technology

recent posts related to technology in general

Donations or micropayments to support professional journalism

I thought it was great that you can donate any dollar amount you want to The Guardian to support professional journalism. I wrote the New York Times and Washington Post and said I don’t read their content enough to justify a subscription, and asked if I could either donate to them or use some form of micropayments, but they both wrote back to say they only offer (more expensive) subscriptions.

Update: Someone wrote on Twitter to note that these are for-profit organizations and therefore they can’t take donations. That’s not true, but even if they didn’t want to accept donations, they could offer micropayments or lower-cost subscriptions for a limited number of page views.

“How much do you think you owe?”

I’m sitting here writing a book on how to write better software using functional programming techniques, then I go to the Boulder Community Hospital website to pay my bill (powered by chase.com), and they don’t tell you how much you owe, you’re just supposed to type in how much you think you owe. It’s like calling Kramer on Seinfeld to get a list of movies: “Why don’t you just tell me where you want to see the movie?” *crazy*

Bradford Cross on AI and startups alvin June 5, 2017 - 1:05pm

architecht.io has this interesting interview with Bradford Cross on AI and startup businesses. I don’t know much about AI, but from my experience with it, I’m sure that you want to “own” the data.

The Internet is broken (Evan Williams)

“I thought once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas, the world is automatically going to be a better place,” Mr. Williams says. “I was wrong about that.”

~ Evan Williams, in a N.Y. Times article, The Internet is broken.

Amazon security flaw?

I was surprised to find out yesterday that you can change your Amazon email address without having to verify the change from your old email account. You only have to verify the new email address. That seems like a flaw.

LiquidText: e-Reading done right

I just saw this video for LiquidText. It made me think that this is the sort of functionality I always wanted from Amazon Kindle. More accurately, I knew I didn’t like how Kindle worked, and LiquidText makes you think, “See, there it is, that’s what I want.” (I’ll know it when I see it.)

The state of payments systems in ten years

“If you think you know what the state of the payments system 10 years out you're in a state of delusion.”

~ Charlie Munger talking about AMEX

The thermodynamics of learning

From a Phys.org article titled The thermodynamics of learning:

“The greatest significance of our work is that we bring the second law of thermodynamics to the analysis of neural networks,” Sebastian Goldt at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, told Phys.org. “The second law is a very powerful statement about which transformations are possible — and learning is just a transformation of a neural network at the expense of energy. This makes our results quite general and takes us one step towards understanding the ultimate limits of the efficiency of neural networks.”