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Tuesday, August 9th, 2022

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I just remembered an idea I had for this blog. I have half-implemented a "Chapter" feature, which is an old blog feature I had from the days when I was primarily blogging as a public journal of my life. Something which I still do, but nowhere near as much.

The idea of the Chapters feature was to allow easy grouping of posts chronologically into eras of life. Like you could do monthly, or based on life events, etc.

But a problem with this idea is that it is primarily something done after-the-fact and doing it in the middle of experiencing life is difficult.

My realization this morning was also that I should implement "series" as the feature for the blog. Sure, some might be chapters of life updates, but it would also handle things like my post from a few days ago regarding basic online and personal security to make it more difficult to hack you. The next post is going to be about password managers, what they are, and why to use one. I'm not sure what the third post will be, but whatever it is, will go into that series.

I've just got to figure out how to add it to the admin UI and then I'll sit down and code it.

8/9/2022 12:05 am | |
Tags: glowbug, programming

Vox's "What we know" post about yesterday's Mar-a-Lago raid (vox.com)

In the article, it links to this CNN piece which details what Trump could be facing. Both articles are worth reading in my opinion.

From CNN:

Legal experts tell CNN that any unauthorized retention or destruction of White House documents raises a red flag under a criminal law that prohibits the removal or destruction of official government records.

But for a charge like this to fly, prosecutors would need to show that Trump had "willfully" violated the law -- a high bar, though one that prosecutors could potentially meet given the frequent efforts within the White House to try to preserve records Trump would habitually mutilate.

I've tried hard not to add a Donald Trump tag to this blog. Honestly, I would prefer the US just erase him from history and remove him from discussion. Just ghost him. So I've tried to do that on this blog. But with this latest news, I can't really anymore. Sadly.

8/9/2022 6:39 am | |
Tags: donald trump

Neural Voice Camouflage (science.org)

A new technology, called Neural Voice Camouflage, now offers a defense. It generates custom audio noise in the background as you talk, confusing the artificial intelligence (AI) that transcribes our recorded voices.

8/9/2022 6:51 am | |
Tags: machine learning, audio, privacy

Einstein Got Roosevelt's Attention Regarding Uranium

Read this excerpt in Sleeper Agent, discussing the origins of nuclear weapons. It seems notable to me that the researchers at Columbus had to go to Einstein and get him to write a letter in an effort to get Roosevelt's attention about their concern that refining Uranium could be dangerous if not managed properly.

About three months later, in July, Szilard, Teller, and Wigner, perhaps motivated by such apparent indifference, visited Albert Einstein at his Long Island cottage to ask him if he would be willing to sign a letter written by Szilard, to President Roosevelt about the recent research in atomic energy at Columbia, about its potential, both good and bad, and about the unnerving possibility of such a powerful explosive being developed in Germany. Einstein, who was then teaching physics at Princeton, signed the letter on August 2. It read: “Some recent work by E. Fermi and L. Szilard, which has been communicated to me in manuscript, leads me to expect that the element uranium may be turned into a new and important source of energy in the immediate future. Certain aspects of the situation which has arisen seem to call for watchfulness and, if necessary, quick action on the part of the Administration.… In view of the situation you may think it desirable to have more permanent contact maintained between the Administration and the group of physicists working on chain reactions in America.”

President Roosevelt received the letter on October 11, and after reading it he reportedly said, “This requires action.” Ten days later the newly formed Advisory Committee on Uranium met for the first time.

8/9/2022 7:08 am | |
Tags: us history, nuclear weapons, albert einstein

Serena Williams retires from Tennis (cnbc.com)

From 1999 to 2019, Serena played in 33 Grand Slam finals, winning 23 of them. One of the all time greats of tennis.

8/9/2022 8:41 am | |
Tags: tennis, serena williams, sports

QR code menus are a win for accessibility for the blind (twitter.com)


8/9/2022 8:55 am | |
Tags: ableism, disability, accessibility

Dall-E Less a Threat for Artists than for Stock Photos (deephaven.io)

A blog post that talks about the process of using Dall-E pictures for the thumbnails on the company blog. The work that goes into getting good pictures, thoughts, tips, etc. But also, as one of the final bullet points highlights, this isn't threatening to replace artists as much as it is right now just replacing stock images.

8/9/2022 11:25 am | |
Tags: artificial intelligence, machine learning, art

Counting Character Appearances in Excel

=SUM(LEN(A1)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A1,"A","")))

The above is how you count the number of times the letter "A" appears inside the contents of cell A1 in Excel. I don't know if there is a better way, but this was how I came to do it when I was working on something in Excel this morning and felt like sharing.

Essentially what it does is take the total length of the word, then takes the word and removes every "A" in it, and then compares the length difference to determine how many As it removed.

N.B. - Capitalization matters here. You could modify it to capture lowercase 'a's as well, however for my purposes I just used UPPER() to make the words I was checking all uppercase to do these counts.

8/9/2022 12:53 pm | |
Tags: excel, programming

Has anyone had AI "watch" movies and then analyze movie synopses and/or movie revews, and then have it do its own synopses and review of movies it has not been trained for? Would be fascinating to see how it did.

8/9/2022 5:27 pm | | Tweeted |
Tags: machine learning, artificial intelligence, movies

8/9/2022 8:35 pm | |
Tags: donald trump

An account of the Battle of Flodden in 1513 is the earliest surviving example of printed news in Britain (blogs.bl.uk)

8/9/2022 9:47 pm | |
Tags: uk history, books

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