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Links #69

Grandstander (Open Font License) would be fun to typeset a children’s book with.

Tiro Typeworks’ Castoro typeface (designed by John Hudson, Paul Hanslow, and Kaja Słojewska) looks lovely. Excited to use it.

Noah Read on AI tools. Agreed. Maybe there are multiplying effects from outsourcing our thinking, but I don’t know, it seems fraught. Plus, I like thinking. And writing, and coding, and making things.

Jancee Dunn on eight-minute phone calls to friends. I like this and need to do it more often. Texting is fine, but the catch-up calls I’ve had with friends have been even better. (Speaking of which: I love making new friends, so feel free to email me to say hi.)

Simone Silvestroni on de-branding your online life.

Tim Bray on LLMs. His conclusions seemed level-headed to me.

Sinclair Target on learning BASIC like it’s 1983. I didn’t grow up with a Commodore 64, but I did start out as a kid with BASIC — BASICA, GW-BASIC, and QBasic. Ah, nostalgia. I remember typing up BASIC programs from library books and running into dialectal differences (particularly with the graphics commands, if I recall correctly).

Hacker News thread on what your personal website/blog has done for you. As for me, I’ve met lots of interesting people (hi, y’all!) and have had several projects come out of it too. Supremely rewarding, 10/10 would do again.

Becca Inglis on, uh, tiny fairy-like robots that could replace dying bumblebees. Not entirely sure how the laser-guided direction would work with millions of these, but a very interesting idea.

MFEKglif, a new typeface editor by a former FontForge maintainer. Interesting.

Michael Eisenstein on using AI to design de novo proteins.

Jack Clark on GPT-4. The part about GPT-4 being political power was particularly interesting and worth reading.

Dave Karpf on phantom citations thanks to AI. It does seem like this is going to become more and more common, sadly.

John Herrman on the nightmare of AI-powered Gmail. Agreed. Using AI to write emails that the receiver isn’t actually going to read but is instead going to summarize via AI seems…superfluous.

Borna Izadpanah on Persian Naskh type design. Mmm.

Richard Rutter with some progress on typographic paragraph widows on the web. Promising! Also see the CSSWG thread.

Josh Comeau on AI and the end of frontend development. I think he’s probably right, and that the situation isn’t as dire as some think.

Geoffrey Litt with some interesting ideas on how LLMs could lead to more end-user programming. I hope so! That seems like a win for humanity.

Andy Wingo on WebAssembly for garbage-collected languages. Interesting (even if a good chunk of it went over my head).

Adam Chalmers on using Rust on the backend. I need to try Serde and Diesel out.