The AI-enabled version of Bing is useless for search… Imagine using the bare bones search engines of the 90s on all of the useless filler on the web today, navigating by command line to a toddler – that’s the new Bing experience. You can pare down on its idiot responses by tweaking prompts, but it’s a huge step backwards from just Googling something. It’s also noticeably clunkier than using vanilla ChatGPT.
Nissan Did Something Right
…and it wasn’t even RWD. Behold the 4-hour car ad:
An SEO copywriter
An SEO copywriter walks into a bar, grill, pub, public house, bartender, drinks, beer, wine, liquor…
Chicano Subculture in Thailand and Japan
There was a resurgence of interest in “Thai Chicanos” last year, resulting in a few articles and videos across the web. The most entertaining video, however, is the one from almost a decade ago, about the “Cholos of Bangkok,” by Coconuts TV.
Also last year, an interesting YouTube video documenting “Japan’s Chicano Culture In LA” was published by Peter Santenello:
However, the true counterpart to the “Cholos of Bangkok” is “Inside Japan’s Chicano Subculture” by the NYT:
From a language and culture standpoint, all of these are enthralling. I’ve watched them all multiple times and pick up on new details every time.
It’s Been Twenty Years and One Day…
…since I started this blog! In that first uninspiring post, I think I was referring to NTT cutting off my dual ISDN (64 + 64kbps !!) service or refusing my application for the then cutting-edge FTTH service to my rental home in Sumoto, Japan.
I can’t say it seems like only yesterday; it actually feels like a few lifetimes ago. The first few years, blogging was new and exciting! I actually had a blog before this one up at Blogger. If I recall correctly, back then it required making a Blogger account (was it even named that?) and a separate Blogspot account and performing some kind of manual registration/installation. I helped set up a lot of friends on Blogger and hosted them on my domain (back when that was possible).
This blog started out on Movable Type, which was the platform of choice for tech nerds and was liberally licensed, but went down an errant path to (partially) open source, was sold on several times like an old workhorse, and eventually evaporated into corporate CMS root extract more than a decade ago. Likewise, this blog has of course seen better times.
Over the years, I’ve posted less and less. I still have no intention of quitting, though. I’ve been a full time lecturer for the past 17 years and we raised a couple kids during that time (I wrote that in past tense since they are mostly grown the hell up now), but the blog has never been down for more than a day or two at a time, even though there have been times it wasn’t updated for a whole month. That was accomplished across multiple webhosts, as well, so there is some regular effort put into it. I enjoy the maintenance and the tech side of keeping up with it all.
Here’s to another [INSERT NUMBER] years!
Blue vs Red Kapom/Gapom Species
No photos here, just a link to a 13 year old post I updated about some local lizard species which are called the same thing in Thai/Isan languages: กะปอม/กิ้งก่า), but ended up being distinct species with different common names: Oriental garden lizard (Calotes versicolor) vs. Calotes mystaceus (the Indo-Chinese forest lizard).
For the sake of posterity, I hereby shorten their names to Bob(s) and Dan(s). Bobs are the red ones, Dans are the blue ones (did you know that roughly 75% of people on social media would have used apostrophes to indicate plurality in that sentence?)
Update: Uh oh, there are Emmas (green when mating) in Thailand as well: Calotes emma
Further update: There are also some references to a species called Calotes goetzi which is treated as a separate species on some pages, but is also reported to have replaced Calotes mystaceus (who I just call Dan[s]) altogether according to this page, which also says that Dan is called กิ้งก่าหัวสีฟ้า (ging ga hua si faa) in Thai. This literally means the “gin ga (forest lizard) with a blue head,” which I immediately think is weird, because a much larger area than just the head turns blue, and also, every local I’ve ever talked to has just called it a “blue forest lizard” in Thai – there is no reason to be more specific, especially when it’s less accurate.
Is openai.com written by AI?
It certainly looks like it:
“We spent 6 months making GPT-4 safer and more aligned. GPT-4 is 82% less likely to respond to requests for disallowed content and 40% more likely to produce factual responses than GPT-3.5 on our internal evaluations.”
I asked ChatGPT if it could write the next line and it replied:
“These improvements have been made possible through a combination of rigorous testing, enhanced training data, and algorithmic updates that prioritize responsible language generation.”
Used as (possibly) my last prompt into NightCafe, it becomes:
ChatGPT Detector Hack
I was pleasantly surprised to find that ChatGPT can obscure its output from the top listed detectors in search results. You just have to tweak your prompts a bit.
Had some nice sandwiches at a new café called Nick on Soi Ruamrudee. Very chill place with excellent ingredients and no fear of salt.
Nam’s could have been better with feta cubes instead of tofu, but it was still pretty good!
Nick on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/PQmjByBNwtUHsUfv8
Having lived and worked at a large company in Japan for over a decade, I got used to dealing with red tape, idiot bureaucracy, and daunting stacks of interoffice paperwork and documentation. When I moved to Thailand to live a “simpler” life, it never occurred to me that I might find a tangled mess of paperwork to rival that of any developed country. However, today I find myself in the crossfire of two separate government offices that simply cannot agree with each other and hope to silence the other by firing enormous salvos of paperwork at each other.
It seems like every other day I’m getting a new form from one office, demanding that I provide a detailed answer to every request, and then almost immediately afterwards another form from the other office, with significantly different and sometimes contradictory requests. I try to explain the situation and provide the correct answer, but it doesn’t seem to help.
Aussie Motorcycle Chariot Racing
If you learn nothing else, learn that there are always people doing cooler things than you.
One day, I will copy my AI painting IRL
“much everything you need to know to become a copywriter”
Nam and I took a nice trip to Bangkok over the weekend to pick up my new ride. Her older sister, Nok, made the purchase and handled all the transfer paperwork before we got there.
More to follow.
I wonder how long it will take my students to figure out that they can use this for my online Public Speaking courses… I’ve already been asked to check papers written with ChatGPT, so this is just a natural progression. Still, I sometimes feel this year’s AI enthusiasm is just the evolved NFT fcukery of yesteryear.
Jui Juis – จอมโจรขโมยใจ (Chom Chon Khamoi Jai)
One of my favorite Thai Indy bands, even though I only have one… Juijui took the iku iku iku / itai itai itai jokes of the pre K-pop peak to the next level; homeboy was basically a genius who could be very cringe, as my kids would say.
This one is pretty amazing for a guy who doesn’t seem to have studied Japanese very much.
Afroman’s Lemon Pound Cake
Come on, this guy’s practically a national treasure!
Afroman Got Raided by Cops, So He Put Them in His Music Video
Snap Camera Discontinued
The official announcement: On January 25, 2023, Snap Camera will no longer be available to use or download.
The online software alternative they are offering is apparently not very good. Snap Camera was an only very slightly helpful but immensely entertaining webcam filter suite that helped pass many long online meetings and classes during the pandemic years, so I’m sad to see it go. I did use it less and less over time, however, and only installed it so that I could blur the background during FB Messenger video calls for PC during the holidays.
Farewell, sweet filters!
I want it and I need it in my life.