24-06 Links


How to create a web-scale dataset for training an LLM

Interestingly they stopped deduplicating as aggressively as they had been. Turns out the most unique things on the web are ads and other assorted crap.

Terence Tao interviewed about AI theorem provers

Analysis looking at when we might hit the data wall

Shadow Workspace: Iterating on Code in the Background

Very cool blog by the Cursor folks showing some of the stuff they do behind the scenes. Not just a VS Code fork with a built in LLM chat window (though that is very useful on its own).

And it's basically free since you can cancel your copilot subscription!

The Many Ways that Digital Minds Can Know

Time to reshare this:

As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn, The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Building stuff

Eric Parry unveils rejigged designs for City of London’s tallest tower

Reinventing the Residential Hotel: One Way to Help Solve the Housing Crisis Affecting San Francisco and other American Cities

I discovered the Thesis Driven newsletter this month. It's great:

Seven US Transit Projects Real Estate Investors Need to Know

On Population Density

New data suggests it could take nearly 20 years for S.F.’s struggling office market to recover

10 Reasons Why Planning Lawyers Are So Busy (And Maybe Shouldn’t Be)

Ten new cycle routes completed across London

TfL and the boroughs’ continued work to develop Cycleways in London means the strategic cycle network has more than quadrupled in size from 90km in 2016 to 390km in June 2024.

Unveiling AVA: The Adaptable Footbridge and Lift System of the Future

AVA is faster to deliver and simpler to install compared to standard industry practices. The streamlined approval and design periods, coupled with the modular system featuring bolted connections, transform the assembly process. With internal cladding, glazing, and services installed before the bridge leaves the yard, only a single possession is required.

It's not particularly aesthetic but it is functional and cool to see real attention given to construction productivity and driving costs down

101 things we now know about US housing markets

Ronan Lyons has started a newsletter looking at findings from his work on a historical dataset of US house prices.

First Universal theme park in Europe to generate '£50bn of economic benefits for UK'

Locally, not far from the proposed Bedfordshire site is the Harry Potter Experience at the Warner Bros studio tour near Watford, while there is Woburn Safari Park to the immediate north and Whipsnade Zoo to the immediate west of Luton.

Can Labour build 1.5 million homes?

300k a year isn't going to cut it anyway. Need to pump those numbers up!

Incredible policy failure...

Science and other tech stuff

...One way to treat the symptom!

On earthquake prediction

History of nanopores and their use in DNA sequencing

Solving Atherosclerosis: The Small but Mighty Molecule

We’re continuing to engage with the MHRA. In fact, we have another scientific advice meeting in two weeks that we’ll be holding virtually. We’re excited to be working with the MHRA and hopefully doing part of our Phase 2 clinical trial in the UK.

To remind your readers, we were one of the first recipients of the UK’s ILAP program, the innovative licensing and access pathway, and that’s what really brought us to the UK. In addition to the good environment there, lots of collaborators, lots of innovation happening, especially in the imaging field in the UK.

The bad thing is that post Brexit, it seems that the MHRA has gotten a bit backlogged and isn’t able to keep up with our current demands on their time. It takes too long to get meetings and responses to applications currently. We’ve had to take our first human clinical trial to Australia, where it’s a faster, more streamlined, and cheaper process.

We are really excited to be working with some great people there. Stephen Nicholls, a world-renowned cardiologist, who we brought on as an advisor, has really helped pave the way and show us the ropes of how to navigate the system and get things going really fast in Australia. We think we’ll be able to efficiently get our trial done there.

Will We Ever Get Fusion Power?

And some AI fusion progress this month...

How AI Revolutionized Protein Science, but Didn’t End It

The best known ice nucleator is a bacterium called Pseudomonas syringae, which has a protein that can force water to freeze at around minus 2 degrees Celsius. “It’s so good that all the artificial snowmaking, at least in Utah, and some [other] places in the U.S., uses this bacteria to make snow”

London Underground hosts tests for ‘quantum compass’ that could replace GPS

The Untapped Potential of Geothermal Energy

Business / Finance / Management Stuff

High frequency trading is cool and good actually

How to hire low experience, high potential people

Managing Lockheed’s Skunk Works

On Alpine's CEO training programme


Nice overview of the insurance industry. Lots of non-household names that keep it ticking along behind the scenes

On Alfred Winslow Jones


New York or London — what’s your table talk style?

Hadn't heard the phrase "single table conversation" before. I think it could work well. But probably the responsibility of the host.

Is app-based dating ruining everything?

It's genuine challenge going into dating mode cold. Can feel quite transactional and romance-less.


24 phones were found on him. How many previous convictions?

DNA Spray is a cool idea. It seems to be helping the City of London police.

Hadn't thought of this before. Couldn't it have been Apple cracking down on ad tracking though?

How to Write a Law

Some good advice in this talk for anyone who needs to work with clients or who aspires to write clearly

Alternative Greenwich pub recommendations from a friend, after I mentioned the Trafalgar Tavern:

The Old Brewery if the weather is good. It has infinite space (as it spills into the grass in Wren's ORNC), and the setting is actually considerably nicer than Trafalgar, looking over the UNESCO world heritage site and the river

Prince of Wales (Blackheath)

Hare & Billet (Blackheath)

Richard I (Greenwich)

The Cutty Sark (pub, Greenwich, a few mins further along the riverside from Trafalgar). Oldest pub in Greenwich and it shows!

Coach & Horses (inside the covered market)

Gipsy Moth, but it's completely generic

Guildford Arms is very nice with a big outside idea

You can take screenshots on streaming services if you turn off hardware acceleration in your browser's settings

Why Is Everyone on Steroids Now?

Reminds me of this Palladium piece from a few years ago

And Lisa Whedon on O1 Visas

I adore Jimmy Maher's Analogue Antiquarian blog. He's currently telling the story of Ferdinand Magellan

Remember, kids, Magellan's A LOT COOLER THAN JUSTIN BIEBIER

There Is No Such Thing As Supply

C.S. Lewis on progress

But it will be no use asking, ‘What have I done to deserve this?’ The Straightener will reply: ‘But, my dear fellow, no one’s blaming you. We no longer believe in retributive justice. We’re healing you.’

Small drones will soon lose combat advantage, French Army chief says


China State Shipbuilding Corporation

Someone has put all of Paul Graham's essays on Github as an ePub

1329 pages (so far!)

Zepto, a 10-minute delivery app, raises 665Mat665M at 3.6B valuation

Do the economics of this work in India in a way that they didn't here a few years ago? Cheaper labour, existing dabbawala network? Dunno. But it would be cool if VC subsidised deliveries come back

The Dutch Salten Age

Arthur's Battles: A new perspective

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