Episode 3: Paycut and Probation

Episode 3: Paycut and Probation
Nonstop Sysop
Episode 3: Paycut and Probation

Feb 12 2023 | 00:44:00

Episode 3 February 12, 2023 00:44:00

Hosted By

Phil Williams

Show Notes

NonstopSysop Episode #3 - Paycut and Probation



Welcome to Episode 3 of Nonstop Sysop titled, Paycut and Probation.  I am your host, Phil Williams.  I am glad you took time to tune in to the show.  I hope this show makes your commute to work or time at your desk more enjoyable and informative.

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Share comments, letters, follow-up materials, etc from previous episode

One of the topics we discussed last week was the story around Chinese spy balloons which were sighted over the US and Latin America last week.  One of those was shot down over the Carolina coast.  News articles began to emerge shortly after the downing of the balloon off the US coast line stating that other Chinese spy balloons crossed into US airspace during the Trump administration, but were not detected by our military.  On Thursday, February 9th, CNN reported that the Biden administration had determined that the balloon downed off the coast did, in fact contain signal intelligence collection capabilities.  On Saturday, two more “high altitude” objects were downed over Alaska and Canada by US forces.  The object in Canada was downed by a US fighter at the request of Canadian authorities.

Something is clearly going on here.  There are multiple factors here that are concerning from the multiple geographies involved, to the sheer number of aircraft, and still the lack of a compelling story from the Chinese government.  Since, China admitted at one point that at least one of the balloons was Chinese, I suspect that the others are as well, but it will be interesting to watch this story as it develops.  From the technology standpoint, I am interested in learning more about the payload on these balloons, especially if they were instrumented for the collection of signals intelligence.

I have included a number of links in the show notes for further reading.





We also discussed ChatGPT and some of the hype that was causing companies to look into their own solutions to compete against the AI chat bot.  This week Google introduced Bard.  Bard will roll out in “coming weeks” and utilizes a similar AI model.  Evidently, there is already a small test base of users who are working to address quality and accuracy challenges in the chat bot’s responses. 


I am also sharing a link to an article by QZ where they share a story about a promotional ad Google shared on Twitter on February 6th.  The ad was supposed to expose the public to the power of Google’s chatbot.  However, the tweet actually showed an example of Bard providing an incorrect answer to the question provided.  There was a question showed which was related to which space telescope took the first picture of an exoplanet outside of our solar system.  Bard answered incorrectly and provided the wrong telescope name.  This is not a great way to introduce the power of your AI chatbot to the world.


Microsoft announced on February 7th, that they have a new AI-powered Bing search engine.  The term I see being used a lot around this product is “copilot”.  There will be a new release of Edge coming out as part of this AI update.  The new Bing uses a more recent version of OpenAI’s language model.



This is CLEARLY the Year of the Chat Bot!

Tip of the week (Security, apps, hacks, etc)

Are you looking to get more out of your Google searches?  Are you not seeing the types of results you are looking for when you search?  Try some of these operators to be more explicit:

site:    This tells Google to return results only for the given site.  This can be useful if you know the source of the material you are looking for, but do not have an actual link

- The minus sign will tell Google to exclude certain terms helping you to remove unwanted returns in your searches

“” Utilize quotes to search for exact phrases.  This will search for the entire phrase as one piece instead of each term individually

~ Use the tilde before terms to search for that word or synonyms of that word

.. The use of two periods between numbers automatically tells Google to search as a range

filetype: Use the filetype operator to return only files matching the specified filetype

Google is a powerful search engine and there are tips and tricks that many people are not aware of.  Some of these can save you time and others can provide more exact results.  I am interested to hear if any of my listeners have other Google search tips to share.  Please feel free to reach out and share some with me that you think our listeners would enjoy.

Here is a freebie tip for this week.  I hope most of my listeners know that they are not limited in which search engine they choose to use.  You are free to use any browser available for your OS and you are able to use any search engine as well.  There is one search engine that I would like you to consider if you haven’t already.  DuckDuckGo is a great search engine that is privacy focused.  They do not keep records of your search history and, therefore, can never share your search history with anyone.  I would expect many of my listeners to be concerned about overall privacy, so this is a great place to start.  If you use Google Chrome, there is an extension for DuckDuckGo as well.


2 -3 news stories, articles, interesting nuggets from the web

Paycut and probation story

Trickbot sanctions


Closing comments


Music by AlexGrohl from Pixabay

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