Wednesday, January 24, 2024

4.5 Billion Years in 1 Hour

2 minutes ago
Rather than proceed at a constant rate, it would have been better to spend less time at the beginning and much more time on the details that come later. Human and mammalian evolution would have made great topics to explore.

Crazy Coincidences You Won't Believe Are True

Sunday, January 21, 2024

That Was the Best Part of Trump

The Hidden Dangers Of Antarctica

This video is crazy

GIANT Rogue wave hits an oil platform

The Truth About The Illegal Immigration CRISIS

Regions NOBODY Migrates To

Maps That Will Chane How You See The World - Part 39

The Scariest Thing To Do Is Regularly Tell The Truth

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Lunar Lander Beyond - Cinematic Trailer | PS5 & PS4 Games

Take a 1979 video game, which I have on Arcade1up, and remake it…

It appears to be 2D. I would associate something like this with homebrew. It reminds me of Gravitar.

I think that they are trying to turn Lunar Lander into a franchise. Maybe this will lead to a movie.

Instead, how about a 3D Lunar Mission Simulator with authentic controls?

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Saturday, January 13, 2024

English Longbow

Middle Ages[edit]

It has been suggested that 'thumbs up' was a signal from English archers preparing for battle that all is well with their bow and they are ready to fight. Before use, the fistmele (or the "brace height") was checked, that being the distance between the string and the bow on an English longbow. This fistmele should be about 7 inches (18 cm), which is about the same as a fist with a thumb extended. The term fistmele is a Saxon word that refers to that measurement.[9]

Desmond Morris in Gestures: Their Origins and Distribution traces the practice back to a medieval custom used to seal business transactions. Over time, the mere sight of an upraised thumb came to symbolize harmony and kind feelings.[clarification needed] For example in the seventeenth century, see the Diego Velázquez painting The Lunch.

Do Not Withdraw in Fear

The Wildest Game of Hide and Seek | The Dodo

Thursday, January 11, 2024

WARNING: ChatGPT Could Be The Start Of The End! Sam Harris

Sam Harris spends 30 minutes talking about the dangers of AI.

He makes assumptions about the future. I think that he underestimates the difficulty of building a general AI.  

I think that ChatGPT is overhyped.  It is like a Wikipedia that can talk.  It has no understanding except to predict what words should follow other words based on statistical information.  This is why it gets so much wrong.  I asked it to write some computer code and the answer wasn't even remotely correct.  

We will inevitably develop general AI, but AI is a tool to solve specific problems.  We don't have to make an AI that matches human intelligence when it is more efficient to have problem-specific AI.  Calculators can do math far better than I can, and even the best 8-bit chess computers can outplay me at chess.  It would be like saying that when we developed mechanical locomotion, we needed to make a machine that functioned exactly like a horse.  We found better ways to do locomotion.

This means that AI will be solving problems long before we have a general AI, but more importantly, we will be treating it as a tool, just like any other tool.  For example, twenty years ago I was annoyed when Microsoft Word automatically corrected my spelling without asking me.  It felt like the machines were already becoming smarter than us.  Although that was a novel experience twenty years ago, we wouldn't think twice about it today.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024


Early Internet

Around the year 2000, I was serving on the board of directors for the Utah Chess Association. We were considering abolishing our state chess newsletter and making a website instead. I pointed out that most people didn't have Internet access yet, but we expected that to change. (In fact, someone had set up a chess hotline with an answering machine, where you could call the phone number to get the latest state chess news.)

It was roughly 20 years ago that I switched from using dial-up Internet to the long-anticipated cable Internet. Getting 3 Mbps was a significant improvement over the roughly 100Kbps I had.

In the early days using slow dial-up modems, like 1200 bps, you would sometimes try to load a web page and get up and do something while the page was loading. I did this all the time.  It was so bad that there were optional programs that would download pages ahead of time so that you didn't have to wait for them to load.

Twenty years ago, just a few websites had video, but because of the limited bandwidth, those videos would occupy only a tiny part of the screen and be very low resolution. Apple's video format, Quicktime, was invented to help deal with low bandwidth.

YouTube was created in 2005. The first videos were at best "Standard Definition", which means that they were low resolution. I don't remember for sure, but the first videos might have had a resolution half that of Standard Definition, or roughly 240 lines. It would take years for Internet speeds to improve so that YouTube could offer higher-resolution videos.