3x49: The Noise of Doubt

Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which the roflcopter is created, Soli is forgotten, and:

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News music: Long Live Blind Joe by Robbero, used with attribution.

Thank you to Marius Quabeck and NerdZoom Media for being our audio producers!

To clarify how conglomerates got out of control, in the United States, the Reagan administration basically turned antitrust enforcement on its head by interpreting “consumer harm” in a way where only price increases qualified, the Chicago School approach. As long as the monopoly kept prices low or claimed to do so and supplied excuses their price increases, they were fine. AT&T didn’t count, because their monopoly status was given to them by the government, to force them to roll out service to rural areas where the the investment wouldn’t produce as big a profit.

Basically, every administration since has followed that pro-corporate interpretation, though we’ve seen Rohit Chopra (Biden’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau head) make some moves suggesting that he disagrees with that policy, so we might actually see an attempt to push back on Amazon trying to conquer everybody’s house.

Unrelated, the discussion around the AI-enabled libel is basically why I assume that self-driving cars will always fall apart. Regardless of whether the technology works, when something inevitably goes wrong, everybody has isolated themselves from legal responsibility, and that makes no sense. In this case, though, it sounds sort of like incorrect journalism, where the solution is generally to run an inconspicuous retraction of the offending remark. It’s not satisfying, and we should infer malicious intent based purely on the biases in training a neural network, but it doesn’t seem structurally different than a newspaper running a story that (for example) conflates a mugger with a local CEO who shares the same name.

I think I listen too much to this little podcast, as you guys where explaining about the disk drive midi player, I though I must post a link to the Wintergatan - Marble Machine musical instrument, but @sil already mentioned it.

It looks like there’s also a bass guitar built into it and he’s fretting it as the marbles land on the strings too.

As far as other geeky things there’s also

Ben van de Waal building working grandfather clock components out of Lego:

Surely all engineering is like playing with Lego?

Firefox client-side translation sounds awesome, could it be broken out into a command line app?
imagine being able to translate something and being able to pipe the output to espeak or something?
Maybe: curl https://some-language-not-english.com/page.html | firefox-translater german english | espeak

nya-ha! that was indeed the thing I was thinking of!

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