Weeknotes #227

in weeknotes

  • OpenAI announced a new updated AI model that they’re calling GPT-4o and it was pretty impressive. As I write this, I can access the model itself via OpenAI’s website but the real star of the announcement was the vocal interaction between the on-stage presenters and ChatGPT and that, unfortunately, isn’t coming until sometime later this year.

  • Emma and John had their school undōkai on Saturday. Three years in (for Emma, at least) and I’m still a little confused about how it all works: I had thought that the athletic carnival (to use Australian parlance) was in October each year but I think there are two now? Maybe by next year I’ll be curious enough to actually look up what’s going on. The weather was great and Emma and John were both happy to see Eri, Rowan and I there. I am a tiny touch disappointed to report that neither Emma nor John have inherited my relative fleetness of foot.

  • I took Rowan on a short shinkansen ride on Sunday. Last time, Rowan and I caught an E7 shinkansen (Wikipedia) from Ueno Station to Tokyo Station. This time we went to Tokyo and caught the N700S (Wikipedia) to Shinagawa. The Tokaido shinkansens aren’t as visually interesting as the Tohoku shinkansens but Rowan still enjoyed it.

  • I finally gave up on my beloved AirPods (2nd Generation). The microphone has been janky for at least a few weeks but the proverbial straw was the left charging contact failing to make regular contact with its respective AirPod. Since I regularly have just one AirPod in my ear, this led to a few too many occurrences of the right AirPod running out of power, me switching over to the left AirPod only to discover it too was out of juice. (I say ‘few’ to sound less pathetic; it happened twice.) In any case, I decided to give the AirPods (3rd Generation) a go, they’re all right but the fit isn’t great and then I’m not sure what happened but I ordered the AirPods Pro (2nd Generation). Brandon advised me to do this the last time I tried the 3rd Generation AirPods and found they didn’t fit and after a couple of days with the Pros, he’s right. The worst part is that, rather than return the AirPods (3rd Generation), I’ve given those to Eri and so now I’m out somewhere around ¥70,000.

  • The Financial Times used the phrase ‘shoo-in’ and I immediately looked it up, certain it was in fact ‘shoe-in’. Perhaps unsurprisingly the prestigious London-based newspaper had it right and ‘shoo-in’ is the correct spelling. Merriam-Webster explains the origin.

  • Maciej Cegłowski of Pinboard fame has written a new blog post. His last post was on 1 January 2023 so it’s been a while. It’s around 8,000 words so not a quick read but I’m looking forward to devouring it sometime this coming week.

  • I don’t remember the sequence of events that I followed but somehow I got found myself listening to Crowded House’s Woodface (Apple Music) and was amazed at the ratio of killer to filler. Four of the first five tracks are ‘Chocolate Cake’, ‘It’s Only Natural’, ‘Fall at Your Feet’ and ‘Weather With You’.

Michael Camilleri inqk.net