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Moravec's paradox

In the 80's some radical artificial intelligence and robotics researchers came up with a controversial idea: what's easy to us is actually harder for the machine than those things that are hard to us. In fact, the early AI research already displayed prominent capabilities in areas of complex logic uer even today the most fine motorized robots are no better at moving than toddlers.

UFOs now and then

After shooting down of the Chinese spy balloon a while ago there has been several other unidentified objects shot down recently. It's interesting that these balloons have started popping up in numbers all of the sudden. Probably the surveillance has just been more vigilant after the first incident and now they are seeing boogeymans everywhere.

Decades ago, Roswell and all, the sightings of an UFO were officially declared as weather balloons. They might or might not have been of extra terrestrial origin, secret military test equipments, or just actual weather balloons.




Just trying to survive

I finally got the Frostpunk boardgame on the table. It's a beast of a game that I just haven't had time to get familiar with earlier even that it has been sitting on my self for some time already.

The game is based on a computer game with the same name. It's set on a post apocalyptic world in late 19th century. The world has fallen under an ice age and the few surviving people try to survive in this harsh environment.

Poor battery life

I installed a "night light" ro our bathroom some time ago. It wasn't that far back, but I've had to replace the batteries already twice and now they are again dead.

As it's considered a wet space the electrical installation options are a bit space. I didn't want to start "hacking" power from somewhere just for the lights so I ended up fetting battery powered led strip.

The strip only has a motion sensor, so that could partially explain the fast depletion of power. They go on even during the day when it's more convenient to use the main lights.

Seasonal flavours

There are many products that have different seasonal variants for different times of the year. Some products are even only available during the said reason.

These "seasonal" products seem to also be great opportunities for companies to try out new flavours. If it's a flop they can easily fade it away at the end of the season and just never bring it back.

Beyond singularity

The common trope in dystopian sci-fi is the runaway AI. The doom of mankind in those stories is usually an AI that was already originally developed to eliminate people, a military system (defensive at it's best).

If we ever get to that, the only arms race that leads to it is the competition between corporations trying to beat the competition and release the most advanced "machine servant" to the markets. The incentive might sound good, "improve your quality of life" and such, but the only goal those companies is to make more money.

The story concludes

Our DnD campaign isn't just over yer, but my character's storyline got it's conclusion in our latest session. Now he will continue the journey just to help the rest of the party go wherever they need to be.

It's been almost four years now since we started. We have played over a hundred session, so more than once every two weeks. This has been my longest running campaign as a player and it has been a joy to go through the long winded storyline of the character.

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.

Ad free content

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.