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How to Launch a Custom Chatbot on OpenAI’s GPT Store

How to Launch a Custom Chatbot on OpenAI’s GPT Store

Get ready to share your custom chatbot with the whole world. Well, at least with other ChatGPT Plus subscribers.

OpenAI recently launched its GPT Store, after it delayed the project following the chaos of CEO Sam Altman’s firing and reinstatement late in 2023.

While OpenAI’s GPT Store shares some similarities to smartphone app marketplaces, it currently functions more like a giant directory of tweaked ChatGPTs. Similar to OpenAI’s GPT-4 model and web browsing capabilities, only those who pay $20 a month for ChatGPT Plus can create and use “GPTs.” The GPT acronym in ChatGPT actually stands for “generative pretrained transformers,” but in this context, the company is using GPT as a term that refers to a unique version of ChatGPT with additional parameters and a little extra training data.

Curious about adding your AI creation to the marketplace? Here’s how to make your GPT public and some advice to help you get started with the GPT Store.

How to List Your Own GPT

Before you can add a custom chatbot to the GPT Store, you’ve got to make one. No specialized knowledge or weird coding language is required to get started. To learn more about the process, check out my previous article about GPTs, where I created Reece’s Replica by feeding 50 of my articles into the system as training data, so my bot could learn to mimic my phrasing and tone. Since this will be available to all ChatGPT Plus subscribers, remember that the custom data you upload could leak. Don’t upload any documents that contain sensitive information.

When you’re ready to publicly list your custom version of the popular chatbot, visit the ChatGPT homepage, choose Explore GPTs on the left side of the screen, then select My GPTs in the top right. Click on the pencil icon to edit the GPT you’d like to publish. After double-checking the potential output in the Preview section, click Save in the right corner, set it to publish to Everyone, and click Confirm.

Screenshot of app sharing menu

Want to share the GPT with friends or coworkers without listing it in the GPT Store? Choose the Anyone with a link option.

Reece Rogers via ChatGPT

Qi2 Wireless Charging: Everything You Need to Know

Qi2 Wireless Charging: Everything You Need to Know

It’s ironic, but we here at WIRED have long been fans of wireless charging. Not having to fumble with cables is nice! Most wireless charging devices these days follow the Qi (pronounced chee) standard, which has taken its time reaching ubiquity (the user experience has not always been great). The Wireless Power Consortium, which manages the charging protocol, announced the next-generation version called Qi2 in early 2023, and we’re finally starting to see devices supporting it. It promises perfect alignment, with the potential for accessories to bridge the Android and iPhone divide.

What Is Qi2?

Qi2 is the new open wireless charging standard from the Wireless Power Consortium, and it brings important upgrades over the original Qi standard. The headline is the Magnetic Power Profile (MPP), which is based on Apple’s MagSafe technology. (Apple was involved in developing the Qi2 standard.) This allows Qi2-branded devices to add a ring of magnets to ensure perfect alignment with chargers and allow for faster charging speeds.

The existing, non-magnetic wireless charging Extended Power Profile (EPP) has also been updated to comply with Qi2. This means that devices without magnets will be branded Qi and will still work with Qi2 chargers. Qi2 is also fully backward compatible, so you can charge an older Qi Android phone or MagSafe iPhone on a Qi2 charger. You can also use any Qi chargers to charge Qi2 devices, though they will charge at slower speeds.

Benefits of Qi2

Wireless charging with Qi2 brings several improvements over the original Qi standard.

Greater efficiency: Wireless charging relies on electromagnetic coils. One or more induction coils in the charging base create a magnetic field and transmit energy. A smaller coil in your phone or other device harvests it. The coils must be aligned for energy to flow between them and the magnets in the new Magnetic Power Profile ensure perfect alignment so less power is lost. When coils are misaligned, energy is often lost as heat, which is also not good for battery health.

Faster charging: The Qi standard was originally limited to 5-watt charging speeds, but Qi2 allows certified phones to charge at 15 watts (just like MagSafe). We expect this charging rate to increase as the Wireless Power Consortium works to improve the Qi2 standard, but probably not until 2025. Some manufacturers already offer speedier wireless charging, such as OnePlus and Xiaomi, but you have to use a specific wireless charger to see those gains.

Wider compatibility for accessories: Any Qi2 charger can charge any Qi2 device, so you can buy a single charger capable of juicing up an iPhone or Android phone. For Qi-supporting phones that lack magnets, you will likely soon be able to buy a case with a magnetic ring that works with Qi2 (as you can currently with MagSafe).

Other improvements Qi2 brings over Qi include wider device compatibility (from tablets to wearables), adaptive charging so chargers can talk to devices to supply the power they need instead of having a fixed power output, and enhanced safety with better heat management and foreign object detection.

Expect a Wave of Qi2 Devices

Before a device can bear the Qi2 logo, the Wireless Power Consortium must certify it in its independent labs. The Qi2 specification includes charging rate, magnet strength, and device compatibility. The Qi2 logo promises that the device meets the WPC’s exacting standards. It is likely that, as with the original Qi standard, there will soon be devices available that have not passed through the official Qi2 certification process.

Apple’s iPhone 15 range supports Qi2, and accessory makers like Anker, Belkin, Nomad, and Mophie have all announced Qi2 chargers. You can expect a much wider range of Qi2 accessories to land soon, and we expect most Android manufacturers to jump on board in 2024. The WPC hopes that Qi2 will unify wireless charging and finally provide the universal global standard we have been waiting for.

How to Back Up Your Emails in Gmail, Outlook, and iCloud

How to Back Up Your Emails in Gmail, Outlook, and iCloud

Backing up your emails, no matter what provider you use, is important because access to your digital collection of messages is less permanent than you might initially think. There are multiple points of failure to consider—what happens if something in the cloud breaks, or your connection to the internet does? What if your account gets banned or closed for whatever reason, and all of your email gets zapped with it?

Those are only a few of the potential problems. You might accidentally delete a bunch of emails you didn’t mean to; someone else could access your account and wipe everything they find; or your email provider might suddenly decide to lock you out, permanently.

With all of that in mind, access to your email doesn’t seem so assured. It might not matter for all those random newsletters, questionable deals, and politicians begging for cash that clog up your inbox, but what about emails and documents you really need access to? It’s helpful to have at least some of your emails backed up in another location so that you can always get at them, offline or otherwise.

Forward Emails to a Backup Account

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Forwarding emails is one way of backing them up.

Apple via David Nield

The simplest way to get all of your emails sent to another account is to forward them, either manually one by one or automatically as they come in. From iCloud Mail, for example, you can click the cog icon (top left), then choose Settings and Mail Forwarding: Tick the box next to Forward my email to and enter another email address.

If you open up Gmail on the web, click the cog icon (top right), then See all settings. Under Forwarding and POP/IMAP, tick the box labeled Forward a copy of incoming mail to and enter your secondary email address. Gmail actually lets you create a filter for forwarded emails (messages from a specific contact, for example), so you don’t get everything forwarded—click creating a filter under Forwarding to do this. It’s worth noting that the forwarding option may not be available for your work account.

Finally, for the Outlook web client, click the cog icon (top right), then Mail, then Forwarding. Choose the Enable forwarding option, enter the secondary email address you want to use, and all of the messages that arrive in your Outlook inbox will be sent on to the other account too. In this section, you’ll also need to choose whether you want to save a copy of the forwarded emails. If something happens to your primary account, you can still at least reference your messages.

Forwarding emails is a quick and simple way of getting your messages in two places, but it’s not 100 percent reliable. When you’re forwarding your emails to another cloud account, you can still lose access to both copies if you’re ever unable to get online.

Use POP and IMAP (Remember Those?)

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Both POP and IMAP can be used to back up emails.

Microsoft via David Nield

POP (Post Office Protocol) and IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) are the two main ways of getting emails in multiple places at once, and both standards are supported by most email providers. Choosing which to use for the purpose of backing up emails is a bit tricky, as they tend to be implemented in slightly different ways depending on the programs you’re using.

How to Back Up Your Digital Life (2023): Hard Drives, Cloud-Based Tools, and Tips

How to Back Up Your Digital Life (2023): Hard Drives, Cloud-Based Tools, and Tips

To get started, click Add backup, and Duplicati will take you through the process of setting up an account at a cloud storage provider and entering your login credentials. Then you pick which files you want to back up. A word of caution about something that bit me once during testing: When Duplicati can’t find a file—for example, if you’re having it back up data that’s on an external drive you sometimes don’t plug in—it will halt the entire backup until that drive is available. You can change this behavior in the settings, but by default, this is how it works.

If Duplicati isn’t quite what you want, another option is MSP360 (formerly Cloudberry). It’s $30, but there is a free version with limited features. MSP360 worked well in my testing, but I did not find anything about it that convinced me it was better than Duplicati. Another possibility is Arq, which will set you back $50 and then $25 a year for updates. Again, Arq worked well in my testing—in fact, I used Arq to make backups for years and never had any problems with it—but it’s hard to justify the price when Duplicati is free.

Mobile Backups

Mobile backups are a different beast from your laptop or PC. You can’t just plug a drive into your phone and back it up. Not easily anyway. To help you out we have an entirely separate guide to backing up your Android device and another to back up your iPhone.

Tips and Suggestions

One important caveat is that you can’t really trust any backup system until you’ve actually restored from it. It sounds silly, but I strongly suggest you practice restoring your data before you actually need to. If there are any problems in your system, you want to find them before disaster strikes. I recently saved myself from disaster doing just this. I didn’t quite understand what a piece of software was doing—I thought it was doing one thing, turned out it was not. If I hadn’t tried restoring before I needed to, I would have been out of luck when I did (and it wasn’t the software’s fault).

The last thing to consider when putting your backup system together is what you want to back up. For most of us, that’s a mix of personal data—photos of the kids, videos, important documents—as well as less personal things, like downloaded media and all the system files that keep our PCs running the way we want them to.

There are other folders worth considering, depending on your habits. For example, I never used to back up my Downloads folder because I’m probably going to move downloaded files somewhere else. However, when my drive recently died, this was exactly what I lost: my Downloads folder. Fortunately, there was only one document in it that really mattered, but I’ve added Downloads to my backup system to make sure nothing slips through the cracks again.

That’s really the most important part of making backups—ensuring you have a system that works the way you do. For that reason, I suggest experimenting with several of the options above until you find what’s right for you. With hard drives and online storage space so cheap these days, there’s really no excuse for not having at least two backups of your data.

How to Find a Home or Apartment in a City You Don’t Live In

How to Find a Home or Apartment in a City You Don’t Live In

I began searching for an apartment in June, in much the same way I enter stores on Black Friday: steeling myself to join hordes of people all hyper-focused on their limited opportunity to snatch the same merchandise. But hunting for a home in a housing market with a critical lack of supply is worse than any mall sale. CNN reports that the US has a shortage of 2.3 million units, which makes apartment-searching an exhausting odyssey of scouring online listings, compromising with your spouse or roommate, and jumping to book tours for reasonably priced places. Granted, certain rental markets are more competitive than others, but if someone applies for a home hours before you in a major city like San Francisco, you may lose the unit.

My own search in New York City was further complicated by the fact that neither I nor my roommates lived near the city. I experienced it all: shady brokers trying to convince me to sign paperwork before seeing a unit, struggling to contact a roommate who was backpacking through Europe, and driving seven hours through thunderstorms with my mom to pack our weekends with tours. Parking was so scarce on these trips that my mom asked a shocked meter attendant, “How much is the fine to park illegally here?” However, once I started using technology to facilitate my out-of-state search, I secured a spacious apartment with a rent I can afford as a public school teacher. Here’s how I found a home from afar and (mostly) kept my sanity using free online tools.

List Your Priorities

Documenting priorities for a living space is necessary to ensure that you and your housemates understand each other. For me, a $1,800 monthly rent maximum was essential so I could pay my bills. Since my two roommates work from home, they requested windows with good sunlight, and we all preferred in-unit laundry. We recorded our requirements in a Google Sheet with four columns labeled Name, Needs, Deal-Breakers, and Wants. Then we listed bullet points in the rows to ensure that we only considered places that provided our essentials without deal-breakers. Feel free to make a copy of this template on Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel and share it with your partner or housemates to minimize misunderstandings. If you’ll be living alone, simply note your own preferences.

You can use the same spreadsheet to organize notes on prospective apartments. In another tab, my roommates and I created a table with a row for each home we visited. We cataloged each place’s listing link, address, monthly rent, lease start date, distance to public transportation, amenities, broker’s fee, broker contact info, and tour notes. This approach helped us centralize our information, weigh units against our wants and needs, and update Becca—my roommate in Europe who couldn’t attend the tours.

Ask your housemates to provide their work addresses on this sheet too. With that information, you can evaluate an apartment’s distance to the public transportation required for work commutes by setting the building as a starting location and workplaces as destinations on Google Maps. If you’re going to live in an area that requires a car for traveling, you can replace the “Distance to Public Transportation” column with “Distance to Work.”

Get Automated and Organized

When apartment-hunting out of state, you may have less time to consider available units than locals, so let tech do the heavy lifting. Setting real estate website alerts so that you receive immediate, hourly, daily, or weekly emails with homes that fit your requirements is a great way to discover places without toiling for hours. StreetEasy was my go-to in NYC; I specified my desired rent, neighborhoods, number of bedrooms, amenities, and lease start date when setting alerts to tailor them to my needs. Zillow and Compass are nationwide alternatives with similar email alert or save search functions. Trulia Rentals may be especially useful when assessing an area from a distance, as its What Locals Say feature lists residents’ assessments of a location’s safety, walkability, and even holiday spirit.

Although we were out of state, one of my roommates and I traveled to visit units when possible. Sharing a Google Calendar for apartment tours kept us informed. Creating events for scheduled tours, hyperlinking our spreadsheet in event descriptions, and adding notifications to the events reminded us to review notes in our sheet and follow up with each other about which places hardly resembled their pictures and which units were possibilities. You can use Microsoft Outlook Calendar’s shared calendar feature if you don’t love GCal, and Todoist is a great Android option, as free users can share projects with up to five people. Even if your roommate or partner lives outside the country, a shared calendar lets them view scheduled tours in their local time zone and easily identify those to attend virtually. When Becca was free, I FaceTimed her so she could see prospective homes from 5,000 miles away.

If time zones don’t permit you or your housemates to join tours on FaceTime, establish a system where the person viewing a place takes video of it. Clearly titling video files with addresses and depositing them into a shared Google Drive folder, Apple Note, or Photos album will keep everyone organized and included.

Leverage Your Network

When I started apartment-hunting, I told everybody. Dave Speer, president of the real estate firm SpeerCo, agrees that consulting your circle during an out-of-state search is smart. “Talking to your network about brokers they’ve used is really great,” he says. If you can’t travel for tours, an independent broker can help you avoid scams. Consider asking your contacts for referrals on social media to reach many people with a single post. You can also send an email with multiple recipients bcc’d or solicit help within group chats. I messaged people in my office’s miscellaneous Slack channel, and many social and professional groups use Discord, Group Me, or similar apps—and they’re probably willing to help.

Even if you’re not seeking an independent broker, still reach out to any friends or colleagues in the city you’re moving to. Within hours of posting an Instagram story asking how and where people in my network found affordable homes, 20 people responded with advice and leads on units in their buildings. Folks even shared the cost of their rent, broker’s fees, and amenities so that I could better understand my city’s real estate expenses. If no one you know is familiar with the area you’re moving to, use tech to expand your network. When I received a grant to move to Taipei, I searched for the organization administering the grant on LinkedIn, found results for affiliated people, and sent personalized requests to connect. Then I messaged my new LinkedIn connections about the Taiwanese rental market.

Search From Afar

Can’t utilize an independent broker’s services or hop a Greyhound to visit places? “Learn about the landlord or company you may rent from through online searches and reviews,” Speer suggests. “Experienced landlords have systems to make things run smoothly for tenants.” Consulting online public records is one way to investigate building owners, and this research can also reveal building code violations and whether the issues were addressed. Check your city’s or region’s housing department or building department website to see what information they make available to the public. Speer, who manages rental units in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia, adds that “in Pennsylvania, you can check the payment status on buildings via county websites to see if the landlord is current with tax bills. You’d be surprised how many are not, and that’s a red flag.” Find out if the state you’re moving to posts similar information online, or if your city’s or region’s housing department offers apartment-searching tips—like these from the New York City government. Through this type of research, I discovered that my city legally requires bedrooms to have windows. I then disregarded a listing displaying pictures of an apparent third bedroom without windows, which implied the unit accommodated three tenants under the table.

If you can’t visit places in person, ask brokers to show you homes on FaceTime, Zoom, or Google Meet. I did this to appraise the apartment I will move into this summer, and I also asked my sister who lives near the building to walk around the outside to assess the area. On the phone with me, she described her surroundings, texted me pictures, and even asked customers at the local laundromat about pricing. If you know anyone in your new city, asking them to similarly call you while they explore a neighborhood can help you feel better about living somewhere you haven’t seen. My boss, who has moved across the country 10 times, additionally advised me to knock on tenants’ doors to ask how long residents have been there and what their building management is like. If your friend or family member can access a building, they can ask these questions or call you so that you can speak to tenants yourself.

When you’re hundreds of miles from the state you’re moving to, it’s easy to feel disempowered by distance and uncertainty. But harnessing technology can put the power back in your hands to help you find your new home.