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AI shrink

The latest generation of conversational AI models can give rather convincing advice to about any subject. There was even a story recently where a guy was using the ChatGPT as his personal psychiatrist. While it might sound like a good idea that's still a bad idea. The responses the model gives aren't guaranteed to be professional or even helpful and there is also no confidentiality protecting your data.

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The YouTube alternative app Vanced was discontinued a while ago due to the takedown notice the developer received. I don't watch that much YouTube, but when I did the modified client was what I used. Not only because it blocked ads from YouTube but it also includes many other enchantments compared to the official app.

Small favours with big impact

My son recently finished his studies ay the coding school Hive. For the past months he has been searching for a place to start his career. While the markets are still quite hot for the workers here in Finland compared to the global situation it's still challenging to find an entry level position without any prior experience from the industry.

Towards the light

We are well past the darkest time of the year. Yesterday made me realize how far we have gotten when it wasn't dark anymore at the time I reached the office.

The three darkest months are already behind us. Even though February and November are getting equal amount of light the former usually feels less dark due the snow. It might also be the psychological impact of days getting longer instead of shorter and knowing that we are moving towards more light every day.

Setting priorities

There are numerous productivity frameworks and self-help methods dedicated to getting things done. The most important thing to tackle is making the priorities of different tasks clear. Otherwise you might end up focusing on wrong things and ending up not making meaningful enough progress.

It's cheap, but is it ecological

Driving electric is cheaper than combustion engine powered car, but is it also more ecological? While the on the road emissions are much less (depending on the source of the electricity) there is a lot of debate whether this is enough to offset the bigger environmental impact of producing electric cars. Especially making of the batteries is producing substantial amounts of emissions.

Cost of driving electric

Last year was the first full year we have owned a fully electric car. Besides the environmental matters the one reason for the switch was costs. Electric cars are supposed to be cheaper to drive and maintain. So how did the promise hold up last year especially considering the unusually high electricity prices?

Supportive intelligence

In recent years the machine learning field has takes quite the leaps forward. Despite all these advances we however aren't much closer to a real artificial intelligence. The latest iterations like the ChatGPT sure can fake such things quite convincingly.

It's actually quite misleading calling such systems an AI (or then we would need to redefine the whole term). Underneath it's all just statistics and there is no real understanding or awareness within the machine.

Close encounter of the 23rd kind

While the comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is still a few days away from it's closest point to earth at 42 million kilometers there was another visitor passing us much closer this week. An asteroid named 2023 BU passed the Earth on thursday at the distance of only 3600 kilometers! That's closer than somw of the satellites we have sent up there.

The size of the asteroid is estimated to be around 3,5 meters by 8,5 meters, or as the scientists (or probably the journalists) say "roughly the size of a box truck". At least they didn't compare it to half a giraffe this time.

Lost at the end

Usually when a book leaves you wonder what just happened it's a good sign. I really like those kind of books that leave somw mystery up in the air for the reader to figure it out.

The latest book that I just finished kinda did that, but not in a good way. The book, Gridlinked by Neal Asher wasn't bad overall. It did have some interesting concepts and character development. But the story itself fell a bit short.

Timeline on a playlist

I keep constantly adding new music to my playlist. Most of the time I also listen music from the top of my "latest" playlist so over time the songs keep changing and are always the most recent additions.

This not only keeps my music fresh but also creates a convenient timeline (or soundtrack) of my life. I can go further back the list and immediately connect certain songs to a particular time of my life. Of course this doesn't require going through a chronological list of music. But it helps keeping things in order.

Simple flavours

Most of the time I like my bread with "all" the toppings. I call my sandwiches the everything sandwich. The bread usually functions just as a base to pile up all those toppings. But sometimes less is more.

There are certain breads that I don't overboard with the toppings. A few carefully selected condiments are enough to make a perfect sandwich.

Postponing the posting

I've noticed that when I have decided to postpone writing about a topic it often ends up being a lot longer delay than I had originally thought. Sometimes those topics might even fade from my memory so much that when I read them from my topic ideas list I can anymore remember what I was thinking of writing back when I originally had the idea.

The last among us

There is a new hit series streaming. HBO's The Last of Us has received praises from both critics and the audience. It has also been recommended to me personally by multiple persons. But I didn't like it.

At least after the first episode I wasn't impressed. It wasn't bad, but there wasn't anything that would have set it apart from dozens of similar stories. Maybe I've just seen it too many times.

Garage cleanup

My garage gym has been of little use lately. As is common with any garage the amount of stuff stored there is always closing to the volume of the garage. Somehow the stuff just appears to fill all the available space.

Great books

Books are like pizza: Even When It's Bad It's Still Pretty Good. There is always something in every book that's worth the time investment. At least I've never came across a book I wouldn't have finished no matter how bad it was.

But truly great books are really hard to find. I've read many in my life, but it hasn't come easy. For every great book I have probably read a hundred just good books. It's hard to know whether a book is great by it covers, or reviews, or suggestions by others.

Green visitor from outer space

The comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) has just completed it's turn around the Sun and is now heading back towards the outer regions of our solar system. On it's way it will still pass us at it's closest (42 million km) on it's path just a bit over a week from now.

The comet was only found less than a year ago. This is the first time in recorded history a human has seen it. Although our early ancestors might have noticed it last time it visited us 50 000 years ago, but that's highly unlikely as it's barely visible to the naked eye at it's best.

Winter is back

After a period of darkness we got our proper white winter back. The unusual weather this year almost melted all the snow in the middle of the winter.

Although the days are already getting noticeably longer there is still plenty of darkness in our days. So while it meant another round of snow work I think it's still a net positive thing. But enough is enough, hopefully there won't be much more of it coming still before the spring. Even if most of the ground was free of snow the piled up snow still remained and the new snow from the roads and yards need to fit somewhere.

Breezing through campaigns

We had yet another family boardgame night today. The third one so far after the initial skirmish during the Christmas holidays. At least temporarily it has become a weekly event. This all thanks to our new favourite game Marvel Champions.

So far we have completed the initial missions in the starter box and almost all scenarios in our first expansion box. Next time we should be through that one and can already start preparing for the next campaign which I already acquired in advance so there wouldn't be delays in between campaigns.

Battling climate change by private flights

The world economic forum started yesterday at Davos. Many of the most influential people and decision makers are gathering there among other things to think about how to battle the climate change.

The event participants have been criticized of their usage of private planes to get there. Most of the 2500 participants are flying there on their private planes. Almost half of the flights are less than 750 kilometers, 20% less than 250 kilometers and the shortest one just 21 kilometers!