* Posts by CatWithChainsaw

104 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Oct 2022


Mozilla adds paid-for data-deletion tier to Monitor, its privacy-breach radar


I'm in favor of fines for repeatedly collecting deleted data, with the fines going up an order in magnitude each time by default. To make it really onerous, the fines could work like student loans do in the US. Attach it to a person rather than a company, they can't escape the fine using bankruptcy or shell companies or anything, people will be getting their fine money even if the CEO croaks and they have to raid the "estate" of the surviving family.

Think tank funded by Big Tech argues AI’s climate impact is nothing to worry about


Sure Jan

Fossil fuel companies underestimated their impact on climate change by 6000%.

Somehow I suspect the testimony here will have an, ahem "rounding error" of similar magnitude.

Windows 12 fan fiction shows how Microsoft might ladle AI into the OS


Waste of time, money, resources, goodwill, etc etc

Buying a laptop with Windows 12 + So Much AI You Didn't Even Want would be an astronomical waste of money. I can't think of a single thing I could even use this integrated AI for. I browse the web. If I want to write something, *I* want to write something, not tell a chatbot to vomit some words. In the year since all the image generators came out, I've never needed to use one, much less wanted to. Blogs that include generated images have already reduced their value to generic stock photos that just happened to be thrown together specifically for that blog and look more pretentious than anything else.

Personally I never felt it was a good idea that infrastructure modern society depends on is the most susceptible to the "we need everything to be revolutionary and new because money" phenomenon. I like stability because I don't like having to worry about catastrophic collapse because some idiot neeeeeeded to push some stupid new feature to look good for his manager.


Re: Windows 13

While I can always hope 2024 will be the year of the Linux desktop, such a move would more likely cause the decade of Chromebook.

University chops students' Microsoft 365 storage to 20GB


Muh Environment

Massive telemetry, cloud storage, training AI, and planned obsolescence. And why did humanity seem to collectively decide that everyone was entitled to make a hundred useless tiktok videos every day. Think of the storage space freed up if we purged that!

What makes a hard error hard? Microsoft vet tells all


Re: "the wobbly Windows of yesteryear"

Google is famous for prioritizing new features over maintenance, but I doubt it's quite different at any other big tech. It won't matter if New Clippybot has some obscure fatal condition if you ask it for the weather at precisely 7:15am that BSoDs millions of computers, what matters is Microsoft pushed it out and got to show it off for shareholders.

Avoiding AI-capable PCs will be impossible by 2027

Thumb Down

I can imagine they'll be a lot shittier, but you do you.

With OpenAI GPT Store imminent, apps are already being ripped off by copycats


Re: My word.

If she didn't want it copied so other people could use it she shouldn't have put it on the Internet obviously! How dare she feel entitled to compensation, information just wants to be freeeee

Microsoft pulls the plug on WordPad, the world's least favorite text editor


Re: the application will be removed on upgrade

Especially since they'd be removing it off of Windows 10 systems that are going to be EOL 2025, but plenty of people will be holding onto it for a long time afterwards. That's a really low blow.

(Unless, by some divine magic, Microsoft sees the light with Windows 12 and Makes Windows Seven Again.)

What if Microsoft had given us Windows XP 2024?


Innovation Now

Boils down to moving icons around, shoving the Tech Buzzword Of the Day into everything, and changing how the layout looks.

Innovation needs to be re-innovated and I propose burning sales and marketing departments to the ground. As a start.

What the AI copyright fights are truly about: Human labor versus endless machines


Re: Blood in the Machine

Anyone likely to downvote is not likely to "read", and more likely to get an LLM to summarize because they can't be bothered.

Google to start third-party cookie cull for 30 million Chrome users


Re: So….

And I bet they're not too put out by the thought of selling data to companies that will continue to pay for targeted advertising as well.

Mozilla CEO pockets a packet, asks biz to pick up pace the 'Mozilla way'


How Hard is it

To make your business model "not suck in every way imaginable", stick to it, and then wait for Manifest V3 to make Chromium-based browsers bleed users when uBO stops working?

"It's doing nothing, Michael, how much could it possibly cost, $10?"

Why Chromebooks are the new immortals of tech


Ten Years of Support, KilledByGoogle in 17 months

Or you can hope it lasts as long as Stadia did, which IIRC was two years or thereabouts?

Unity closes offices, cancels town hall after threat in wake of runtime fee restructure

Black Helicopters

Welcome to Capitalism

Where you must keep growing your profits quarter after quarter, so once you've saturated one revenue stream you are obliged to create another.

And for Unity's next trick, they'll demand "hours played" statistics for all published games that use their engine so they can take a per-hour-played cut!

Google exec: Microsoft Teams concession 'too little, too late'


Re: Pot meet kettle.

It is, but consumers only win if corporations are in competition with each other more than they are in competition to bleed consumers dry.

GitHub alienates developers by force feeding them AI recommendations


There is only one way to say no:

And that's to leave. To boycott. To not play the game.

The Power of Voice is gone, leaving the Power of Exit, and in order for the Power of Exit to remain potent Github must have viable competition.

You want to make a company respect you, you punch them in the wallet, hard enough to make the shareholders scream.

Everything else is placating PR.

Amazon unleashes Gen AI for product descriptions, curbs it for Kindle


>Using an unspecified large language model, Amazon will allow sellers to enter "a brief description of the product in a few words or sentences" and then "generate high-quality content for their review."

How about just write a brief description of your product and be done? See, I did less work with less middlemanning and I didn't even need the new crapware to do it. Eat that techbros.

Also, big LOL to people being honest about using LLM-generated content in books. I'd love it if Amazon ran payments on the honor system as well.

Soon the most popular 'real' desktop will be the Linux desktop


This world can't burn fast enough if this is the hell we're hurtling towards.

Scientists strangely unable to follow recipe for holy grail room-temp superconductor


Re: Based on what I've read of its atomic structure

That sounds interesting. Do you remember the title, or enough of an excerpt that a search could find it?

How to spot OpenAI's crawler bot and stop it slurping sites for training data


Re: Resistence is useless

The crawlers are going to bite the hand that feeds them and as willing sources dry up, they'll be stuck re-ingesting their AI-centipeded outputs... again and again and again. And that's how we introduced Skynet to the Horror genre.

Google, you're not unleashing 'unproven' AI medical bots on hospital patients, yeah?


Re: Make AI makers responsible for their AIs actions

But think of all the lost shareholder value, er, I mean, innovation!

Norway to hit Meta with fines over Facebook user privacy from next week


Fines have to hurt or jail time has to hurt, those are the languages C-suites speak.

Producers allegedly sought rights to replicate extras using AI, forever, for just $200


Why is it

That every time some new sci-fi horror comes up with a new idea about the dystopias we could hurtle into if we're not careful, some asshole with a lot of money says "That's a great idea! Make it happen."

China sets AI rules that protect IP, people, the planet, and The Party


Re: Wrong Order?

"Presumably" is being quite generous.

Feds want to see what ChatGPT's content is made of


We're totally not using your private information

We made you sign up for access to ChatGPT by prodiving us with an email and phone number for, you know, funsies.

Go ahead, forget that password. Use a passkey instead, says Google


Re: Where does Google say

So we default back to passwords anyway, we just threw layers of cruft in between. What a great allocation of resources.


Re: Where does Google say

You login.... with a /password??/



Re: Oh boy here we go

Sweet. Summer. Child.

If you set up a passkey, your options are biometric and/or trusted devices. Those devices are often mobile phones, because this is becoming a phone-centric world, and phone platforms have been locked down from the beginning, unlike desktop computing platforms. As someone else said, making phones a single point of failure is stupid. Making phones a requirement to participate in society once again punishes poverty and forces humans to align with machines/corporation nation-states rather than the other way around - the tools have become the masters. Proprietary software is really just icing on the cake -pick between Apple or Google OS, pick one of only a few vetted authentication apps, pick your silo. There is no motivation to make it easy for people to break out of that silo, so good luck getting passkey auths to be "universal".

Phones are locked with either biometric data, unlock patterns, or PINs. Locking with biometric data makes it easier for law enforcement to force your phone open. Locking with patterns/PINs makes it easier for criminals to force your phone open (although it may take more time).

Let's take the scenario where a person's ONLY trusted device/passkey holder is their phone. Regardless of whether they use biometrics or device TOTP or whichever, they *cannot* experience a discontinuity in the integrity of that phone, whether by breaking or stealing. If either, they have to go to an untrusted device to secure their accounts. How do they get in? Device passkeys are dead in the water, and then they better have set up biometrics as a backup, and hope the device the want to log in on has a compatible FaceID-reading camera or a fingerprint reader, which isn't that common on computers. The two most feasible options that come to mind are backup codes (how often do you keep those on you? Are they on your phone? Are they easy to memorize? Did you print them out multiple times and keep them in safe places? Are they accessible?) or security questions, which are basically just... passwords!

In a world where both people had better password hygiene and companies protected passwords with the diligence they're supposed to, we probably wouldn't feel this need for passkeys. As it is, even if they're "more secure", the data has to live somewhere just like passwords do, and this will just pivot hackers' attention towards optimizing to attack passkeys instead. Maybe passwords will become the more secure authentication by virtue of everyone relying on passkeys.

Remember when banks and credit unions insisted on using "voiceprints" to authenticate people when they called their services? And remember a few months ago when AI-generated spoofed voices started to become nearly flawless imitations?


Oh boy here we go

Yubikey-like solutions can be burdensome to carry around, easily stolen/broken, and puts authentication in the hands of the companies who manufacture them. Same deal with any token-generating dongles.

We never learn with biometrics. Fingerprint works until you slice your thumb or burn your finger, FaceID works until you get in a nasty scrape and have a plum for an eye.

Whether SMS or device-associated passkey, such moves make always owning one or more devices, the large majority proprietary, ever-more ingrained in modern life. I imagine anyone who is so down on their luck that they not only have no home but no electronic devices would find passkeys an utter nightmare to navigate if they can only get online at a public library, on a device they shouldn't "trust" or save credentials to.

All these articles go to great lengths to list the weaknesses of passwords, but at least with passwords the "proprietary"-ness of the solution is fully your own to control. And maybe end users should have some responsibility to create and protect strong password solutions, lest we sink even further into learned helplessness, salvation only brought by daddy microsoft?

Space: The final frontier, or the next venture capital gold rush


Another on the "to read" list

Sounds like a fascinating book. Absolutely despise this mindless, feverish desire to commodify everything under the sun, and then the sun itself, though.

OpenAI's ChatGPT may face a copyright quagmire after 'memorizing' these books


Re: Odd how the copyright problem gets swerved.

The medium probably has something to do with how things will shake out.

Reusing text the way it is, likely a copyright violation, headed for lawsuits. Image generators are rather hotly debated because of technical language over what the generators are doing and "you can't copyright style". But the AI-generated song in Drake's "style" (voice, basically) was taken down. Writing and Music have an army of lawyers ready to sue, artists do not.

Google crams more AI into search as Apple, Samsung sniff around Bing


Re: Leave Google Alone

No need to squeeze them into every product under the sun, *ever*. IoT toilets can now talk to you? Not the future I was hoping for, not by a mile.


Leave Google Alone

Or rather, leave the search engine alone and shove all the AI crap into the brand new one. Then people who want no part of this hype train (me) don't have to resort complaining in the comments section - everybody wins!

OpenAI CEO confirms biz is not currently training GPT-5

Big Brother

Re: "Yes, it has been conclusively proven the election was stolen"

We have always been at war with Eurasia.

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

More ads in Windows 11 Start Menu could be last straw for some


Dear Microsoft employees

Given how aggressively Windows 11 pushes offline accounts, you should assume that if someone has a local account, it's because they actively sought it out.

(I mean, we know you know and it really chafes your cheeks, so why don't you piss off.)

America longs to expand low-Earth orbit economy 'for the benefits of humanity'


Re: "for the benefits of humanity"

Not in the eyes of the ones with all the money...

It is now safe to turn off your brain: Google CEO asked Bard to plan his dad's 80th birthday


Re: "It kind of oriented me a particular way"

I read "The Machine Stops" by E.M. Forster a really long time ago and it stuck with me.

Since the start of the year I've read it once a month at least, and started keeping notes... on paper, mind you, because the way things are going paper will endure longer than bits.

Alibaba and Huawei set to debut generative AI chatbots


Re: Very funny

Now I'm rather worried about anyone mocking it in China. How many points does that knock off their social credit scores?

Of course Facebook will monetize an ad-generating AI


What a revolutionary technology

Before, ad companies had to do the hard work of making multiple ad campaigns themselves. Now they can pay Meta a fee to make all the ad campaigns for them, and shove more of them in front of our eyes.

Glad I don't use Facebook. Or Instagram. Or Whatsapp. Or an Oculus.

Corporate investment in AI down for first time in a decade


I wish! So tired of every other news article I'm bombarded with being about what ChatGPT "did" today.

ChatGPT is coming for your jobs – the terrible ones, at least


Re: Fear the rise of the drudge!

Perhaps if we paid the people who feed us more than some hedge fund manager, there would be less sludge and drudge than OP fears...

Google's claims of super-human AI chip layout back under the microscope


Re: Secret Sauce

If there is a secret sauce, Google naturally doesn't want to yield any more ground to Microsoft or other AI suites. Gotta hook people onto their specific bot in this brave new siloed world.

Still, sad day if money can buy "trust me bro" in a publication like Nature.

Google halts purge of legacy ad blockers and other Chrome Extensions, again


Re: I have a sneaking suspicion

Both Firefox and Safari might be committing to supporting both Manifest versions. If Safari is limited to Apple's ecosystem, anyone outside it will need a non-Chromium browser, which is almost just Firefox and the Fireforks at this point.


Re: I have a sneaking suspicion

Firefox needs to hold on for dear life. Thankfully, I don't think that's google's master plan, and a quick bard-less google search suggests that the MV3 changes will apply to all Chromium-based browsers and Safari, which means people will be forced to Firefox or any of its Gecko-based forks for a better browsing experience. Firefox will need enough market share to be able to resist Google Money long-term, which could make for an interesting duopoly.


Re: Manifest V3 will kill many extensions

Mostly disappointed that MV3 severely neuters gorhill's uBlock Origin.

Firefox's committment to supporting MV2 is a plus in my book.

In the battle between Microsoft and Google, LLM is the weapon too deadly to use


Re: Pandora's Box, again

The RESTRICT Act in the US Senate is worded so vaguely that the US Govt could make a Great Firewall to rival China's if it stretched enough.

Google denies Bard trained using OpenAI ChatGPT responses


Re: They're wrong, even if not lying

Even if it was done so deliberately, I would be interested in knowing who objects to Bard using ChatGPT for training, and if those same people handwave away human artists' anger over lack of attribution/usage permissions for generative AI art engines. After all, if it's on the internet, it's free to use, no? If copyright is going the way of the dodo, why not embrace the new future and train all the chatbots on each others' detritus? At least we'll reach their end state faster.

Italy bans ChatGPT for 'unlawful collection of personal data'


Re: Welly welly well

What, you don't like asking google a question and getting five advertisements and ten ad-riddled copy-pasted mommy blogspam posts in the first page of results?? What a weirdo!

Ex-politico turned Meta hype man brands Metaverse 'new heart of computing'


New Heart + Walled Garden

If Meta's Metaverse is the new heart of computing, someone better send a signal to the aliens to get rid of us now before we escape the solar system.