Everything all the users know and more

Scripting News: Monday, April 3, 2023:

A sense that because I work for the company that made the product, I know everything all the users know and more. It’s the same fallacy that applies to Silicon Valley billionaires. You have to step into a new perspective to love the product, one that has nothing to do with who you work for or how validated you are by reporters and the public.

[I made a similar point recently. “Just because some process or thing works for you doesn’t make you an expert.” ]

The Vanishing

The Vanishing – Tablet Magazine:

The same pattern holds across America’s elite institutions: a slow-moving downward trend from the 1990s to the mid-2010s—likely due to all sorts of normal sociological factors—and then a purge so sweeping and dramatic you almost wonder who sent out the secret memo.

Museum boards now diversify by getting Jews to resign. A well-respected Jewish curator at the Guggenheim is purged after she puts on a Basquiat show. At the Art Institute of Chicago, even the nice Jewish lady volunteers are terminated for having the wrong ethnic background. There’s an entire cottage industry of summer programs and fellowships and postdocs that are now off-limits to Jews.

In 2014 there were 16-20 Jewish artists featured at the Whitney Biennial. After a very public campaign against a Jewish board member with ties to the Israeli defense establishment, the curators got the message. The 2022 biennial featured just 1-2 Jews.

Comb through the dozens of Jewish names for the 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship (I count 30-40). You’ll have a much harder time finding them 10 years later (14-16). There were 3-4 Jewish Marshall Scholars in 2014. I don’t see any in 2022.

From 2010 through 2019 there were at least three Jews in every MacArthur Fellowship class, sometimes as many as five or six. The Forward would write effusive columns celebrating the year’s Jewish geniuses. Since 2020, just 0-1 Jews a year have been awarded grants. The Forward hasn’t bothered to take note.

Today American Jews watch with Solomonic bemusement as Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard is argued before the Supreme Court. On some level we sympathize with the Asian American plaintiffs, who are suing Harvard for using admissions criteria that discriminate against them on the basis of their race. Maybe they really are the new Jews, facing the same barriers—insidious racism, personality scores, rural geographic preferences—that we once did.

On the other hand, fancying ourselves to be high caste members of a beneficent elite, we pretend not to notice that “diversity, equity, and inclusion” is a cudgel used to exclude certain groups of Americans, including Asians and Jews.

[I have no words.]


This New Breed of Generator Can Run on Almost Any Fuel

This New Breed of Generator Can Run on Almost Any Fuel:

It doesn’t matter that it’s been raining for two weeks because your utility is tapping into ammonia produced with last summer’s sunshine. It’s consuming that ammonia in a linear generator.

The linear generator can quickly switch between different types of green (and not-so-green, if need be) fuel, including biogas, ammonia, and hydrogen. It has the potential to make the decarbonized power system available, reliable, and resilient against the vagaries of weather and of fuel supplies. And it’s not a fantasy; it’s been developed, tested, and deployed commercially.

The cofounders of Mainspring Energy, of which I am one, spent 14 years developing this technology, and in 2020 we began rolling it out commercially. It is currently installed at tens of sites, producing 230 to 460 kilowatts at each. We expect linear generators at many more locations to come on line within the next year.


Microsoft’s New OpenAI-Powered Bing — Pixel Envy

Microsoft’s New OpenAI-Powered Bing — Pixel Envy:

Microsoft announced today’s event unveiling these developments midday yesterday, hours after Google announced its efforts in the space, as it has done before. I am not sure whether to read this as panic or excitement, though Meta’s caution is notable.

Late last night, I assembled a series of links with commentary about this nascent field. I think it holds up. While Microsoft may be the first to play its cards, I cannot imagine Google will not quickly respond.


Exterior Sign in White Oak: Finished | David Fisher, Carving Explorations

Exterior Sign in White Oak: Finished | David Fisher, Carving Explorations:

After a lot of research, consultation of folks with exterior sign experience, and personal testing, I went with the artist acrylic paints above, although other very good brands would work as well. These pigments are all from the larger list recommended by Martin Wenham in his book. I’m trying to learn more and more about color theory and practice and Martin is a master. I mixed the brownish color from the first three, and the green from all four. Professional artist colors like these list the specific pigment used, along with the opacity (vs transparency) of each color. Notice the opacity square for each of these pigments is a completely black square, meaning very opaque/solid. Also, all of these pigments have the highest lightfastness rating, so they will be naturally resistant to fading. I thinned my mix just a touch with an acrylic medium to the consistency I wanted to work with.

[Well done!]

The ability to build

The ability to build – by David Hoang – Proof of Concept:

They’re not dogmatic about tools and methods
Building is about the output and making it exists in the intended environment. Though I work for a company that focuses on no-code tools, I love code and programming. Whether you choose to use a graphical user interface (GUI) like Webflow or write code in a text editor, the end desired output is a website to share on the internet. Great builders also rightsize what’s needed. They’re not going to spin up a full React app that a static site can accomplish.

They understand assembly points
Seasoned builders have a tendency to creat their own systems that are reusable, such as a design engineer constructing a UIKit or an entrepreneur building a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). As you get comfortable with building, you’ll recognize patterns and assembly points—the important functional considerations of what you’re constructing. Understanding this allows you to understand the important mechanics that you need to get right.

They start, and start fast
Start so fast the speed of your building velocity surpasses the noise of people vocalizing about building. The same way rapid sketching aides you in refining an idea, building the initial scaffolding of an idea gives you the ability to identify the assembly points that need to be refined.

[Well said.]

Managing “Login Items” for macOS Ventura | by Robert Hammen | Medium

Managing “Login Items” for macOS Ventura | by Robert Hammen | Medium:

The concern for folks who manage macOS at scale is that users are able to simply flip a toggle to disable their management tools. Or security tools. Making it that easy to turn off essential tools is obviously undesirable. Fortunately, in later betas of macOS 13, Apple has given system administrators the ability to prevent users from simply toggling off these essential tools. You will need to create a configuration profile to manage these settings. Apple documentation is here: https://github.com/apple/device-management/blob/release/mdm/profiles/com.apple.servicemanagement.yaml


MINICOOL one spray unit 479mm – MC2000 | Minicool | Noga Engineering

MINICOOL one spray unit 479mm – MC2000 | Minicool | Noga Engineering:

NOGA Minicool is using the VENTURI principle to spray an air + liquid mixture. The Minicool enables the user to easily control both the air flow rate and liquid rate.
– Strong magnetic base.
– Separate o/off air and fluid control.
– Stainless steel armoured syphone hose and air hose.
– Simple,inexpensive,rugged.
– Nozzle connected via Loc-Line® flexible hose.
– Single spray unit.
– Also available with 2m syphon hose (order no. MC2010), or with 2m Air hose (order no. MC2020), or with 2m Air and Syphon hoses (order no. MC2030)


Announcing Auth.js

Announcing Auth.js:

Announcing Auth.js! 🔒Authentication for the Web.

– Brand new `@​auth/core` package,
– Runtime/framework agnostic
– Web standard APIs
– Builds on NextAuth.js conventions/API
– Decoupled from Next.js & Node.js.

We’re adding official support for new frameworks…
Starting with SvelteKit! 🎉

Today, SvelteKit 1.0 was announced, and we thought that
this is the perfect opportunity to let everyone know what we’ve been working on.