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UK First European Country To Approve Lab-grown Meat, Starting With Pet Food

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Lab-grown pet food is to hit UK shelves as Britain becomes the first country in Europe to approve cultivated meat. From a report: The Animal and Plant Health Agency and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have approved the product from the company Meatly. It is thought there will be demand for cultivated pet food, as animal lovers face a dilemma about feeding their pets meat from slaughtered livestock.

Research suggests the pet food industry has a climate impact similar to that of the Philippines, the 13th most populous country in the world. A study by the University of Winchester found that 50% of surveyed pet owners would feed their pets cultivated meat, while 32% would eat it themselves. The Meatly product is cultivated chicken. It is made by taking a small sample from a chicken egg, cultivating it with vitamins and amino acids in a lab, then growing cells in a container similar to those in which beer is fermented. The result is a pate-like paste.

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jepler
3 days ago
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"a pate-like paste"
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84% of PC Users Unwilling To Pay Extra For AI-enhanced Hardware, Survey Says

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An anonymous reader shares a report: A recent poll on TechPowerUp revealed that an overwhelming majority of PC users are not interested in paying extra for hardware with AI capabilities. According to the survey, 84% of respondents would not spend more for AI features, while only 7% said they would, and 9% were unsure. The poll data was already contributed by over 26K responders. This indicates that despite the PC market's shift toward integrating AI, most enthusiasts remain skeptical of its value. This suggests that hardware companies should pay attention to the preferences of their core user base. Currently, enthusiasts, who no doubt represent the majority of users on TechPowerUP, show little interest in AI features.
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jepler
3 days ago
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I'm not an expert but broadly speaking if you spend mere hundreds of dollars on a GPU you still don't get gpt-4o/dall-e levels of speed & quality. As an occasional home user of text & image generation **and leaving aside the risks of not keeping data on my local network** I'm better off on the pay-as-you-go APIs than buying a top notch GPU or AI accelerator.

And since I gotta assume that the AI that's being recklessly integrated into newer versions of various commercial OSes is going to phone home all your personal data even if they moving the site where the heat is emitted from a datacenter to your lap.

Suppose we put gpt-4 levels of transistors in all our phones, tablets, laptops, etc., and then use each one a small fraction of the time. It should be a lot cheaper overall to put a smaller number of transistors in a datacenter and share them. Or, buy 1 $4K GPU in a datacenter instead of 10 $400 GPUs in 10 home PCs and run a better model. The amount of data transmitted (input/output of the models) is laughably small even once you do images & audio.

So, what's the point of an AI accelerator in the end-user device?

(I say this as someone who did spend $hundreds on a GPU just to run LLMs and image generators on my own HW)
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Anthropic

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I am starting a new job soon, at Anthropic, the makers of the Claude large language model.

It will be an interesting change for me, for a few reasons. First, I know essentially nothing about how LLMs work and are built. Second, it’s my first new job in almost 12 years. Third, I’ve been “between gigs” for six months, so I have to get back to a work-day routine.

I have very mixed feelings about the tsunami-like rise of AI in the tech world and beyond. Large language models are clearly surprisingly powerful tools, but they are also clearly being used in some not-great ways. My main concern is that people will use AI to make the world worse in various ways: flooding information arenas with crappy bot slop, displacing human creative effort with “it’s good enough” machine-generated output, spewing disinformation chaff, and so on. Behind the scenes, the energy needs are substantial, which is a big problem.

But every technology can be used for good or ill. Anthropic is a public benefit corporation with safety as a central mission. AI and LLMs aren’t going away, so maybe I can help Anthropic pull towards the good.

I’m well outside my comfort zone at the moment, but whatever happens, it will be an experience.

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jepler
4 days ago
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Go Ned!
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"GitHub" Is Starting to Feel Like Legacy Software

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I’ve used a lot of tools over the years, which means I’ve seen a lot of tools hit a plateau. That’s not always a problem; sometimes something is just “done” and won’t need any changes. Often, though, it’s a sign of what’s coming. Every now and then, something will pull back out of it and start improving again, but it’s often an early sign of long-term decline. I can’t always tell if something’s just coasting along or if it’s actually started to get worse; it’s easy to be the boiling frog. That changes for me when something that really matters to me breaks.

To me, one of GitHub’s killer power user features is its blame view. git blame on the commandline is useful but hard to read; it’s not the interface I reach for every day. GitHub’s web UI is not only convenient, but the ease by which I can click through to older versions of the blame view on a line by line basis is uniquely powerful. It’s one of those features that anchors me to a product: I stopped using offline graphical git clients because it was just that much nicer.

The other day though, I tried to use the blame view on a large file and ran into an issue I don’t remember seeing before: I just couldn’t find the line of code I was searching for. I threw various keywords from that line into the browser’s command+F search box, and nothing came up. I was stumped until a moment later, while I was idly scrolling the page while doing the search again, and it finally found the line I was looking for. I realized what must have happened.

I’d heard rumblings that GitHub’s in the middle of shipping a frontend rewrite in React, and I realized this must be it. The problem wasn’t that the line I wanted wasn’t on the page—it’s that the whole document wasn’t being rendered at once, so my browser’s builtin search bar just couldn’t find it. On a hunch, I tried disabling JavaScript entirely in the browser, and suddenly it started working again. GitHub is able to send a fully server-side rendered version of the page, which actually works like it should, but doesn’t do so unless JavaScript is completely unavailable.

I’m hardly anti-JavaScript, and I’m not anti-React either. Any tool’s perfectly fine when used in the right place. The problem: this isn’t the right place, and what is to me personally a key feature suddenly doesn’t work right all the time anymore. This isn’t the only GitHub feature that’s felt subtly worse in the past few years—the once-industry-leading status page no longer reports minor availability issues in an even vaguely timely manner; Actions runs randomly drop network connections to GitHub’s own APIs; hitting the merge button sometimes scrolls the page to the wrong position—but this is the first moment where it really hit me that GitHub’s probably not going to get better again from here.

The corporate branding, the new “AI-powered developer platform” slogan, makes it clear that what I think of as “GitHub”—the traditional website, what are to me the core features—simply isn’t Microsoft’s priority at this point in time. I know many talented people at GitHub who care, but the company’s priorities just don’t seem to value what I value about the service. This isn’t an anti-AI statement so much as a recognition that the tool I still need to use every day is past its prime. Copilot isn’t navigating the website for me, replacing my need to the website as it exists today. I’ve had tools hit this phase of decline and turn it around, but I’m not optimistic. It’s still plenty usable now, and probably will be for some years to come, but I’ll want to know what other options I have now rather than when things get worse than this.

And in the meantime, well… I still need to use GitHub everyday, but maybe it’s time to start exploring new platforms—and find a good local blame tool that works as well as the GitHub web interface used to. (Got a fave? Send it to me at misty@digipres.club / @cdrom.ca. Please!)

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jepler
4 days ago
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when I get a free month of time I am gonna look into whether to just move to a self-hosted git. the hole to plug is CI. well, and collaboration. will forgejo be ready in a year?
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acdha
4 days ago
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Washington, DC
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Latest MySQL Release is Underwhelming, Say Some DB Experts

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The latest release of MySQL has underwhelmed some commentators who fear Oracle -- the custodian of the open source database -- may have other priorities. From a report: Earlier this month, Oracle -- which has long marketed its range of proprietary database systems -- published the 9.0 version as an "Innovation Release" of MySQL. MySQL 9.0 is now among the three iterations Oracle supports. The others include 8.0 (8.0.38) and the first update of the 8.4 LTS (8.4.1).

[...] In June, Peter Zaitsev, an early MySQL engineer and founder of open source consultancy Percona, said he feared the lack of features in MySQL was a result of Oracle's focus on Heatwave, a proprietary analytics database built on MySQL. He had previously defended Oracle's stewardship of the open source database. The release of MySQL 9.0 has not assuaged those concerns, said colleague Dave Stokes, Percona technology evangelist. It had not lived up to the previous 8.0 release, which arrived with many new features. "MySQL 9.0 is supposed to be an 'innovation release' where [Oracle offers] access to the latest features and improvements and [users] enjoy staying on top of the latest technologies," he said. However, he pointed out most more innovative features, such as vector support and embedded JavaScript store procedures, were not in the free MySQL Community Edition and were only available on the paid-for HeatWave edition. "The ability to store the output of an EXPLAIN command to a variable is not the level of new feature hoped for," he said.

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jepler
4 days ago
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Oracle a poor steward of open-core software? more likely than you think
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We’re Moving to Brooklyn!

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That’s right folks – we’re heading to Brooklyn!

Orders will take approximately 7-10 business days to ship while we get our factory set up in Industry City. Please note, delivery estimates provided at checkout are not delivery guarantees. The Adafruit team thanks our customers and community for all their orders and patience.

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jepler
7 days ago
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Ah the times that I'm super happy to be remote.
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tannewt
5 days ago
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