#

Sarah Sherman and Chloe Fineman at the Paramount.

Congress Avenue with the Capitol and Paramount Theatre.
Manton Reece

21 Apr 2024 at 03:13
#

I got into web development in the mid 1990s when I was about 20 years old. I feel very lucky to have fallen into a career that I can continue to be passionate about almost 30 years later. AI will be the same for some young people today. It’s a rare opportunity.

Manton Reece

20 Apr 2024 at 15:06
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Misplaced my AirPods Pro, possibly in New Orleans. I’ve been using wired EarPods for a few days and… they’re fine! EarPods have always felt better in my ears, and they work 100% of the time when plugged it instead of 97% for Bluetooth.

Manton Reece

19 Apr 2024 at 20:37
#

Was listening to Laura Coates on CNN during lunch (yes, I watch the news too much) when the fanatical Trump supporter lit himself on fire outside the courthouse. Disturbing and sad. Reminder to everyone that we sometimes need to lower the temperature and be mindful of getting swept up in extremism. This year will be an enormous political challenge. 🇺🇸

Manton Reece

19 Apr 2024 at 19:18
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TikTok Notes is an odd name for a product that is mostly about photos. I hope it doesn’t lead to a redefinition of the word “notes” in social media, like what happened to a lesser extent with “stories”. Wonder if Substack Notes (a mostly text-based network) isn’t thrilled either.

Manton Reece

19 Apr 2024 at 17:53
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Listened to the first half of The Tortured Poets Department last night before going to bed. When I woke up, there’s basically a whole extra album out! Makes me happy imagining how much fun it must be for Taylor Swift and her fans to have these surprises. Masterclass in creativity, hype, and loyalty.

Manton Reece

19 Apr 2024 at 14:51
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Thanks @vladcampos for having me as a guest on his show this week! Here’s a link to the video on YouTube. We talked about blogging, where Micro.blog came from, my book, and much more about the social web.

Manton Reece

19 Apr 2024 at 14:21
#

Tonight’s plan:

  • Now: Work on Micro.blog while CNN is on in the background, explosions in Iran.
  • 10:30pm: Watch Jimmy Kimmel and/or Stephen Colbert.
  • 11pm: Listen to Taylor Swift’s new album, The Tortured Poets Department.
  • Later: Sleep, hope tomorrow is a good day.
Manton Reece

19 Apr 2024 at 03:48
#

Announcing Micro Camp 2024! Coming up next month. From Jean’s post:

Save the date! The 4th annual Micro Camp will be May 17. It will be a bit more micro this year, but we’re still doing it. 😇 Christina Warren / @film_girl@mastodon.social will join @manton and me for a chat about the evolution of blogging and social media to kick things off.

It’ll be a single day this time instead of multiple days. Should make for a simpler schedule. Hope folks can join us!

Manton Reece

18 Apr 2024 at 21:04
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Learning about the jury process for Trump’s trial, seems like even with the slow start they’ve got things well in hand. We can wait a few more days. There are limits in the system, so the defense can’t veto thousands of potential jurors until they find the rare Trump fan in NYC. 🇺🇸

Manton Reece

18 Apr 2024 at 19:22
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Rabbit founder Jesse Lyu, posting on Twitter X:

in about 7 days, r1 reviews will be out. we are ready to face any criticism and we will fix any issues that we need to fix.

Meanwhile almost nothing from Humane’s founders after the negative reviews. I’d be blogging. Tell us how you’re going to fix this, what’s next.

Manton Reece

18 Apr 2024 at 18:30
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I asked Meta.ai to imagine Austin in the 1920s, in watercolor. It has a lot of mistakes that a human artist would never make, but I wish Austin still looked like this. Bring back the trolleys!

Manton Reece

18 Apr 2024 at 17:48
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Meta’s ramping up their AI efforts. Playing around with www.meta.ai, it falls over with describing photos, which is my new go-to test, but I love the short animated drawings it can do. ChatGPT is still the gold standard.

Manton Reece

18 Apr 2024 at 17:35
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Continuing to work through some lingering Micro.blog issues with the Ruby 3 upgrade. As I spot errors, I’m fixing them. Don’t hesitate to report issues via email or @help.

Manton Reece

18 Apr 2024 at 14:49
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I’m obviously not a constitutional lawyer, but seems like the right move to dismiss the impeachment charges. Republicans just wanted to turn the Senate trial into part of the political campaign — where TV networks would amplify their message — while they refused to move on actual border solutions.

Manton Reece

18 Apr 2024 at 03:09

A few more thoughts on AI in M.b

 I read some good blog posts this week about AI, from a range of perspectives. Micro.blog won’t be for everyone, but I do want it to appeal to folks who can’t wait for the AI-powered future and to folks who don’t think the benefits outweigh the potential harm. (And the majority who just want to blog and don’t follow the tech closely.)

Molly White has a post today about many of the good things AI can do, along with the costs and consequences of getting too wrapped up in the hype:

I’m glad that I took the time to experiment with AI tools, both because I understand them better and because I have found them to be useful in my day-to-day life. But even as someone who has used them and found them helpful, it’s remarkable to see the gap between what they can do and what their promoters promise they will someday be able to do.

Many of the most useful capabilities are actually not very exciting. As an example, for years Apple and Google have used machine learning to improve photo search, so you can find photos that include pets or buildings or concerts. Today, AI can take that kind of feature and super-charge it, with remarkably accurate photo summaries.

AI is not going to fizzle out like the blockchain. More and more software will embrace AI, in some cases going too far, sprinkling it throughout apps without any transparency into how it’s used. I could start to feel the temptation to go down that path too, which is why I took a step back to add the global AI setting this week, before we even have anything new that uses the setting.

No major feature should be so intertwined with AI that it can’t be clearly documented and controlled by the user. Humans are the ones who think, write blog posts, share photos, and join conversations. Some developers will push the limits, but not Micro.blog. AI will be a tool to help us, in narrow, practical ways, and I’m not interested in going much beyond that.

Manton Reece

18 Apr 2024 at 02:31
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I sort of can’t get over how the data servers for TikTok’s Project Texas aren’t actually in Texas. I know it wasn’t intended to be a public name, but still… what else are they lying about? 🤪 More at The Verge.

Manton Reece

18 Apr 2024 at 00:51
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AltStore PAL launches in the EU. Riley Testut blogs about the release, including what types of apps are the best fit for AltStore:

All apps are welcome, but I believe AltStore makes the most sense for smaller, indie apps that otherwise couldn’t exist due to App Store rules. There are countless examples of these that aren’t allowed in the App Store for one reason or another; we just don’t know about them because there’s never been a distribution option for these poor apps.

It’s €1.50/year to cover Apple’s Core Technology Fee. Still hoping the EU decides the CTF is illegal.

Manton Reece

17 Apr 2024 at 18:22
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On reviews of the AI Pin, the bigger problem is clickbait titles. Reviews on The Verge, MKBHD, The New York Times, and elsewhere seemed quite fair if you read or watched through the whole thing. Don’t think this would be a controversy if the titles hadn’t been so provocative.

Manton Reece

17 Apr 2024 at 14:25
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Finally updated from Ruby 2 to Ruby 3 today. It went mostly smoothly, but there were a couple bugs that slipped through my testing. Lots of little changes and removed deprecated methods.

Manton Reece

17 Apr 2024 at 03:05

New AI global setting

 There is a lot happening around generative AI. With the continued improvements from OpenAI, expected AI features from Apple coming up at WWDC, and new devices like the Rabbit R1, we’re all going to be swimming in AI this year. Some people feel (understandably!) like they’re drowning already.

I like writing blog posts by hand, but I think AI can be a powerful tool. Micro.blog Premium currently has two AI-related features:

  • When you host your podcast on Micro.blog, we’ll automatically generate a transcript of each episode, which you can edit.
  • When you bookmark web pages in Micro.blog, we’ll automatically generate a short summary of the web page, which you can show on the web under the “…” button → Show Summaries.

As we add more features that are powered by AI, we need a comprehensive way to tie them together, especially for anyone concerned about privacy. To be clear, there are no plans to use AI except on public data that is already on the web, like podcasts or photos. We aren’t going to suddenly start sending your private Micro.blog notes to OpenAI for processing. (And because they are end-to-end encrypted, we couldn’t anyway.)

This is all a long introduction to announce a new, simple setting to globally control whether AI is used for anything in your account. You can find it on the web under the Account link:

Screenshot of new AI setting.

For existing users, this is turned off by default unless you have previously used one of the AI features mentioned above. For example, if you have a podcast that generated transcripts, the setting is on so that the feature will continue to work. For new users who join Micro.blog starting today, it’s turned on by default. I think it’s simple and clear, but obviously we’ll be listening to feedback.

I recommend toggling the checkbox on for your account if you are at all interested in the potential for AI around things like helping with photo alt tags, search, or categorization. No new features to announce today, though.

Manton Reece

16 Apr 2024 at 18:34
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Great video comparison of the Humane AI Pin and Rabbit R1. Obviously as the founder of Rabbit, Jesse is biased, but I think his video is fair. I’d love to know technically why the Pin is slower. Which LLMs are being used in these devices? Too slow and it loses a little of the magic.

Manton Reece

16 Apr 2024 at 14:18
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Streetcars in New Orleans. Had a great few days here.

Manton Reece

15 Apr 2024 at 17:50
#
 Jason Snell writes about how the smartphone duopoly makes it hard to create truly new products if they need tight integration with existing platforms:

This is not a lament for Humane or its business model. It’s a lament for all of us. So many innovative products will never get funded or never launch a product because if they can’t connect deeply with the smartphone, they’re at an impossible disadvantage.

Generative AI is such a unique technology that it is useful even completely outside the Apple and Google ecosystems, but some features just aren’t possible without open platforms.

Manton Reece

15 Apr 2024 at 17:33



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