Checkin to Jason's Deli
Sammich and soup time.
Location: Webster, TX, United States
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i develop whole products as does marco.
a funny thing happens when people think you do much less than what you actually do, they hire people to replace you.
that's what happened with adam curry and myself back in 2005. he had no idea what i do, he and his partner ron bloom thought they could save some stock and they thought i was being "difficult" (I guess) by not taking orders from bloom, so they hired a couple of programmers to replace me, and guess what happened. nothing. they wasted $100 million in vc money, and barked up the wrong tree. if they had worked with me they wouldn't have done that, but they would have had to listen to a mere coder.
same thing happened when RSS became a VC thing, none of them wanted to work with me, so they hired "software engineers" and they created products that somehow weren't up to the opportunity. all the companies failed. none of the VCs had the vision or just common sense to bet on the only developer who had proven he knew what was actually going on.
all my career people have been minimizing what we do with disastrous results. go back to my first silicon valley gig, with personal software in 1980. the ceo of the company told me to my face he could do a better job writing the software i was doing, but was too busy to do it. he was full of shit. you had to be really motivated in ways few "coders" are to get a 256K program to run in 48K. (which is what the app turned into when we ported it from the apple ii to the ibm pc) Not to mention invent a new freaking category of software. (To his credit the CEO did think of doing outliners before he met me, though his idea of an outliner didn't amount to much more than a start down the path.)
you can't make things better by giving into the bullshit money people and marketing people and people who took a few college classes in comp sci impose on our craft.
…oftentimes you can see change on the horizon, assuming you’re looking for it, and there comes a day when the landscape flips. But the old entities attached to the old ways refuse to adjust, they believe in holding back the future, staying rooted in the past, to their detriment, because the public is not controlled by them.
This simple insight is Silicon Valley (a proverbial proxy for post-industrial technology). Why it exists, why it eats itself, and why it finds the future. A more business version of this insight is Clay Christensen’s Innovator’s Dilemma.
The Junkification of Amazon: Amazon might be the biggest store on the web, but it is also the shittiest place to shop on the web, says John Herrman. I couldn’t agree more — my overall experience with Amazon has deprecated, and I am always worried about what crap I will get in the box. I have shifted about a third of my dollars to Walmart — Amex underwrites the Walmart equivalent of Prime — and another third to Target or independent stores. Shopify has made it easier to shop with independents. Amazon’s great advantage is “returns.” You will see Amazon as just another web place when someone cracks that. (Ironically, New York magazine has no problem linking to Amazon for affiliate revenues.)
So Many Podcasts, So Little Money: Spotify has thus far failed its big bet on podcasts. It has become the biggest podcast platform and has $200 million in podcasting-related ad revenues, but is that enough? Spotify and its CEO made the classic mistake all leaders make: they brought in big-ticket experts who know how to spend big bucks to attract talent. In reality, Spotify forgot it has the audience and the platform to turn anyone into a star.
It could be verse: Mark Zuckerberg isn’t giving up on his Metaverse ambitions. Sure, they lost money in 2022 and will lose more in 2023. The real question is, will they ever make it work, or will Apple come and steal their thunder? For now, Zuck is all in on the hot new thing of today: Generative AI.
Feb 4, 2023. San Francisco.
Slowly getting back to normal after a few days without power. Lights came back on last night, and it was like a luxury… Fast internet. Heater. Hot showers. The only reminder of what happened is a yard full of tree branches. Just hoping most of our live oaks survive this. ❄️
AI is currently finding its way more and more into various software. There is ChatGPT, which sometimes feels like an all-knowing human, DeepL uses artificial intelligence not only for its translator, but also for its new tool that improves written text, or Bunny.net provides an API to generate images “on the edge”.
But also Kagi, a paid search engine, has now published an experimental tool that can be used to summarize any article from the Internet. And I’m amazed at how well it works. Here is the summary of my last monthly review:
January was a busy month for the author, who split their time between two households. To stay fit, they opted for bodyweight exercises with Freeletics, and they also made progress on their AWS certification. They also found time to work on their blog software, implementing a plugin that displays the currently playing music via last.fm in the blog header. Despite the busy schedule, the author was able to give their girlfriend the time and space to study for her university exams.
And surprisingly, it can also summarize German articles in English. But this behavior doesn’t seem to be consistent, for example this post was summarized in German and the summary wasn’t as good as the other ones.
I bet Kagi uses the OpenAI API in the background.
For texts GPT-3 seems to be quite good, but I also used it for generating some code for me, with not so satisfying results. Simple programs it can do well, but for that you don’t need an AI to do it for you. It probably shows that AI in this context is just a “simulation of intelligence” (because it had such a large information base to learn from), as Nico Brünjes wrote in his (German) blog post.
Let’s see when Microsoft releases its new version of Bing.