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Alex Fabrikant
Attended University of California, Berkeley
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Alex Fabrikant

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Read this. +Hope Wabuke gives the crispest first-hand view I've read all year into exactly what is so infuriatingly wrong. You don't have to pick a side in the Ferguson mess. You don't have to pick a political label to identify with. Just read this as a human.
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That is really sad. 
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Alex Fabrikant

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"The difference between a cult and a religion? In a cult, one guy knows it's all a scam. In a religion, that guy is dead."

(via +Troels Sørensen...but how is it that the Internet doesn't have a reliable source attribution?)
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I was saying something very much like that back in High School, 30 years ago. The sentiment, if not the exact wording, I got from some Robert Heinlein novel.
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Over the last year I've worked with some awesome folks (+Kester Tong  +Mark Sandler, +Corinna Cortes , +Matthew Turk,  +Gideon Mann  +Arnaud Sahuguet, +Adam Berenzweig) to understand how people collaborate on data analysis and to build better tools to support them. Yesterday, with the help of +Fernando Perez and +Wes McKinney we revealed this work at PyCon APAC.

We've created an interactive, collaborative analytics tool by integrating Google Docs, Chrome, and IPython. You can open a notebook from Drive. You can share notebooks like you would share a Google Doc. You can comment and edit collaboratively, in realtime. There is zero setup, because all the computation happens in Chrome. You can even quickly and easily package your analytics pipeline into a GUI for folks that don't want to program. In effect, you can go from zero to analytics with little impedance.  

What's even better is that you can build on our work. It will all be open source on top of public Google APIs. We'll have a larger Google Research blog post about this work when we release the code and the Chrome application.
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Verily, it is as awesome as advertised. The pre-release version has been a regular part of my daily workflow for a few weeks now, and it makes math collaboration way more pleasant than any solution I've had before.
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Alex Fabrikant

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IEEE- and Springer-branded "conferences" printing SciGen-generated papers, in bulk.

http://www.nature.com/news/publishers-withdraw-more-than-120-gibberish-papers-1.14763
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Alex Fabrikant

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Update: Thanks +Sheila Eldred for getting this fixed!

Apparently, the problem came from +Corbis, which has a bunch of A. muscaria photos mislabeled as A. phalloides:

http://www.corbisimages.com/Search#p=1&q=death+cap+mushroom

---
Dear +Discovery :

You are spreading deadly misinformation with your choice of clipart. The below article on "death cap" mushrooms, Amanita phalloides, is currently decorated with the extraordinarily distinctive (and somewhat less deadly) Amanita muscaria. How many readers' lives can you save by showing a real phalloides photo -- a nondescript mushroom with a greyish-to-brown cap that looks like many others to an uneducated eye?

http://news.discovery.com/earth/plants/deadliest-mushroom-in-the-world-is-spreading-140210.htm

See, e.g.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_phalloides
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Alex Fabrikant

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PSA for anyone around the peninsula and south bay: watch out for BLACK ICE this morning! (WTF, weather?)
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Yup I DIYed one with my sprinkler runoff. Maybe I should check on my homeowners insurance...
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Alex Fabrikant

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Have an opinion on things like biking through stop signs?

If yes, then fill out this survey for a study being run by the University of Colorado.
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Designers of the new, non-profit Proof School intend to provide mathematically gifted youth an intensive and complete education in grades 6-12 that typical schools can't muster.
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Yeah, I've been keeping an eye on that project... Really wonder if it'll work out as magically shiny as it currently appears.
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Alex Fabrikant

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Dear public spokespeople for computer science at large(*),

May I please request a loud public rebuttal to this take by Justice Scalia on the distinction between a cotton gin and a universal computing device?:

" 'Why isn’t doing it through a computer not enough?' Scalia asked sarcastically. 'I mean, was the cotton gin not an invention because it just means you’re dong through a machine what people used to do by hand?' "

This is as good a time as any for it to enter the public conscience that the transition from "I have a sequence of steps X" to "Let us now perform my sequence of steps X by <the currently popular format of Turing machine>" is never a fundamentally novel invention, and even less so when the steps are already mechanistically described by patent language.

(*) - I'm looking at yall, +Scott Aaronson +Lance Fortnow +Moshe Vardi +vint cerf 
The justices don't seem inclined to get rid of software patents, but business-method patents could be in trouble.
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Leave it to Scalia, folks. When is that guy going to retire, anyways?
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Alex Fabrikant

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San Francisco PD decides to jail and abuse a random good Samaritan for shits and giggles. How is this not in the mainstream press yet, +SFGate?

https://medium.com/p/9f53ef6a1c10
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Troels Sørensen's profile photoLisa Rosenberg's profile photoLeon Barrett's profile photo
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And if police felt like part of the community, maybe this would not happen. Not to justify what they did, just that maybe it is a systemic problem.
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Alex Fabrikant

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Alex Fabrikant

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It's time to resolve the unending but inexplicable confusion over whether girls and boys can play with the same products. Before you head out to shop for the holidays, here is a chart that puts the issue to rest once and for all.
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I agree
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Have him in circles
1,414 people
mark webster's profile photo
William Ellerbe's profile photo
Lucie Novak's profile photo
MIFTAKHUL sangcahaya's profile photo
Andrew Boone's profile photo
Na Tang's profile photo
Sunny Yadav's profile photo
dondi hom's profile photo
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Gender
Male
Education
  • University of California, Berkeley
    1998 - 2002
  • University of California, Berkeley
    2002 - 2008
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