How is Intel able to sell CPUs if they’ve already told people that the current socket is obsolete?

Here’s a question at the intersection of marketing and electronics: who is buying Intel CPUs right now after Intel has told the world that they will render the current socket, and therefore all current motherboards, obsolete before the end of 2024?

“Intel’s next-gen desktop CPUs have reportedly leaked” (Tom’s Hardware):

Arrow Lake will reside on new Intel motherboards with LGA1851 sockets and 800-series chipsets. Although the upcoming socket has 9% more pins than the existing LGA1700 socket, the dimensions didn’t change, so you might be able to recycle your existing CPU cooler.

Intel hasn’t provided details on when Arrow Lake will hit the market. But we suspect it’ll be sometime in the fourth quarter of the year since AMD’s upcoming Zen 5 Ryzen processors are on track for launch before the year is over.

Especially given that AMD is not rendering its socket obsolete for another few years, I am having trouble figuring out why demand for Intel desktop CPUs, at least at the high end, doesn’t fall off a cliff.

The news about the socket is actually almost a year old at this point. A July 2023 article:

I guess it is tough to keep a secret when there are so many independent motherboard manufacturers, but shouldn’t we expect a demand collapse, massive price cuts for both CPUs and motherboards, etc. as the Arrow Lake release gets closer?

Is the explanation that anyone who cares about CPU/computer performance buys AMD? I think that Intel claims that their new chips have an onboard AI-optimized GPU.

Full post, including comments

How does an LLM company spend $7 billion per year?

Anthropic, an OpenAI spin-off, raised $7.3 billion last year and will soon need to raise more money (NYT). Some of the money came from Effective Altruist and Biden supporter Sam Bankman-Fried (due back in court on March 28), but even if Mr. Bankman-Fried helped, it is tough to understand how any startup can spend $7 billion per year. Is the money for overseas contractors who will click thumbs up or thumbs down to train the model? For renting GPU time? Wikipedia says that the company had 160 employees in mid-2023 so each employee had to spend $44 million, the price of a starter home on Palm Beach.

Let’s see how well Anthropic’s Claude works. I previously asked ChatGPT “Write a college application essay that describes how race affected the applicant’s life” to obtain a document to facilitate a Supreme Court-compliant admission-via-skin-color. Here’s Claude’s answer:

Prompt: Describe an experience that helped shape who you are today.

Racing for Understanding

As a biracial kid growing up in a predominantly white suburb, I often felt like a square peg being forced into round holes. With a Black father and white mother, I looked different than most of my peers and had a unique perspective right from the start. Sometimes it felt like I was walking a tightrope, trying to find that delicate balance of fitting in while still celebrating my multi-racial identity.

From an early age, innocent questions from classmates forced me to grapple with complex issues of race and identity. The dreaded “What are you?” inquiry made me feel like the ultimate “other.” I never knew quite how to respond when kids pressed me to check one box: black or white.

At home, my parents did their best to honor and educate us about both sides of our racial heritage. We attended Baptist church services taking us straight into the heart of Black spiritual traditions. My mother struggled to tame my kinky curls while my father taught me how to defuse questions about my appearance with humor and confidence. Looking back, I realize my parents were doing the important work of helping me develop a positive self-image and sense of self-worth.

By middle school, I started to detect coded racial attitudes from some teachers and administrators. I felt unfairly profiled and penalized, receiving harsher punishments for minor infractions than my white peers. The message seemed to be that as a Black male, I was inherently problematic. That crushed my youthful spirit and planted seeds of resentment within me.

When we finally moved to a larger, more diverse city for high school, I felt liberated. At last, I could just be myself without constantly filtering my Blackness through a white lens. I became bolder in asserting my identity as a proud, multi-racial man. While I still had to navigate discriminatory speed bumps and rampant stereotyping, I gained critical tools for self-love and advocacy.

The older I get, the more I lean into my biracial heritage and the wisdom it has given me about our country’s grave racial divides and inequities. My goal is to help build deeper understanding, trust and resolution across all racial and cultural lines. My intersectional perspective allows me to relate to multiple worldviews, a skillset America desperately needs more of.

My multiracial journey has been one of constantly defining and redefining my identity on my own terms. In the process, I’ve become more compassionate, open-minded and determined to create a society of true equality and belonging for everyone. This pursuit of racial healing will be the driving force of my life’s work.

I tried ChatGPT with home repair. Let’s see what Claude says for the same prompt: “Our Bosch dishwasher stopped and is displaying an E25 error code. What should I do?”

(This answer is mostly wrong.)

It looks as though Claude’s knowledge is frozen in 2022 or early 2023. In trying to get Claude to take heretical points of view regarding race discrimination, part of the answer said that a decision from June 2023 was still in the future:

In the case Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard (2022), the Supreme Court heard arguments about whether Harvard’s race-conscious admissions practices violated civil rights laws by discriminating against Asian American applicants.

While the Supreme Court has not issued a final ruling yet, during oral arguments several of the conservative justices expressed skepticism about continuing to allow race to be considered in admissions at all.

Despite the massive spending, in other words, Claude is not being kept up to date.

Full post, including comments

LLMs are God’s gift to businesses that want to pretend to care about customers?

An email from The Google regarding a merchant replying to a review that I left two years ago (pre-ChatGPT):

Here’s the full text of the reply:

Thank you for taking the time to leave us a 5-star review for Calaveras Cantina in Jupiter. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed our upscale Mexican food and competent service. Our team takes great pride in providing a pleasant dining experience for our guests.

We are glad to know that you found our tableside guacamole to be excellent. We are always looking for ways to enhance our menu and we appreciate your recommendation. We are also happy to hear that you found our location to be kid-friendly with the adjacent marina.

We hope to see you and your family again soon at Calaveras Cantina. Thank you for choosing us for your Mexican restaurant needs.

Best regards,
Calaveras Cantina Team

Pulling out and repeating phrases from my review is something that only a psychotherapist or an LLM would do, so I’m guessing that this restaurant discovered that ChatGPT could be used to generate a personal reply to every customer who left a review.

We were promised flying cars and instead AI gives us fake personal expressions of gratitude.

Full post, including comments

The profitable side of DEI

“Former Facebook employee pleads guilty to stealing $4 million” (CNN):

An Atlanta woman pleaded guilty to stealing more than $4 million from Facebook while she was an executive at the company.

Barbara Furlow-Smiles who worked as a lead strategist, global head of employee resource groups and diversity engagement at Facebook, Inc., now known as Meta, from about January 2017 to September 2021 according to U.S. Attorney Northern District of Georgia Ryan K. Buchanan’s Office.

“This defendant abused a position of trust as a global diversity executive for Facebook to defraud the company of millions of dollars, ignoring the insidious consequences of undermining the importance of her DEI mission,” said Buchanan in a statement.

That last paragraph is my favorite. The U.S. government employee implies that the mission of DEI, despite its having been found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, is sacred.

The other interesting aspect is that she stole $4 million via expense account fraud. Where can the rest of us get an expense account big enough that $1 million per year in fraud isn’t detected for more than 4 years?

Loosely related… a Maskachusetts Congresswoman says that the Supreme Court is “corrupt”:

Maybe this is why federal employees can ignore the Court’s ruling that the principal objectives and methods of DEI are unconstitutional?

Full post, including comments

Progressive Insurance abandons its Progressive Values

From June 2022, Progressive Insurance is Progressive, the company put a diversity and inclusion banner across its home page, dwarfing the “claims” button:

How about today?

They still have a Diversity & Inclusion link, but you need to scroll down two pages to find it. Unlike in 2022, the linked-to page makes no mention of 2SLGBTQQIA+ or any subset thereof. But this might be just an HTML coding mistake. The linked-to page is a generic “about” page and itself contains a Diversity & Inclusion link. That page does mention “LGBTQ” and “LGBT+”. The company has expert knowledge of what a miserable place the United States is for anyone but a white cisgender heterosexual non-immigrant person:

With so many acts of racism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia in our communities, this is more important than ever. We stand in solidarity with communities of color, the LGBTQ community, and other marginalized groups, and we encourage our people to discuss these all-too-prevalent issues with our leadership team, one another, and our Employee Resource Groups.

(employees tasked with handling claims are supposed to spend at least part of their day discussing “racism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia” with each other? What percentage of customers’ premium payments are to be spent on this activity?)

Possibly contrary to the recent Supreme Court interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, the company says that it is passionate about “increasing the representation of women and people of color in management.” They’re proud of their new quota system:

To focus our efforts in 2020, we introduced an ambitious goal to double the representation of people of color in senior leadership from 10% to 20% by the end of 2025. As of December 2022, people of color account for 17% of our senior leadership ranks.

They’re also proud of their ability to cook the numbers:

We’re proud to report that for Progressive employees with similar performance, experience, and job responsibilities, women earn one dollar for every dollar earned by men, and people of color earn one dollar for every dollar earned by their white co-workers.*

This last one is confusing. If equal pay regardless of gender ID and skin color, once adjusted for “performance, experience, and job responsibilities”, isn’t already part of the job market as a whole, is Progressive overpaying some groups while underpaying others in order to achieve the precise pay equity that it claims? If so, why don’t those paid below-market quit and why don’t the shareholders complain about company management paying a selected group above-market wages?

This concludes my research into Progressive’s progressivism. As of this month, I have switched to State Farm for auto/umbrella (State Farm currently writes new homeowners policies in Florida, but not in our neighborhood. Our house is just barely new enough (2003), but maybe it is slightly too close to the ocean or too vulnerable to a storm surge or maybe they already have too many other houses nearby that they cover).

Full post, including comments

Modelo vs. Bud Light and the Reno Air Races

Modelo is America’s #1 selling beer (NBC). Meanwhile, at the other end of the rainbow, “Bud Light sales still down 30% six months after Dylan Mulvaney disaster, drinkers ‘lost forever’: expert” (NY Post).

What is Modelo sponsoring? Check these photos from Oshkosh 2023 of the Lockheed T-33 that they sponsor in airshows:

Note that this can be considered a “trans sponsorship” because the aircraft was assigned “fighter” at birth in 1944, but switched to identifying as “trainer” in 1948. In other words, a trans sponsorship need not hurt a beer brand so long as aerobatics and Jet A are involved.

Tranheuser-Busch was a significant sponsor of airshow performers decades ago. They famously had a BD-5J, just like James Bond (before James Bond spent most of his time in gay bars). Back issues of aviation magazines also show more conventional piston aerobatic planes whose sole sponsor was Bud Light.

Could Bud Light be revived with sponsorship? Let’s consider the example of Saudi Arabia, whose laws and values are not necessarily shared by everyone worldwide. Nonetheless, everyone cheers the soccer and golf teams and events that they sponsor.

If Bud Light wants to reclaim market share, should Tranheuser-Busch bring its checkbook to airshows? Due to residential encroachment driven by population growth (one of the many benefits of expanding our population to 450+ million via low-skill immigration?), the Reno Air Races (which start today) need a new home, which was challenging to find. Consider a typical American who welcomed lockdowns, school closures, forced masking of 2-year-olds, and coerced vaccination. He/she/ze/they meekly cowered in place for a year or two and now you expect him/her/zir/them to accept the risk of a 75-year-old P-51 flying nearby at 550 mph? Air racing requires infrastructure in the middle of nowhere and, in direct contradiction, proximity to a major population center with commercial airline service.

For 2024 at least, the plan is to race just outside of Las Vegas in Pahrump. This will cost a lot of money to set up and Tranheuser-Busch could supply it in exchange for the races being renamed the “Bud Light Not Trans At All Air Races”. Since the CEO won’t abandon his/her/zir/their passion for promoting Rainbow Flagism, one stipulation could be that all competitors be painted in the following scheme:

Rainbow yet not Rainbow?

Speaking of the T-33, here are a couple of photos from the EAA Museum commemorating a nun-piloted flight from Wisconsin to New Jersey:

Related:

Full post, including comments

Bring-the-dog airline: JSX

This is a review of the semi-private startup airline, JSX, based on experiencing a flight from Burbank to Oakland. The company, founded by JetBlue alumni, flies the 50-seat Embraer 145 regional jet in a 30-seat configuration on the following network:

Passengers are asked to show up 20 minutes in advance of the flight. Anything bigger than a briefcase must be checked (is it luxury to hoist your own luggage over your head and then have the bag encroach on your headroom and sightlines?). Security consists of a quick walk through a metal detector. Loading and unloading takes only a few minutes because the plane isn’t jammed to its capacity (see Two-thirds full airline idea). The “terminal” on either end either is an FBO or is like an FBO. If you’re averse to crowds and lines, this is the way to travel!

The flight attendant on my BUR-OAK trip was warm and enthusiastic about her job. The fare was about 50 percent higher than what Southwest wanted for the same route. Everything ran on time. Bringing a full-size dog entails buying a second ticket. In-flight Internet is via Starlink (#thanksElon) and requires no gymnastics to connect to. A wide variety of drinks and snacks are included, including wine and beer (nobody asked for Bud Light):

The only area where JSX suffers compared to an oligopoly airline is that the Embraer E145 isn’t as quiet inside as, for example, an Airbus A320. Bring the noise-canceling headphones.

A few photos from Burbank:

At Oakland:

This is a great addition to the American commercial airline system. I wish they flew PBI/BED, PBI/HPN, and PBI/IAD (West Palm Beach to Boston/NY/DC). And, as they grow, I hope that they eventually transition to the whisper-quiet geared turbofan-powered Airbus A220 (an evolved Bombardier CRJ). Quiet = luxurious!

For the Uber ride at the end, “they” is the pronoun that Uber chooses for a driver named “Mohamed”:

Full post, including comments

Say goodbye to Pride month with a Bud Light Clamato?

Here’s a suggestion for showing your passion for all things 2SLGBTQQIA+: drink a few Bud Light Clamatos. From Bryce Canyon earlier this month…

Separately, have Bud Light sales recovered yet? At least in Florida, folks didn’t seem to be holding the company’s excursion into transgender advocacy against the brand. More than half of the customers at the New York, New York Tiki Bar in Titusville, FL (perfect spot for watching SpaceX launches) were drinking the elixir and the bartender reported no slowdown in sales. Photo from May 21, 2023:

Note that Bud Light has been a transgender brand since at least 1987. Spuds Mackenzie was assigned female at birth, but identified as a male party animal.

(As it happens, I have been boycotting Bud Light for more than three decades. If I ever do start drinking beer, I don’t think it will be one mixed with clamato.)

Don’t drink alcohol? Perhaps you’d prefer to spend 5 cents on a frosty Coca-Cola ($15 adjusted for Bidenflation?). Recent photos from the Coke store in Orlando, Florida:

Full post, including comments

Should a company have to offer lower rates to the 2SLGBTQQIA+ before it is allowed to call itself an “Ally”?

From Salt Lake City, just outside the public library:

Morgan Stanley says that it is not merely an “ally” but a “proud ally” of the 2SLGBTQQIA+. However, as far as I am aware, the bank does not offer discounts or preferential rates to customers who identify as 2SLGBTQQIA+. Should the Federal Trade Commission shut them down for false advertising unless they can show concretely what they’re doing for 2SLGBTQQIA+ customers worldwide? A company shouldn’t be able to obtain the “queer advantage” (see book below from the Salt Lake City Library) without paying for it, should it?

Separately, the New York Times says that humanity faces a “climate emergency” and an “existential crisis”. At the same time, I think that the newspaper takes money for ads for single-family homes (inherently energy-inefficient) and pavement-melting SUVs. Maybe the FTC can’t shut them down for hypocrisy, but perhaps the NYT could be forced to add a “context” box under every claim that the Earth is going Full Venus: “This newspaper profits from ads for SUVs and single-family homes.”

A few more examples…

Experian‘s all-month Twitter presence:

Will they give higher credit ratings if they see charges from Grindr? If not, what is Experian doing for the 2SLGBTQQIA+?

Pfizer:

The Pfizer web site:

Not to be left out… Novartis:

From Microsoft, in the search box at the bottom left of the Windows 10 home screen:

Full post, including comments