Would You Pay for Decent Social Media, Searching, and Shopping?

As I was talking about social media with some friends and family the other day, we were bemoaning just how bad it’s become. How inundated we are with ads and unrelated content in our feeds. Worse yet, we were reminiscing on how it used to be. Facebook in the early days, when you saw the content from your friends, and that was it. When you could actually see everything your friends posted, and you knew you wouldn’t miss anything. When you actually had control over what you saw. It occurred to me that I would pay good money to have

Artificial Authors

I blogged a while back about advances in artificial intelligence (also here), and I’ve since had a fair bit of fun putting different prompts into ChatGPT and seeing what it comes up with. Not that it’s come up with anything particularly good, but it’s definitely come up with things that are amusing or surprising, considering the source. (This reminds me in many ways of the reaction a child gets for saying something that seems like a child wouldn’t come up with. There’s a lower bar to clear to make someone impressed.) But I’ve been surprised to see how fast people

Physical is Cool Again

I was talking to Tomas this morning, and he was telling me all about the “new” camera he got in Slovavkia. It’s actually an old Russian one from communism, completely manual (no batteries, etc.), and he’s a big fan. (Well, he will be once he gets the camera fixed. He just had his first roll of film developed, and it looks like there’s a hole somewhere inside it that’s letting light in on the pictures. All of his shots have this huge christmas tree-shaped splotch of white in the middle of them. He’s pretty sure he can fix it.) But

Facebook and Me

I’ll be honest: I’m getting very close to just giving up on Facebook. Cory Doctorow had a great essay the other day about how websites go from being useful to abusive to dead (a process he termed “enshittification,” which is pretty accurate, if crude). It’s worth reading the whole thing, but in a nutshell, he describes how first websites focus on providing as useful of a service for as cheap as possible. The site needs to set itself apart from everything else out there, and so it focuses on attracting users. Once it has those users, it monetizes them in

(One) Problem with Artificial Intelligence and Writing

Back in October, I wrote a post about how artificial intelligence has started to be used for art. Paintings. Writing. And at the time, I really only thought of it from that stance. Would AI ever be used to write books? Could it ever write a good book? I was doubtful about that, though I recognized it might be an issue in the future. However, I failed to think about it from the angle of writing web pages on a massive scale. And that’s actually a real problem. People make money off websites by ad sales. The more views a