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Brian Slesinsky
Works at Google
Lives in Hayward, CA
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Brian Slesinsky

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A virus is generally like a little ball with a few genes. Now scientists have found one that's broken up into five little balls — as if it were dismembered.
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From the abstract: "no comprehensive studies exist on the real cost of the entire process of developing and releasing one [genetically-modified] variety by a not-for-profit institution in a developing country for sustainable agriculture. Despite the lack of documented studies, it is commonly assumed that such an undertaking is cost prohibitive, based on mere hearsay, and on two private sector cost assessments. The present study assesses the costs and the time expenditures to two not-for-profit programs, one lead by CIP and the other by Cornell University, of developing a late blight resistant (LBr) potato variety for release in one developing country. CIP's costs run to $1.6 million over eight years, while Cornell's costs amount to $1.4 million over nine years."
A few studies have reported some of the costs associated with bringing to market genetically-modified (GM) crops but no comprehensive studies exist on the real cost of the entire process of developing and releasing one GM variety by a not-for-profit institution in a developing country for ...
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From the article: "In just over a decade, the group has earned approval for six treatments, tackling sleeping sickness, malaria, Chagas' disease and a form of leishmaniasis called kala-azar. And it has put another 26 drugs into development. It has done this with US$290 million — about one-quarter of what a typical pharmaceutical company would spend to develop just one drug. The model for its success is the product development partnership (PDP), a style of non-profit organization that became popular in the early 2000s. PDPs keep costs down through collaboration — with universities, governments and the pharmaceutical industry. And because the diseases they target typically affect the world's poorest people, and so are neglected by for-profit companies, the DNDi and groups like it face little competitive pressure. They also have lower hurdles to prove that their drugs vastly improve lives."
A non-profit organization is proving that new drugs don't have to cost a fortune. Can its model work more broadly?
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Gigantic Jet Lightning over China
That's no meteor. While watching and photographing this year's Perseid Meteor Shower, something unexpected happened: a gigantic jet erupted from a nearby cloud. The whole thing was over in a flash -- it lasted less than a second -- but was fortunately captured by an already-recording digital camera.

Gigantic jets are a rare form of lightning recognized formally only a few years ago. The featured high resolution color image, taken near the peak of Shikengkong mountain in China, may be the best image yet of this unusual phenomena. The same event appears to have been captured simultaneously by another photographer, further away.

The gigantic jet appears to start somewhere in a nearby thundercloud and extend upwards towards Earth's ionosphere. The nature of gigantic jets and their possible association with other types of Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) such as blue jets and red sprites remains an active topic of research.  

Image & info via APOD
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
Image Credit & Copyright: Phebe Pan

#naturalphenomena   #giganticjets   #space   #nasa  
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From the article: "Wages are also becoming increasingly segregated by firm—meaning, high wage employees are increasingly working in high wage firms and low wage employees work in low wage firms, rather than in firms with a mix of both."
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In india, there is this new found attraction towards entrepreneurial instincts with the government actively promoting them.. But that too is going nowhere with after 2 years of all kinds of prototypes, hardly anything worth mentioning has occurred.. 
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From the article: "The paper describes an experiment designed to measure, in a novel way, the weakness in the David’s ankles: by creating a small army of tiny David replicas and spinning them in a centrifuge, at various angles, to simulate different levels of real-world stress. What the researchers found was grim. If the David were to be tilted 15 degrees, his ankles would fail."

[...]

"It was, he said, mainly a publicity grab: We have known about these cracks for more than 100 years, he pointed out, and they aren’t getting any worse. The David is now perfectly upright, and he is one of the most closely monitored artworks in the world. There are maps not only of the cracks themselves but also of every stain and blemish on the surface of the marble, of every repair that has ever been made, even of the patterns in which dust tends to fall. "

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"The problem was that no one could say exactly when this power transfer might occur, and — even after it did — if and when the base would be installed. When Tartuferi departed, he told me, he was planning to pass the project of the antiseismic base off to his successor. This, he said, is what the new director would have to deal with first."
My obsession with the flaws, reproductions and potential collapse of Michelangelo’s masterpiece.
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Brian Slesinsky

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After race riots a decade ago, Sydney embraced the burkini to make Muslims feel welcome on the city’s beaches.
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I have a new draft paper with Aylin Caliskan-Islam and Joanna Bryson titled Semantics derived automatically from language corpora necessarily contain human biases. We show empirically that natural language necessarily contains human biases, and the paradigm of training machine learning on ...
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When I joined Stanford's Compression and Classification Group in 1999, it became quickly evident to me that research in signal compression was really at an impasse: it was clear at the time that one would have to move towards more semantic interpretations of images and videos to make any significant gains in bandwidth, and in spite of standards already moving towards enabling these 'higher-level' coding methods, nobody really knew how to go about them.
Fast forward to today, I'm very excited to see deep nets make a significant dent into the problem, while enabling seamless, practical variable-rate coding, bit-per-bit progressive decoding, and with huge gains over JPEG to boot.
Abstract: This paper presents a set of full-resolution lossy image compression methods based on neural networks. Each of the architectures we describe can provide variable compression rates during deployment without requiring retraining of the network: each network need only be trained once.
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From the article: "Only about a third of California’s farm wells have meters measuring how much they are pumping. And when a farmer opens a weir gate to flood a lettuce field, for instance, that’s almost always unmetered.

"The state isn’t monitoring a lot of important small streams, and it’s not pulling the riverflow data together at the basin level. You need that data to figure out how to restrict water and protect fish."
If there’s any hope of preventing California from shriveling into a parched wasteland, the state will have to figure out some simple things first.
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Don't grow lettuce in Central Valley where temps are usually above 90F. Only grow such crops in rainy season.
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From the article: "Passengers ordering Uber or Lyft car trips within two test areas of Dublin will be eligible to get door-to-destination service at a big discount under a partnership between the ride-hailing companies and the Wheels public bus system in Dublin, Alameda and Pleasanton."

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"In anticipation of the partnership, Wheels on Aug. 13 eliminated its No. 3 bus route in West Dublin. The route was attracting only about five riders per hour at a public subsidy of $15 per rider, according to the report."

[...]

"Wheels forecast the two Dublin ride-hailing zones will each carry out 50 passengers a day in their first year -- about the same number that buses carried in the area but at a fraction of the cost."
Tri-Valley transit agency will partner with ride-hailing companies in moving people by car instead of bus in pilot program.
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From an article last December: "If you stop reading now -- and you probably should! -- you will have a decent sense of the philosophical issues at issue in IEX's exchange application, which are not quite Fairness vs. Unfairness but rather What Does Fairness Even Mean?"
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Have him in circles
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Christian Lawson's profile photo
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Hayward, CA
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Binghamton, NY
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    Software Engineer, 2006 - present
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The oil change itself seemed okay, but it seemed understaffed (two people), and they were fairly unhelpful. Nobody talked to the customers when they arrived. Waited a long time to pay after the oil change was done, while they both worked on another car. The maintenance light wasn't reset so I went back, and after waiting for a while I ended up looking up in the manual how to reset it myself.
Public - 10 months ago
reviewed 10 months ago
We eat here often. The garlic noodles are very tasty.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
They moved to Mountain View at 2500 El Camino Real, on the corner opposite Whole Foods and Target. Other than that, smooth transaction; they took a carload of old electronics and didn't seem too picky.
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
4 reviews
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Smooth transaction; rented a cargo van Saturday afternoon, returned that night (after hours). Actual cost: $30 + $42 mileage + $35 fuel + $7 taxes = $114 for 53 miles.
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago