I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
And so the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're goin' through

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Linkee-poo February 28

Richard Lewis, and so it goes.

"Firefighting crews on Wednesday continued battling a near-record size wildfire scorching the Texas Panhandle. As of Wednesday afternoon, the fire had already affected more than 850,000 acres, as high wind speeds and dry weather conditions continue to fuel the blaze." Totally normal, nothing to worry about here.

"As Bloomberg reports, the Boring Company's scarce output — which thus far amounts only to driving Teslas around a few miles of neon-lit tunnel underneath Sin City as they ferry convention attendees at no more than 40 miles per hour — has also come with a massive buildup of waste, the consistency of a milkshake, that's said to burn the skin of anyone who comes in contact with it." The supposed genius, everybody.

"The chatbot provided inaccurate information, encouraging Moffatt to book a flight immediately and then request a refund within 90 days. In reality, Air Canada's policy explicitly stated that the airline will not provide refunds for bereavement travel after the flight is booked. Moffatt dutifully attempted to follow the chatbot's advice and request a refund but was shocked that the request was rejected." Air Canada tried to argue that they couldn't be held liable for the chatbot's advice, which was wrong. Fortunately the court disagreed.

"Wendy's said on Wednesday it has no plans to raise menu prices at times of peak demand, after the burger chain was scorched on social media sites for comments its CEO made earlier this month suggesting the chain may start testing 'dynamic pricing.'" Well that's a relief. Too bad the damage has already been done.

"Apple has ended its secret plans of building a self-driving electric car, a decade-long effort that was seen as one of the most ambitious undertakings in the company's history."

"Michelle Mack is accused of paying as many as 12 women for their travel expenses, as well as providing them with a list of retail stores across the country to target — including stores in 21 counties across California… Those stores include a LensCrafters in Clairemont and an Ulta store in Mira Mesa, which was one of the 231 Ulta’s hit across the country. Several Sephora stores were also targeted." Just to keep in mind whom is directing those supposed "shoplifting gangs."

"The four-day workweek is proving to be the gift that keeps on giving… Companies that have tried it are reporting happier workers, lower turnover and greater efficiency. Now, there's evidence that those effects are long lasting." Still, don't expect it anytime soon.

"LLMs have what robots lack: access to knowledge about practically everything humans have ever written, from quantum physics to K-pop to defrosting a salmon fillet. In turn, robots have what LLMs lack: physical bodies that can interact with their surroundings, connecting words to reality. It seems only logical to connect mindless robots and bodiless LLMs so that, as one 2022 paper puts it, 'the robot can act as the language model's "hands and eyes," while the language model supplies high-level semantic knowledge about the task.'" I'd would be ROTFLMAO if it didn't mean a number of people will be killed before the techbros figure out that maybe this is a mistake. So let's take their opening scenario about a robot cooking dinner. Have you seen any of the stories about asking Chat-GPT/LLMs for recipes? Anyone who thinks this is a good idea has been sniffing their own farts and thinking it's ambrosia. Also the major problem here is that Chat-GPT/LLMs are not general intelligence, they're statistical modeling tools, they don't understand the meaning behind the words they're generating.

"More than a dozen students walked out of class Monday at an Oklahoma high school where a 16-year-old nonbinary student was beaten inside a restroom earlier this month and died the following day."

"A former member of the disbanded left-wing militant Red Army Faction group who is accused of participating in a string of robberies has been arrested after more than 30 years on the run, German authorities said Tuesday."

"Hunger and severe malnutrition are widespread in the Gaza Strip, where about 2.2 million Palestinians are facing severe shortages resulting from Israel destroying food supplies and severely restricting the flow of food, medicines and other humanitarian supplies. Aid trucks and Palestinians waiting for humanitarian relief have come under Israeli fire."

"Over the last couple of years, a mystery has been brewing in this small mountain town. Someone has been quietly buying hundreds of acres of land — stirring worries about rising housing prices and speculation among locals about what exactly is going on… Waimea is a tightknit community that has a large Native Hawaiian population, and the people here say they don't want to lose that culture." The billionaire class are buying their own volcano criminal mastermind headquarters believing the end times are coming soon. Like we won't drive out onto their land to bring them back to the guillotine.

"Congressional leaders reached a tentative agreement Wednesday to prevent a government shutdown for now, days before an end-of-the-week deadline that risked shuttering some federal operations, according to two people familiar with the situation and granted anonymity to discuss it." Not a solution, they're just kicking the can down the road.

"Amid yet more tumult and tense division in American public life, the Maricopa county supervisor announced this week that he’s not running again, choosing instead to prioritize his family – and get rid of the endless harassment that’s been a feature of his job the last few years and put him more than once in the national spotlight."

"But once the final proposal by Missourians for Constitutional Freedom was unveiled in January, the troubles quickly dispersed and the attention shifted to getting the over 171,000 signatures required to go before voters later this year."

"A magistrate ruled Wednesday that the oldest son of U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert could be released from jail a day after the 18-year-old was arrested in connection with a recent string of vehicle break-ins and property thefts." It's just salacious, but sure.

"Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will step down as Republican leader in November."

"A New York appellate judge on Wednesday refused to halt collection of Donald Trump’s $454 million civil fraud penalty while he appeals, rejecting the former president’s request that he be allowed to post a bond covering just a fraction of what he owes."

"After months of contentious battles with House Republicans, Hunter Biden appeared Wednesday for a deposition in the GOP impeachment inquiry into his father, President Joe Biden. The younger Biden has been a central target in the GOP-led investigation of the president and his family."

"The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to decide whether former President Donald Trump can be prosecuted on charges he interfered with the 2020 election, calling into question whether his case could go to trial before the November election." And that's the point of them taking the case.

"'We have led a movement that is far exceeding expectations, using the ballot box to urge America to stop killing our families,' said Listen to Michigan spokesperson and Democratic strategist Abbas Alawieh at a watch party in Dearborn, Mich. 'That's all we're asking for. Just stop killing our families,' he added." Congrats to Listen to Michigan for their organization. I had a lot to say on Bluesky. So I won't reiterate it all here, but I'll just say that if their focus is just on Gaza is this group prepared to throw the election from Biden to Trump, from a person who will at least listen to them to the person who will most likely oppress, deport, and gin up "lone wolves" to attack the community? Or can Biden gamble that his working on a cease fire behind the scenes will bear fruit and bring those votes back in without bowing to any pressure from them?

"'Uncommitted' wins 2 Democratic delegates in Michigan, a victory for Biden’s anti-war opponents." While that's not for nothing, and it gives you some seats in the arena, but he won't need your delegates to win the nomination. And I certainly hope you're not waiting for the Convention to actually push for your agenda.

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