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+ - A rock star needs a agent...->

Submitted by braindrainbahrain
braindrainbahrain (874202) writes "... so maybe a rock star programmer needs one too. As described in this article, the 10X talent agency , which got started in the music business, isnot your typical head hunter/recruiter agency. "The company’s name comes from the idea, well established in the tech world, that the very best programmers are superstars, capable of achieving ten times the productivity of their merely competent colleagues.""
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Comment: Rumors of new hybrid varieties (Score 1) 322

by braindrainbahrain (#48399849) Attached to: MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

I read somewhere (I lost the source) that one solution being worked on is to develop a new variety of the cacao tree that is more productive. Seems there has been some success in that except that the cocoa produced by the new trees tastes like crap. Like tomatoes and corn, expect the new variety to displace the current one resulting in a lesser quality product being accepted as "normal".

+ - JavaScript and the Netflix User Interface->

Submitted by CowboyRobot
CowboyRobot (671517) writes "Alex Liu is a senior UI engineer at Netflix and part of the core team leading the migration of to Node.js. He has an article at ACM's Queue in which he describes how JavaScript is used at Netflix. "With increasingly more application logic being shifted to the browser, developers have begun to push the boundaries of what JavaScript was originally intended for. Entire desktop applications are now being rebuilt entirely in JavaScript—the Google Docs office suite is one example. Such large applications require creative solutions to manage the complexity of loading the required JavaScript files and their dependencies. The problem can be compounded when introducing multivariate A/B testing, a concept that is at the core of the Netflix DNA. Multivariate testing introduces a number of problems that JavaScript cannot handle using native constructs, one of which is the focus of this article: managing conditional dependencies.""
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+ - The One App You Need on Your Resume if You Want a Job at Google

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Jim Edwards writes at Business Insider that Google is so large and has such a massive need for talent that if you have the right skills, Google is really enthusiastic to hear from you — especially if you know how to use MatLab, a fourth-generation programming language that allows matrix manipulations, plotting of functions and data, implementation of algorithms, creation of user interfaces, and interfacing with programs written in other languages, including C, C++, Java, Fortran and Python. The key is that data is produced visually or graphically, rather than in a spreadsheet. According to Jonathan Rosenberg , Google's former senior vice president for product management, being a master of statistics is probably your best way into Google right now and if you want to work at Google, make sure you can use MatLab. Big data — how to create it, manipulate it, and put it to good use — is one of those areas in which Google is really enthusiastic about. The sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians. When every business has free and ubiquitous data, the ability to understand it and extract value from it becomes the complimentary scarce factor. It leads to intelligence, and the intelligent business is the successful business, regardless of its size. Rosenberg says that "my quote about statistics that I didn't use but often do is, 'Data is the sword of the 21st century, those who wield it the samurai.'""

+ - Cisco exec: Turnover in engineering no problem->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "The engineering reorganization currently underway at network giant Cisco Systems is intended to streamline product development and delivery to customers. That it is prompting some high profile departures is an expected byproduct of any realignment of this size, which affects 25,000 employees, says Cisco Executive Vice President Pankaj Patel, who is conducting the transformation. “People leave for personal business reasons,” Patel said in an interview with Network World this week. “Similar transformations” among Cisco peers and customers “see personnel change of 30% to 50%.”"
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Comment: Re:Newsflash!!! (Score 1) 276

by braindrainbahrain (#48074005) Attached to: Maps Suggest Marco Polo May Have "Discovered" America

I don't want to excuse the "History" channel's many transgressions (and there are many) but they did air a well received documentary on the subject a couple of years back. Search the intertubes for "WHO REALLY DISCOVERED AMERICA". Most of the theories presented are speculative, though some are supported by circumstancial evidence. No aliens involved (this time).

Comment: Journal Articles (Score 1) 234

by braindrainbahrain (#47947251) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

I am late to the party here, but want to leave one last tidbit: read astronomy journal articles. Many you will not understand, many, you will understand the language, but not the math (especially articles, they omit many many steps since they are so short), but ultimately, you will understand some, and understand the data they took to arrive at a conclusion, and maybe even question the data, the measurement, or the data processing. Maybe even enough to contact the authors and ask for clarification, or suggest alternate methods. At this point, you are doing astronomy. One added bonus to being a college student: Awesome libraries that can access all these journals at no cost to you (except your tuition of course).

Some suggestions for more hands on stuff:

Kewl book: Exoplanet Observing For Amateurs, by Bruce Gary (free! courtesy of the author)

edX Courses: They actually teach from journal articles! Math is at the high school level.

Citizen Science projects:

Find Exoplanets
Dicover and measure KBOs

Age? Phooey on that. Upon completing my 2nd M.S. degree in my mid 50's, I got letters of recommendation for PhD school (which I chose not to pursue).

+ - Intelsat is 50 years old->

Submitted by braindrainbahrain
braindrainbahrain (874202) writes "Now a private company, The International Telecommunications Satellite Consortium, aka Intelsat, is 50 years old this year. Created as an international organization with as many as 80 countries signing on, its mission was to bring “nations, and ultimately the world, together through communication and video” using new cutting edge space technology. The organization “bought people around the world to one organization with a common goal in an almost utopian concept”. “It looked like the United Nations”, said one member.

Satellite technology was in its infancy and the people at Intelsat had to make it all work. “We were doing something new; there was almost no precedent You were able to get bright people with a bag of tools but no experience”.

In our present day, accustomed as we are to instant news and communications worldwide, we forget the astonishment of people seeing things unfold in real time half a world away. The phrase “live via satellite” preceded broadcasts such as the 1969 moon landings and the 1978 World Cup. Intelsat even linked the White House and the Kremlin by the infamous hot line."

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The Exoplanets That Never Were 31

Posted by samzenpus
from the planetary-false-positive dept.
StartsWithABang writes In 1992, scientists discovered the first planets orbiting a star other than our Sun. The pulsar PSR B1257+12 was discovered to have its own planetary system, and since then, exoplanet discoveries have exploded. But before that, in 1963, decades of research led to the much-anticipated publication and announcement of an exoplanet discovered around Barnard's star, the second-closest star system to Earth. Unfortunately, it turned out to be spurious, and it took years to uncover, an amazing story which is only now fully coming to light.

Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist 499

Posted by samzenpus
from the skeletons-in-the-closet dept.
sciencehabit writes Valerie Barr was a tenured professor of computer science at Union College in Schenectady, New York, with a national reputation for her work improving computing education and attracting more women and minorities into the field. But federal investigators say that Barr lied during a routine background check about her affiliations with a domestic terrorist group that had ties to the two organizations to which she had belonged in the early 1980s. On 27 August, NSF said that her 'dishonest conduct' compelled them to cancel her temporary assignment immediately, at the end of the first of what was expected to be a 2-year stint. Colleagues who decry Barr's fate worry that the incident could make other scientists think twice about coming to work for NSF. In addition, Barr's case offers a rare glimpse into the practices of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), an obscure agency within the White House that wields vast power over the entire federal bureaucracy through its authority to vet recently hired workers.

Information Theory Places New Limits On Origin of Life 211

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-credit-to-the-genesis-device dept.
KentuckyFC writes: Most research into the origin of life focuses on the messy business of chemistry, on the nature of self-replicating molecules and on the behavior of autocatalytic reactions. Now one theorist says the properties of information also place important limits on how life must have evolved, without getting bogged down in the biochemical details. The new approach uses information theory to highlight a key property that distinguishes living from non-living systems: their ability to store information and replicate it almost indefinitely. A measure of this how much these systems differ from a state of maximum entropy or thermodynamic equilibrium. The new approach is to create a mathematical model of these informational differences and use it to make predictions about how likely it is to find self-replicating molecules in an artificial life system called Avida. And interestingly, the predictions closely match what researchers have found in practice. The bottom line is that according to information theory, environments favorable to life are unlikely to be unusual.

+ - Hidden Archeology of Stonehenge Revealed in New Geophysical Map->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Utilizing a comprehensive array of remote sensing technology and non-invasive geophysical survey equipment, researchers working on the site of Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England have revealed hundreds of previously unknown features buried deep beneath the ground as part of the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project. The finds include images of dwellings from the Bronze and Iron Ages as well as details of buried Roman settlements never before seen."
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