Links December 2023

David Brin wrote an insightful blog post about the latest round of UFO delusion [1]. There aren’t a heap of scientists secretly working on UFOs.

David Brin wrote an informative and insightful blog post about rich doomsday preppers who want to destroy democracy [2].

Cory Doctorow wrote an interesting article about how ChatGPT helps people write letters and how that decreases the value of the letter [3]. What can we do to show that letters mean something? Hand deliver them? Pay someone to hand deliver them? Cory concentrates on legal letters and petitions but this can apply to other things too.

David Brin wrote an informative blog post about billionaires prepping for disaster – and causing the disaster [4].

David Brin wrote an insightful Wired article about ways of dealing with potential rogue AIs [5].

David Brin has an interesting take on government funded science [6].

Bruce Schneier wrote an insightful article about AI Risks which is worth reading [7].

Ximion wrote a great blog post about how tp use AppStream metadata to indicate what type of hardware/environment is required to use an app [8]. This is great for the recent use of Debian on phones and can provide real benefits for more traditional uses (like all those servers that accidentally got LibreOffice etc installed). Also for Convergence it will be good to have the app launcher take note of this, when your phone isn’t connected to a dock there’s no point offering to launch apps that require a full desktop screen.

Russ Albery wrote an interesting summary of the book Going Infinite about the Sam Bankman-Fried FTX fiasco [9]. That summary really makes Sam sound Autistic.

Cory Doctorow wrote an insightful article Microincentives and Enshittification explaining why Google search has to suck [10].

Charles Stross posted the text of a lecture he gave titles “We’re Sorry We Created the Torment Nexus [11] about sci-fi ideas that shouldn’t be implemented.

The Daily WTF has many stories of corporate computer stupidity, but The White Appliphant is one of the most epic [12].

The Verge has an informative article on new laws in the US and the EU to give a “right to repair” and how this explains the sudden change to 7 year support for Pixel phones [13].

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