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InitialsDiceBear„Initials” ( by „DiceBear”, licensed under „CC0 1.0” (
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Jonathan Kamens: "It has come to my attention that many of the people complaining about Firefox's PPA experiment don't actually understand what PPA is…" -
  • That does nothing to deal with malware distribution, which has been a problem in pretty much every ad network. It does nothing to address the standard practice of making ads as obtrusive and flashy as possible.

    I do not accept the premise that advertising is the only possible business model for quality web sites. History suggests the opposite: that it is a toxic business model that creates backwards incentives.

  • Language Is a Tool for Communication, Not for Thought, MIT Researchers Argue
  • This is interesting work, but I don't think it justifies the plain-English summary. If you're going to claim that language is not a tool for thought, I would expect you to demonstrate that a difference in language does not lead to a difference in thought. To answer that, you shouldn't just look at whether language-focused brain regions are activated during non-language-based activity, but also whether a lifetime of using Language A leads to differences outside of those regions compared to a lifetime of using Language B. Isn't that the crux of linguistic relativity? That different languages encourage and train different modes of thought?

    Any chess player will tell you that they apply their "chess brain" to all sorts of things outside of chess. It's not that we literally view life as a chessboard, but rather that a lifetime of playing chess has honed a set of mental skills that are broadly applicable. The fundamental logic applies everywhere.

    In particular, some deaf children who are born to hearing parents grow up with little or no exposure to language, sometimes for years, because they cannot hear speech and their parents or caregivers do not know sign language. Lack of access to language has harmful consequences for many aspects of cognition, which is to be expected given that language provides a critical source of information for learning about the world. Nevertheless, individuals who experience language deprivation unquestionably exhibit a capacity for complex cognitive function: they can still learn to do mathematics, to engage in relational reasoning, to build causal chains, and to acquire rich and sophisticated knowledge of the world

    It seems like they are using a narrower definition of "language" than is appropriate. e.g. I don't think it's controversial to include body language under the umbrella of "language", so I am very skeptical of the claim that any of those deaf children had "no exposure to language".

  • We're coming for you
  • There are only a few species of mosquitoes that pose a threat to humans (and several thousand that don't). If we had a way to effectively eradicate those few species, then it probably wouldn't have major consequences. They don't fill an important, unique niche in their ecosystems like, say, bees.

    But we don't have a way to do that. Not without huge collateral damage from poisons and the like. There's been some promising work with genetic engineering, releasing mosquitoes that will mate and produce non-viable offspring. This can greatly reduce a local population in the short-term, but they bounce back.

  • SSDs with 1000-layer memory chips expected in 2027: ultra-fast 20TB NVMe drives for $250
  • Do I need a 20TB boot drive? No. Do I want it enough to pay $250? Yes, absolutely. I'm running 1TB now and I need to manage my space far more often than I'd like, despite the fact that I keep my multimedia on external mass storage. Also, sometimes the performance of that external HD really is a hindrance. I'd love to just have (almost) everything on my primary volume and never worry about it.

    It's kind of weird how I have less internal storage today than I did 15 years ago. I mean, it's like 50 times faster, but still.

    I'm not super-skeptical about the pricing. This stuff can't stay expensive forever, and 2027 is still a ways off.

  • Good mouse with good linux support
  • Tons of brands use Windows-only software to control button mapping, lighting, etc.

    Anything outside basic movement, scrolling, and the first three buttons will need additional software.

    It's been a while since I looked. Anyone know a good universal mouse config tool for linux that would let me map all buttons on a per-app basis?

  • Futurama | Trailer - Season 12
  • Also known as the second half of season 8. In case anyone is as confused by the alternative numbering schemes as I am. I think they officially called the Hulu season "8" before, didn't they? Or is Wikipedia just crazy?

  • Children Risk Their Lives Building America’s Roofs (Pulitzer Prize winner)
  • A $500 fine for a company violating child labor laws and workplace safety laws is absurdly low. Should be 100 times that or it's useless.

    Ms. Sánchez and other subcontractors said they have turned to children because there are not enough adults willing to do this work. Roofing industry experts say firms have struggled with a labor shortage amid residential building booms across the South and an uptick in hurricanes and other natural disasters.

    In other words, "we'd rather kill children than pay adults a fair wage".

  • eBook Library Structure
  • I think it helps to think of browsing as a basic form of searching. Everything you can do in a browsing context, you can by definition do in a searching context...if the client doesn't suck. The information needed to browse is embedded in the tags.

    So this strikes me as entirely dependent on your client software. A good client should let you browse by tags. You could add Dewey numbers as tags to start with, so you can browse that way if you want, then add any other tags that might be useful (like genres, for example) on top of that.

    The only difference with tags in this context is that books will appear in multiple places.

  • I believe Transphobia is Unnatural
  • Agreed. English is a stupid language in many ways. Why do we shoehorn in gender when it is not relevant? Why does it deserve to be baked into the language? How the ever loving hell can you expect someone to understand someone else's gender implicitly in arbitrary scenarios? Even when you can see someone face to face, if they're not strictly following narrow gender norms, your accuracy is going to be dogshit. Why bother?

    I understand the feeling that parading around pronouns and taking time out of our days to explicitly establish them (when it's generally, again, not relevant) is tedious and confusing. I barely have the brainspace to remember names. The obvious answer is to use neutral language whenever it is sufficient in context. Which is, again, most of the time.

    I think it goes beyond the Internet, and beyond trans inclusion. Even if you're a bunch of cis folks talking face to face, it still makes sense to default to neutral pronouns. I don't always know (and certainly don't always care) what someone's sex or gender is face to face, and that ain't new.

    The singular "they" is awkward, but it's like two hundred years too late to come up with something better.

  • AI art steals from the poor and has no place in modern society
  • What happens when AI advances to the point where it can do everything it does today (and more) without using copyrighted training material?

    This is inevitable (and in fact some models already use only licensed training data), so I think it's a bad idea to focus so much on this angle. If what you're really worried about is the economic impact, then this is a dead-end argument. By the time any laws pass, it will likely be irrelevant because nobody will be doing that anyway. Or only the big corporations who own the copyrights to a bajillion properties (e.g. Disney) will do it in-house and everyone else will be locked out. That's the exact opposite of what we should be fighting for.

    The concept of "art" changes based on technology. I remember when I first starting fiddling with simple paint programs, just scribbling a little shape and using the paint-bucket tool to fill in a gradient blew my mind. Making in image like that 100 years prior would have been a real achievement. Instead of took me a minute of idle experimentation.

    Same thing happened with CGI, synthesizers, etc. Is sampling music "art"? Depends what you do with it. AI should be treated the same way. What is the (human) artist actually contributing to the work? This can be quantified.

    Typing "cat wearing sunglasses" into Dall-E will give you an image that would have been art if it were made 100 years ago. But any artistry now is limited to the prompt. I can't copyright the concept of a cat wearing sunglasses, so I have no claim to such an image generated from such a simple prompt.

  • Image thumbnails broken after latest update

    Edit: This appears to have been fixed already with another backend update. Leaving the post below as-is.

    Current version in the footer: UI: 0.19.0-rc.11 BE: 0.19.0-rc.10

    Starting today, most image thumbnails and pictrs links will not load. I tried clearing cookies and I tried in three different browser engines (Firefox, Chromium, Safari).

    If I try to open one of the image URLs directly in my browser, it shows {"error":"auth_cookie_insecure"}.

    Interestingly, images will load correctly if I am NOT logged in. Why are the pictrs URLs even checking cookies when they do not require auth? Is that new behavior in this version of Lemmy?

    Here is an example post:

    And an example direct image URL from that post:

    I am interested to know if others are seeing the same issue. I have not exhaustively tested different cookies settings in my browsers, so it's possible some anti-tracking privacy settings are interfering with this behavior.

    Worth noting is that the Eternity app on my phone continues to work. I did not even need to log out and back in today, like I did in my browsers.