👀 Apps to Keep an Eye On, Epic Tech Stuff, and AI's Dark Forest
the dead web growssss
Hey friends! How are you doing this second week of January?
I got sick again . . . . or maybe it was the sickness from last week. All I know is that I had the most wretched chest-shaking cough I’ve had in a long time.
Anyway - I’m back in the swing of things at work. Hope you are too!
We took down our Christmas tree last Monday - much to the chagrin of my daughter. She was quite distraught that we took it down during quiet time. We promised her that we would put it up again in December!
It’s still a sensitive topic at home. Can’t mention the Christmas tree . . .
We’ve been watching a lot of Pokemon recently with the kids - there is a lot of “Pikachu” “Squirtle” and “Bulbasaur” being said - close to the particular accents in the show I might add.
Have you ever heard the “Great Pokemon War” conspiracy? There’s a theory that there was a great war before the events of the Pokemon Red & Blue games.
It’s pretty interesting!
We’re almost finished with the Better Call Saul series. It keeps connecting to Breaking Bad more and more with every new episode. It’s now one of my favorite prequel series.
Let’s get started shall we?
👀 Apps to Keep an Eye On
I follow over 700 accounts on Twitter - and many of them are different projects/software that I’m keeping an eye on. Well - I want to share them with you too so you too can keep an eye on them and sign up for the betas! I’ll probably be writing about several of them when they finally do come out!
Wand is an upcoming tool for sketching - but with a twist! It’ll have AI smarts. Sketch a doodle, enter an AI prompt, and it’ll generate the next part of the drawing. It’s a really interesting spin on AI that involves active creation from the participant, rather than just entering in a few magic words. Go check out the site here.
Nook wants to make the internet “multiplayer.” “Carve out a nook for yourself on the internet. Maybe for your friends too. Create on an infinite canvas with anyone using anything from the internet. Nook is a browser for the new internet.” It sounds really intriguing - like mmm.page meets Kinopio.club or something. I think I’m on the waitlist for this twice. Go check it out here.
This appears to be some sort of AI writing app - but I’m intrigued to see what it can do. Go check it out here.
This is some sort of mini-cloud computer program. It seems really interesting - and I want to see where it goes. You can create notes, code, play games - and save your session too! I want to see what the beta offers in addition to the current demo. Go check out the site.
I’m really curious to see how this one works - Pager claims to “unlock the internet” powered by “smart screenshots.” I really have no idea how this works - and I can’t wait to see what it is and what it does. They’ve gotten over 5 million in funding, so they must be cooking up something GOOD. Go check out the site.
Build your own little interactive internet room. You can code, build, remix other designs - and I can’t wait to get access to this and start building a fun little room. What I’m really looking forward to is exploring other peoples cool spaces - like the old days of Little Big Planet. Go check out the site.
📻Epic Tech Stuff
CES was back this week with a ton of fun gadgets.
Dual Screen Laptop
Lenovo is going WILD. They made a dual-screen laptop - with two full-sized screens!
Just look at this thing. It’s BEAUTIFUL. Here - go check out the announcement.
The Razer Edge
It’s crazy to me that after soooo many long years, the mobile device gaming space is POPPING OFF.
The PSP really was ahead of its time . . .
Razer (which takes a stab at just about anything - like phones, fitness bands) is adding itself to the game with an android gaming device. Here’s what it looks like.
I suppose the target market for this is college students / workers who are on the go - but want to keep gaming. It’s a cool idea - but I’m not sure how well it will fare against the likes of the Steam Deck.
Why would I buy a fancy android tablet when I can buy a laptop that has been stuffed inside a PSP’s frame.
Still it’s cool - and it’d be the perfect mobile device for using Xbox ‘s cloud gaming service.
Before we move on to the next topic - check out this cutting board THAT HAS A SCREEN IN IT.
🤖AI’s Dark Forest
We live in the days of mainstream AI as I said last week.
Lensa AI, generative videos, articles, hinge messages . . .
That being said - we also live in dark times for the internet. I’ve seen enough examples of AI generated websites/content/images to get “the goosebumps” that a lot more of the interent is gonna be “fake.”
I found a fantastic article by Maggie Appleton about the “The Expanding Dark Forest and Generative AI.” I recommend that you check it out - so I’ll be posting a few little quotes here to encourage you even more.
So with all that BRAND NEW GPT-3 CONTENT being posted to the web by the bucketfull?
You thought the first page of Google was bunk before? You haven't seen Google where SEO optimizer bros pump out billions of perfectly coherent but predictably dull informational articles for every longtail keyword combination under the sun. Marketers, influencers, and growth hackers will set up OpenAI → Zapier pipelines that auto-publish a relentless and impossibly banal stream of LinkedIn #MotivationMonday posts, “engaging” tweet 🧵 threads, Facebook outrage monologues, and corporate blog posts. It goes beyond text too: video essays on YouTube, TikTok clips, podcasts, slide decks, and Instagram stories can all be generated by patchworking together ML systems. And then regurgitated for each medium. We're about to drown in a sea of pedestrian takes. An explosion of noise that will drown out any signal. Goodbye to finding original human insights or authentic connections under that pile of cruft. (source)
I fully agree with this - the net is about to get nuts. It’s going to be increasingly more difficult to know if something was written by a human - or by AI.
The average internet encounters the “dark forests of the internet” in places like fake reviews or review websites - but - now - they’re gonna encounter it everywhere
from auto generated tiktok videos . . .to Twitch Streamers. . .
Yeah - Watch Neuro Sama for a bit. “She” is an AI on Twitch streaming games and talking to the chat.
Who is real - and who is fake?
Maggie says it’s all gonna come back to the IRL.
The final edge we have over language models is that we can prove we're real humans by showing up IRL with our real human bodies. We can arrange to meet Twitter mutuals offline over coffee. We can organise meetups and events and conferences and unconferences and hangouts and pub nights . . . As the forest grows darker, noisier, and less human, I expect to invest more time in in-person relationships and communities. And while I love meatspace, this still feels like a loss. (source)
I imagine that this will bring back a lot of apps like Meetup with an incredible vengence. I’m curious to see how this will all shake out - if we’ll have a renaissance for IRL events - or if we’ll all be living in the forests of Fangorn . . .
with no Ents to save us . . .
Read Maggies article at the link!
🐙The Land of Random
Into the Random we go!
What Color is It?
Is it just me . . . or does the color keep changing with every passing second.
Commericals from 1998
I actually remember some of these - like the Kraft cheese one!
So this is actually really cool - these are animations that load up IN THE URL of your web browser. It’s awesome.
I haven’t bought this little 2 dollar game for my iPad yet, but will soon! It’s a stunningly beautiful putt putt game where you play through all the letters of the alphabet.
The amount of free services included with this web domain service is incredible - domain, web page, email forwarding, and more - ALL for $20 a year. It’s wild! One of the coolest services i’ve seen in a while.
Practice your typing by rewriting classic literature. It’s really nifty! How fast can you type Crime and Punishment?
What does it do? What is it for?
It’s Stable Diffusion, but for music. Type in a prompt - and hear cool vybes. It’s actually pretty sweet. I put in a prompt for underground vaporwave - it was sick. Click the link to hear what it sounds like - and start creating some cool vibes!
🎵TikToks You Can’t Miss
So much adrenaline running through that driver
Back when TikTok was a good platform.
Facts - I watched so much Machinima back in the day.
I’d watch it. Hell - I’d donate to the kickstarter.
*Scratches head - looks around for room for another monitor. *
Man found an exit to the Matrix.
That’s all for this week! See you next time. :)