Thrills in the (Google Earth) Sky, AI Updates, and Stoic Secrets

Take the controls in Google Earth's surprising flight simulator, explore the latest in AI technology from GitHub to Google, and reflect on Epictetus's timeless wisdom on mental sovereignty

Thrills in the (Google Earth) Sky, AI Updates, and Stoic Secrets

I had some fun with Google Earth this week and wanted to share it with you 😛

You still get the AI updates in Thing 2 and something to get you thinking in Thing 3 😉

Thing 1 - Google Earth has a built-in flight simulator??

Considering I never played a flight simulator - and I'm using just a mouse - controls needed some getting used to 😅
After that, this is more fun than it has any business being.

Screenshot flying in New York

Here's how to use it

  1. Get Google Earth Pro on desktop
  2. Launch it
  3. Hit Ctrl+Alt+A (or start the flight simulator from the Tools menu)
  4. Pick the aircraft and the start position.
  5. Start Flight!

Aircraft choices

SR22: Recommended for beginners. It’s slower and more manageable.
F16: Faster and more challenging.


  • Arrow keys: Control the direction of the plane (up and down for pitch, left and right for roll).
  • Page Up and Page Down keys: Adjust throttle (increase or decrease speed).
  • G key: Raise and lower the landing gear.
  • Spacebar: pause your flight.
  • Joystick or Mouse: For a more realistic flying experience

I didn't get the joystick to test this but the mouse seems to behave the same way: pull (a.k.a. move the pointer down) to go up, push for the opposite, move left and right to roll.

Have fun! 🛩️

Thing 2 - AI of the week

  • GitHub introduced Copilot Workspace - a "new way of building software with natural language, and is expressly designed to deliver–not replace–developer creativity"
  • Google published a paper on their Gemini model in medicine. It raises the bar for medicine (OpenAI's GPT-4 is great but not so much with visual tasks). Gemini can work well with video and very long records.
  • Anthropic launched Claude iOS app
  • Mysterious gpt2-chatbot model (notice it's not gpt-2, with a dash, but rather implies new architecture) showed up on and some reports say it's GPT-4 or better and there are clues that it might be OpenAI's next model.
  • Ant Group released MaPa - a novel approach for generating materials for 3D meshes from textual descriptions. This could speed up game development!
MaPa demo (4:37)
  • OSWolrd Establish a unified benchmark with 369 real-world computer tasks to assess agents’ abilities in a scalable, real computer environment on Ubuntu, Windows, and macOS.
    Sounds like an important tool as we try building autonomous AI agents.
  • secret-llama - private LLM chatbot that runs in your browser with no server needed. You'll need a good GPU and browser support to get it running.

Thing 3 - Mental Sovereignty: Epictetus on Protecting Your Inner Peace

If a person gave away your body to some passerby you’d be furious. Yet you hand over your mind to anyone who comes along, so they may abuse you, leaving it disturbed and troubled. Have you no shame in that.

- Epictetus

Every time you let someone's words or actions upset you, you’re letting them take over your mind.
Why not protect your thoughts the same way you'd protect your body?

They are the seeds of every action you take. You have limited focus and time. Choosing your thoughts then goes a long way to living the life you want.

Cheers, Zvonimir