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

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From the article: "[W]hen Key penned 'No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,” he was taking great satisfaction in the death of slaves who’d freed themselves. His perspective may have been affected by the fact he owned several slaves himself.'"
No one seems to be aware that our national anthem literally celebrates the murder of African Americans.
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Meanwhile, in Germany, only the third verse of the song as originally written can be used.
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Brian Slesinsky

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From the article: "Low-trust societies waste piles of time and money working out who can be counted on, defending vulnerable stores of wealth, and guarding against con men. Such places are infertile ground for long-run investment, the gains from which could be grabbed by rivals or stolen by government. Meanwhile trust is highest, and defences against chicanery lowest, within some of world’s wealthiest countries. Studies of the relationship between measures of trust and economic growth find a close link between the two."
New technologies will make society richer by cultivating trust
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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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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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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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Brian Slesinsky

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From the press release: "Finding a galaxy with the mass of the Milky Way that is almost entirely dark was unexpected. 'We have no idea how galaxies like Dragonfly 44 could have formed,' Roberto Abraham, a co-author of the study, said."
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From the article: "The law requires that all citizens, residents and visitors to [Kuwait] submit DNA samples to enter or stay in the country. It was passed in the name of national security and in helping identify victims of large scale attacks."

[...]

"Kuwaiti citizenship is restricted to families that have been there since 1920, and is passed down through fathers’ bloodlines, with few exceptions. [...] [O]ver the years some have acquired citizenship through a tangled web of sham marriages and Kuwaiti men claiming Bidoon children as their own in exchange for money."

"Now, with the DNA database, the government will be able to map the populations’ genes going back across generations, determining who might have gotten citizenship through one of these plots. [...]"

"Another way that the law might stand to be a game changer is that it will likely expose adulterers and women who have had children outside their marriage–crimes that carry severe punishments in the country [...]"

(via +Shava Nerad)
"I think that we reserve the word 'draconian' for instances such as this one," said one expert.
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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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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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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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Currently
Hayward, CA
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Binghamton, NY
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Software Engineer
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  • Google
    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