OpenAI, FAA Outage, and Tickmate


Welcome to the first issue of your Weekly Wheaties Newsletter. This weekly newsletter is meant to be short and sweet, and to act as an aid to my YouTube channel, Podcast, and website. This is also a way to provide quick, somewhat formal/informal information that I would like to share with my family and friends - online and IRL. I will try to include at least 3 areas:

  1. General topics/information I’d like to share

  2. ICYMI: In Case You Missed It - one piece of news from the previous week with thoughts, explanation, or commentary.

  3. POTW: Pick Of The Week - a website, YouTube video, or app I’ve been using or found that I want to share.

If you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to reach out. This newsletter will always be free with ads, but there is a paid version with no ads and access to a subscriber-only chat and other perks TBD.

OpenAI, ChatGPT, and DALL-E 2

Over the last few months, a company called OpenAI has been drastically escalating what they are doing with artificial intelligence. An API (Application Programming Interface) allows other software companies to tie into their system and take advantage of the next wave of the internet. As an example, the following paragraph was written by AI.

Open AI has recently released some new artificial intelligence technologies, including ChatGPT and DALL-E 2. ChatGPT is an open-source natural language processing engine designed to generate human-like conversations. It is designed to work with messaging apps, websites, and other digital products. DALL-E 2 is a creative AI tool that can produce images from text descriptions. It can recognize how to draw a described object, generate a picture of a scene, and even generate images of abstract concepts.

With that in mind, every email I send will have an AI-generated image as the header image. For example, this week’s image was given the prompt: ai taking over for flight control.

As AI progresses, I will undoubtedly share more. Keep in mind, this has opened a huge world, and the opportunities are endless.

ICYMI: FAA Outages

Last Wednesday, a corrupt file in the FAA database kept flights from departing for a couple of hours. It’s important to note flights in the air were safe. Flights could not depart from any airport as any new communication from the central database to the pilots couldn’t be made. This was fixed fairly quickly by a basic server reboot. However, the delays escalated, causing major issues throughout the day.

It’s sad and unfortunate, but it appears everyone remained safe - which is the ultimate goal. An old IT joke goes like this, [from the boss to the IT professional] “Everything is working fine, what am I paying you for?” Then, 3 months later, something like, “Nothing is working! What am I paying you for?” In IT, keeping things afloat with no issues is always the goal, but sometimes things just happen.

These corrupted files happen all the time, even on our own phones and computers. Have you ever received a blue screen of death on a PC? A spinning pinwheel on a Mac? Had to restart your phone because an app froze? They’re all basically the same thing. This just happened on a very important computer and not at the best time. And a “backup” or “other server” is exactly how they were able to get it back up so quickly.

POTW: Tickmate

Plain and simple, Tickmate is an app that allows you to quickly check off daily and/or repetitive tasks you complete. Something things I use it for daily include: taking my medicine, working out, or reading. Some things that you can track over days/weeks/months include: changing the sheets, changing the AC filter, or checking tire pressure in your vehicle. There’s not a lot with this app, but I love the simplicity of it. If something is meaningful, it should be tracked and this makes it very easy to do. On iPhone, there is even a widget you can add to your home screen to get a quick glance at where you stand for the week.

Download it from the App Store or Google Play.