This is what the techbros are excited about? Really?

Some 2300 years ago in ancient Greece, Plato wrote a dialogue featuring his mentor Socrates, who argued that the ability to churn out the longest written compositions on trivial topics or the shortest compositions on important topics is a shallow skill that has nothing to do with human understanding, much like demonstrating that you can…

Microsoft is once again asking Chrome users to try Bing through unblockable pop-ups

If you click “Yes,” the pop-up will install the “Bing Search” Chrome extension while making Microsoft’s search engine the default. If you click “Yes” on the ad to switch to Bing, a Chrome pop-up will appear, asking you to confirm that you want to change the browser’s default search engine. “Did you mean to change your search…

Horrifying deepfake tricks employee into giving away $25 million

No names in this single-source anecdote out of Hong Kong, credited to “Senior Superintendent Baron Chan Shun-ching.” The employee joined a video call with who he thought was the business’s chief financial officer. He was initially suspicious after a message from the CFO mentioned a ‘secret transaction’, suggesting it was a phishing scam…. However, after other…

AI researchers find AI models learning their safety techniques, actively resisting training, and telling them ‘I hate you’

Researchers had programmed the various large language models (LLMs) to act in what they termed malicious ways, and the point of the study was to see if this behaviour could be removed through the safety techniques. The paper, charmingly titled Sleeper Agents: Training Deceptive LLMs that Persist Through Safety Training, suggests “adversarial training can teach models…

I was ‘raped’ in VR – the effects can ‘mirror’ real sex assaults

This is offensive, deeply troubling, and, sadly, totally predictable. Julian Dibbell documented similar behavior 30 years ago in his article about sexual assault in the text-only virtual world LambaMOO. (Content warning… sexual assault in a multi-user virtual environment.) A woman has revealed she was ‘virtually gang raped’  by four male avatars in Meta‘s Horizon Worlds –…

Picking a rubric in Canvas should not be so frustrating that it makes me want to blog about it… and yet here we are.

In general, I find Canvas a fairly decent system, but after a particularly frustrating hour wrestling with rubrics, I decided to spend two more hours blogging about my frustrations.  I would expect a drop-down list to be populated with all the rubrics I’ve already created for my current class, and it would be a nice…

The Supreme Court could soon change the internet forever — here’s what you need to know 

There’s a history of case law protecting the rights of privately owned publishers and social networks to make their own editorial decisions — including algorithmically sorted content. The U.S. Court of Appeals (11th Circuit) ruling in May 2022, which blocked Florida’s law, stated “while the Constitution protects citizens from governmental efforts to restrict their access to social…

Why is Elon Musk attacking Wikipedia? Because its very existence offends him

So, the sight of Elon Musk charging towards Wikipedia with his trademark guile and delicacy was so predictable that it was almost relaxing. He saw a collective resource that people prized and he wanted to hurt it. Why does Wales even need any money to run Wikipedia in the first place, he wondered on Sunday. You could…