429: Zuckerberg's Counter-Positioning, Voicebox, LLaMA and I-JEPA, Semiconductors, Uranium, Heat Pumps, and Spider-Verse
"this almost seems to imply that humans are reliable"
The sooner you make a choice, the sooner you can make an adjustment.
🫁🚭 I bought a HEPA air purifier.
Not specifically because of the forest fires, but the recent smog has certainly made me think more about air quality.
The main reason for buying it is to see if it helps with my wife’s allergies. I want to let it run in her office on the days that she’s working from home and in our bedroom at night (we sleep with a white noise machine, so the fan noise is a feature, not a bug!).
After doing a bit of research I went with the LEVOIT Core 300S. It’s sized for a small room and has a 3-stage filter with a pre-filter (to catch large particles), a HEPA grade layer, and an activated carbon layer.
Being a modern gizmo, it connects to wifi and has an app. I do like the ability to see monthly graphs of the changes in air quality based on its sensors and to create automated schedules for it to start and stop.
I’ll report my experience with it once I’ve had a chance to use it for a while. I figure cleaner air can only be good for me, even if I don’t suffer from allergies.
🥮🍪🧑🏻🍳 Back in the Phanerozoic era of Edition #62, I wrote about allulose and why it appears to be the best sugar substitute, especially when baking.
I’m surprised that it’s still a bit hard to find and/or expensive. I would’ve thought that supply would’ve expanded greatly by now, but I suppose demand still outstrips it.
While waiting for supply to catch up, I’ve been buying the second-best: Monk Fruit.
Occasionally, my wife bakes cookies that call for brown sugar, so I ordered the brown-sugar version of Monk Fruit. I’ll be curious to see how it does. So far, the regular sugar replacement version has been good — if I didn’t know, wouldn’t be able to tell when we put it in something.
Someday I should do a blind taste test comparing something made with allulose vs Monk Fruit 🤔
🏦 💰 Liberty Capital 💳 💴
🇳🇱 Netherlands expected to “Permanently” shut down Europe’s biggest gas field in 2023 🌷
Just in time for winter:
The Groningen field in the northeastern Netherlands will shut on October 1, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified as the plans are still private. The cabinet will make an official decision later this month, a Dutch government spokesperson said. [...]
The Dutch government may also dismantle the gas wells by filling them up with concrete next year
The field has been a key source of gas for much of western Europe, as well as a backbone of Dutch public finances, since production commenced in 1963. But the site has also caused huge local opposition after hundreds of earthquakes since the 1980s damaged thousands of homes.
That does suck, there’s certainly no perfect choice here.
How “permanent” is “permanent”, though?
Not very much, it seems like:
The decision for closure isn’t entirely irrevocable, the people said. If there is another energy crisis or a very cold winter, it would take about two weeks to reopen the wells, they said. That’s enough time for the government to revert its decision, depending on weather forecasts. (Source)
I’m sure Putin in Russia would love for Europe’s gas supply to be further reduced, just as he must’ve been gleeful to see Germany and Belgium shut down nuclear power plants and France mismanage its fleet for so long…
I really wish my European friends would get a saner energy policy.
🦙 Meta wants to make LLaMA’s next open-source version available for commercial use 🤔
Zuckerberg is making lots of moves in AI lately, trying to counter-position against Google and OpenAI/Microsoft, or to commoditize the complements to its business model, which is based on its network of users and their data: