Historical headlines in the style of internet click-bait…

I hate internet click-bait – you know, those annoying two-phrase teaser tags that tell you how you’ll respond to some open-ended assertion. What if headlines had always been written that way? Like these: You won’t believe what Neil Armstrong said on the Moon! This common domestic product will destroy movies – find out what studio execs… More Historical headlines in the style of internet click-bait…

Fun, sun and the usual Spinal Tap hilarity on the other side of the ditch

It’s time for a weekend get-away, and She Who Must Be Obeyed and I decide the other side of the Tasman is, once again, the place to be. Sydney is one of our favourite get-away destinations, cheaper to reach than parts of New Zealand and alive with a vibrancy that underscores its place as one of the… More Fun, sun and the usual Spinal Tap hilarity on the other side of the ditch

Essential writing skills: penning things “in the style of”

One of the biggest challenges any author has to meet is mastering the mechanics of actually writing. Only once that has been nailed is it possible to tackle the other challenges of content. A lot of aspiring authors, I think, try to handle the whole lot at once, and it’s difficult. But there’s a quick… More Essential writing skills: penning things “in the style of”

Is your elected representative a robot body double?

According to reports I’ve read, a US congressional candidate recently alleged that his opponent, the incumbent Congressman, had been killed and replaced with an artificial body double. Look-alike artificial doubles? Secret assassinations in the Ukraine? Cool! I always knew US politics were more interesting than New Zealand’s. So – what’s happening? I have several hypotheses: (a)  The allegation is literally true… More Is your elected representative a robot body double?

No, a chatbot didn’t really pass the Turing Test last week

It’s 64 years since Alan Turing – the genius behind the concept of modern computing – suggested a test for machine intelligence. Have a conversation with a computer. If it fools 30 percent of people into thinking it’s human, it’s sentient. The other week, apparently, a chatbot programmed to behave like a 13-year old did just… More No, a chatbot didn’t really pass the Turing Test last week

An ‘operational incident’ to them. Total train wreck to me.

The other week the Wellington, New Zealand commuter rail network was rolling along doing what commuter lines do. And then this happened. A friend of a friend saw it happen. Wham! Mercifully, only two people were slightly injured. I was out of town, but came by that night on my way home and saw the… More An ‘operational incident’ to them. Total train wreck to me.