That high-altitude balloon from China

As you’ve no doubt heard, a couple days ago a high-altitude balloon from China drifted into US airspace and has been causing a minor rift. China said it was a civilian weather research balloon that blew off course while the Pentagon claims it was being used for “surveillance”. Over the past few days various law-makers got lots of sound-bites slamming China, Biden or whoever else they wanted while the balloon drifted across the central US, and military jets shot it down once it reached the Atlantic.

I don’t know much about US-China diplomacy or the finer points of espionage, but after 10 years working at Loon I do know something about high-altitude ballooning.

A few more points on that lawsuit against Stable Diffusion

One of the big claims in the class-action lawsuit against Stability AI is that Stable Diffusion in some way contains all its training data, and is therefore a derivative work it its own right: Because a trained diffusion model can produce a copy of any of its Training Images—which could number in the billions—the diffusion …

A few more points on that lawsuit against Stable Diffusion Read More »

The copyright battles over AI art start in earnest

Well, the long-anticipated copyright battles over AI-generated content have finally started. Last week a group of artists announced they are suing Stability AI, Midjourney and DeviantArt for using their artwork (and that of literally millions of other artists) to train their machine learning systems, claiming doing so violates their copyrights. And yesterday Getty Images announced …

The copyright battles over AI art start in earnest Read More »

A big win for open access

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) just announced that all publications and supporting data stemming from federally-funded research must be soon also be made available to all, without an embargo period or cost. The Open Access movement has made a lot of headway since Aaron Swartz‘s early activism, and since 2013 …

A big win for open access Read More »

Best description of latest on Mar-a-Lago raid

Best description I’ve heard so far about the FBI raid on Trump’s quarters at Mar-a-Lago: EmptyWheel has a nice write-up on how what we know so far lines up with the Espionage Act.

First images from the James Webb

Check out the first images from the NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Folks have also put up some zoomable full-res versions, a slidable comparison of Hubble vs. James Webb images.

A simple defense of the right to abortion

A few days ago Kevin Drum lamented that the conservative attacks on Roe vs. Wade are much easier to understand than liberal arguments defending it: Conservatives say, “Abortion isn’t mentioned anywhere in the Constitution and it was illegal almost everywhere before 1973.” In response, liberals stutter and stammer and reel off a few hundred incomprehensible …

A simple defense of the right to abortion Read More »