On the Cusp

One silver lining in getting laid off is that you have time to meet people and learn about things that you may have not had the time or attention to pick up on while in the trenches of a full time job. During the first week of my new no-fixed-schedule life I learned about:

A company called Helios that uses AI to analyze the voice of the CEO on investor calls to measure the confidence of leadership. The company is offering a product described in their white paper as,

the first widely available data product that systematically assesses the tone of the voice of an executive during earnings conference calls to produce novel and meaningful sources of quantitative information

The Tone of Voice Provides a Novel Source of Alpha

Freaky.

The search engine as we once knew it has become a thing of the past. Google, originally hailed for its simplicity and clean results has lost its shine. The ten blue links are crowded out by paid placement and other forms of sponsorship. The gradual infection of the open web with cheap clickbait has now ruined even the coveted “organic links” so that if you look for something like “Best Hotels in Osaka” even the non-ad results are SEO optimized sites filled with affiliate links and ads. It’s rotten all the down. For more on this, read Doctorow’s excellent enshitification

There’s something called a “small modular reactor” (SMR) which is basically a mini nuclear reactor. There are multiple use cases for such a small form factor including replacing old coal power plants but it is also timely for the power-hungry data-centers which have been accused of running dirty.

WebAssembly (WASM) has evolved to the point where it will not only replace the older browser-based code with something faster. It will also allowing for sandboxed applications to run, on-demand, within your browser heralding the age of truly write-once, run-anywhere applications. If my understanding is correct, this is one of the biggest enhancements to web development since AJAX programming back in 2005.

So much to learn, so much to do!


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