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Monthly Archives: September 2023

5 easy ways to run an LLM locally

InfoWorld: “Chatbots like ChatGPT,, and phind can be quite helpful, but you might not always want your questions or sensitive data handled by an external application. That’s especially true on platforms where your interactions may be reviewed by humans and otherwise used to help train future models. One solution is to download a large language model (LLM) and run it on your own machine. That way, an outside company never has access to your data. This is also a quick option to try some new specialty models such as Meta’s recently announced Code Llama family of models, which are tuned for coding, and SeamlessM4T, aimed at text-to-speech and language translations. Running your own LLM might sound complicated, but with the right tools, it’s surprisingly easy. And the hardware requirements for many models aren’t crazy. I’ve tested the options presented in this article on two systems: a Dell PC with an Intel i9 processor, 64GB of RAM, and a Nvidia GeForce 12GB GPU (which likely wasn’t engaged running much of this software), and on a Mac with an M1 chip but just 16GB of RAM…”

Fact Checkers Take Stock of Their Efforts: ‘It’s Not Getting Better’

The New York Times [read free]: “After President Biden won the election nearly three years ago, three of every 10 Americans believed the false narrative that his victory resulted from fraud, a poll found. In the years since, fact checkers have debunked the claim in lengthy articles, corrections posted on viral content, videos and chat… Continue Reading

Virtual first impressions: Zoom backgrounds affect judgements of trust and competence

PLOS ONE: “Trait inferences from first impressions are drawn rapidly and spontaneously. However, the Covid-19 pandemic forced interactions online introducing differential influential factors on first impressions. As such, there is an absence of research investigating video background on videoconferencing impression formation. This study explored the influence of video background, facial expression, and gender on first… Continue Reading

Winners of the 2023 Bird Photographer of the Year Competition

“With over 23,000 images entered into the competition this year, Bird Photographer of the Year is pleased to present our winners. Celebrating bird life from around the world, these images comprise some of the most incredible bird photos in the world taken by talented photographers, whilst also raising vital funds for our partner charity Birds… Continue Reading


Jeremy Singer-Vine, Data is Plural – “Fracking fluids. Since launching in 2011, FracFocus has become the largest registry of hydraulic fracturing chemical disclosures in the US. The database, available to explore online and download in bulk, contains 210,000+ such disclosures from fracking operators; it details the location, timing, and water volume of each fracking job,… Continue Reading

Our 10-point scale will help you rate the biggest misinformation purveyors

Ars Technica: “The world has been flooded with misinformation. Falsehoods and conspiracy theories bubble up on everything from the weather to vaccines to the shape of the Earth. Purveyors of this garbage may be motivated by attention, money, or simply the appeal of sticking it to the educated elite. For people who try to keep… Continue Reading

OIG Report – Material Loss Review of Silicon Valley Bank

“The Office of Inspector General for the Federal Reserve System and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released Evaluation Report 2023-SR-B-013, Material Loss Review of Silicon Valley Bank, September 25, 2023, a review of the Federal Reserve Board’s supervision of Silicon Valley Bank. In a letter responding to the OIG’s report, the Federal Reserve Board’s… Continue Reading

No, Chat GPT Can’t Be Your New Research Assistant

Chronicle of Higher Education [subscription req’d]: “…There’s Explainpaper, where one can upload a paper, highlight a confusing portion of the text, and get a more reader-friendly synopsis. There’s jenni, which can help discern if a paper is missing relevant existing research. There’s Quivr, where the user can upload a paper and pose queries like: What… Continue Reading

SAGE Releases Free-to-Read Collection with Research into Academic Freedom and Censorship

“Sage has launched a new collection of free-to-read research highlighting the effects of academic censorship on democracy, social-emotional learning, higher education, and more. Banned books symbolize the clash between censorship and academic freedom. The suppression of banned books undermines the core principle of academic freedom, where scholars should explore diverse ideas without fear. This freedom… Continue Reading

Open My Hotel Window

Find Hotels with windows that open or a balcony for fresh air! “Waves of new hotels are installing non operable windows and older hotels are sealing their once operable windows shut for the sake of energy conservation. While we do care about the environment, we believe it’s essential for travelers to be able to crack… Continue Reading