Archive for March, 2021

In Has Microsoft 365 Been Clinically Tested? James Robertson poses a few hard questions, and rightly so. I do not want to enter into the debate about the nature of AI (is it intelligent, or just algorithms?); regardless of the answer to that question what interests us here is the relevance, accuracy, usefulness, reliability and sustainability of the solutions offered – and of course, not just Microsoft but any provider of AI-based solutions should be able to provide us with clear answers to those questions.

One of the core problems with AI is bias, and in the words of Julia Powles and Helen Nissenbaum (in “The Seductive Diversion of ‘Solving’ Bias in Artificial Intelligence“) all AI “bias is social bias”. Even if we ignore the (much larger) problems AI bias can cause in society at large, there is the issue of how well an IA solution will work for company X if it was built/trained by a company on another continent, in a different culture, and even with a different company culture.

Will be be able to “Build our own AI”? What mechanisms and tools will we have to investigate the workings of an off-the-shelf AI? Should we avoid AI altogether (there is excellent SF literature that makes this point – try Frank Herbert’s “Dune”)? Or do we have to teach all AI the equivalent of Asimov’s three Laws of Robotics?

Thanks for the image, XKCD

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Personally, I would not mention “the next level”, because expensive and complex devices like smartphones should not be thrown out every two years or so. But that’s how Samsung describes its new policy: “Samsung Takes Galaxy Security to the Next Level by Extending Updates“.

Having 4 years of regular official updates for a substantial number of devices is a good thing (and we can always hope for more in the future). In the words of Ron Amadeo on Ars Technica: “Android’s update situation is slowly getting better, one baby step at a time“.

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Someone at Samsung must be in a good mood: just three weeks after the February 1 security update there is already a new software update for the Galaxy Note 10+. This time it’s more than a security update to the March 1 level: the announcement for build N975FXXU6FUBD mentions functional updates to the Agenda, the camera app, reminders, and more. Keep up the good work, Samsung!

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The nice weather of the last two weeks is drawing out motorcyclists by droves. No wonder then that the number of secondhand motorcycles also increases. While browsing the offers, I noticed a surprising numbers of BMW R1100S’s for sale – quite a change from the last few years, when they seemed to be pretty rare. And a few of those offered nice pictures of the machine. So if those pictures tempt you, head over to the Belgian classifieds site https://2dehands.be and hope the bike is still for sale!

I’m not a fan of the blue, but: nice setting!


Classic yellow.


Nice action shot – well done!


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February 2021 started with grey and dark days, but in the end our solar panels were quite happy: production numbers for the past 28 days are 121% of the February average for our installation. That makes up for what happened in January ;-)

Not only was February rather sunny, we have also had unusually warm days. That was a surprising experience: one week it was cold enough to freeze pools, and a few days later it was more than 20 degrees Celsius warmer. Mother Earth always has a few new tricks up her sleeve…

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