Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, November 03, 2021

I’m batting .500 this week with a couple of my daily-use gizmos:

- I bought a new, and needed, electric razor: Panasonic’s latest wet/dry cordless model. It replaces a Braun model that was my first, and probably last, purchase from that brand — never felt it gave me a good shave, and it seemed to break down too quickly (after barely more than a year). The Panasonic looks and feels good so far, delivering a smooth whisker-trimming this morning in the shower. I’m hoping I can count on this one lasting 2-3 years before replacement.

- My 1st-generation iPod Touch finally died — or so I thought. I was having a devil of a time trying to recharge it over the weekend, and wasn’t able to get it to hold a charge until I connected it to Windows machine (go figure). In the meantime, I visited one of the local Apple Genius Bars for their diagnosis, in the hopes that they’d set me up with one of their $79 battery replacements for it. To my surprise, they didn’t offer that — apparently, my 2007 model is too old for them to bother with. Instead, my only option is to turn my beloved iTouch in to an Apple Store for recycling, in exchange for a 10 percent discount toward the purchase of a new iPod. Not particularly the solution I was looking for. I’m now contemplating third-party battery replacement, just to keep my iTouch as a supplementary alarm clock and limited-use media player.

Nothing earth-shattering. I’m recording these minor developments here just for my personal reference. Which will serve a purpose, until I buy some other shiny toys with which to distract myself.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 11/03/2021 11:51pm
Category: General, iPod
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When you, the writer, just can’t muster up the gumption to “murder your darlings”, it’s time to turn to Soylent.

Well, someday it’ll be time, perhaps. For now, it’s an experiment in crowdsourced copy editing, on a micropayment scale:

Soylent is an add-in for Microsoft Word that uses Mechanical Turk as a distributed copy-editing system to perform tasks like proofreading and text-shortening, as well as a type of specialized edits its developers call “The Human Macro.” Currently in closed beta, Soylent was created by compsci students at MIT, Berkeley, and University of Michigan.

And yes, the concepts at play — both the mass participation and the meat-grinder aspects of editorial tasking — are the inspiration for the iconic-cinematic name:

[Lead researcher Michael] Bernstein said they were looking for something familiar but also true to the idea of what they created. Soylent, is made of people. It is indeed, people.

“The original name was Homunculus,” Bernstein said. “It didn’t have the same ring to it.”

I’m guessing there’ll be no bragging about Soylent being powered by “Green” energy? That would put the tongue far too firmly into cheek.

(Via @Aerocles; who I thanked with a snarky “tasty!” retweet)

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 11/03/2021 10:46pm
Category: Creative, Internet, Pop Culture, Publishing
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