Wednesday, March 22, 2023




One possible solution (at least part of a solution) for compensating creators of the content used in Generative AI systems, would be a Consortium, sort of what is done for music by ASCAP, that would moderate the passage of content from creators to AI collections, and payments in the other direction.

Among the dangers of the present lack of a system is endless litigation over IP rights and value; and the threat that distributing content without compensating creators will destroy the entire ecosystem of new content creation.

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Having de-existified gays, transgenders, books in schools, and women who need a life-saving abortion, RINO's like DeSantis are taking aim at Climate Change, (crop freezes and global warming) by limiting weather thermometers to temps between 40 and 85 degrees.

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Monday, February 06, 2023




In response to some questions inspired by the recent Chinese Weather/Spy balloon incident, ChatGPT had some responses that are worth noting (about ChatGPT itself, unrelated to the actual balloon incident).

First, in doing some algebra it made a very basic error. This calls into question using Chat GPT for math. At the very least, as in public school arithmetic tests, you must ask GPT to "show your work." so it can be checked. (One more piece of evidence that "black box" answers from AI can be risky.)

Also, when the error was pointed out to ChatCPT, it very politely apologized. It did not, however, perform or show a re-calculation of the answer.

It is very interesting that, from the prompt, it went back to its answer, checked that, confirmed it had made an error, showed the correct algebraic expression, and apologized.  It has self-knowledge.

Second, when information was missing / false in a prompt, ChatGPT  made assumptions about what was meant. Sometimes ("black box warning" again) it may not be explicit or correct about its assumptions. In this case, it explicitly corrected the error, very politely.

Third, although not shown here, because it was a tedious process, I began with a simple question that required a multistep calculation.  ChatGPT at each step explained in words how to do the calculation, but needed one or more separate prompts to get it to actually do the calculation for that step.

Fourth, (FYI), I also tried Wolfram Alpha. Because it does not sustain a multi-step conversation as well as ChatGPT, and other limitations, getting the answer from Wolfram Alpha would have been much more cumbersome, requiring separate queries for each part of this kind of "research".

Below, prompts and responses related to the "errors" are flagged in red.



does a helium balloon at the ground support the same weight as the same balloon at 60000 feet?

No, the weight supported by a helium balloon at the ground will not be the same as the weight supported by the same balloon at 60000 feet. At high altitudes, the atmospheric pressure is lower, which means that the balloon will have to work harder to support the same weight, due to the decrease in lifting force. This means that the weight supported by the balloon will be less at 60000 feet than at the ground.

if the balloon has a non-rigid shell, so it expands as it rises, so it displaces more air, will it still support less weight, or will the expanding radius compensate for the thinner air?

The weight supported by a non-rigid balloon that expands as it rises will depend on a number of factors, including the balloon's initial volume, the rate at which it expands, the material of which it is made, and the ambient temperature and pressure.

In general, as a balloon rises and the atmospheric pressure decreases, the balloon will tend to expand and its lifting capacity will increase. However, the expansion of the balloon will also increase the amount of air it displaces, which will generate additional drag. The net effect of these two opposing forces on the balloon's lifting capacity will depend on the specific circumstances, and it may not be possible to say definitively whether the balloon will support more or less weight at higher altitudes.

1- Using average temperature, pressure, and composition of air at 60000 feet, and 2 - average composition of air at ground level with a temperature of 15 Centigrade and normal summer air pressure, what is the weight of a 100 foot radius sphere of air in kg and pounds.

The weight of a 100 foot radius sphere of air can be calculated using the ideal gas law:

PV = nRT

where P is the pressure, V is the volume, n is the number of moles of gas, R is the gas constant, and T is the temperature in kelvins.

At sea level, with a temperature of 15 °C and an average atmospheric pressure of 1013 hPa, the volume of a 100 foot radius sphere would be approximately 7,068,393.14 cubic feet.

At 60000 feet, the average atmospheric pressure is approximately 26.5 hPa, and the average temperature is approximately -56.5 °C. Plugging these values into the ideal gas law gives us a volume of approximately 7,068,809.91 cubic feet for a 100 foot radius sphere of air at this altitude.

To convert the volume of air to weight, we need to multiply the number of moles of air by its molecular weight (approximately 28.97 g/mol). This gives us an estimated weight of approximately 2,062,475.53 kg or 4,556,065.05 pounds for a 100 foot radius sphere of air at sea level, and an estimated weight of approximately 2,062,688.13 kg or 4,556,499.67 pounds for a 100 foot radius sphere of air at 60000 feet.

It's important to note that these calculations are based on ideal conditions and theoretical assumptions, and in practice, the weight of a sphere of air may vary due to changes in atmospheric conditions, local weather patterns, and other factors.

Again, using the same values, and assuming ideal conditions, if a round balloon has a radius of 100 feet at an altitude of 60,000 feet. what would the radius of the balloon be at ground level if the outside is completely flexible and adjusts to the different air pressure. What would the weight of that sphere be in pounds and kg?

If a round balloon has a radius of 100 feet at an altitude of 60000 feet and its outside is completely flexible and adjusts to the different air pressure, its volume would increase as it descends to ground level. Using the ideal gas law, we can calculate the new volume and radius of the balloon.

At sea level, with a temperature of 15 °C and an average atmospheric pressure of 1013 hPa, the pressure inside the balloon would be approximately 26.5 hPa. Using the ideal gas law, we can calculate the new volume of the balloon:

V2 = V1 * (P2/P1) * (T2/T1)

where V1 is the volume of the balloon at 60000 feet, V2 is the volume of the balloon at sea level, P1 is the pressure at 60000 feet, P2 is the pressure at sea level, and T1 and T2 are the temperatures at 60000 feet and sea level, respectively.

Solving for the new volume, we find that the volume of the balloon at sea level would be approximately 21,206,429.74 cubic feet. To find the new radius, we can use the equation for the volume of a sphere:

V = (4/3) * π * r^3

Solving for r, we find that the radius of the balloon at sea level would be approximately 114.57 feet.

To find the weight of the sphere of air at sea level, we need to multiply the number of moles of air by its molecular weight (approximately 28.97 g/mol), giving us an estimated weight of approximately 6,187,426.59 kg or 13,639,981.08 pounds.

It's important to note that these calculations are based on ideal conditions and theoretical assumptions, and in practice, the weight of the sphere of air may vary due to changes in atmospheric conditions, local weather patterns, and other factors.

since PV = nKT and V1 = nKT1/P1 and V2 = nKT2/P2 isn't V2 = V1 * (P1/P2) * (T2/T1) which is different from your formula: you wrote V2 = V1 * (P2/P1) * (T2/T1)

You're correct, I apologize for the mistake in my previous answer. The correct formula for the volume of a gas at a new pressure and temperature is indeed:

V2 = V1 * (P1/P2) * (T2/T1)

where V1 is the initial volume, V2 is the final volume, P1 is the initial pressure, P2 is the final pressure, T1 is the initial temperature, and T2 is the final temperature.

Thank you for pointing out the error, and I hope this clarifies any confusion.



Using the approximation that air is 19 % Oxygen, 78% Helium and 3% carbon dioxide, what is the average molar mass of the air

The average molar mass of air can be calculated by finding the molar masses of each of the components and then averaging them based on their volume or mole fraction.

The molar masses of each of the components are:

  • Oxygen (O2) = 32 g/mol
  • Nitrogen (N2) = 28 g/mol (assumed to make up the majority of the remaining volume, though it's not specified in the approximation given)
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2) = 44 g/mol

The mole fraction of each component can be found from the volume fraction, which is given as 19% O2, 78% N2, and 3% CO2.

The average molar mass can then be calculated as follows:

Average molar mass = (19/100 * 32 g/mol) + (78/100 * 28 g/mol) + (3/100 * 44 g/mol) Average molar mass = approximately 28.9 g/mol

So, the average molar mass of air in this approximation is approximately 28.9 g/mol.


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Tuesday, January 24, 2023




As the Fed has increased its rates, Credit Cards have generally followed suit, raising their interest rates.


Credit cards that were once reasonable, may now charge rates of 20% and more.  If you have been late just once, your credit card rate can go to 30% and more.  That means in about 3 years you pay as much interest as the amount of the original balance! 1! 2! 3! That is absurd.

If you pay your bill in full each month, there should be no interest on the amounts you charge during the next month.  Be sure to check that!

Some credit cards are now offering loans on your available credit at a much lower rate than the usual, regular credit card interest.  CHECK THE FINE PRINT!  But it might make more sense to buy a $10,000 item, say, on an 8% loan, than on an 18% credit card, and it might be billed the same way !?!?!

Terms, rules, and rates on these loans and credit cards vary dramatically, and often change, so research before you take a new card (if you can figure it out from the fine print in the loan agreement), and check the interest disclosure on the monthly statement every month if you have a card already.  It can help to have more than one card: use the card with the least current interest.

In some cases, your credit rating may improve if your average usage of available credit goes down. So, contrary to what you might expect, taking out a new credit card and spreading (the same level of) expenses over more cards, can sometimes improve your credit, by increasing your available credit while not using more of it.

Charges keep changing. Research and awareness are important to manage them! The ideas here are just a few suggestions of issues to consider.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2023




Update> Feb 6, 2023 >>  Defaulting on the debt would be terrible for the US. Caving in to budget reductions to pass the debt bill would be terrible for the US.

If there are just a few Old Republicans left in the House of Representatives, they should unite with the 212 Democrats to pass the debt bill. Better, if they join the Democrats that voted for Jeffries as Speaker of the House, form a coalition in the House, and create a moderate, pro-democratic, pro-republican, pro-American leadership for a coalition Speaker of the House, we can create a Congress capable of passing the laws that will help the US and Americans prosper.

Jan 3, 2023

The United States does not have a two-party government. There are currently at least three parties in government:

(1) the Mainstream Democrats, led by President Biden; 

(2) the very conservative, right-wing Republicans, led by Kevin McCarthy; and 

(3) the Extreme Right,  anarchist, anti-democratic, anti-republican faction represented by GOP characteristics (Greed, Obstruction, Prejudice), currently opposing McCarthy in the vote for Speaker of the House.


There are several other parties in the US.  There are the independent and progressive Democrats, who have been supporting Biden to pass moderately progressive legislation.  There are the conservative Democrats, who have also been supporting Biden so that moderately progressive legislation could pass.  There is also the "Old Republican Party", that believes in a republic and democracy. They are mostly business (including international business) friendly, socially conservative, and supportive of the military. They are currently not a strong force in the current “Republican” party.


In addition to specific parties, there are also interest groups for every demographic, and every geography. The interests of the coastal states tend to be more international, more technical, and more social welfare supportive than the interior and southern states.


Many democratic countries have coalition governments. For much of US history, there have been coalitions which grouped themselves into two "Party"s .  Sometimes a Party would split, creating a year or a few years with a significant minor Party.

The "Republicans" are having trouble managing to create a working Party coalition. They could split into two Parties.

Right now, to create a House of Representatives that can function to support the needs of America, the Old Republicans should form a coalition with the Democrats to elect a Speaker of the House.

If there are six or more Old Republicans left in the House of Representatives, they should unite with the 212 Democrats that voted for Jeffries as Speaker of the House, to form a coalition in the House and create a moderate, pro-democratic, pro-republican, pro-American leadership for  a coalition Speaker of the House. 

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Monday, January 02, 2023




Two (at least) new XR headsets are launching at CES Jan 5-8, 2023.

HTC VIVE is launching at CES what is reported (by SadlyItsBradley, Verge, and RoadToVR) to be a Mixed Reality HMD, comparable in price, and similar, but possibly slightly better in specs, to the META Quest Pro. It is reported to use color passthrough (ie capture and display, not see-through) tech to sense the outside world; to have depth sensors to measure the distance to objects, and possibly a slightly improved, new SnapDragon chip for processing.



Jan 5, 2023

10 AM PST -- 1 PM EST 

SOMNIUM, a VR, Crypto based, Virtual Real Estate, Social Media Space, together with VRgineers, will be launching a PCVR Headset Dev Kit. The specs are impressive, including 2880x2880 display, and the ability to customize in a number of ways, including support for WiFi6.



15167 Central Hall, Tech East



Update: SONY and Sharp are also expected to show new HMD's, and Varjo has recently upscaled their HMD "focal" resolution. 

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Wednesday, December 28, 2022




Control of MAGIC LEAP, the company founded by Rony Abovitz and once-upon-a- time funded by $$Billion of dollars from Google, has now been taken over by Saudi interests, who participated in another $Billion-or-so investment round in the last two years -- according to reporting by The Telegraph, posted on MSN.

Meta is currently the leading vendor of the headsets used for Virtual Reality, and is pouring tens of $Billions of dollars a year into research and technology for both Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality.  Microsoft was the first to market a Mixed Reality Headset, but the technology was primitive, and both sales and applications were limited. Magic Leap, hoping to develop new technology to greatly improve Mixed Reality then joined the competition, but never quite made much of a dent in either the technology or the sales of devices. And Apple has spent several years and many hires (according to "rumors") trying to enter the Mixed Reality industry with a new suite of products, which are "rumored" to be released this year (or delayed, according to "other rumors").

Virtual Reality is the presentation of a completely computer generated world to users, through a headset and other sensory devices (such as haptic -- sense of touch -- feedback and 3D sound).

Mixed Reality (sometimes branded as Augmented Reality) is the presentation of computer generated content overlaid on the real world. Google Glass was an early, very unsuccessful and poorly received, version of Augmented Reality.


It is widely (but not universally) believed among both the creators of technology and the commentators, that Mixed Reality can be used for more commercial applications than Virtual Reality, and in the long run will be a $$$Trillion dollar industry.  It is unclear how long the "long run" will be, but estimates run from 5 to 10 years more before there is substantial adoption.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2022




Epic games has agreed to pay a $275 million dollar penalty fine, and refund customers $245 million dollars, for deliberately violating child privacy laws by, for example, setting voice chat to default to ON, exposing children to harassment; and by "dark patterns" of user interfaces, which are deceptive buttons that seem to have one function, but actually ("secretly") invoke credit card charges.

The FTC news announcement is here:

Monday, December 19, 2022




The Jan 6 Committee of the House of Representatives has held (what is expected, but not guaranteed to be) its final hearing.

It has sent a Criminal Referral to the Department of Justice for crimes it believes were committed by the former president, DJT, and others.

Its complete Final Report will be made public and distributed in a few days. It has just issued an Executive Summary to its Final Report; the 118 page Executive Summary is available here:


I hope that in the Final Report the Committee will

1 - Clearly explain how it was possible, despite early warnings and then obvious threats, and then actual attacks, for law enforcement and security to fail to provide adequate protection to the Capitol for so long.

2 - Clearly provide (even including a live event) a compelling picture of legislation and other measures need to prevent any such events as Jan 6, or any of the other schemes, or any of the lies, related to overthrowing the democratic transfer of power and the rule of law, from ever happening, or even ever getting any traction at all.

Friday, October 14, 2022




META HORIZON WORLDS are looking for suggestions for how HW should evolve.  I posted on their site a list of suggestions.  I've been a member since almost the beginning, but I have not used it much because it is missing some features I need.  I have responded before in a similar way, but as HW has evolved and improved, many of my hoped-for features are still not available.

Many of these features are lacking on all other Social Sites as well. So I decided to post a list here of what I would like every (or one!) Social Site to provide for developers and creators.

(One thing I do not want a site to include is digital real-estate plots.  There are several Crypto focused sites with some nice features, but I will not pay to create content.)


1) Clear rules (eg TOU) that CREATORS maintain ALL IP while providing a limited permission to the SITE to display & promote & monetize the content.

2) Fair split of revenue to creator.

3) Powerful tools for creation including
   a) Importing text, audio, XR video, graphics, textures, 3D models, scripts, etc.
   b) Generous limits on capacity of assets
   c) Ability to use "standard" scripting models (like Unreal, Unity, Babylon) to build content
   d) Ability for Indie creators to interact in live 3D (and Broadcast in live 3D VR to large audiences)
   e) Ability to create Live Performance (theater, LPXR) and 3D VR films, live seminars and classes.

              * Allow the removal of the name from avatars.

              * Allow one or more 3D 360 cameras as scripted elements.

              * Allow dynamically rigged avatars with remote (live action capture) and scripted control.

              * Allow easy costume (avatar) changes; scenery (Room design) changes.

              * Allow dynamic importing and dynamic creation of assets, including 2D & 3D video, writing on a whiteboard, and other creative functions (such as demonstrating within the Site how to create objects and scripts for the Site).

   f) Avatars with legs; importable avatars; dynamically rigged avatars; a method for enabling “resting” avatars’ hands to be comfortably and elegantly located when just sitting and not using the hands (a particular issue with controllers).

4) Access for Indie Creator/Developers to pitch for development investments and funds.

5) Large number of simultaneous users of a Room (or World; or Local Site; or Game; or whatever a unit is called). And when the Room is full, some communication between the creator and new (unable to enter the original location) users. (This is particularly important to manage over-flowing events).

6) Backward compatibility, careful pre-release bug double-checking, and constantly updated documentation in a reliably located URL, to allow stability and continuity as the platform evolves.

7) Easy access to ALL Rooms through portals and doors branching from a Central Place (“Central Place” = where users normally enter) and from an easily searchable directory. Also, ability to directly enter a particular Room from outside the Site. (Especially important for events.)

8) Easy and fast sign-in for new visitors coming to an event at the Site (including checking “tickets” if reservations are needed).

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THE MURDER (an XR performance project!)



We're producing a quick 



LPXR (Live Performance in XR)

XR video

of a new play, The Murder, that Shakespeare wrote (with some collaborators) about current issues.

It's an experimental, zero-budget, no-pay-no-fee, not union, test of creation in XR, to be done immediately.

We're looking for


LeadsOne man, One woman 

Supporting: The audience - watching from within the performance space; some will be discussing the play and its relation to current issues with the leads, live & improvised (with a little structure).


Anyone who'd like to experience and experiment with the latest in-XR possibilities for media content development, including, for example, avatar-costumers, producers, XR-set-designers, etc...

Anyone and everyone participating MUST have a QUEST2 (or compatible) headset, and have access to and experience with Horizon Worlds and, perhaps, other XR Social media spaces like HUBS, VRChat, and Altspace, and MUST have lots of available time during the next few weeks.

To participate, please write to

with a cover letter describing

1) Your interest

2) Your experience with XR (see paragraph above).

3) Your other relevant experience (Shakespearean acting, or creating avatars, or producing film/video, or anything else that might be helpful).

Cast (or anyone) should also send a resume and headshot (cast!), but the letter is the MOST important.

Auditions and meetings and rehearsals will most likely take place in Horizon Worlds, (in avatars), starting within a few days. The location, for the performance and for creating the video, will be in avatars in a Social Media space, probably in the next two weeks.

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Monday, October 10, 2022


Preview: META CONNECT 2022


On Tuesday, Oct 11, META will be holding its annual CONNECT event. 

META currently has the most popular XR headset, the QUEST 2, with an estimated 15M sold. Meta is also currently one of the heaviest (perhaps THE heaviest) investor in software.

To watch the event live go to


Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote begins at 10 AM PT (1 PM NY; 6 PM UK; 7 PM France) Carmack will also be speaking, later. And there will be other talks about XR throughout the day.

The event will be live streamed, and can be watched, as usual, on a computer or mobile device. However, more interesting, is that it is possible to watch the keynote in XR in the Quest 2 (US only I think). You can register at the URL above. Be sure to register if you want to watch in XR. Instructions for preparing the Quest 2 to be ready can be found at:


META is expected to launch a new high-end HMD capable of Augmented and Mixed Reality, with a higher resolution than the Quest 2. It is designed especially for devoted gamers and for developers making the business applications that will make XR commercially important.

META, of course, obviously, brands their efforts as: developing the “Metaverse”, and MZ is likely to talk to talk about that.

The current status (briefly!) of XR is that the resolution and comfort and price of headsets,  and the quality and quantity of software is close to, but not quite enough, to create a tipping point to XR becoming the next platform (following Mobile << desktop << mini-computer << mainframe << calculator << slide rule).

The current decline in stock prices, change of policies by iPhone, and looming possibility of a recession, have impacted the near-term rate of progress in XR. META is having issues (see the NYT Business article on META on Monday 10/10). MS is having issues with its Hololens Mixed Reality Team. Google is doing little, except in AI.

There are new challenges (to META) coming, (and new opportunities for XR) with headsets likely coming next year from SONY and APPLE and, probably, from Chinese companies like picoxr, which just launched a Quest2 competitor in Europe.

Meanwhile, Meta & Qualcomm announced a partnership to develop custom chips for XR. There is a conference coming soon (Oct 13) on webXR production ( And…  NVIDIA recently talked (at GTC – an AI conference) about their hardware and software development (note: this link might expire):


So, to be at the front of the line for new information, 

check out META CONNECT on 10/11.

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