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Comment Re:I guess that makes sense (Score 2) 203

There is a startup called Hire Art that's doing something similar without the "gamification". Instead of playing a game like in the article, or going to the other extreme and requiring full-scale work samples, they have smaller-scale tests related to the required skills, including reading comprehension, basic numeracy/statistics, and more technical tests. An employer can choose modules and put together a short test to identify the skills they're looking for. Some tests can be graded automatically, and others are reviewed by humans.

The method in the article is tricky, because creating games for specific jobs is going to be quite time-consuming and psychologically complex. These games are good for hiring bartenders, but what if you want to hire drivers, or data-entry staff, or IT professionals? All different skills and you can't expect to know every business as well as the hiring manager.

So the HireArt approach seems like a good middle ground me: the tests are a slight barrier to the applicant so they don't send millions of copies of their resume hoping to "get lucky" on a job that isn't a match; anyone qualified shouldn't have trouble passing. Meanwhile, both the employer and applicant get a chance to make a first impression without taking too much of each others' time.

From what I hear, it seems to be working quite well so far. Applicants who get interviews are more likely to be good fits.

Disclosure: I know one of the company's founders


Submission + - Discrimination against atheists on CNN

Anonymous Coward writes: "On January 31st, as part of a longer series on discimination, CNN's Paula Zahn show did a topic on discrimination against atheists. After a short prerecorded segment about two families' experiences, the show came back for a live panel discussion where opinions ranged from 'they just need to shut up' to 'they and others just need to shut up.' The bigotry was so bad even Paula Zahn was taken aback — "Are any of you going to defend them here tonight?" The flood of angry emails has prompted CNN to redo the segment on Monday night, 2/12 (Darwin Day !), this time with a balanced panel."

Breakdown Forces New Look At Mars Mission Sexuality 528

FloatsomNJetsom writes "Popular Mechanics has up an interesting story, discussing what the long-term implications of the Lisa Nowak incident could mean for Mars Mission crew decisions: With a 30-month roundtrip, that isn't the sort of thing you'd want to happen in space. Scientists have been warning about the problems of sex on long-term spaceflight, and experts are divided as to whether you want a crew of older married couples, or asexual unitard-wearing eunuchs. The point the article makes specifically is that NASA's current archetype of highly-driven, task-oriented people might be precisely the wrong type for a Mars expedition. In addition scientists may use genomics or even functional MRI in screening astronauts, in addition to facial-recognition computers to monitor mental health during the mission." Maybe observers could just deploy the brain scanner to keep track of them?

Submission + - Video Games = Good Self Esteem?

njkid1 writes: "The whole video-games-for-good concept sounds so appealing — especially since most normal people don't want to work in an industry that gets blamed for causing all the ills in modern society. (Granted, most people who say that about video games use it as an easy political platform to gain voter confidence, et al). We've been clinging to Nintendo's Brain Age as official proof that gaming is good — now we can add Mind Habits Booster to our do-gooder list. good-self-esteem?&ncid=AOLGAM000500000000009"

EMI May Sell Entire Collection as DRM-less MP3s 188

BobbyJo writes "According to the Chicago Sun-Times, EMI has been pitching the possibility of selling its entire music collection to the public in MP3 form ... without Digital Rights Management protections. According to the article, several other major music companies have considered this same route, but none as far as EMI. The reasons, of course, have nothing to do with taking a moral stand; EMI wants to compete with Apple. 'The London-based EMI is believed to have held talks with a wide range of online retailers that compete with Apple's iTunes. Those competing retailers include RealNetworks Inc.,, MusicNet Inc. and Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks. People familiar with the matter cautioned that EMI could still abandon the proposed strategy before implementing it. A decision about whether to keep pursuing the idea could come as soon as today.'"

Statistical Accuracy of Internet Weather Forecasts 189

markmcb writes "Brandon Hansen considers the statistical accuracy of popular on-line weather forecast sources and shows who's on target, and on who you probably shouldn't rely. Motivated by a trip to a water park that was spoiled with hail despite a 'clear sky' forecast, he does a nice job of depicting deviations, averages, and overall accuracy in a manner that stats junkies are sure to love."

Windows Expert Jumps Ship 939

An anonymous reader writes to let us know that Scott Finnie, Computerworld's Windows expert, has given the final verdict to Windows after 3 months of using a Mac. And the verdict is: "Sayonara." Finnie is known to readers here for his many reviews of Vista as it progressed to release. Quoting: "If you give the Mac three months, as I did, you won't go back either. The hardest part is paying for it — everything after that gets easier and easier. Perhaps fittingly, it took me the full three-month trial period to pay off my expensive MacBook Pro. But the darn thing is worth every penny."

University Professor Chastised For Using Tor 623

Irongeek_ADC writes with a first-person account from the The Chronicle of Higher Education by a university professor who was asked to stop using Tor. University IT and campus security staffers came knocking on Paul Cesarini's door asking why he was using the anonymizing network. They requested that he stop and also that he not teach his students about it. The visitors said it was likely against university policy (a policy they probably were not aware that Cesarini had helped to draft). The professor seems genuinely to appreciate the problems that a campus IT department faces; but in the end he took a stand for academic freedom.

FAA To Free Aircraft Hobbled By IP Laws 106

smellsofbikes writes "The FAA is attempting to develop a legal process that will allow them to release data about vintage aircraft designs that have obviously been abandoned. Existing laws restrict the FAA's ability to release this data because it is deemed to be intellectual property even though the owner of record has long since ceased to exist. This is fundamentally the same problem that copyright laws impose on people looking for out-of-print books. But in the case of vintage aircraft, the owners are legally required to maintain them to manufacturer specifications that the owners cannot legally obtain: an expensive and potentially lethal dilemma. If the FAA, notoriously hidebound and conservative, is willing to find a solution to this IP Catch-22, maybe the idea will catch on in other places."

Yahoo Pipes 94

ahab_2001 writes "Yahoo has introduced a new product called Pipes. It seems to be a GUI-based interface for building applications that aggregate RSS feeds and other services, creating Web-based apps from various sources, and publishing those apps. Sounds very cool. TechCrunch has a decent write-up, and Tim O'Reilly is all over it. The site was down for a few hours and is just back up. Has anybody tried this?" From the TechCrunch article: "Pipes is... akin to a shell scripting environment for the web rather than just a simple conduit between applications."

Indonesia Stops Sharing Avian Virus Samples 243

dankrabach writes "Indonesia has apparently decided to play the IP game, with the world's health at stake. The country, one of the hardest-hit by avian flu, has stopped submitting virus samples to the World Health Organization, and is negotiating to sell them to an American drug company that makes the vaccine. They feel slighted when they give away such samples, but then cannot afford the patented vaccines. Logical to me, given the rules of the game; however, can't we come up with some GPL'ish license to free any product based on this data?"

Harvard Physicists Make Light Dance 109

tetrikphimvin and others clued us to the latest work by Harvard's Lene Vestergaard Hau, being published today in the journal Nature. The NYTimes has a good layman's overview of how Hau's team encoded a light beam in a clump of atoms and later reconstituted it elsewhere. The Harvard Gazette offers additional details, a photo, and video links.

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