Simon Willison’s Weblog


Friday, 26th April 2024

It’s very fast to build something that’s 90% of a solution. The problem is that the last 10% of building something is usually the hard part which really matters, and with a black box at the center of the product, it feels much more difficult to me to nail that remaining 10%. With vibecheck, most of the time the results to my queries are great; some percentage of the time they aren’t. Closing that gap with gen AI feels much more fickle to me than a normal engineering problem. It could be that I’m unfamiliar with it, but I also wonder if some classes of generative AI based products are just doomed to mediocrity as a result.

Moxie Marlinspike # 9:40 pm

If you’re auditioning for your job every day, and you’re auditioning against every other brilliant employee there, and you know that at the end of the year, 6% of you are going to get cut no matter what, and at the same time, you have access to unrivaled data on partners, sellers, and competitors, you might be tempted to look at that data to get an edge and keep your job and get to your restricted stock units.

Dana Mattioli # 5:43 pm

Food Delivery Leak Unmasks Russian Security Agents. This story is from April 2022 but I realize now I never linked to it.

Yandex Food, a popular food delivery service in Russia, suffered a major data leak.

The data included an order history with names, addresses and phone numbers of people who had placed food orders through that service.

Bellingcat were able to cross-reference this leak with addresses of Russian security service buildings—including those linked to the GRU and FSB.This allowed them to identify the names and phone numbers of people working for those organizations, and then combine that information with further leaked data as part of their other investigations.

If you look closely at the screenshots in this story they may look familiar: Bellingcat were using Datasette internally as a tool for exploring this data! # 1:59 am