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Author: matt

Drawing with Stable Diffusion

Drawing with Stable Diffusion

arjan_M made a python script that gives you a canvas where you can paint on the right side and it will update on the left side. In the background it sends an updated image after every paint stroke to the API of automatic1111 and it uses the controlnet scribble model to generate an image. The video is in 4x speed, but it updates quite fast. It really depends on the speed of your graphics card and the controlnet model. It also works with controlnet 1.1 and that is a little bit faster.I can put the script online if anyone is interested.

Here is the github repo
houseofsecrets/SdPaint: Stable Diffusion Painting (github.com)


AI based Image Enlarger

AI based Image Enlarger

AI is not only for just generating new images, it can also help you enlarge your original images by filtering missing details intelligently while upscaling.

Note that most of these ‘free’ applications will scrape and can use any image you upload for whatever purposes they want – so I wouldn’t upload anything sensitive on them.

How to be a thought leader

How to be a thought leader

Pat Kelly narrates the format of every single TED talk in detail – and demonstrates how painfully easy it is to use form and style to portray yourself as being much smarter and your ideas as more important than they actually are.

It’s pure gold – because he nails all the little tropes exactly right. You’ll never be able to watch a TED talk the same way, or as seriously, again. Which is probably good – because it is a form of emotional and intellectual manipulation. TED talks show that even supposedly smart and sophisticated people are just as susceptible.

Emotional and intellectual manipulation like he demonstrates isn’t new. These exact same kinds of tropes exist everywhere. Paul E.T. shows how easily you can make a $70 Netflix documentary and can get your audience to believe any point you want. Most Hollywood movies use the Save the Cat narrative structure to make audiences believe or feel emotionally connected to whatever theme the narrative structure dictates. All of this without having an honest debate on the facts of the subject.

Today in startup culture we see stealth mode digital nomads iterate passionately and create paradigm shifting disruptive PoC’s that will transform a traditional marketspace with ephemeral apps and portals! They are the Uber for your laundry! We’re the Shapchat for your groceries! Yet, despite all the million and even billion dollar valuations, the majority of these Forbes 30 under 30 disruptors are now in, or facing, very real jail time for basic fraud and lies. It turns out so much was based on buzzy marketing with no substance. It should not have been a surprise either – so many of these ideas promised things that were not economically viable to downright scientifically impossible. Yet VC’s and the smartest people in the room ate them up.

The reality is that we are in an era in which FORM and STYLE are used to convey meaning and manipulate us into taking a side or believing an assertion more than actual facts. This isn’t just about fake news or biased social media posts, the fact this works on TED talk audiences shows that even those that consider themselves educated and refined can easily fall for this kind of emotional and intellectual manipulation.

Charter your private jet

Charter your private jet

Flight prices aren’t as cheap as they used to be anymore. In fact, if you’re about to fly your family and friends of 5-7 people somewhere, you might consider picking up a private jet. It might actually be in the same ballpark for price.

How much? Charter companies like XO specialize in these sorts of chartered trips. If you have flexibility, they sometimes even offer discounts and special deals for one-way trips to get their planes back/to the next pickup.

Here’s a list of recent prices

New Old Sound cards

New Old Sound cards

Retro gaming has a solid community – even in the PC world. Prices of old hardware keeps going up as supply of working components goes down as time goes on. But would you be surprised to hear that people are out there making new components for these old machines? I already mentioned the recreated Covox Speech Thing, but there are even re-creations of Adlib, SoundBlaster, and other early sound cards. Enter the Orpheus ISA 16 sound card that can emulate just about any 90’s era sound card perfectly.

Cracking codes from 1547

Cracking codes from 1547

In 1547, Charles V penned a letter to his ambassador, Jean de Saint-Mauris, part of which was written in the ruler’s secret code. Nearly five centuries later, researchers have finally cracked that code.

Cecile Pierrot, a cryptographer with the Loria laboratory in France, first heard of the letter’s existence at a dinner in 2019 and finally managed to track it down two years later.

The task proved rather daunting since the approximately 120 encrypted symbols didn’t employ a simple symbol-to-letter representation. Most represented letters or combinations of letters but others represented entire words. For example: a needle was used to represent the English King Henry VIII. Vowels that came after consonants were replaced by diacritical marks, except for the letter ‘e’ (the most commonly used letter), which the code makers cleverly avoided using as much as possible.

The big break occurred thanks to historian Camille Desenclos, who directed Pierrot to several other coded letters written by, and sent to, the emperor. One of which turned out to have been informally translated and became the key for cracking the code.