Quoting Ethan Mollick

Many skeptics about the impact of AI are focused on the flaws that LLMs have today: hallucinations, short context windows, slow answers, and so on. These are legitimate concerns, and, if AI advancement were to stop, they might prove to be huge issues in the utility of AI. But AI is advancing rapidly, and some of these concerns may soon vanish, even if others (like hallucinations) are not completely solved....

February 20, 2024

Default ASP NET Core 8 port changed from 80 to 8080

Today, I learned the hard way that the default port for ASP.NET Core 8 container images has been updated from port 80 to 8080, quite a remarkable breaking change. We upgraded our web application from .NET 7 and let the CI pipeline do its work. Finally, we checked the application in the browser to ensure everything was okay, but unfortunately, we got a 502 Bad Gateway error. The Nginx logs revealed that the app was rejecting connections, which was unexpected because we didn’t make any changes there....

February 20, 2024

Monte Tiravento

Yesterday, I went on a hiking trip to Monte Tiravento. This majestic loop tour is uncommon compared to the classic woody image of the Parco Nazionale del Foreste Casentinesi, as it takes place mainly on aerial and partly even barren ridges, resulting in magnificent views. Compared to other variants I did in the past, this one starts at a high altitude, offering lower elevation differences. It is inadvisable on the hottest summer days when the nearby forests offer more cover from the scorching sun, but it is a real treat throughout the rest of the year....

February 19, 2024

Paying people to work on open source is good actually

From my experience as a maintainer of midly successful open-source projects, I have come to the conclusion that people who criticize accepting payment to work on such projects are either acting in bad faith or are incredibly naive. Anyway, Jacob Kaplan-Moss’s recent Paying people to work on open source is good is a stellar post on the topic of open-source sustainability. My fundamental position is that paying people to work on open source is good, full stop, no exceptions....

February 17, 2024

Solo winter attempt at Cerro Torre

My mountaineering days are mostly left behind, and I miss them, so now and then, I look at some YouTube videos from the field specialists. Today, the algorithm suggested I watch a truly phenomenal one by Colin Haley. What makes it so unique is the raw, unedited “I’m filming for my family” feeling that there is to it. He’s sweating, swearing, worrying and freezing like, you know, the rest of us....

February 16, 2024

AI generated videos just changed forever

Yesterday’s OpenAI launch of Sora is, as is always the case with OpenAI, mind-boggling. Marquees Browniee’s comment is spot-on, so much so as he’s obviously involved in the video-making scene. I don’t think content creators are at risk with Sora, not anytime soon, but, as Marquees repeatedly notes in the video above, just one year ago we thought AI-generated video was a joke.

February 16, 2024

Content of Charles Darwin's personal library revealed for the first time

I’m always fascinated by these in-depth bibliography efforts, and this one, with its unique 300-page catalog detailing 7,400 titles from Charles Darwin’s library, is nothing short of extraordinary. John van Wyhe, the academic who has led the “overwhelming” endeavour, said it showed the extraordinary extent of Darwin’s research into the work of others. “It also shows how insanely eclectic Darwin was,” Van Wyhe said. “There is this vast sea of things which might be an American or German news clipping about a duck or invasive grasshoppers....

February 15, 2024

Spinoza and the art of thinking in dangerous times

Technically, The New Yorker’s Baruch Spinoza and the Art of Thinking in Dangerous Times reviews a book on Spinoza. It is so well conceived that it also offers a practical primer on the philosopher’s thoughts on God, nature, democracy, religion and their interaction. A few steps into his public philosopher career, Spinoza found himself exiled from his Jewish community in Amsterdam. That made him cautious and adept at avoiding an even worse fate, which was entirely possible in the mid-1600s....

February 10, 2024

GitHub Wikis don't allow edits or pull requests

Today I learned that GitHub wikis are not editable online and do not support pull requests. You can clone and edit a wiki locally but not return your change to the original repository. I don’t use wikis in my projects; I prefer documentation to stay with the project, usually in a dedicated directory, and publish it on a dedicated site through GitHub Pages. But today was different as I opened a pull request for PaperMod, the Hugo theme I use on this website....

February 9, 2024

Isolated indigenous people as happy as wealthy western peers

People living in remote Indigenous communities are as happy as those in wealthy developed countries despite having “very little money”, according to new scientific research that could challenge the widely held perception that “money buys happiness”. Researchers who interviewed 2,966 people in 19 Indigenous and local communities across the world found that on average they were as happy – if not happier – as the average person in high-income western countries....

February 9, 2024