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David Konerding
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Daphnia being born.

I captured this on an inexpensive microscope (  you're looking at the brood carapace of a mother daphnia filled with several daphnia embryos which are ready to be born.  She opens her carapace  by moving her gut and lower appendages out of the way and the embryos swim out.

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I have made my genome public domain with no restrictions on access: I've uploaded this data to the Personal Genome Project (; this post associates my name with that genomic data.    I had my genome sequenced by Illumina as part of Understanding Your Genome.  As part of the package, they not only called my genotype (IE, the bits of DNA that make me different from everybody else) but provided the raw sequence data.

The alternatives include making the data available, but anonymized (with the possibility that a motivated researcher could deanonymize it), making it available to a single clinical researcher as part of a study, or keeping it totally private (perhaps sharing with my doctor).

I made this decision after many years of evaluating the risk of public knowledge of my genome, making some reasoned guesses about the true value and actual personal information content.  After weighing the risks, I conclude that it's more valuable for me to contribute my genome to scientific research in an unrestricted way.  I also spoke to my family and they agreed this was a good idea.

I also believe that at this point, the data I gathered, and its information, don't inform my particular health outcomes.  If you analyze my genome and discover otherwise, please let me know.  I would like to see your code and duplicate the analysis.

I still intend to keep my health records private, but am considering making a large amount of biometric data available.  The more people - across more populations - who make these contributions, the more valuable the data will be to scientists.

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After five years of incredibly hard work on the part of many Googlers,
I am proud to announce the first Exacycle paper, written by +Kai Kohlhoff and others.  This represents Google's most serious foray into the biological sciences, and the results are amazing!  I'm thrilled that my idea, many years ago, that Google's cloud was perfect for science, has been proved out.

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Fruits of scientific labor: results from my previous project at Google (exacycle):

It's thrilling to see my employer donate hundreds of millions of core-hours to science!

I'm not a huge fan of Apple (the company or its products).  I think they charge too much for the limited feature set, and lock their hardware down too much.

But their strategy to make Microsoft irrelevant was very well executed.

Here's what happened:

In the past, Microsoft was very profitable because lots of people bought new desktops every few years, paying a tax for the OS (WIndows) and frequently the productivity software (Office).  Maintaining a high level of backwards compability was key to Microsoft's success- as was their relationship with software developers.  As laptops have become to replace desktops, Microsoft successfully translated their strategy to that hardware form factor.

Steve Jobs figured this out painfully by marketing Apple desktop products.   Of all the Microsoft competitors, only Apple had any real market share.  He took this knowledge and came up with a strategy:

Instead of attempting to fight Microsoft in its home turf market, he created an entirely new market: small form factor, no-keyboard, no-mouse devices running a limited operating system.  Microsoft and others tried to create this market before, but having used their systems, it was obvious why they didn't succeed (hard drives and stylus).  This market has, in a short 6-7 years, eclipsed the desktop market and laptop market in terms of revenue (the profit margins are much smaller).

One of the key observations that Jobs made, and applied, was that "large, high surface area Operating Systems" (like Windows, which has a huge resource footprint and API) would lead to crappy applications.  In making iOS a developer platform, the true genius was making a tiny API surface area, and ruthless resource management.  This means applications are predictably fast, and it's easy for Apple to update their functionality over time without getting in the massive backwards compatibility trap, by pushing the effort onto developers, who are incentivized by user payment to make their apps run on as many platforms as possible.

Android picked up on this idea as well, and both Apple and Google have expanded the market for computing (while also reducing the old markets) much more rapidly than Microsoft could.  One of the best examples of this is Windows 8- they made it "a tablet OS".  Actually, it's neither a tablet OS or a desktop OS- it does poorly.  It's the sort of thing a hapless product manager commanded by Ballmer to make a "tablet OS", while also ensuring that Windows 8 still ran on the millions of remaining desktops.

At this point, Microsoft has only two remaining markets: 
1) enterprise server and cloud
2) enterprise productivity software.

I expect them to slide, slowly, burning down their remaining cash as the market gets smaller.  The only bit of IP MSFT continues to own that matters is the parsers for the Office file formats.

Microsoft just announced a major reorg.  You can clearly see whom they favored as "winners" (people who delivered successfully in an area, were promoted to run an area that is either high revenue, or expected high growth).  Basically, Microsoft is betting its future on:
1) Xbox and phone devices
2) Office/Skype
3) Windows
4) Cloud

"""Among the top executives named to new roles is Julie Larson-Green, who had overseen the development of the Windows operating system, will lead a new devices and studio group that consists of Xbox hardware, the Surface family of tablet computers, hardware accessories and games.

Microsoft will consolidate all its major operating systems, including Windows, Windows Phone and the software that powers the Xbox, under Terry Myerson, who handled engineering for only Windows Phone before.

Qi Lu, the head of Bing and Microsoft’s other Internet initiatives, will take over a new applications group and oversee the company’s lucrative Office franchise and Skype.

Satya Nadella, as the head of the new cloud and enterprise group, will manage the network of data centers that power all of Microsoft’s online services, in addition to Windows Azure, the cloud service he has been running for some time.

In addition to changes to its product groups, Tony Bates, the former president of the Skype division, will be in charge of business development and relations with developers, along with mergers and acquisitions."""

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Wow.  Amazon is going to build a data center for the CIA?

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