Spillikins No. 734. Trying a new search from neural networks by heart


Every day, then high-profile events, sometimes they are inflated and not worth a damn, like an imaginary block

Chinese smartphones in Russia or the bankruptcy of Svyaznoy, which is already more interesting and more serious.

Sometimes I forget that not everyone knows howlooks like a bankruptcy procedure, so I want to remind you that Svyaznoy does not disappear at the time of filing an application, does not close the site or stores, continues to work as usual.

Many people were frightened by these events and rushedcancel your previous orders. As for me, it’s completely in vain if you are satisfied with the cost of the goods, delivery times and other components. Yes, it is possible that, given the disappearance of Svyaznoy, the question of a guarantee may become acute in six months, but I am sure that people thought about it last.

Table of Contents

  • "Plus City" from "Yandex" is an excellent reflection of the modern world
  • Trying AI search from Bing and you.com - the disadvantages of algorithms
  • Tesla Autopilot and SuperBowl Ads
  • Peddler on the streets of Moscow - cheap AirPods Pro
  • The unbearable lightness of low-tech, or the delusions of our age
  • iPhone as the main phone, Android in your pocket

"Plus City" from "Yandex" is an excellent reflection of the modern world

My friend told me about the fact that he is building a city fromYandex. He demonstrated his achievements, colorful cars were running on the screen of the smartphone, little men were walking, there were advertisements for films promoted in Kinopoisk. The city simulator is beautifully drawn, looks very attractive. The visual language of Yandex has been noticeably updated in the last six months, and the game is a confirmation of this, the apotheosis of these changes in many applications. For example, in Yandex.Taxi, the icons have changed, and at first it was unusual, but now they are perceived well, and most importantly, they are pleasing to the eye. As if someone decided to make figurines, as in the Monopoly game, carefully and in detail drew them. Changes for the better, there is no doubt.

The goal of the Plus City game looks ambitious -attract an audience and teach them how to use different services from Yandex. The mechanics are borrowed from the gaming industry - you need money to build a city, you can get it by completing tasks. The tasks themselves are varied: purchases in Yandex services from a certain amount, the Match 3 game or some other mini-games where you are given coins for construction. At first, it’s easy to play, the main thing here is to draw a person into the process, develop a habit in him. Then the levels become more difficult and sometimes become so difficult that it is almost impossible to pass them. The balance of efforts is calculated in a strange way, but it well reflects the real tasks of the application, and it consists in increasing the involvement of Yandex users in the company's services. Yandex.Plus subscribers always get twice as many coins. Tasks also hint that you need to use services - listen to a podcast or watch a certain movie. The tasks are monotonous and force you to use the services of Yandex.


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At the time of the release of this text on Android, more thanhalf a million downloads of the application, the average score is four points, which is very good. They usually complain that the application drains the battery of the smartphone a lot, the devices start to warm up - I paid attention to this, that's all right. Someone complains about the lack of balance in games or that no information about their use comes from Yandex services, that is, tasks are not counted.

Judging by the feedback from the developers, the city project fromYandex will live for a long time, they add new levels in games, they plan to develop the city itself and what can be found in it. I like the idea, because these simulators are great and make people happy. The implementation looks crooked and oblique, which is what it is. It is possible that the first pancake is lumpy, then it will be better.

I caught myself thinking that Plus City isan excellent reflection of the current state of affairs in the market. The user is given meager bonuses in the real world, for example, in a game you can earn 10-20 rubles a day, which fall on the Yandex.Plus account. No need to be mistaken, you pay this money yourself from your wallet, the company does not spend anything on you. The mechanics of "benefit" here is clear and simple.

But the main thing that game mechanics shoulddevelop reflexes in you to use certain services, increase the frequency of calls to them. This is a solution to the age-old problem of how to get people to use services, which means spending money on them. No difference from Professor Pavlov's dog training, we look exactly the same guinea pigs, whose task is to bring more and more real money to the company. Philosophically, we can say that Plus City is an exchange office. You spend your life time and real money in it, and get virtual coins and pictures. It took me about an hour and a half to get to the ninth level. At the same time, the games themselves are not entertaining, but are necessary to achieve the ultimate goal. Playing Gardenscapes to unload my brains, I can say that the game from Yandex is noticeably worse implemented. Both visually and in terms of the logic of arranging objects on the playing field, drawing details and much more.

A commercial game with no significant prizes,that is, it is pointless to spend time with her. I think that noticeable and big prizes to stimulate players will appear later, this is a logical step in such mechanics. Most likely, initially these will be devices from Yandex - speakers, TVs, something else. But as long as the initial attractiveness of the city is high, none of this is required. It is almost impossible to score a noticeable number of points in this way, you will spend hours on getting two hundred rubles. Even the depreciation of your device will cost at least the same amount during this time of its use. In a word, not such a profitable thing for the consumer. But very typical for Yandex, the mechanics are well acquainted with other services of the company, in the same taxi. Drivers are attracted by "high" earnings, not to mention the need to spend on a car, depreciation, which makes not a momentary, but a long-term income very small. And such "little things" crawl out almost everywhere. The city from Yandex is good for those who have a job that leaves a lot of free time. And this, in turn, will form a not exactly the same cross-section of those who use the game. At high levels, there will be not at all those who spend a lot of money on Yandex services, but rather those who have significant reserves of time that it is not a pity to spend like this. The higher the level, the less the audience of the game will use the paid services of the company (not all, but most).

Playing with such an audience is interesting even in isolation.from Yandex services, it serves as a marketing tool that already has advertisements for films on Kinopoisk, in fact, these are advertising spaces that got out of the law on advertising (it was not possible to find advertising tags and tokens on the posters, but they should be there).

It is with great interest that I observe people whoin the reviews they write that they do not accept advertising, they praise Yandex for its absence in the application. I am in some confusion, since this is clearly not the work of SMM, not bots. Apparently, people were playing some kind of games, most likely balls, where annoying third-party ads popped up.

I definitely won’t play Plus City, because forI am not here for the game itself, and the development of reflexes is not among my priorities in real life. He repeatedly said that he was delighted with the Yandex concierge in Telegram, which solves all sorts of problems with the company's services and also helps to find the right products. I am a boring person, as long as a million users (do not forget iOS!) Play Plus City, I earn money, choose the toys that I like, and spend money the way I want, without regard to bonuses and imaginary discounts. As for me, it is this approach that gives more opportunities in life. If Yandex built a city that would grow depending on the total spending on the services of the company, it would be more interesting. But, of course, this is my opinion, there are certainly those who sincerely believe that they are "earning" money out of thin air.

Trying AI search from Bing and you.com - the disadvantages of algorithms

PR orgy around search algorithms andChatGPT continues, now for a while it is our everything and attention is riveted on these topics. Bing has launched a search with chats in test mode, some lucky people can try it out in practice. Restrictions for users from Russia are included, it is impossible to download such a search directly, plus its use outside the USA is very limited. Although the Russian language is supported, it must be understood that the text search base is very limited.

I noticed that people always start looking for their loved ones. I asked a friend who has access to the new Bing search to search for something, his first request was with my first and last name.

Then there were already my requests that showdampness of the search, the answers are clearly unsatisfactory, especially regarding the exchange rate of the ruble and the dollar, how the hryvnia got there is completely unclear. In principle, this is an old problem of Bing, which uses content with an incomprehensible division by country, the lack of a correct understanding of such content and its direction. And this makes Bing so weak, but Microsoft cannot generate a sufficient number of requests and train the system, as they historically lose to Google search in terms of market share and the number of requests. The more data you have, the better you can train your models.

There are about a dozen startups that offer bots to answer questions, one of them is you.comand you can try searching in any language,even in Russian, even in English. Answers are built in exactly the same way as in the case of Bing, but even here there is no ideal, the information is inaccurate, often very contradictory. The only difference is how it is shown to you.

We end up with just something else.performance, but not the quality of the search. A natural form of dialogue, but nothing more. It’s definitely not worth praising today’s skills of such bots, they are very, very modest. If you want, then publications in the press are just a very generous advance for the future, but it will most likely come in five years. Up to this point, such systems will be improved, but they will not be able to become something significant. This reminds me of the story of Microsoft's Paperclip, an assistant that appeared in 1997 in an office suite. Before the start of wide sales, this assistant was famous for its unusualness, novelty and useful functions. But in practice, most people found it useless and distracting and stopped using it. Expectations have greatly diverged from reality, something similar can be expected from "smart" search engines, they are not yet ready to make our lives better. Therefore, one should not indulge in the charm of such systems, they are far from successful practical application.

Tesla Autopilot and SuperBowl Ads

For America, the SuperBowl is an advertising paradise, brandscompete in who will create the most memorable video, this is a separate art. This year's SuperBowl audience was 113 million viewers, which makes ads prohibitively expensive and important to be talked about and evaluated separately outside of the games.

At the same time, there was a scandal, a video appearedabout how the Tesla autopilot behaves on the road, namely knocking down an obstacle, ignoring signs and even knocking down children or strollers with them. Watch the video, it speaks for itself.

It took millions to post the video.dollars, not a penny. The authorship belongs to the company Dawn Project, created by one of the investors in technology startups (Dan O'Dowd). This is not the first criticism of Tesla from his side, he has already spent millions on this idea and continues to attack Elon Musk and his company. The interesting thing here is that there was no advertising from Tesla itself at the SuperBowl and for the first time with such coverage they show the shortcomings of the machines and their control systems. For many Americans, this has definitely become a revelation and a subject of conversation. How pure the intentions are in this fight to ban autopilot in Tesla, one can only guess, but this is not so important - the main thing is that these shortcomings are present in the cars.

I watched at my leisure most of the videos thatappeared at the SuperBowl, I’ll mention a couple of our topics - a T-Mobile ad starring Travolta, filmed in the style of a musical. Nothing special, just a commercial.

But Google decided to show how it worksmagic eraser how to remove objects from photos. The problem of all smartphone manufacturers today is the same - people simply do not know what features their devices have. It turned out well - people learned about what they can do on their devices. And not just from Google.

Peddler on the streets of Moscow - cheap AirPods Pro

Something happens to me all the timefind me where you wouldn't expect them at all. For example, we left lunch in the center of Moscow, while a friend was waiting for a taxi, a man approached us, who began to offer to buy AirPods cheaply. There were about a dozen boxes in an unsightly backpack, the price started at 2,500 rubles. There was no need for a fake, but it became interesting to what price one could bargain with this comrade. Simple bargaining, they literally shoved a box into my hands with the words “take it, take it just like that.” As a result, the price fell to a thousand rubles.

On the street, I did not have time to unpack the headphones, but duringtime of sale the main argument was that they have a green light on. Printing is not the worst, without a direct comparison it is impossible to distinguish a fake. Cellophane is not from Apple, which can be seen from the screed, but, again, only those who constantly communicate with such products will see and understand this. And that requires some experience.

It is clear that I looked naive for the sellerfool who buys Apple on the cheap. Original headphones start at a price of 17 thousand rubles, you can’t buy them cheaper. As soon as I gave the money, a watch for 6,000 rubles immediately appeared. The price quickly dropped to three thousand, but there was no time and desire to bargain, I got everything I needed. As well as managed to find out how many of these headphones a day this man manages to sell. On average, this is 5-6 boxes, he is looking for buyers on the street, enters stores and offers this product to sellers! The latter, apparently, willingly buy, the price captivates.

Regardless of the quality of the fake, you needunderstand that this is a fake, not an original product. Not a copy of well-known headphones, but a fake, since the Apple logo flaunts on the case, the box is completely copied from the original ones.

I will definitely open the headphones, check how they arework with the iPhone, as they play music, and at the same time, if they work, I will compare with the original ones. The number of fakes is so great that the same Ozone, without even hesitating, singled them out in a separate section, calling it “AirPods Replica”.

Unfortunately, most of the fakes live outside this section, and people can believe in a miracle that they buy original headphones for little money. Which, of course, is not true.

Looking ahead, I want to note that the serviceApple support in Europe assured me that I have the original earbuds as they are being tested in iOS16. And it's true, the headphones are defined by the system as native, even if outwardly it is quite easy to recognize a fake in them. But with a trained eye. This week there will be a detailed analysis of fake and original headphones, that's where the fun will be. For their money, these headphones work perfectly, although, of course, I will not use them. At a cost of about 600 rubles, they did not make a very big profit on me. On the other hand, with the cost of the original headphones at 1,000 rubles, it is easy to calculate how much Apple collects from the sale of such accessories, just space.


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The unbearable lightness of low-tech, or the delusions of our age

I want to make a reservation right away that the topic is so important.and complex, that it is impossible to reveal it within the framework of Spillikins, it is possible to outline some theses, but separate material will be required to discuss them in detail. Let me remind you that the US trade war against China forces the transfer of at least part of the production of American companies to other countries. Apple becomes a vivid example, the company's well-being directly depends on the production capabilities in China, but Tim Cook is trying to lay straws and agrees to expand factories in India.

An article appeared in the Financial Times in whichIt is claimed that the assembly line for the production of cases for the iPhone in the city of Hosura does not work well, every second case is defective, that is, about 50% of the manufactured products are scrapped. For comparison, in China this percentage does not reach 2%. Delegations from Apple are constantly sent to the plant, the companies write detailed instructions, look for the root of the problem and try to do something. But the problem faced by Apple is the low qualification of workers, moreover, as China's experience shows, it will take decades to train people.

I remember the first trips to production in China inAt the end of the 90s, village boys and girls worked in factories, the gender composition gradually shifted in favor of girls - they are more diligent, more attentive and better able to withstand the monotonous loads of the conveyor. At the same time, men coped with difficulties more easily, especially when unexpected situations arose that required prompt intervention. For girls, emergencies were an impossible task, they were afraid to take any responsibility upon themselves, including turning off the conveyor, even realizing that it was producing marriage.

A huge, simply unresolvable delusion thata modern plant does not require any people. Attempts to create a production devoid of human intervention leads either to an insane increase in the cost of production, or, more often, to the need for people to redo the work after the robots, since the latter are not set up too well. The example of Tesla, which in Elon Musk's dreams avoids human mistakes when assembling cars, shows well: marriage is becoming the norm, it is no less, if not more, from robots than from people. And you have to invent a combined mode of operation.

India has cheap labor, nothing complicatedthere is no production of a case for the iPhone, this is a basic operation. Regardless of the material, stainless steel or aluminum, the case requires polishing to remove all possible scratches, scuffs, and so on. In China, this process has been worked out to automatism. Usually at Apple they show beautiful machines that polish the case, no human hands. In practice, the use of such machines is expensive, more abrasive materials are required, and the cost of the body increases. Therefore, in Chinese factories, people do it! And they have become adept at such work, they will give odds to any car.

Those few who were officially taken to Apple forsuch productions did not see anything of this, they were shown a specially created myth, where human participation is minimal or completely absent. But the amount of human labor involved in assembling an iPhone is prohibitively high, which is why the cost of such an assembly has been so low all these years.

In India, hired workers do not know how to do thisoperation, they were taught, but they drive the marriage, because they do not understand how exactly the body should look like in the end. In other words, their quality standards are very different from those for Apple. And the learning process will stretch for years, since this cannot be solved by a simple replacement of workers, new ones will drive exactly the same marriage. It turns out that you have to educate people, and at the same time endure the gigantic size of the marriage that comes out while they still do not know how to work.

The catch here is that it increasescompetition, those who know how to work will suddenly begin to demand a large salary. And if at the start of production the conditions were the same as in China, then they will worsen for Apple, the cost of work will rise sharply. It is already different from China because of the marriage, but it makes no sense to fire people, since the new ones will drive exactly the same marriage. Increasing their skills will make people valuable employees, they will demand better pay. As a result, the cost for Apple will rise in any case. Either tolerate the marriage, or pay more and get less marriage.

And the problem here is not that India is bad, peoplesome others. China twenty years ago was also about the same, but now it has a huge army of workers who know how to work on different equipment, and due to this, the country is the world leader in production. In India, everything is just beginning, and in order to compete with China, she will have to teach her workers how to work. But while only individual factories are being built, there is no growth in production that would form a new army of workers. And this is about socio-economic effects, which are almost always ignored. Reading about the transfer of production from China to other countries, and even the USA, I am constantly amazed that it is described mechanically, it sounds like there is enough desire and nothing else is needed. As if the main thing in the plant is the conveyor, machines, and people can be found anywhere on the planet. So, this is not so, people can be put on the conveyor, but making them do their job well is unrealistic. This week I will return to this topic and reveal it to a greater extent. In the meantime, I want to say that, alas, the world is full of theorists who perceive reality in this way. It's like a production simulator on a computer screen, not real life.

iPhone as the main phone, Android in your pocket

The unexpected happened in Russia, manyiPhone users are starting to buy second Android phones. Someone does this to get used to another system, someone - in order to replenish the App Store account using a SIM card from another operator. But the fact is that there are many such people - according to the most conservative estimates, in 2022, about 350 thousand people who previously used only the iPhone got Android. Out of curiosity, I note that most of them bought inexpensive smartphones, not flagships, but something from the middle segment or even lower.

When I flew from Alma-Ata, I saw such a neighbor,he impressed me with the fact that he busily put the iPhone 12 Pro into airplane mode, took out an inexpensive Samsung with a large screen from his pocket (something from the A-series of the last or the year before last, it looks like it costs fifteen thousand or so, did not see the back of the device) . And for almost the entire flight I watched some films on the big screen of the budget model, which, apparently, I uploaded to it before. The big screen here is the obvious choice, it is more convenient to watch movies on it. The performance of the device does not play any role.

I know that a huge number of people do not look at allvideo on the screen of a smartphone, I often do this on my Fold. After the Fold screen, using any other phone is difficult, everything seems small, the interface does not fit on the screen the way you are used to. In a word, there are drawbacks, and they are obvious, the size of the display determines the convenience. And the rules that the larger the screen, the more convenient it is to do the usual things on it, no one has canceled. On the other hand, the struggle for the compactness of the device begins, because it must fit in a pocket.

I remember the early years when AMOLED screens appeared,then the flagship from Samsung was able to play video on the screen for about ten hours non-stop. Today, the same S23 Ultra can do this for twenty hours on a single charge! A fantastic figure in any dimension, you must agree that this is a noticeable progress over a decade. But people do not care about such achievements, we are interested in how convenient the phone is, how it looks, how much it costs.

I constantly catch myself thinking that in 2022there has been a turning point in the perception of smartphones with flexible screens, a mass audience has joined enthusiasts and technology pioneers, more and more often I see ordinary people with such devices in restaurants and cafes. Not just a lot, they stand out sharply against the general background, such a phone is clearly visible.

One of the reasons is that Fold4 in Russiayou can buy for quite reasonable money, prices start at 80 thousand rubles. And for many, the price of up to one hundred thousand rubles for such a device is decisive. But the main thing is that you get used to this model instantly. What made the Fold come to mind is that it's another group of iPhone defectors, choosing the most expensive solution available on Android and yet unparalleled by Apple. Yes, in 2024, perhaps Apple will make their device with a flexible screen, it is possible that it will even be popular and will ship it at a price of $ 2,000. But the second nature of such a decision is obvious, after five years it does not look like something like that. The main thing is that Fold has created a huge niche in the market and today dozens of companies from China copy it. I am not exaggerating, there are dozens of companies, in the spring we will see many models a la Fold. I managed to meet some of them live, so at the end of the month I will share my impressions.

The trend to abandon the iPhone did not start yesterday, itis gradually gaining momentum, as the devices are expensive, there are no analogues to flexible screens, technologically they are far behind the market in many aspects. And this is at the highest cost. The loyal audience is huge and for the most part irrational. But the crisis that happened in the world does not play into the hands of Apple, the company is losing sales due to the high price of its devices.

And leaked pictures of the next iPhone 15, as well as CAD drawings, show that it will remain exactly the same, there will be no special changes.

Source: 9to5mac.com

Of course, the presence of a USB Type C connector is a biga step forward, but otherwise they are exactly the same models as they are today. Out of curiosity, I note that it is unlikely that Apple will be able to somehow limit the use of third-party cables with their devices, they will still charge the iPhone. Perhaps they will limit the charging speed, but then it will be a violation of the standard. It will be interesting to see how Apple will get out and worsen the standard in order to sell their accessories at exorbitant prices at space prices. This is also one of the reasons why people switch to Android, the cost of ownership is lower, the convenience is comparable or even higher. One of my acquaintances is a fugitive from iPhone to Android, and he agreed to talk about his impressions, so I will probably share his notes in the Telegram channel, and then we will issue them in a separate article.

P.S. The year is rapidly gaining momentum, according to my subjectiveimpressions, there has never been such a rich start to the year in all aspects. There is a lot of work, a huge number of meetings and extremely interesting conversations, and in different directions, it's not just about the site. And this, perhaps, is a reflection of time, everything is seething, and information is needed in order to correctly navigate and know what is happening around. Possession of the correct information, which shows reality, and not the distorted perception of the latter, becomes an extremely important skill. I heartily recommend that you think critically, choose the right sources of information, and, if possible, check it. And from myself I will traditionally add - have a good working week! Let good deeds argue and everything works out, the main thing is not to get sick and take more vitamins, at this time of the year we all really need them.

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