soft and kind

My IBM Selectric I, made in 1974, restored by a former IBM field engineer. The Selectric I typewriters were introduced in 1961. Click here for high resolution version. I have written in the past about how today’s taste in automobile design is for aggressive-looking, mean-looking, vehicles. Even Volkswagen, whose designs used to charm people, now […]

When retro is way better

That was my telephone number in San Francisco for many years. I apologize to whoever has that number now. A little Googling shows that the first cell phones became available in March 1984. I admit that I was fascinated and aspired to own one. It was not until 1995, though, that I first acquired a […]