jan's stuff

Alles wat Jan bezig houdt, interesseert en irriteert... en ook een beetje onzin...

dinsdag, juni 11, 2024

Clocky, The Loud Alarm Clock That Runs Away Beeping for Heavy Sleepers

Deze alarmklok op wieltjes gaat er letterlijk vandoor zodat je hem niet kunt uitzetten. 

Je moet hem eerst zien te vangen. Perfect voor mensen die na het snoezen nog even terug gaan liggen en daarna veel te laat wakker schrikken 😂 

vrijdag, mei 24, 2024


Onvolmaaktheid = het oneens kunnen zijn met je eigen gevoelens. 🤔

zaterdag, mei 11, 2024


I just stumbled on this wonderful website with a whole bunch of webcams that are pointed at various mountains and landscapes all over Europe. 

It's also free to look at. 

If you log on during European nighttime you might even spot some Northern Lights this evening 😍

vrijdag, april 12, 2024

Testing Perplexity AI

On of the problems with Large Language Models, or as the kids say "AI", is that these models tend to hallucinate but present their information with a certain resoluteness or self assuredness that can be mistaken for actually knowing the facts. 

The team behind Perplexity AI tried to tackle this by forcing the LLM to include copious amounts of links to the sources of the quilted information. Kagi's FastGPT is following a similar solution. 

I was pleasantly surprised when I tried this query:

What is deionized water?

zaterdag, april 06, 2024

A short history of saturated fat: the making and unmaking of a scientific consensus - PMC

So eating butter is healthy after all?

It's like all the health nuts have been telling us for years 🤔 

The idea that saturated fats cause heart disease, called the diet-heart hypothesis, was introduced in the 1950s, based on weak, associational evidence. Subsequent clinical trials attempting to substantiate this hypothesis could never establish a causal link. However, these clinical-trial data were largely ignored for decades, until journalists brought them to light about a decade ago. Subsequent reexaminations of this evidence by nutrition experts have now been published in >20 review papers, which have largely concluded that saturated fats have no effect on cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular mortality or total mortality. 

dinsdag, maart 26, 2024

General Average: Navigating Hidden Maritime Costs and Cargo Delays

People are surprised this morning to learn that it's the companies with cargo on the ship that crashed into the bridge that will pay the damages, not the ship owner or ship operator. That's because of ancient maritime law (older than the US constitution) called "General Average" designed to prevent sailors from fighting over which cargo to toss overboard, and instead to focus on saving the ship:


maandag, maart 25, 2024

How to learn a new language

I've always wanted to learn other languages. 

It just looks so incredibly cool in a James Bond movie when he whips out a short conversation in, Arabic or Spanish. I want to be that cool. Learning the language is just a way to greater coolness. Also some friends of mine speak Spanish with each other I would pay a lot (of money, not time, more about this later) to be able to listen in and understand their conversations 🤔 

Come to think of it, I did learn a language next to my mother tongue. I'm writing in that language to you now. You see, I'm native Dutch speaker, and I consider myself fluent-ish in English.  

So here is the deal: I want to learn a whole new way of talking, called Spanish, to steal a line from "Cards Against Humanity."  I've already tried about one full year of Duo-lingo. I think I even payed for it, just to buy streak-unfreezers, or whatever it was called. Anyways, I now now a bunch of words, but since I never get to practice I still don't really know how to have an actual conversation, how to form my own sentences on the fly…

Recently I found an app on my phone. I must have installed it myself once-upon-a-time, but I install lots of app out of curiosity and promptly forget what they are good for. So anyways, I found this app on my phone called Language Transfer. I have followed the first few lessons, and I quickly realised that I can't do this while ironing or vacuuming. I really need to be focussed to learn. 

On HN I found a reference to another similar looking method to learn new languages, called "The Michel Thomas Method." I've not tried this one out yet, but maybe I will.

The thing with learning a new language, any language, is that it takes an awful lot of time. I've only really learned English by accident. Whenever a classmate gave me a CD with a DIVX movie but with no subtitles on it, I would have to watch that movie in the original dubbing. I've learned English by watching movies, pausing and replaying sentences that I didn't fully understand and looking of the difficult words. 

Maybe I should just watch some telenovelas in their original Spanish to really learn this language too?