Posts tagged with “bad business”

ChatGPT: Friend or Foe?

Over the past few days I've been seeing posts in various places mentioning something called ChatGPT. It looks pretty nice, right through OpenAI's video that tries to tell us that they are a non-profit that just wants to make AI safe and open to everyone for the benefit of humanity. But these quotes paint a very different picture.

"We are excited to introduce ChatGPT to get users’ feedback and learn about its strengths and weaknesses. During the research preview, usage of ChatGPT is free."

OK so what does this mean? It sounds to me like they intend to get the whole world used to using it and then pull the rug out from under us. If they really were doing this for the benefit of humanity, ChatGPT would be a free open source project that we could all use, host on our own if desired, contribute to, etc. Instead, they have made it a for-profit venture that will eventually pad the pockets of a few, as by this quote it has done already.

"ChatGPT and GPT 3.5 were trained on an Azure AI supercomputing infrastructure."

Of course. That explains it all. Microsoft is obviously behind this, not some non-profit out to benefit humanity after all. If anyone believes that Microsoft wants AI to benefit humanity rather than padding the already fat pockets of Microsoft, then that person has obviously been living under a rock for the last 50 years.

"You can choose to enter the ChatGPT Feedback Contest for a chance to win up to $500 in API credits."

Sounds like a commercial venture to me all day long. They're gonna get hundreds, thousands, or maybe millions of people to send them feedback only to maybe give one lucky winner $500 worth of some kind of as yet undefined proprietary API credits. For a company that calls itself OpenAI and claims to be a non-profit, they look pretty damn for-profit and closed off from where I'm sitting. This is yet another walled garden AI, this time sponsored at least in part by Microsoft.

For now, even though the latest prebuilt units are a bit pricey, my money is still on Mycroft, as I can run their whole suite of tools on my own computer, and it is all open source and free to use. If I'm understanding things correctly, it is no longer even necessary to have an account on their website, as even the server part can now be self-hosted. Yes, Mycroft still needs a bit more work, and it's more like Alexa or Google Assistant than it is like a chat bot, but it's a far cry from a completely for-profit Microsoft-sponsored proprietary walled garden that claims to be an open non-profit that wants to make AI safe for the benefit of humanity, which as it turns out is a lie, and I would go so far as to say a fraud.

A petition that won't get my signature, even though it looks good

I just got a petition in my inbox today, stating that I should be concerned with the fact that Google reads my e-mail and uses it to sell targeted advertising. While I do think that reading my email, even via computerized methods, and using it for targeted advertising is a bit shady at best, I just can’t convince myself to sign this one. The problem is not the wording of the petition, nor is it the idea that Google should stop reading email and using it to show targeted advertising based on its content. Privacy is indeed a major concern for me, and under most circumstances, a petition like this would have gotten my signature immediately. My problem, however, is the fact that this specific petition didn’t originate from a group of concerned Gmail users, nor did it even originate from any consumer advocacy or similar type of organization that should be concerned with the privacy of its members. No, this Care2 petition lists its author as which is of course a Microsoft website that redirects to a Microsoft Live account login page. I have to question Microsoft’s motives at this point, and even question the validity of their claim that Google is in fact reading my e-mail and using it to sell ads. While I’m sure Google does some shady stuff, Microsoft definitely does shady stuff as well, so I wouldn’t put it past them to do something as underhanded as putting a petition on Care2 that accuses their competition of violating my privacy. "Look here. See? we raised concerns about our competitor's business practices that directly affect you, our prospective customers, even though we don’t give a care that our business practices leave a lot to be desired as well, and even though our competitor may or may not even be engaging in the evil business practices that we want to accuse them of doing." So because of this, I refuse to sign this otherwise worthy-looking petition. I’m not about to sign anything that basically says that a company wants me to agree with them that their competitor is doing something wrong. That is unfair to me, it’s unfair to the competitor, and it certainly gives an already disreputable company an unfair advantage in the e-mail market which, I should add, is an area where Microsoft is definitely struggling, and has been for many years. It certainly does remind me of other ways Microsoft has attempted to grow its market share by trashing the competition, and I refuse to be a party to that kind of dirty dealing.

Cricket now starts billing for a monthly internet package if you have the $35 plan and you start your phone's browser. WATCH OUT, THEY CHEAT!

Kyle's Featured Store is now closed

Due to changes beyond my control, Kyle's Featured Store will no longer be presented on Saturday mornings. Also, the Kyle's Coffee and More link has been removed from this blog and from my website. The company that provided the shopping site that gave my customers cash back when they made purchases is no longer offering this service. I apologize for any problems this may cause.

The same company does offer other possibilities, so check back for a new Kyle's Coffee and More link, or possibly Kyle's Coffee, in the future, as I may be able to sell the coffee I love so much on my own website. If so, the announcement will be made here, and links will be added where appropriate. The company behind this store asked for an unreasonable fee to keep it going, then completely vanished from the internet, and even its parent seems to be gone. Had I given them the money they wanted, I would have been screwed out of hundreds of dollars, and I seriously doubt that any customer actually received cash back from Kyle's Coffee and More.

Instant coffee is supposed to taste bad ... or is it?

Last month, my wife, mother-in-law and daughter went to a local festival. My wife came back home thrilled about a cup of coffee they had while they were there. Then she told me that this amazing cup of coffee was instant. Well, naturally, I remained quite skeptical, since although I trust my wife, my experiences with instant coffee had, up to that point, been all bad. I did receive a link where I could buy the coffee and many other things, and I did give it a quick look. I didn’t, however, feel inclined to purchase this coffee, because again, I had had only bad experiences with instant coffee in the past.

Then, last Thursday, I was invited as a guest to a meeting that took place yesterday, where the shopping portal that sells this coffee and many other things was presented and discussed. I got the chance to taste the coffee first-hand, and found out that all the wonderful things my wife and mother-in-law had said about it were indeed true. The cup of coffee I had was simply amazing! If I hadn't already known it was instant, I never would have guessed. Then I found out that the shopping portal web site that I was given access to was in fact my own business where I could sell this coffee myself, along with all the many other things on the site. Well, the coffee was so good that I decided to give it a shot and let everyone know how they can get it. If you love good coffee as I do, take a quick look at Kyle's Coffee and More I can no longer find this coffee, probably went down with the YTB ship, click on “wellness”, and from there, click on “Ganovia coffee.” There are two blends available, depending on your taste. Each bag contains 30 packets of the best instant coffee you ever tasted. And, while you’re there, feel free to shop all the other stores and deals I have available, everything from Walmart and Target to Clear internet and DirecTV. I have chosen to focus on the Ganovia coffee, because I really love it, but there's definitely something for everyone, even if you don't like coffee, at Kyle's Coffee and More store now defunct, company was a scam, though the coffee wasn't.