Wednesday, December 21st, 2022

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Q&A with Peter Barrett about Robotics (

I think the first two questions are fantastic and on the nose. Peter Barrett is a Palo Alto Venture Capital investor.

TC: What was the biggest robotics story of 2022?

PB: The Great Autonomous Vehicle Capitulation. Ford and VW abandoning robotaxis are another indication that autonomous vehicles are decades from ubiquity. Autonomous vehicles may be inevitable, but they are certainly not imminent despite lots of very clever people and eye-watering amounts of capital pouring into the domain.

We have had autonomous vehicles driven by neural networks since the ’80s. I think we are about halfway there.

The good news is that in the interim, we do have a mature technology that improves traffic 30% and reduces fatalities at intersections by 90%. It is called a roundabout.

What are your biggest robotics predictions for 2023?

The biggest trend in 2023 will be the realization that robots are best used to amplify people rather than replacing them. Robots as collaborators that work for people in human environments is the best way of exploiting the unique capabilities of both.

12/21/2022 10:05 am | |
Tags: robotics, computer science, technology, futurism

A very interesting simple secure way of messaging or sending files, requiring no special software for recipient (

A ‘Portable Secret’ is simply an HTML file that also contains:

  • An encrypted payload
  • Some Javascript that calls into the browser’s Web Cryptography APIs

Any (reasonably modern) web browser can open the file, even without an internet connection! If you know the password, you can recover the secret within.

12/21/2022 10:20 am | |
Tags: digital security, personal security

My 2022 TV Shows

So I sat down to try and compile a list of the TV shows I've watched this year. Doing this really put into perspective how much TV I consumed this year and I'm not sure I'm okay with it. But that's for me to figure out.

Where relevant, I split them into "New" shows and "Returning" shows. I use 'returning' that this year wasn't the show's first season.

Eager For Next Season, Will Absolutely Watch

These are shows I loved. I regard them as must watch and will likely watch them episode by episode as released.



Will Watch Next Season Eventually

One thing that is notable here is that the streaming reality where binging the show is feasible, and in many ways a lower level of commitment. This means a number of these shows are ones I'd probably bounce off of, but they survive to get more viewership because of the model.



Probably Off This Show

Not planning to watch anymore. I might, but I don't expect it.



Liked but Ended

Liked the shows but they've ended their run.

Liked but Canceled

RIP. I wanted to split these out since their future has been decided.

Canceled and Okay With It

No tears were shed.

Edit: I've added 'Ted Lasso' and 'Winning Time' to the rankings.

Edit 2: Added 'The Flight Attendant' and 'Better Call Saul,' also forced me to split "Liked but Canceled" from "Liked but Ended."

12/21/2022 11:50 am | |
Tags: television, reviews, 2022 in review

Me as an Anime hero

I gave in and ran myself through the TikTok anime filter. I heard it killed beards so I was curious to see.

12/21/2022 12:12 pm | |
Tags: photo, selfie, artificial intelligence

My 2022 Books






I bounced off a number of books without committing to any of them as I focused more heavily on various projects and other things this month.








Edit: Added August Kitko by Alex White, which I missed in my initial review of the year.

12/21/2022 1:27 pm | |
Tags: ebooks, books, reviews, 2022 in review

Wisdom from Cicero relevant to those of us today (

I fell in love with Cicero as a historical character when I was taking Latin in high school. I loved learning about praeteritio, which isn't part of the linked article, but is something we're all aware of from modern politics. "And there's of course PROBLEM X, but we're not here to discuss that." - To bring something up while saying it can't be discussed.

Here is the core of Cicero's oratory model, the blogger I link to then goes on to apply this to a modern day grant application.

Cicero’s model oration has five parts: the exordium, or introduction; the narratio, or background; the confirmatio, or supporting case; the refutatio, or anticipated objections, and the peroratio, or summing up.

The exordium

The exordium is the introduction, where the speaker introduces themself and lays out exactly what proposition they hope to persuade the audience of. The speaker should give some information about their background and qualifications.

The narratio

The narratio is background, it sets the stage for the presentation. It should say how the question arose, and describe different opinions about it. It should say why the question is important and what the consequences of resolving it will be.

The confirmatio

This is where the speaker (or writer) puts forward the case in support of the proposition. This is the most important part of the speech and will typically be divided into several sections.

The refutatio

Here the speaker anticipates objections and refutes them. For example, one might object that no one has tried this before and the refutation is, there’s always a first time.

The peroratio

This is the final part or summing up. The speaker may chose to simply summarize what they’ve already said – the peroration is not the place to bring up new topics.

12/21/2022 2:58 pm | |
Tags: oratory, cicero

Zelenskyy has arrived in DC

He addresses Congress tonight at 4:30pm Pacific / 7:30pm Eastern.

12/21/2022 3:02 pm | |
Tags: ukraine, russia, us politics

Trump tax returns released (

CNBC's highlights of the tax reports:

  • On their 2015 federal return, Trump and his wife declared negative income of $31.7 million, with taxable income of $0. The couple paid federal income taxes of $641,931.
  • The 2016 return declared negative income of $31.2 million, with zero dollars of taxable income. The Trumps paid $750 in taxes.
  • The 2017 return declared negative income $12.8 million, with $0 in taxable income. The couple paid $750 in taxes.
  • The 2018 return declared total income of $24.4 million, with taxable income of $22.9 million. The Trumps paid $999,466 in federal income taxes.
  • In 2019, the Trumps declared $4.44 million in total income, and $2.97 million in taxable income. They paid $133,445 in taxes.
  • The 2020 return shows negative income of $4.69 million, with zero dollars in taxable income. The tax paid by the Trumps was $0 and they claimed a refund of $5.47 million.
12/21/2022 4:44 pm | |
Tags: us politics, donald trump

"Everything You've Ever Wanted To Know About 'Ghostwriter'" (

Ghostwriter occupied a fascinating middle space for me as a kid. In some ways I was the perfect target for it, but also, in truth, I was on the upper range of their target age, and also at that time I had access to a computer at home and was already well versed in it, so the main hooks of the show were just slightly off target for me.

That said, I found this background absolutely fascinating. To hear that it was originally supposed to be about being a show which followed Sesame Street in reaching children, and how it was a show designed to show text - from that central concept the rest of the show was developed.

And, above all, the realization that Ghostwriter's lore is that they were a ghost of an escaped slave, is mind blowing and makes me want to delve back into the show.

12/21/2022 10:38 pm | |
Tags: television, nostalgia, children's television, public broadcasting

Mastodon Favs for December, 21st 2022

12/21/2022 10:45 pm | |
Tags: mastodon, social media, automated

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