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Things the guys who stole my phone have texted me to try to get me to unlock it - Gothamist
  • Nah - you’re complaining that you “were forced into handing your password to someone else” when there were at least six ways you could have avoided that:

    • you gone to the computer,
    • they send the computer to you,
    • you remote in to the computer,
    • you tell them “suck it, you should have blocked iCloud sign-in with MDM” or, as others mentioned,
    • you sign out before handing the computer back or, my favourite,
    • don’t sign in to personal accounts on work devices even if they bug you to.

    Finally, we release devices like this all the time through our ABM account. It takes 5 days maximum. Your IT team led you up the garden path.

  • I guess I shouldn't let it bother me, but another Lemming called me a mutt and insinuated I was trash for being Irish by dna
  • You’re being (rightfully imo) downvoted because living in Ireland for a few years doesn’t change your heritage. Moving to Japan gives you some insight, sure, but you wouldn’t expect us to believe it gives you Japanese heritage.

    That said, belonging is decided by the group, not the individual. If Irish people genuinely think of you as culturally Irish, then that’s what you are.

  • Russian T-90 tank is hit by 8 "Flying Skull" FPV drones
  • There are a couple of studies that show less PTSD in drone pilots but there’s only a few. One interesting take is the moral gap (see here) where killing people from home potentially makes far less normal home lives (predictably).

  • The Taylor Swift Album Leak’s Big AI Problem
  • Full text:

    The Taylor Swift Album Leak’s Big AI Problem

    Apr 19, 2024 9:06 AM

    When The Tortured Poets Department leaked, some Taylor Swift fans swore it must be AI. Expect that to be a common refrain.

    Photo of Taylor Swift

    Photograph: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

    On Thursday, Taylor Swift did a very Taylor Swift thing: She posted an Instagram story with a link to buy “Fortnight,” the first single off of her new album, The Tortured Poets Department. It was cute, maybe even unnecessary. Taylor Swift is one of the biggest recording artists in the world. She announced TTPD in February while accepting the Grammy for best pop vocal album for her last record, Midnights. Swift sold 19 million albums in the US alone last year; she doesn’t have to post IG stories about a new single. Yet there she was getting the internet all frothy like it was 1989.

    As she posted, though, something else was agitating her massive fan base: The Tortured Poets Department had leaked, allegedly spreading thanks to a Google Drive link that made the rounds online. (Piracy is back, baby!) Almost immediately, there were two camps: One said true fans would wait until the album’s official release, at midnight on Friday. The other couldn’t wait and pressed Play anyway. Among that latter group was a subcamp: people who thought the leak—or parts of it, at least—were the product of artificial intelligence.

    Claims of “gotta be AI” come from several corners, but many seem to stem from one particular line, in the album’s title track, in which (alleged) Swift sings, “You smoked then ate seven bars of chocolate / We declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist.” (The rumor mill is speculating it’s a line about her ex, Matty Healy.) The audio has since been removed for copyright violation, but when an X user posted that snippet online, the suggestions that it was AI-generated quickly followed.

    Upon the album’s release, everyone learned that the song was, in fact, real. They also learned the tracks that had been circulating before the album's release were only part of the package. Swift returned to Instagram at 2 am Friday to announce that it was actually a “secret DOUBLE album”—The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology—31 songs in total. But the “must be AI” reaction remains a complex one.

    Online life is awash in AI-generated fake-outs. Just a few years into the LLM revolution, the need to not believe your lying eyes is a given. Same goes for your lying ears. The bigger problem is that while skepticism and fact-checking are, generally, always a good idea when getting information online, AI has become so prevalent that it can also be a cop-out. Don’t like what your honest eyes see? Convince yourself it’s AI.

    What makes this all even trickier is that AI is progressing to the point where composing something like The Tortured Poets Department doesn’t seem too far out of its realm of possibility. An AI version of Johnny Cash has already covered Swift’s “Blank Space.” “Heart on My Sleeve,” an AI-generated song from 2023 that sounded shockingly similar to one actually made by Drake and the Weeknd, was close enough to the real deal that some folks thought it might be a promotional tactic.

    When the frenzy around The Tortured Poets Department finally dies down, this will all likely end up looking like a minor distraction. But it does say something uncomfortable about online fandom: There are a great many people who will rush to the defense of their fave, even when the criticism is valid. As my colleague Jason Parham wrote recently, Beyoncé’s internet isn’t exactly utopia. Swift TikTok—especially now that her songs are back on the platform—has its delightful turns, but watching people squabble about her talents isn’t one of them.

    This becomes particularly tiring because it’s a reminder that the interdependency between the internet and artists like Beyoncé and Swift has never been greater. In many ways, neither of them really needs the support of online hordes protecting their good names and hyping their music. They’re internationally known superstars. People would find out about their tours, and the movies of their concerts on Netflix and Disney+, even if every word they uttered didn’t go viral.

    The Monitor is a weekly column devoted to everything happening in the WIRED world of culture, from movies to memes, TV to Twitter.

    Yet, watching them go viral has become a sport in and of itself. Swift’s Easter eggs (and weird Spotify pop-ups and surprise double albums), Beyoncé’s art-directed captionlessInstagram posts—these things regularly become news, and they bring in people who maybe couldn’t care less, just to see why everyone is tweeting. This is the ouroboros of modern pop music.

    Even as this notoriety has made a select few artists very rich, it’s also created a series of problems. Yes, the Beyhive and the Swifties can be intense, but there are also their detractors who, in the case of Swift, promote countless dumb conspiracy theories, most of them concerning her being a government psyop to influence the 2024 US presidential election. Her private jets are now a matter of public interest.

    Swift fans, though, do mobilize. When deepfake pornographic images of the singer went viral on social media in January, her fans rallied to drown them in “Protect Taylor Swift” posts. When Ticketmaster seemingly botched the initial release of her Eras Tour tickets, the fans made enough noise that US lawmakers took notice. On Tuesday, Meta’s Oversight Board announced it’s taking a closer look at deepfakes on its platforms. That same day, The Wall Street Journal reported the US Justice Department had plans to file an antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation, Ticketmaster’s parent company.

    Almost makes me want to see what would happen if someone did try to pass off AI Taylor as the real thing.

  • Israel sacks two officers after finding grave errors in strike on aid workers
  • It’s kinda funny that, like Russia, this invasion is just showing how a an ‘elite’, ‘gold-standard’, ‘most-moral’ military in the world is simply incompetent at actually running a war.

    Given individual missions, soldiers can shoot their way in and out but they can’t handle communication between units.

    I have to imagine the groups coordinating the safe passage of aid trucks are either shitting all over the missile teams in the post-op briefings or filled with absolute dumbasses.

  • Lingua Franca
  • Surely 80-90% of Daniel’s job is teaching languages to the other teams. Especially after Children of the Gods when they discover that the whole network is run by the Goa’uld/Jaffa.

  • Chinese police will patrol in Hungary alongside Hungarian officers after an agreement with Budapest, raising fears of Beijing oppression being meted out in Europe
  • Seems pretty elegant to me. Don’t U.S. troops have a whole bunch of additional military laws? This way local police don’t need to learn all of that nonsense and the U.S. military get to hold their people to that higher standard while also helping each other out. Probably cheaper and better results for both?

  • Apple Cancels Work on Electric Car, Ending Decadelong Effort
  • Not sure if 100% a joke or just partly but Volkswagen was probably providing the mechanical engineers who were retrofitting Lexus vehicles of the project as they had for the already-deployed driverless vans. See NYT & MacReports

  • A sleuthing enthusiast says he found the US military’s X-37B spaceplane
  • It’s not a secret, just hard for amateurs to do. No doubt states with space monitoring equipment always knew. He just did it with a camera in his backyard and his laptop.

    Also, he’s Finnish.

    Amateur observations of the spaceplane indicate it is flying in a highly elliptical orbit ranging between 201 and 24,133 miles in altitude (323 and 38,838 kilometers). The orbit is inclined 59.1 degrees to the equator.

    This is not far off the predictions from the hobbyist tracking community before the launch in December. At that time, enthusiasts used information about the Falcon Heavy's launch trajectory and drop zones for the rocket's core booster and upper stage to estimate the orbit it would reach with the X-37B spaceplane.