New-to-me: A worldwide map of memorial benches. Over 26,000 of them. From the About Page: “There are blue plaques to commemorate the famous and influential figures of the past. For everyone else, there are memorial benches. A quiet reminder of the people gone but not forgotten. A spot to rest your weary legs and give silent thanks to ‘Alice – who loved this park’.” This site also mentions a similar site for memorial plaques.
TWEAKS AND UPDATES
ZDNet: GitHub built a new search engine for code ‘from scratch’ in Rust. “The Rust programming language continues to grow in popularity and now developer platform GitHub has used it to build its new code-focused search engine, Blackbird. Instead of perusing forums for answers, GitHub wants users to use its search engine, which is currently in beta.”
Analytics India: Hugging Face’s New Search Makes Life Easier for Developers . “On Thursday, Mishig Davaadorj from Hugging Face, announced the launch of their full-text search engine… The search allows users to do a full-text search from over 200k models, datasets, and spaces. This includes all LLM models, graphs, and others hosted on the website.”
AROUND THE INTERNET WORLD
New York Times: ‘My Watch Thinks I’m Dead’. “Winter has brought a decent amount of snowfall to the region’s ski resorts, and with it an avalanche of false emergency calls. Virtually all of them have been placed by Apple Watches or iPhone 14s under the mistaken impression that their owners have been debilitated in collisions.”
Gizmodo EU: The Violently Misogynistic Incel Community Is Rewriting Its Own History Through an Incel Wiki. “A Jan. 30 report from the extremism and disinformation-minded think tank Institute for Strategic Dialogue titled ‘Spitting out the Blackpill’ digs into the incel community’s self-maintained wiki.”
SECURITY & LEGAL
NBC Bay Area: City of Oakland Hit With Ransomware Attack. “Oakland was the victim of a ransomware attack that began Wednesday night, police and city officials said Friday. The city’s information technology department is working with law enforcement to determine the scope and severity of the attack.”
Bloomberg Law: Hermès Defeats MetaBirkins in the First NFT Trademark Trial (1). “Luxury brand Hermès International SA won its lawsuit against the digital artist behind ‘MetaBirkin’ nonfungible tokens after convincing a Manhattan federal jury that Mason Rothschild’s sale of the NFTs violated Hermès’ rights to the ‘Birkin’ trademark.”
RESEARCH & OPINION
Ars Technica: Big Tech companies use cloud computing arms to pursue alliances with AI groups. “Big Tech companies are aggressively pursuing investments and alliances with artificial intelligence startups through their cloud computing arms, raising regulatory questions over their role as both suppliers and competitors in the battle to develop ‘generative AI.'”
Motherboard: ChatGPT Can Be Broken by Entering These Strange Words, And Nobody Is Sure Why. “Two researchers have discovered a cluster of strange keywords that will break ChatGPT, OpenAI’s convincing machine-learning chatbot, and nobody’s quite sure why. These keywords—or ‘tokens,’ which serve as ChatGPT’s base vocabulary—include Reddit usernames and at least one participant of a Twitch-based Pokémon game.”
The Guardian: ‘There is no standard’: investigation finds AI algorithms objectify women’s bodies. “AI tools rate photos of women as more sexually suggestive than those of men, especially if nipples, pregnant bellies or exercise is involved.” Considering Facebook’s longstanding history of incorrectly moderating anything vaguely resembling a breast, I can’t say I’m shocked. Good afternoon, Internet…
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Hi Tara, you are having a great week! I loved your discovery of the NYTimes article on Apple Watch and false fall detection, which I missed in the Times. I’ve had this experience myself way too many times; yesterday alone, while sawing through a few fallen limbs (many less than 1 inch in diameter), my watch went ballistic, detecting a lot of erroneous falls. It’s nerve wracking. There are no user adjustments. I believe that as an active senior, I have a definite risk of fall, so I like the idea. In practice, I’ve about had it. I really feel for emergency service workers speeding to a slope on icy roads only to find the skier is fine. Wearing layers of clothing is certainly the norm when skiing, and you can hardly fault anyone other than Apple themselves for failing to do adequate testing among active sports users. They have to do better. Classic case of crying “Wolf”. Carl