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Comment Extend this idea to all cars and traffic lights (Score 1) 72

I'd extend this idea to all cars and traffic lights. If cars could talk to traffic lights and each other, that'd save tons of time, miles driven, costs, and pollution. Such a network can optimize car routes to choose less congested ones, recommend car speeds, and change traffic lights accordingly to provide green light corridors.

Comment Re:So what does it say... (Score 1) 209

Well, that depends on the position. Presence or absence of the facebook profile speaks volumes whether that candidate is up to date with the latest technologies. I'm a chip designer. When I interview a person for a position in my team, and see that his/her email is something like or, I naturally get suspicious. I also get suspicious when I don't see a well-maintained LinkedIn profile. I presume candidate seeking software developer position in a social network startup is expected to have a decent facebook/twitter/whatever-is-the-latest-thing profile.

Comment Re:Juxtaposed store signs? (Score 1) 214

I just bought a digital camera in BB, and I'm definitely not yet an "old demographic". First researched the product on Amazon. Then, instead of waiting for a week to get it delivered, went to pick it up in local BB a mile away from my home. Price is exactly the same: they do internet price matching nowadays. Also, there is no sales tax advantage anymore for Amazon shoppers in CA. And I couldn't care less about "shopping experience". It's all about price and convenience.
The Media

What Does It Actually Cost To Publish a Scientific Paper? 166

ananyo writes "Nature has published an investigation into the real costs of publishing research after delving into the secretive, murky world of science publishing. Few publishers (open access or otherwise-including Nature Publishing Group) would reveal their profit margins, but they've pieced together a picture of how much it really costs to publish a paper by talking to analysts and insiders. Quoting from the piece: '"The costs of research publishing can be much lower than people think," agrees Peter Binfield, co-founder of one of the newest open-access journals, PeerJ, and formerly a publisher at PLoS. But publishers of subscription journals insist that such views are misguided — born of a failure to appreciate the value they add to the papers they publish, and to the research community as a whole. They say that their commercial operations are in fact quite efficient, so that if a switch to open-access publishing led scientists to drive down fees by choosing cheaper journals, it would undermine important values such as editorial quality.' There's also a comment piece by three open access advocates setting out what they think needs to happen next to push forward the movement as well as a piece arguing that 'Objections to the Creative Commons attribution license are straw men raised by parties who want open access to be as closed as possible.'"

Comment Re:Take-home exams? (Score 1) 264

I studied in both Eastern Europe and US. I absolutely hated oral exams back there. One can frequently talk himself/herself out of difficult questions, even in science classes like Physics or Math. When you take a written exam, it's totally unbiased and relatively anonymous. When you talk to an examiner, a lot of things can come into play in addition to student's knowledge and influence the results.

Comment The Biggest Loser competition at work (Score 1) 372

Last year we had "The Biggest Loser" competition in our office. It's hard to overestimate how effective it was for loosing weight. It lasted for 3 months. Every Friday all the participants got weighted. If the weight increased comparing to the previous week - one paid fine; otherwise one got paid. Every week they published the list of participants with percentage statistics (no absolute weight numbers - just changes). At the end, 3 biggest losers got a nice bonus. This kind of competitive spirit got me into the right mood. I stopped eating all those morning bagels, soft drinks, and started seriously counting calories I consumed. In addition, I went twice a week to 1-hour training classes in the local gym. I used to go to the gym before, but the effectiveness of the group training was much better. At the end I took the 2'nd place, loosing 24 pounds. At I was reasonably athletic before, certainly not overweight. The bottom line: strict eating discipline and regular exercise can definitely solve the problem for office workers who sit all day long.

Submission + - Understanding Road Usage Patterns Helps Easing The Traffic (

OutputLogic writes: " published a study that analyses road usage patterns and proposes a few relatively simple solutions to significantly ease traffic congestion during commute hours. The study was conducted by anonymously tracking more than 350,000 San Francisco Bay Area drivers using their cellphone and GPS signals. Researchers treated roads as a bipartite graph network and used Dijkstra’s algorithm for analysis. According to the study, incorporating simple measures such as additional metering lights to spread out the volume of drivers coming from places where residents suffer the worst traffic may help reduce the number of vehicles a roads by 1 percent. However, that 1 percent reduction will lead to 14 percent traffic drop. The reason is exponential traffic growth once a road's capacity has been reached."

Comment Re:Not a healthy topic. (Score 2) 236

Not all startups invent something brilliant, and it certainly doesn't require to be a genius to get big bucks. A decade ago I worked for a startup that developed a better product than its competitors (evolutionary, not revolutionary). It had a slightly better engineering team, more effective sales force, and more nimble org structure than its closest competitors. As a result, it went public in 2000 and got acquired in 2004. Founders and most of early employees got big bucks. Well, certainly not billions, but many millions. So the obsession of getting rich doesn't mean the stupidity of the whole approach. It's a matter of calculated risk when joining a startup, hard work while working for the startup, and some luck.

Comment Re:Plan and save. (Score 1) 171

Being an immigrant myself and working in the industry for over a decade I observe two other patterns: (3) Arrive in the US with strong math and science background, and plenty of motivation. Quickly advance from a rank-and-file engineer to a management or technical leadership position within a company. (4) The same as (3) + become disillusioned with the opportunities and return to their home country.

Comment Re:Goals, Options, Observations and Ethics (Score 1) 171

Well, what children are told depends on the country. I was raised in Soviet Union in 80s, and we were told exactly the opposite. The goal was to get the best education and get a steady job. In America the goal was to start a business and make lots of money. I guess the reality is somewhere in between.

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