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JT Olds
Works at Space Monkey
Attends University of Utah
Lives in Sandy, UT
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Just, wow.

Basically, we have to remove CO2 from the atmosphere if we don't want "ruinous" damage to the planet; even in the best case, renewable energy will not solve our problems.

Interesting, albeit not altogether surprising, how immediately dismissive they are of legislative solutions.

'Unfortunately, not every Google moon shot leaves Earth orbit. In 2011, the company decided that RE<C was not on track to meet its target and shut down the initiative. The two of us, who worked as engineers on the internal RE<C projects, were then forced to reexamine our assumptions.'

[...]

'Hansen set out to determine what level of atmospheric CO2 society should aim for “if humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted.” His climate models showed that exceeding 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere would likely have catastrophic effects. We’ve already blown past that limit.'

[...]

'So our best-case scenario, which was based on our most optimistic forecasts for renewable energy, would still result in severe climate change, with all its dire consequences: shifting climatic zones, freshwater shortages, eroding coasts, and ocean acidification, among others. Our reckoning showed that reversing the trend would require both radical technological advances in cheap zero-carbon energy, as well as a method of extracting CO2 from the atmosphere and sequestering the carbon.'

[...]

'To reverse climate change, our society requires something beyond today’s renewable energy technologies. Fortunately, new discoveries are changing the way we think about physics, nanotechnology, and biology all the time. While humanity is currently on a trajectory to severe climate change, this disaster can be averted if researchers aim for goals that seem nearly impossible.'

Perhaps there will even be disincentive from fixing the problem: http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-is-militarizing-the-arctic-2014-12
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bio-engineer something that will A. fix carbon more efficiently and B. usher in the zombie apocalypse
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My company's coding competition https://hackthe.computer/ just launched. I've put quite a bit of effort into building this!
hackthe.computer. Access denied. Please provide valid authentication credentials. Log in with GitHub. Welcome to hackthe.computer! Inside you'll find coding problems to solve and others to compete against for a total of $20000 in prizes. This is most certainly a thinly-veiled recruiting attempt; ...
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i guess that means a lot of browsers have the intermediate cert already
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(Also, kudos to +lah wran for beating all my feed reading to pointing me to this fantastic article)
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'But, if you’re someone that struggles with seeking out tough feedback here’s a little trick we use at 42Floors.

We call it Thirty Percent Feedback.  It’s a trick I learned from our investor, Seth Lieberman.  It came about because I once asked him for feedback on a product mockup, and he asked if I felt like I was ninety percent done or thirty percent done. If I was ninety percent done, he would try to correct me on every little detail possible because otherwise a typo might make it into production. But if I had told him I was only thirty percent done, he would gloss over the tiny mistakes, knowing that I would correct them later.  He would engage in broader conversations about what the product should be.'
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There's an online meme that goes, "Arguing with an engineer is a lot like wrestling with a pig in the mud; after a couple of hours, you realize the pig likes it." It's a prevalent enough form of communication in our field that most of us can think of an argument we had recently. Vim versus Emacs. Test-driven development versus whatever is the opposite of test-driven development. Python versus Ruby. JK, that's totally not a debate. Python is clear...
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lol
"Python versus Ruby. JK, that's totally not a debate. Python is clearly superior in every way [*insert smiley, winky, troll face here*]."

Interesting...
"As I said in my introductory blog post, women and minorities are the "canary in the coal mine". High attrition rates from these groups indicate a toxic environment"
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'As an industry, we need to have zero tolerance and respond forcefully and fearlessly whenever men make women feel unsafe or unwelcome.

The thing about knowing what systemic sexism feels like from the inside is that it can be very subtle. Things that seem completely harmless to you, from your perspective, given what you know, could have a completely different effect on someone in a different perspective, interacting with different people.

"Lost a wheel?"
"THAT'S THE WORST JOKE AND I'VE HEARD THAT 10,000 TIMES"
"Geez, overreact much?"
"No, actually, you just don't have my perspective."

If you are a man, you need to recognize that it is very easy behavior for you to make a women feel unsafe. It’s not that you’re a good person and it’s all those other terrible people giving men a bad name. You have the same internal scripts in your head that all the other men have. You need to work tirelessly to interrupt them in yourself. You are on the blind side of an asymmetric interaction.'
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Absurdly good bike tricks, so much better than anything I've ever seen before.
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As I was reading this article, I realized I was shaking my leg, as I normally do when sitting.
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This is an epidemic with the way cloud software is created, and it's not just Google at fault. Every cloud service comes with this risk.

Hopefully the future has more of https://sandstorm.io/ (owning and running your own programs again) and less of this cloud-PMs-not-caring-about-small-user-bases thing.

Edit: actually, owning and running your own programs doesn't fix it either. I've just switched to Gnome 3 and I had forgotten what a crapstorm this is. Some upstream person decided I don't actually want translucent windows anymore? OH BUT I DO. 

Software is a nightmare.
 
Google Music just discarded data I spent years creating without warning

So, my music collection is in Google Music. Ironic, yes, but I was an employee there at the time that I uploaded it all, and by the time I realized that was a mistake, trying to pull my data back out didn't seem quite worth the effort.

Well, the product just went through a UI redesign. Before the redesign, there was an option to rate songs on a 5-star scale rather than thumbs up/down. I used that to carefully curate my collection, and I very commonly actually took advantage of the ratings to optimize playlists for quality vs. variety depending on my mood.

After the redesign, thumbs up/down is now the only option. There is no way, in the UI, to see my existing ratings. There is no public API. Essentially, Google Music just deleted a bunch of my data with no warning. (It may be possible to recover using one of the unofficial projects that have reverse-engineered the private API; I'll find out this afternoon.)

Introducing an aesthetic design change that I don't care for is one thing, and as much as I dislike it I understand that product designers cannot satisfy everyone's tastes at once. But taking data I spent literally 15 years building and making it inaccessible to me without any warning is completely unacceptable. You cannot do that. This should go without saying. You must, at the very least, offer a way to download the data as an archive or something.

I know how this conversation went at Google:

Designer: It would be easier for me to make a simple, beautiful design if I didn't have to design for two different rating systems.
PM: Our stats show that less than 1% of users use the 5-star rating feature (which is buried in the options that no one ever looks at). Let's just remove it.
Engineer: But... I use that.
PM: You're an engineer. You aren't representative of the general population. We don't care what you think.

This pattern happened over and over again in my last few years at Google.

It seems that all data stored in Google products is now at-risk, particularly if you use any niche features. I thought "the cloud" was supposed to keep my data safe.
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One of the downsides of being hilariously wacky as a parent is your kids have no idea that anything is even amiss until much, much later.

+Dale Olds, I told my coworkers about your programming music listening habits and now we're all listening to Gregorian Chant.
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<3 Gregorian chants. Though, I think I was predesposed to them given the name.
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I completely support this:

'What if full employment wasn’t a necessity in our economy? What if it was okay to not have a full-time position? What if robots stealing our jobs could actually be a good thing, rather than something to fear?

That’s the thinking behind Basic Income. Basic Income (also called Universal Basic Income or Basic Income Guarantee) is an idea that’s been quietly gaining traction in recent years. The premise of it is very simple: every adult in the United States would receive a monthly stipend from the government, which would be enough for them to live on.'
or: How we can save ourselves from the coming robot revolution
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I know this was from like, forever ago, but in response to Iah's first comment, I was also wondering how lifestyle creep would come into play with a basic income. 
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'Normally, self-affirmation is reserved for instances in which identity is threatened in direct ways: race, gender, age, weight, and the like. Here, Nyhan decided to apply it in an unrelated context: Could recalling a time when you felt good about yourself make you more broad-minded about highly politicized issues, like the Iraq surge or global warming? As it turns out, it would. On all issues, attitudes became more accurate with self-affirmation, and remained just as inaccurate without. That effect held even when no additional information was presented—that is, when people were simply asked the same questions twice, before and after the self-affirmation.

Still, as Nyhan is the first to admit, it’s hardly a solution that can be applied easily outside the lab. “People don’t just go around writing essays about a time they felt good about themselves,” he said. And who knows how long the effect lasts—it’s not as though we often think good thoughts and then go on to debate climate change.'
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Have them in circles
417 people
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Work
Occupation
Software Engineer, PhD student, and Circle Curator
Employment
  • Space Monkey
    Software Engineer, present
  • Instructure
    Software Engineer
  • Mozy
    Software Engineer
  • Google
    Software Engineer
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Sandy, UT
Previously
Minneapolis, MN - Saratoga, CA
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Tagline
"Moderately dope."
Introduction
Education
  • University of Utah
    present
  • University of Minnesota
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Other names
John, John Timothy
JT Olds's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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