onyxleopard's recent activity

  1. Comment on OpenAI releases Sora: Creating video from text in ~tech

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    Because that would mean ceding the control over the hardware to the client. That’s more in line with Apple’s vision of personal computing than Google’s. It’s the “thick” vs. “thin” client models...

    Because that would mean ceding the control over the hardware to the client. That’s more in line with Apple’s vision of personal computing than Google’s. It’s the “thick” vs. “thin” client models at odds, and it’s not clear which model will succeed long term nor if they can coexist.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on What programming/technical projects have you been working on? in ~comp

    onyxleopard
    Link
    I wrote a script that prompts OpenAI's multi-modal gpt-4-vision-preview model to (lossily) convert PDF pages to Markdown via OpenAI's API. GitHub repo here: https://github.com/zyocum/pdf2md

    I wrote a script that prompts OpenAI's multi-modal gpt-4-vision-preview model to (lossily) convert PDF pages to Markdown via OpenAI's API. GitHub repo here: https://github.com/zyocum/pdf2md

    2 votes
  3. Comment on OPML is underrated in ~comp

    onyxleopard
    Link
    This blog post discusses the resurgence of personal blogs and the "small web" as an alternative to larger platforms. It promotes the use of RSS feeds and OPML (a markup language intended for...

    This blog post discusses the resurgence of personal blogs and the "small web" as an alternative to larger platforms. It promotes the use of RSS feeds and OPML (a markup language intended for organizing and annotating a collection of feeds) to share feed subscriptions across devices. Sharing one's OPML files can also serve as an alternative recommendation system based on transparent human curation rather than algorithms. It also promotes smaller digital communities. Since OPML files are XML, they can be styled with XSLT to display feed lists in a readable format on the web.

    4 votes
  4. Comment on RSS users - how do you use, organize and maximize your enjoyment of RSS? in ~tech

    onyxleopard
    Link
    I subscribe to Feedbin as a service to keep my feeds synced across devices. I then consume feeds through the Reeder iOS and macOS apps.

    I subscribe to Feedbin as a service to keep my feeds synced across devices.

    I then consume feeds through the Reeder iOS and macOS apps.

  5. Comment on Know a good mix? Drop it here. in ~music

    onyxleopard
    Link
    There are a lot of mixes hosted on this site. I am partial to some of DJ Doboy's Vocal Editions (vocal trance mixes) (also on YouTube here).

    There are a lot of mixes hosted on this site. I am partial to some of DJ Doboy's Vocal Editions (vocal trance mixes) (also on YouTube here).

  6. Comment on Introducing Mozilla Monitor Plus, a new tool to automatically remove your personal information from data broker sites in ~tech

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    I guess the analogy would be a professional cleaning service. You can clean yourself, but some people would rather pay a company to handle cleaning on some schedule. And, ideally, Mozilla’s...

    I guess the analogy would be a professional cleaning service. You can clean yourself, but some people would rather pay a company to handle cleaning on some schedule. And, ideally, Mozilla’s service will keep up to date on what needs “cleaning” better than you or I could without spending a lot of time.

    8 votes
  7. Comment on Tips on building keyboard-centric workflow in ~tech

    onyxleopard
    Link
    On macOS, I find both Hammerspoon and Alfred to be indispensable tools to customize a keyboard-centric interface with the OS. Also, know that for any application that has a "Help" menu, you can...

    On macOS, I find both Hammerspoon and Alfred to be indispensable tools to customize a keyboard-centric interface with the OS. Also, know that for any application that has a "Help" menu, you can type shift-command-? to open the help menu and then search any menu bar items textually.

    Another neat tool that attempts to make everything in the GUI accessible via your keyboard is Homerow. Homerow lets you search elements in the GUI via text search and then gives you text anchors that you can type in order to move the mouse to the element you want, and optionally click the element with or without modifier keys. While this is very useful when using software that doesn't provide its own keyboard shortcuts or keyboard-centric affordances, it doesn't allow for consistency—every different app/context may require using different, novel combinations of keystrokes to do something. I still find it useful, but it doesn't allow you to necessarily learn workflows by recalling commands, nor to totally customize the keystrokes.

    3 votes
  8. Comment on State of EVs in Fall 2023? in ~transport

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    That is the way that Tesla went with the roadster, S and X, and finally the Y and 3. It’s also the way that Rivian is going with their R1 vehicles coming to market first, and then (presumably)...

    That is the way that Tesla went with the roadster, S and X, and finally the Y and 3. It’s also the way that Rivian is going with their R1 vehicles coming to market first, and then (presumably) smaller and lower cost R2 vehicles coming once their plant in GA gets going.

    What’s interesting to me is that the other American manufacturers are so slow to commit to real volume in EVs. The only thing I can point to here is possibly supply constraints and dealers being reluctant to sell them. I do think if nothing changes on that front that Tesla and Rivian and foreign makes are going to spell the end of the likes of Ford, GM, etc. Or maybe those companies will retreat to making cars for collectors or hobbyists or something.

    14 votes
  9. Comment on Desk setup / Battlestation Thread. in ~comp

    onyxleopard
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    Saw this got bumped and decided to contribute. This is my Thunderbolt 4 enabled setup with my laptop driving a 5120x1440 32:9 ultra wide display via a dock at full resolution and 48-120 Hz dynamic...

    Saw this got bumped and decided to contribute.

    This is my Thunderbolt 4 enabled setup with my laptop driving a 5120x1440 32:9 ultra wide display via a dock at full resolution and 48-120 Hz dynamic refresh rate:

    Highlights:

  10. Comment on How I think about LLM prompt engineering: Prompting as searching through a space of vector programs in ~comp

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    I sort of see it the other way around—fine-tuning is a short-term solution, and actually understanding the "program space" of a model and selecting an optimal program to solve your problem is much...

    Prompt engineering is a short term problem.

    In fact, I am kind of surprised no one has fine tuned an LLM to solve this problem.

    I sort of see it the other way around—fine-tuning is a short-term solution, and actually understanding the "program space" of a model and selecting an optimal program to solve your problem is much more valuable than spending the resources to tune a foundation model on a narrower problem space. I would think the more generalized a model is, the less fine-tuning should be necessary.

    2 votes
  11. Comment on How I think about LLM prompt engineering: Prompting as searching through a space of vector programs in ~comp

    onyxleopard
    Link
    In this short piece, Chollet analogizes autoregressive, transformer-based, generative LLMs to program databases, and prompt-engineering to query optimization. I think this is a good analogy and it...

    In this short piece, Chollet analogizes autoregressive, transformer-based, generative LLMs to program databases, and prompt-engineering to query optimization. I think this is a good analogy and it helps frame the finicky nature of fiddling with LLM prompts.

    4 votes
  12. Comment on How do you keep track of your subscriptions? in ~tech

    onyxleopard
    Link
    I use this app. It lets you enter details about subscriptions and get notifications when recurring payments are about to be charged. It also gives you your aggregate monthly total spend. You have...

    I use this app. It lets you enter details about subscriptions and get notifications when recurring payments are about to be charged. It also gives you your aggregate monthly total spend. You have to enter, modify, and delete the entries manually (so it’s only reliable if you are diligent about keeping it up to date), but I find having this data consolidated once I enter it to be convenient. Granted, you could get most of this app’s functionality with a simple spreadsheet and your OS’s built-in reminders/calendar apps.

    7 votes
  13. Comment on What is a simple tech tip that changed how you use your computer or other devices in a significant way? in ~tech

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    There is a system setting to disable virtual desktop reordering. (I don’t know why this is the default behavior.)

    There is a system setting to disable virtual desktop reordering. (I don’t know why this is the default behavior.)

    1 vote
  14. Comment on How a single flight plan with unexpected waypoint data caused a meltdown of the UK's air traffic control system in ~transport

    onyxleopard
    Link
    This part was interesting to me: Ultimately, this seems like a namespace collision issue. The fact that we can't solve this by simply appending numerals to duplicate ADEXP waypoint names is...

    This part was interesting to me:

    The software was incapable of extracting the UK portion of the ICAO flight plan, even though the flight plan was apparently valid (at least according to IFPS).

    The procedure was very fiddly and failed for a silly reason.

    Waypoint markers are not globally unique, but this is a known issue, so NATS should make sure their systems are robust enough to handle it. All other air traffic control authorities have to deal with this. NATS says the following about this in the report:

    Although there has been work by ICAO and other bodies to eradicate non-unique waypoint names there are duplicates around the world. In order to avoid confusion latest standards state that such identical designators should be geographically widely spaced. In this specific event, both of the waypoints were located outside of the UK, one towards the beginning of the route and one towards the end; approximately 4000 nautical miles apart.

    When waypoints with the same name are widely spaced, this makes flight plans unambiguous, because successive waypoints in a flight plan cannot be too far apart. They also mention possible actions they will take:

    The feasibility of working through the UK state with ICAO to remove the small number of duplicate waypoint names in the ICAO administered global dataset that relate to this incident.

    Waypoint names are clearly chosen to be short and snappy. Here's a sequence from some flight plan I found: KOMAL, ATRAK, SORES, SAKTA, ALMIK, IGORO, ATMED, etc. It's clear that the system has been designed so these names can be communicated quickly, e.g. over radio, and that pilots and air traffic controllers can become familiar with those on the routes they usually fly. Changing the name of a waypoint can be a scary operation. Uniqueness is obviously desirable, but it has to be balanced against other considerations. Including this suggestion in the initial report feels like NATS is trying to shift the blame onto ICAO.

    Furthermore, I don't see why a flight plan can't include the same geographic waypoint several times; for example for leisure flights or military exercises. Taking off and landing at the same airport is definitely a thing (called a "round-robin flight plan"). It doesn't sound like the FPRSA-R algorithm would be very robust to that.

    NATS officials are trying to spin this as:

    An air traffic meltdown in Britain was caused by a "one in 15 million" event, the boss of traffic control provider NATS said, as initial findings showed how a single flight plan with two identically labelled markers caused the chaos.

    "This was a one in 15 million chance. We've processed 15 million flight plans with this system up until this point and never seen this before," NATS CEO Martin Rolfe told the BBC, as airlines stepped up calls for compensation for the breakdown. Reuters

    The system was put in place in 2018, so what Martin Rolfe is saying here is that this sort of thing only had a chance of occurring "once every 5 years", which is apparently an acceptable frequency for having a complete air traffic control meltdown.

    Ultimately, this seems like a namespace collision issue. The fact that we can't solve this by simply appending numerals to duplicate ADEXP waypoint names is baffling to me. If the namespace is global, regardless if most human pilots don't encounter waypoints beyond their local airspace, then there should be a globally unique set of waypoint identifiers. Besides the waypoint naming standard being inadequate, it also amazes me that safety critical software is so low quality such that an exception being thrown would bring the whole thing down. That implies that the system isn't being analyzed for basic code quality issues.

    7 votes
  15. Comment on What are your best tips for productivity and project management? in ~life

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    One piece of advice I’d say is that, regardless of what project and time management tools you decide to employ, make sure you communicate with your professors/instructors if you think you’re at...

    One piece of advice I’d say is that, regardless of what project and time management tools you decide to employ, make sure you communicate with your professors/instructors if you think you’re at risk of not meeting a deadline. Most reasonable professors or instructors will work with you to accommodate your situation, but only if you are honest and inform them ahead of the deadline. If you are overloaded, and feel an impending deadline is at risk, they will likely be happy to work something out, but only if they understand your situation and you communicate well.

    13 votes
  16. Comment on Apple formally endorses right to repair US legislation after spending millions fighting it in ~tech

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    You mean the self service repair program they started last year? I guess I’m of two minds about self-repair. On the one hand, I’m not against it. On the other, there are some types of consumer...

    Keep an eye out for some new program related to device repair, recycling, refurbishment, or the like.

    You mean the self service repair program they started last year?

    I guess I’m of two minds about self-repair. On the one hand, I’m not against it. On the other, there are some types of consumer goods that I think most people just aren’t going to be equipped to self service. Should the vast minority of enthusiasts really get to dictate how companies design their products? I’d much rather the trade offs favor making the devices durable enough that they require less servicing overall. If Framework (or similar) brings a smartphone to market, I’m all for that. I just don’t think the market for that kind of thing is really as big as the vocal minority makes it out to be. I also think such devices would be more expensive, at scale, to manufacture.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on ChatGPT's odds of getting code questions correct are worse than a coin flip in ~tech

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    I’ll note that this is fundamentally an issue with formulating requirements. It’s really hard to do this well and communicate well-formulated requirements to software engineers. Some human...

    I’ll note that this is fundamentally an issue with formulating requirements. It’s really hard to do this well and communicate well-formulated requirements to software engineers. Some human software engineers make bad assumptions about implicit requirements or get bitten when they just ignore things that are not explicit in the specifications they are given. The best human software engineers are the ones who don’t even start coding until they have a good understanding of what the software is supposed to do. GPT-* and other current LLMs don’t have access to the wider context or experience of humans, so they either start coding without understanding the real requirements, or they get the implicit requirements correct by chance. (This also happens with junior software engineers as well.) If your software applications are low stakes, though, going back and forth between describing your requirements and filling in implicit requirements when they are not met is a slower, but feasible cycle to get to usable software.

    9 votes
  18. Comment on iPhone 14, 14 Pro owners complain about battery capacity that’s already falling off in ~tech

    onyxleopard
    Link Parent
    Good point—there are lots of year-over-year hardware differences that make new phones more efficient in battery usage, but screen brightness is the opposite. I tend to keep my screen brightness on...

    Good point—there are lots of year-over-year hardware differences that make new phones more efficient in battery usage, but screen brightness is the opposite. I tend to keep my screen brightness on the lower end, so this seems a very plausible explanation to me.