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VOLUME 22 No 12

EXAMINE THE NET WAY OF LIFE

JULY, 2024

©2024 Ski Illustration

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JULY, 2024

THE WORM IN THE APPLE

AMERICAN CIRCUS

iTOONS

FOUND BUT NOT LOST ON THE INTERNET

WHETHER REPORT

NEW SHOW HACK!

 

©2024 Ski

Words, Cartoons & Illustrations

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EXAMINE THE NET WAY OF LIFE

cyberculture, commentary, cartoons, essays
 

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THE WORM IN THE APPLE NEWS

One of Steve Jobs' principles at Apple Computer was not be the first to invent new technology but be the second to improve it and make it work. Apple has been late to the Artificial Intelligence game. It is a dangerous game. Serious legal, ethical and performance issues of AI services touted to replace people are widespread. It is damning to think that AI is capable of anything except scraping the internet for images and words and spitting it out as derivative content, mostly dehumanized muck. In the case of creating articles, papers, briefs, reading x-rays and reports, the error accuracy is criminal. One could have thought that AI was not ready for prime time let alone a community college play.

But you would be wrong. Apple decided to get into the AI game but not on its own terms. It has partnered up with ChatGPT to enhance Siri voice search application. It is quite the disappointing in the Apple community that its past privacy and artistic policies seem to have been thrown aside to a greedy dating mining app in the hope of a boost in its stock price. (Disclosure: the author is an Apple shareholder.)

Apple marketing is trying to gaslight concerns by not calling it AI but Apple Intelligence. As the Daily Mail reported that after months of silence on its AI ambitions, Apple entered the artificial intelligence race with a lavish product announcement its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). The tech giant's new application is essentially a snazzy brand name for Apple's new-found focus on AI, triggered by the huge success of the ChatGPT It means there will be an extensive presence of AI across Apple's devices and apps - - whether you like it or not. While Apple claims the technology will usher in a new chapter in Apple innovation, it seems that not everyone agrees. Apple's new features will be incorporated into its upcoming software update, iOS 18, from AI-generated emoji to a new version of Siri that uses ChatGPT

It will also include AI-summarized documents in Mail and Notes and an image-generating AI dubbed Image Playground, plus ChatGPT's integration with Siri. CEO Tim Cook said Apple Intelligence is their unique approach combines generative AI with a user's personal context to deliver truly helpful intelligence. Cook said. In reality, it is only an umbrella term for all the jobs AI will be able to do on your iPhone, iPad and Mac computer. Apple claims that users will be asked before any questions are sent to ChatGPT, along with any documents or photos, and Siri then presents the answer. This still begs the privacy question: where does the prompts, documents and photos go to if you are using ChatGPT to formulate an answer?

NBC News broached that subject. Apple says it will have a series of different models and sizes for different uses. It claims that its new chip sets will be able to store these applications with the computing power to make it work. Apple claims the internal small models will work only on the tasks that they excel at rather than an open-ended chatbot interface. For example, Apple's AI can summarize and rewrite documents, generate small images, and translate conversations in real time. One notable feature will enable users to generate new emojis using AI without connecting to the Internet The new features will be released this fall in a beta version.

But users will have to get to the Internet for larger submissions, hence the privacy concerns. Privacy will be a challenge for Apple as it embraces AI. It has used privacy as one of its primary marketing tools for years, highlighting that Apple's business model does not require ad targeting and that it has the best interests of its users in mind versus data brokers and spammers. Other AI companies collect user data and store it to improve their software, a practice violates Apple's current privacy policies. Apple representatives said it would not take user data and send it to some cloud somewhere because Apple wants everything to be very private, whether it is running locally or on a cloud computing service. However, Apple did not explain what data was used to train its AI models, beyond that it uses files scraped from the public web in addition to licensed data, such as news archives and stock photography.

Industry journalists raised an eyebrow or two about Apple's AI. It seemed that it is not Apple innovation at all but licensing an existing chatbot model with a very poor reputation. Even Elon Musk laments that OpenAI is a major source of misinformation to the point he may ban Apple users from X. Others state that it is hard to believe Apple could not to make their own AI, but somehow it is capable of ensuring that OpenAI will protect your security and privacy. ArsTechnica reported in an answer to privacy concerns, Apple says that before any data is sent to ChatGPT, the OS asks for the user's permission, and the entire ChatGPT experience is optional. According to Apple, requests are not stored by OpenAI, and users' IP addresses are hidden. Apparently, communication with OpenAI servers happens through API calls similar to using the ChatGPT app on iOS, and there is reportedly no deeper OS integration that might expose user data to OpenAI without the user's permission. As the ArsTechnica author wrote, We can only take Apple's word for it at the moment, of course, and solid details about Apple's AI privacy efforts will emerge once security experts get their hands on the new features later this year. Apple appears to be relying on past third party integrations Apple may build an external LLM client into its operating systems which would be similar to what it has previously done with streaming video (the YouTube app on the original iPhone), Internet search (Google search integration), and social media (integrated Twitter and Facebook sharing).

The get-out-of-jail card appears that user permission will be the key loophole for privacy and security actions. But how many people will be informed about what that permission will allow Apple or ChatGBT or any cloud service to do with information on the user's iPhone, iPad or Mac? Once a data mining worm enters your system, it is very hard to determine what is taking from you. And how reliable are ChatGBT's assurances that it will not misuse an Apple users' data? There are so many unresolved legal issues to jump into a swimming pool full of sharks (lawyers, regulators, copyright owners). Apple was so far behind in the AI game, it seems like a Hail Mary pass to catch up with the competition. The adoption of AI does not mean that AI will not be a technological bust.

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AMERICAN CIRCUS POLITICS

 

The New York Post summed it up the best: It was a political earthquake of biblical-level proportions. Only this quake lasted just 16 seconds. That's how long it took Joe Biden to show horrified Americans, and the watching world, he is no longer fit to serve as President of the United States. His rambling, nonsensical, dithering attempt to explain what he'd do about the out-of-control illegal immigration border crisis that he's fueled was excruciating enough. But it was Trump's response that was the kill shot. “I really don't know what he said at the end of that sentence,” the former president said, with unusual calmness. “I don't think he knows what he said, either.” It was a devastating riposte, because it was what we were all thinking. And from that moment, which came just a few minutes into the 90-minute debate, Biden was a dead man walking, both metaphorically and, sadly, almost literally.

The 2024 US Presidential Election has been a historical oddity. The candidates ran basically unopposed in the primaries. The nominations were sealed after Super Tuesday, meaning a handful of states picked Donald Trump and Joe Biden in a rematch of the Swamp Stomp of 2020. In the meantime, Trump sat most of the year in courtrooms being pummeled by civil judgments and criminal convictions while Biden hid in the White House not giving regular Q & A with White House reporters. More than 51 million Americans watched the first debate. It was quite the sh*tshow.

Biden came out the gate as a memory care patient high on speed laced porridge. Trump smirked his way through Biden's rambling statements. It spiraled into the mud when they began to argue (or lie) about their golf handicaps. Confused, brittle, ghastly and incoherent at times Grandpa Joe sent chills through the political world. Allegedly, China thought it was amusing while Putin slept through it. Two-thirds of viewers of the debate said Trump won it, despite his spewing lie after lie on various subjects. This included 60% of independent voters.

There was only one takeaway: it was not about issues or promises or boasts, it was about Biden's appearance and performance.

Sixty percent of voters said President Biden should definitely or probably be replaced as the Democratic candidate following his performance in the debate, according to Morning Consult poll released a day later to Axios. On the same day, New York Times opinion page was full of Biden must step down as the Democratic Party nominee. Fox News gloated about its coverage of a frail Biden falling, and not making clear sense at events (which liberal media outlets in the past derailed as Fox biased reporting.) Of Democratic voters, 21% said Biden should definitely not be replaced, and 20 % say probably not. When the survey asked respondents to choose between Biden and former President Trump the results remained similar to those from a poll following Trump's criminal conviction on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records with Biden holding a one point edge, 45-44. The flash polls show Biden had lost no immediate ground to Trump. But those fixed percentages are a result of no viable third party candidate.

Before the debate, 35% of eligible voters disliked both Trump and Biden. That is in the range of Ross Perot protest voters seeking an alternative to the morass of the current two-party system. Pundits said the debate was a political dumpster fire. Fact checkers could spend months correcting just about everything said during the 90 minute toxic event. One thing was certain: both Trump and Biden despise the other. It was like two men in a nursing home stabbing each other with plastic sporks over the last lime jello cup.

It is doubtful that Old Joe will drop out. In a Carolina campaign speech the next day, Biden vowed to remain in the race. But it was his wife, Jill Biden, who took the microphone to charge up the rally. It is obvious that she is the wizard behind the curtain. She was seen helping her husband off the debate stage. She was the one giving pre-debate TV interviews strongly suggesting her husband was competent, sharp, lucid and needed to be re-elected. Reason Magazine lamented this is another case of elderly politicians refusing to leave office in a feeble attempt to cling to power for a little longer.

What could or would the Democratic Party do with Biden? He has enough pledged delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot. It would be ironic to have the DNC tell the delegates not to vote for Biden when the party leaders spent four years yelling about Trump's attempts to unseat Electoral College delegates on January 6. But appearance, hypocrisy or statesmanship are meaningless to political powerbrokers who only see power as the one and only goal. An open convention, where the delegates are free to vote for whomever, is also courting disaster since no one in their right mind wants ultra-liberal Kamala Harris to be the nominee. Indeed, no one even tried to unseat Biden in the primaries. Trump would smack his smirky lips if the DNC drafts Hillary Clinton to be the replacement.

A change at the top of the ballot would mean the loss of Biden's $200 million war chest. He cannot simply pass it on to his replacement. And he cannot spend it as he chooses. And a new nominee would signal the Democrats are in total disarray giving Trump more ammo to his cause. But Democratic strategists have made this election about Trump's threat to American democracy citing the statements that Trump would get back at his enemies for bogus trials if reelected

As the New York Times printed, “At Thursday's debate, the president needed to convince the American public that he was equal to the formidable demands of the office he is seeking to hold for another term. Voters, however, cannot be expected to ignore what was instead plain to see: Mr. Biden is not the man he was four years ago.” Does the public want to project four years in the future to see Biden become incapacitated or die in office? It would be a gigantic sad circus. But the same is true for Trump. He does not know how to govern. He only knows how to perform to a friendly crowd. He does not know the law, he does not care about the law, and his own opinions are his own law. Another four years with an angry and bitter Trump does not appeal to independent voters.

The first debate set the stage for a horrible campaign of doubts and cratering expectations. Both candidates are seriously flawed with moments of insanity. There is no moral high ground as both families have freshly convicted felons. There is no political high ground as the Democratic press has abandoned Biden and Trump's MAGA movement is not about solving national problems but getting revenge. There is no leeway for compromise solutions since these candidates clearly show the hysteric divide between political camps.

 

 

The lack of choice is really appalling . . . a rerun of 2020 is not the way forward. But there is no viable third party candidate as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the perfect hybrid loon: Trump conspiracy theorist and Biden incoherent speaker. Even the Kennedy Clan will not back RFKJr. in his Camelost campaign.

Can the stakes be any higher? Russia and North Korea just signed a mutual assistance pact which sets the stage for a two-front global conflict. Immediately, North Korea is sending troops to Ukraine since Putin has run out of criminal soldiers.

The real clear loser of the first Presidential Debate was the American Public. Terrible candidates. No real choices. No real vision for the future. No solutions to real problems.

 

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FOUND BUT NOT LOST ON THE INTERNET

They are known as voracious predators, eating everything from turtles and humans to discarded vehicle license plates, but a tiger shark has astounded Australian scientists by swallowing an echidna, a spiky, egg-laying mammal that normally lives on land. The tiger shark’s experiment in snacking on the prickly creature did not last long -- it vomited up the animal, presumably because its spines were acutely painful to its insides. The unusual episode was described by scientists as “a one-in-a-million event”. It is thought that the echidna, an animal which is a surprisingly good swimmer despite its small appearance and dumpy proportions, was paddling along nonchalantly in the sea when it was eaten by the tiger shark.

Source:The Telegraph (UK)

 

 

This makes sense. A Tokyo bookstore leasing out shelf space to independent and self-publishing authors to sell their books. This is not new. American grocery stores have for years been leasing shelf space to snack companies and soft drink makers. You can tell by the delivery man stocking the shelves instead of regular store employees.

Source: neatorama

Being called a Horse Face was an insult. But an artist decided to face paint a horse to get some viral views. We guess the overbite works.

Source: neatorama

You can never tell what will pop up on your social media feeds. Through the clutter on nonsense, memes and selfies, comes a rare bit of wisdom. Does anyone talk about proverbs anymore?

Source: facebook

We only thought Korean pop idols made cute heart shaped poses. Apparently, in the wild, flamingoes “flamingle.”

Source: neatorama

 

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THE WHETHER REPORT

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STATUS

Question: Whether Bidens terrible first debate performance doom his campaign?

* Educated Guess

* Possible

* Probable

* Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

* Doubtful

* Vapor Dream

Question: Whether Trump's smirky opinioned and spiteful debate performance help his campaign for indepedent voters?

* Educated Guess

* Possible

* Probable

* Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

* Doubtful

* Vapor Dream

Question: Whether the EU's constant attacks on Big Tech companies will drive them from leaving European market?

* Educated Guess

* Possible

* Probable

* Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

* Doubtful

* Vapor Dream

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