Excel vs. Genes, Anime Yourself, and Retro Tech
I anime’d myself and I’m never going back
Here’s some fascinating tech (and science) news…
In a rare case of Science moving faster than Technology, human genes will be renamed to they don’t get misread by … Microsoft Excel. https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/6/21355674/human-genes-rename-microsoft-excel-misreading-dates. As a sidebar, gene naming is strange and sometimes whimsical, as in the case of Sonic hedgehog (named after, yes, that Sonic.)
Something we should expect to see more often: Text generated by a machine learning model (GPT-3, for “Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3”) was posted to a Reddit-like site with minimal editing and got tons of traffic: https://liamp.substack.com/p/my-gpt-3-blog-got-26-thousand-visitors. The author notes that even with pessimistic numbers, large companies with writers on staff will have an undeniable financial incentive to use this technology in the future.
This site popped back up on my radar recently, and it’s really quite fun: https://driveandlisten.herokuapp.com/. Click through to ride along in another city and listen to the local radio. Works pretty well on mobile, too!
Would you like to be an anime character?
I found out about the ChibiStudio app somewhat recently and have enjoyed playing with it. It’s free, with in-app purchases for more outfits and such. My character here was made with the free version. Give it a try!
@TheVergeArt is a great follow on Instagram. They have cool artists make pieces for their longer-form articles, and the resulting works are posted on their account. The link in their bio also makes it easy to read the relevant piece if you’re interested, and I personally really like their writing style—and the website is pleasant to use, too.
@Foone on Twitter is very nerdy, and typically posts about old technology with great detail. In particular, this whole thread is about trying to steal the source code for an old Microsoft product and I found it ridiculously enjoyable.
@FroyoTam is another great twitter account. The author similarly features obsolete tech, but with more of a focus on aesthetics and design. Lots of concept art and such. At the very least, seeing some forgotten gadgets may give you a pleasant sense of nostalgia.
Frankly these old Macintosh concepts in particular make me think of the summery Mac-inspired jukebox Poolside.FM.
Until next time…