Christmas Tree Projects in Government

Yesterday the MBTA announced that come August 1st they will finally accept contactless payments from credit cards and smart phones. This project took over six years and billion dollars. The retrospectives and reports will no doubt show the money was used in useful or productive ways, or wasted with a vendor who is blamed for the mistakes. Nobody will be held accountable for prospectively putting together a project with a budget so large it was doomed from the start. The only reason it had to take six years is it can be a challenge to spend a billion dollars in a single year.

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Security Redux

Yesterday Vanguard, despite having two security keys enabled with their account, randomly forced me to enable a less secure factor on my account with them. Later that day Facebook would not let me login using the “Security Key” button on their iPad app and instead required me to approve my login using another logged in Facebook instance from my mobile phone. Even these large allegedly smart companies fail a basic security maxim that any method that is less secure than your most secure factor lowers the security of your account and opens a new attack vector.

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The Gulikit King Kong 3 Max Review

A year or two ago Gulikit, a Chinese electronics manufacturer splashed onto the scene with a new kind of joystick replacement for Nintendo’s joy-con controllers that claimed to resolve the stick drift problem. Nintendo famously had to offer free repairs to its customers as the joysticks on its smaller controllers would wear out over time. In public interviews Nintendo said they improved but would never be able to resolve the joy-con stick drift. Gulikit claimed to have solved this problem, and in addition to its joy-con replacement kits released the King Kong 2 controller with the same hall effect joystick technology. I tried the King Kong 2 and had mine fail with a software update. After waiting for reviews and for Gulikit to release a new version of the controller with improved back buttons, I picked up the King Kong 3 Max.

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I Wasted $20 on Claude 3.5 Sonnet So You Don't Have To

After reading the press release and hearing the buzz about Anthropic’s Claude 3.5 Sonnet AI model, I gave in and paid the $20 for their premium tier. The thing that most interested me was their project functionality that allows you to contextualize your conversation with files like code. The demos looked neat so I figured I’d feed it at JavaScript/Node project and ask it to make what should be an easy fix. It flopped spectacularly.

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Apple Is Not Just Catching Up on AI

The consensus among analysts seems to be that Apple’s AI features announced at WWDC yesterday are largely catch-up with third party services. Yet Apple’s approach to AI is different. Instead of merely providing a chat bot for you to play with in the cloud, they are using the data on your device to personalize your AI. Instead of being limited to web results and its own corpus, Apple Intelligence will be able to return and interact with your data.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.