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Topics - Brad

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Hardware & Technology / All Your Weeds are Belong to Us
« on: November 29, 2023, 10:05:39 AM »
Mother plucker: Steel fingers guided by AI pluck weeds rapidly and autonomously

Finally a real use for AI: a commercial weed puller for farm fields.  Being able to control weeds in vegetable farming without the use of herbicides or human labor on a commercial scale will be a big win for the organic farmers.

It's tuned for weeding fields full of onions, beetroots, carrots, or similar vegetables,


Amazon has been working on an in-house replacement for its Android-based Fire OS, codenamed "Vega" and built for easier app development, according to reporting from Janko Roettgers at Lowpass.

This is all new to me.

Speculation:  This might bring Amazon back into the phone market if the tablet and smart TV versions are successful.  In any event it's good positioning for Amazon no matter which way the US vs. Google anti-trust trial goes in re. Android.

Traffic / Google Pays $26 Billion to be Default SE
« on: October 27, 2023, 10:18:17 PM »
Over $26 Billion in 2021 to be default across multiple browsers, devices, platforms.

$18 Billion just to Apple.

These are the numbers Google wanted to keep secret.

Traffic / Mojeek News
« on: October 18, 2023, 11:24:02 PM »
Mojeek search engine has been quietly working on their news search for quite some time and the results are pretty good.  Mojeek has also tweaked the look of their news page:

To make it more magazine like.

What I like: no ads, no slideshow scrolls, they don't track you, different mix of news sources than the usual players everybody else uses, because they don't track they don't try to personalize the news to feed you more of what they think you want.

Traffic / Summary of week 4 of US vs Google
« on: October 10, 2023, 11:24:58 AM »
If you haven't been following the Google anti-trust trial you should be.  Some really interesting info is coming out about how Google slithers works.

Public KNowledge publishes some nice weekiy summaries:

U.S. v. Google: Everyone Uses a Search Engine, Not Everyone Uses Social Media. Recapping Week 4

Stellantis shifts into high gear offering new EV with a surprising price tag

Available 2024.

Water Cooler / Coffeecrete? Coffee Grounds can make Concrete Stronger
« on: August 25, 2023, 06:16:59 PM »
Coffee grounds offer performance boost for concrete

Water Cooler / AI Art and Copyright
« on: August 19, 2023, 11:30:55 PM »
US Federal Judge -

/ DC District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell says human beings are an “essential part of a valid copyright claim.”

Water Cooler / Streaming Providers Trying to Become just as Bad as Cable
« on: August 15, 2023, 03:30:05 PM »
Streaming Providers Dead Set On Becoming The Shitty Traditional Cable TV Companies They Once Disrupted

Water Cooler / Under the Influence - Podcast Recommendation
« on: August 05, 2023, 02:26:05 PM »
I stumbled across this show/podcast on my local NPR station and I highly recommend it and thought I'd pass it along.

Under the Influence by Terry O'Reilly.  This page lists all the places it's available at:

It's about the convergence of pop culture and advertising.  It is not specifically about internet advertising.  O'Reilly talks about advertising campaigns that have worked and some that have bombed and ties them into pop culture.  I generally hate advertising but I found this to be both interesting and entertaining. 

Example: where else are you going to find out that one Japanese agency bought advert space on people's armpits.

Water Cooler / I got your flying boat right here
« on: July 25, 2023, 11:44:35 AM »
Catalina Aircraft relaunches ‘iconic’ flying boat, eyes military sales

Sounds like a long shot, but it sure surprised me.

Hardware & Technology / WormGPT: The “unethical” ChatGPT is out
« on: July 21, 2023, 11:10:26 PM »
A hacker has made his own maliciously inclined version of ChatGPT: Introducing WormGPT, a chatbot created to help online criminals.

This may be subjective but there seems to be a difference (besides adapting for screen size) between the browser based versions of Yahoo news and MSN news desktop v. mobile.

Yahoo desktop seems to be much more extensive and fresher than the browser based mobile version.  Yahoo mobile seems to have fewer fresh headlines and then repeats stuff from the day before.  This could be that we are just in a slow news cycle.

The difference between browser based MSN news desktop and MSN news mobile is even more pronounced.  On many MSN moble articles you only get the first sentence and then a button "Continue reading on the App".  Making the MSN mobile news website increasingly worthless.  They are really pushing the MSN app. (the rat-finks).

Not earth shattering but just an observation that you can no longer trust that the mobile-friendly web version is a true representation of the desktop site.  OMHO the desktop site is far better so like on a tablet, if you can force the destkop version of the site you are better off.

I know on mobile all these companies really want you to download the app so they can track you and serve more ads.  The tracking bit is exactly why I prefer to use the mobile browser version on my phone - too much spyware on the apps.

Older, high mileage, ICE vehicles will end up in the Third World because they are a step up from a moped.

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