Weekend Reading — Trick AI bot into selling Tahoe for $1

Weekend Reading — Trick AI bot into selling Tahoe for $1

nixCraft “I will see this one”

Tech Stuff

YOU DON'T NEED HTML! A creative blog post worth the cursory read-through:

Originally posted as part of HTML Hell's advent calendar. While browsing Mastodon late one night, I came across this excellent blog post called HTML is all you need to make a website. It describes a few websites which are pure HTML. No CSS and no JS. And I thought… do you even need HTML to …

Interactive code cells Imagine Jupyter notebooks, but for any programming language!

Rough.js creates graphics "with a hand-drawn, sketchy, appearance". Works with Canvas and SVG.

Open Source Software & Open Source Alternatives A catalog of open source alternatives to popular products. But double-check before you commit, as Carlo Zottmann observed: “It lists a number of closed-source services with OSS SDKs, e.g. Sentry.”

The JavaScript Oxidation Compiler Written in Rust, so promises to be 50-100 times faster than ESLint.

Amie If you use your calendar every day and all day, take a look at this app. UI looks pretty cool, also includes todos and sharable schedule links as all 2023 calendars should do.

josef 🤦

you know when you accidentally cat a binary file and despite your lightning-quick ctrl-c reflexes, something in it triggers that old vt100 command that tells your terminal emulator to shoot a spring-loaded boxing glove directly into your face

I play a stolen art dealer on Imgur


Maybe Getting Rid of Your QA Team was Bad, Actually Personally, I am not a fan of having QA as a separate discipline from engineering. I think software developers should put more effort into testing their code in different environments and scenarios. Finding bugs helps you code more defensively in the future. But, if you like having two separate disciplines, this post could give you some good ammunition to keep QA around, motivate them, and make sure they’re well paid.

Why do programmers need private offices with doors? (Do Not Disturb) For many many years, my favorite office was a desk in the vicinity of other people. Sometimes next to developers, other times sitting by the support them, or even in the middle of the sales floor. But that’s me, the background noise doesn’t distract me, I can’t even hear it when I’m focused on something else. Other people do get disturbed, for them, it’s a productivity bomb. This is why I love having the option of giving my employees the benefit of their own single-person office space. Or just work from home.

4 simple software engineering habits that transformed my productivity The best thing you can do at work today is to set yourself up for success tomorrow morning: “Leave work slightly unfinished for easier flow the next day”.

The surprising connection between after-hours work and decreased productivity The data behind being more productive, based on Slack’s measurements:

• Employees who log off at the end of the workday register 20% higher productivity scores than those who work after hours
• Making time for breaks during the workday improves employee productivity and well-being
• Desk workers say that the ideal amount of focus time is around four hours a day
• Three out of every four desk workers report working in the 15:00 to 18:00 time frame

Business Side

Jan Schaumann Brilliant:

Thinking of starting a new consulting business, called "That's Fucked Up As A Service".

I sit there and you explain your legacy system to me, and all I do is say "That's fucked up." If you agree, you get a discount. If you try to justify the brokenness, you have to pay double.

Paul Fairie “2023 Headline of the Year nominee (November)”

Machine Intelligence

Autonomous chemical research with large language models How about using LLM to run your own science experiments? (GitHub repo)

Coscientist is an artificial intelligence system driven by GPT-4 that autonomously designs, plans and performs experiments by incorporating large language models empowered by tools such as internet and documentation search, code execution and experimental automation.”

Jon Keegan

This LAION-5B CSAM issue is going to be a huge, ugly mess to resolve. Tons of models were trained on this, an unknown number of researchers have downloaded the dataset and images from the dataset and there is no easy way to disentangle this content from the models trained on it. Ugh.

The full report from Stanford Internet Observatory:

Drew Harwell On the plus side, the FTC blocked Rite Aid from using AI face recognition for five years:

New: Rite Aid secretly scanned shoppers with facial recognition for years, leading to false shoplifting accusations, "embarrassment, harassment and other harm," the FTC says. The chain banned workers from talking about it, and errors were common; one 11-year-old girl was distraught after being searched due to a false match. “Every black man is not [a] thief nor should they be made to feel like one"

Car Buyer Hilariously Tricks Chevy AI Bot Into Selling A Tahoe For $1, ‘No Takesies Backsies’

Chevrolet of Watsonville introduced a chatbot powered by ChatGPT. While it gives the option to talk to a human, the hooligans of the Internet could not resist toying with the technology before it was pulled from the website.

Chris White photo.jpeg

Peter Yang “You think my kids can build these fast enough to train a large language model?”


John Opdenakker It’s that simple:

The data of your customers that you don't collect and store cannot be stolen from your systems.

Google Search Overwhelmed By Massive Spam Attack Intuitively we all know, but sometimes it helps to see a proper research with data: “Google is apparently struggling to contain a spam attack that's been ongoing for days”

Nina "Erina" Satragno “Kinda wanna put this up in my office”

Everything Else

mikepop “The perfect video game holiday drink crossover doesn’t exi—”

Jolly Frank being Frosty Today is like …

I had a lot that I was supposed to do today but after giving it some thought, I've decided that instead I now have a lot that I'm supposed to do tomorrow.

Charlie Stross “This was my childhood and adolescence:”

Alice McFlurry

I made the mistake of accidentally opening my work email on my phone and subsequently seeing a preview of a message from my work nemesis, so I guess I'll spend the next two hours lying in bed and drafting my bratty response in my head so I can get it all out before sending the more professional version instead.

How to Actually Pronounce 'Worcestershire,' 'Açaí,' and Other Commonly Mispronounced Words Here are the correct pronunciations for some of the most commonly mispronounced English words.

Tony Sindelar 👍

My unfunded technology company pitch: the tech product you love, but without the nazis in it.

Substack says it will not remove or demonetize Nazi content Speaking of Nazis, Substack is pretty happy about hosting and monetizing them. For a good reason, Substack is about the money, and nazis are a source of revenue. BTW this blog was hosted on Substack for a brief minute, but I don’t want to be affiliated with them, so I switched to Ghost a long while ago.

Sketchplanations - A weekly explanation in a sketch

The science of gift wrapping explains why sloppy is better

After unwrapping, participants evaluated how much they liked their gifts. We found that those who received a sloppily wrapped gift liked their present significantly more than those who received a neatly wrapped gift – regardless of which mug they got.

Fruit-Shaped Bus Stops If you have to take the bus …

The idea of fruit-shaped bus stops was said to be inspired by the pumpkin-shaped carriage in Cinderella, and they were installed by the town of Konagai in 1990 to welcome visitors to the Journey Exposition Nagasaki 1990.

Today, there are 5 kinds of fruit-shaped bus stops; strawberry, watermelon, cantaloupe, orange and tomato. The area of the highway is now referred to as “Tokimeki Fruits Basutei Dori”, or “Tokimeki Fruit-shaped Bus Stop Avenue”.

Love at first ride: The Specialized Turbo Creo 2 Comp gravel e-bike That’s a glowing endorsement:

In late August, I bought my dream road bike. Since then, I have neglected my other rides. But after my first ride on the Turbo Creo 2 Comp, I faced a tough decision each time I walked out to the garage in my riding gear. And that's about the highest praise I can give it.”

GeriAQuin “Reindeer sign”

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