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Chris Dolan
Works at Sony Creative Software
Attended University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Chris Dolan

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This is a profound result: "[Real name] policies tend to exacerbate preexisting power dynamics, as those most vulnerable and marginalized are least able to express themselves freely, while those most privileged are able to behave as they choose."

I think that's saying that people who troll under their real name are the people who have nothing to lose by negative online reputation, and in contrast the people who do have something to lose can't afford to be attacked via their real name so must stay silent.
Think Trolls Act Better Using Their 'Real Name'? Think Again.

There is a theory of internet trolls that goes as follows: they behave worse because they don't have to use their real names. Force them to do that, and they'll behave better.

Google+ tried the theory, but eventually gave up. Facebook still promotes the theory, much to the chagrin of many people booted for having unusual names that someone thought didn't sound 'real'.

Are they right? A team of researchers from the University of Zurich's Institute of Sociology decided to find out.

They gave participants in their research a simple choice: use your real name, or use a pseudonym. From this data they were able to analyze over 500K comments.

So, were the Real Name users better behaved? In a word: no. In two words: dream on.

Users who chose to use their Real Names were more likely to engage in online 'mass attacks' than pseudonymous users, helping put to bed the idea that Real Name Policies can 'fix' trolling.

Interestingly, and relevantly, Google+'s +Yonatan Zunger​, in explaining their decision to drop the policy, noted that they had similarly failed to find evidence of the policy's effectiveness, noting that if anything such policies tend to exacerbate preexisting power dynamics, as those most vulnerable and marginalized are least able to express themselves freely, while those most privileged are able to behave as they choose.

Trolling is a serious problem on the internet, threatening the power of social networks and other online communities and forums to bring groups and individuals together harmoniously and productively. It is therefore tempting to try to find a simple solution to this complex problem.

If there is one, Real Name Policies aren't it.

#SocialMedia #Trolls
Anonymity, we assume, is the breeding ground for bad behavior on the internet. Not necessarily.
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Woohoo! My good friend +Peter Erwin was featured in AAS Nova this week!
New observations have caught two galaxies in the process of forming peanut-shaped bulges like the one in the center of our own Milky Way.
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The last time I posted about the fragility of the wheels of Mars rovers, a lot of you commented. Looks like the newly planned rover will have stronger wheels. :-)
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover: Using Proven Technologies and Advancing New Ones | Technology Development Makes Missions Possible | This infographic provides engineering facts about NASA's Mars 2020 rover (new wheels, microphone, rock core sampling, producing oxygen from Mars' carbon-dioxide, and landing sensors).
Each Mars mission is part of a continuing chain of innovation. Each relies on past missions for proven technologies and contributes its own innovations to future missions. This chain allows NASA to push the boundaries of what is currently possible, while still relying on proven technologies.

The Mars 2020 mission leverages the successful architecture of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission by duplicating most of its entry, descent, and landing system and much of its rover design.
The mission advances several technologies, including those related to priorities in the National Research Council's 2011 Decadal Survey and for future human missions to Mars. Plans include infusing new capabilities through investments by NASA's Space Technology Program, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, and contributions from international partners.

Many innovations focus on entry, descent, and landing technologies, which help ensure precise and safe landings. They include sensors to measure the atmosphere, cameras and a microphone, and at least two key ways to reach the surface of Mars with greater accuracy and less risk (Range Trigger and Terrain-Relative Navigation).

Credit: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

+NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory 
+NASA Solar System Exploration 
+Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 
+Zero Robotics 
+Robotics Today 
+National Science Teachers Association 
+STEM on Google+ Community 
+Science on Google+ 
+PBS Parents 
+Phoenix Williams 

#NASA #Astronomy #Space #Mars #Science #Mars2020 #Curiosity #MSL #Technology #Engineering #Wheels #Microphone #Sensors #Cameras #EDL #Entry #Descent #Landing #Exploration #Infographic #JPL #Pasadena #California #USA #UnitedStates
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😱😱😱😱🙀🙀🙀That's cool
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Today I learned about which is a handy tool for whipping up quick diagrams showing messaging between systems. I recommend it!

I've been using it to create some diagrams of how some parts of Sony Ci ( work on the backend for my fellow devs. Ci is an impressively scalable distributed system that performs all of its long-running media actions (like scanning, transcoding, thumbnails, etc) asynchronously via fair-queued worker processes. Since some of the jobs depend on other jobs, so it makes for an interesting data flow, so some visualizations help a lot.
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WOW! Now that is a really interesting theory: a giant asteroid triggers a massive oil fire that blocks sunlight with soot. What a horrific time to be alive if that theory is right.
"Sixty six million years ago, the dinosaurs suddenly disappeared, along with most of the species on the planet. The extinction occurred at precisely the same time that a giant asteroid struck the Earth. The fact that the two events happened at the same time makes it all but certain that the asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, but just how did that extinction happen? Was it dust, shot into the sky, blocking out the sun? Acid rain produced by sulphur vaporised during the impact? An inferno of hot debris?

A new study may get us closer to solving this mystery. The asteroid struck the Yucatan Peninsula, a region with vast quantities of crude oil buried underground. New data shows that the burning of the oil produced billions of tons of soot, enough to dim the sun for years and lead to a decade of global cooling.

The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event was severe, wiping out over 75% of all species, including not just dinosaurs but also many birds, mammals, snakes, lizards, plants, and even insects. It was global, hitting all continents and all oceans. And it was rapid, with species seeming to vanish overnight."

Read more at:
Sixty six million years ago, the dinosaurs suddenly disappeared, along with most of the species on the planet. The extinction occurred at precisely the same time that a giant asteroid struck the Earth. The fact that the two events happened at the same time makes it all but certain that the asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, but just how did that extinction happen? Was it dust, shot into the sky, blocking out the sun? Acid rain produced by sulphur ...
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+Chris Dolan I don't know I saw some Inca rocks some old Inca rocks with the Dinosaurs inscriptions. I just found it interesting that human beings true dinosaurs if they never saw and how could they draw one that's all just a thought no need to trip
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I highly recommend this "Data Is Beautiful" collection, Colin consistently posts interesting stuff, like this post.
+FiveThirtyEight​ has released a comprehensive breakdown of gun deaths in America using data from the CDC's Multiple Cause of Death database. More than 33,000 people are fatally shot in the U.S. each year. While the majority of media coverage focuses on terrorism, mass shootings, police officers killed, and police shootings, they make up a fraction of the total. Nearly two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides with more than 45% of the victims men age 45 or older.

#Guns #Firearms #FiveThirtyEight #Fatality #Mortality #Homicide #Suicide #2ndAmendment #Rights #Arms #Health 
The data in this interactive graphic comes primarily from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Multiple Cause of Death database, which is derived from death certificates from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and is widely considered the most comprehensive estimate of firearm deaths.
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Ooh, a white dwarf "pulsar"! Great quote: "We've known pulsing neutron stars for nearly fifty years, and some theories predicted white dwarfs could show similar behaviour. It's very exciting that we have discovered such a system, and it has been a fantastic example of amateur astronomers and academics working together."

Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope, along with other telescopes on the ground and in space, have discovered a new type of exotic binary star. In the system AR Scorpii a rapidly spinning white dwarf star powers electrons up to almost the speed of light. These high energy particles release blasts of radiation that lash the companion red dwarf star, and cause the entire system to pulse dramatically every 1.97 minutes with radiation ranging...
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That's a great shot wow!! 
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+DreamHost has been having massive email problems this week. I've had no access to my IMAP email for about 45 hours now. Generally I consider DreamHost to be the best of the worst -- that is, for the very low price I pay I get competent but not great email and webhosting. But this might be the final straw for me.
What's Up? Posts in red are ongoing issues or upcoming maintenance windows. If you are experiencing a problem that has not been reported here, check our web panel for more information. (Please remember, posting in the comments here IS NOT an official way to contact DreamHost.) ...
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DreamHost email is back to normal, after a total of 58 hours of downtime. So if they have no other outages in 2016, they still get 99.3% uptime.

In truth, not a lot of harm done to me personally -- Slack and SMS filled in most of the gap -- but it reminded me how much of modern digital life is tied to receiving timely emails, like login verification and purchase confirmation

I spent some research time learning how to move my email to another host and hope to execute that shortly.
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This is a synthesized picture of what Jupiter would look like if you flew over its south pole. No spacecraft has done that, so this picture is stitched together from Cassini photos from the various sides of Jupiter.

h/t +Dylan O'Donnell (and +Sophia Nasr) via

There's an artistically color-enhanced version of the photo at that's worth looking at, but I prefer the NASA one.
This map of Jupiter is the most detailed global color map of the planet ever produced. The round map is a polar stereographic projection that shows the south pole in the center of the map and the equator at the edge. It was constructed from images taken by Cassini on Dec. 11 and 12, 2000.
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Looks like a dosa
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Sony sells to theaters these glasses that project captions into the viewer's field of view. They've been available for a few years, but I just learned about them recently after the Hearing Loss Association of America honored Sony with an innovation award ( at their 2016 convention.

The idea is pretty cool. The theater installs a transmitter by each projector and loans the glasses (and/or headphones) to any customer who wants them.
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The same display technology is available as an open developer edition Augmented Reality headset ("sunglasses form factor"):

~$900 in the US.
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As a life-saving mechanism, this could be awesome. Pump oxygen directly into the bloodstream of a patient whose heart is working but whose lungs are not providing oxygen (due to obstruction, collapse, fluid, etc) to stave off brain damage or organ failure.
New Medical Discovery. A team of scientists at the Boston Children's Hospital have invented what is being considered one the greatest medical breakthroughs in recent years. They have designed a microparticle that can be injected into a person's bloodstream that can quickly oxygenate their blood.
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Brian's article is great, but I like this image better than the one he included:

In that false-color image from an awesome new radio telescope, there's an obvious darker ring. It's darker because there's water vapor in the disk absorbing some of the light. Closer to the star, the water is missing (I don't know, ionized perhaps? or dissociated into H and O?) and further from the star it's all ice instead of vapor.
Toe The Line

Planets form out of a disk of material swirling around a young star. As clumps form in this protoplanetary disk, they collide an merge to become the planets we see today. The composition of those planets depends upon where they formed. Those forming closer to the star tend to be dry and rocky, while those forming farther from the star tend to be rich with water. This is because the heat of the star tends to drive away volatiles like water, producing what is known as a frost line or ice line. Beyond this distance it’s cold enough for ice to exist. Closer than the ice line and it’s too warm. At least that’s the idea. Actually observing the ice line of a young planetary system is a challenge.

For a Sun-like star, the ice line is about three astronomical units from the star. That’s about the middle of the asteroid belt for our solar system. Imaging that line in a young system hundreds of light years away is difficult. But recently the star V883 Orionis has pushed its ice line much farther away. It’s only a bit more massive than our Sun, but as material from its protoplanetary disk has been consumed by the star it’s gotten much hotter. It’s currently about 400 times more luminous than our Sun. As a result, it’s ice line has been pushed back more than 40 astronomical units, which would put it beyond the orbit of Neptune in our solar system.

This is far enough out that the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is able to see the ice line directly. Not only does this validate the existence of ice lines in a planetary system, it also demonstrates how the ice line can shift significantly during the formation period of a solar system. Over time V883 Orionis will dim to a luminosity similar to the Sun’s, and it’s ice line will shrink accordingly. It’s an excellent example of the complexity of planetary formation.

Paper: Lucas A. Cieza, et al. Imaging the water snow-line during a protostellar outburst. Nature 535, 258–261 (2016)

The ice line of a planetary system has been observed for the first time.
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Programmer, software architect
  • Sony Creative Software
    Staff Software Engineer, 2012 - present
  • Avid Technology
    Sr Principal Software Engineer, 2007 - 2012
  • Clotho Advanced Media
    Sr Software Developer, 2001 - 2007
  • Univ Wisconsin, Astronomy Dept
    Research Assistant, 1994 - 2000
programmer, cyclist, gamer, former astronomer
Bragging rights
#1 Google result for "constellations"; Toughest bicycle ride: 125 miles + 11,000 ft climbing
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Astronomy, PhD, 1994 - 2000
  • Cornell University
    Astronomy, 1990 - 1994
  • Derryfield School
    1986 - 1990