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Jason Morrison
Works at Google
Attended Ohio Wesleyan University
Lives in CA
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Jason Morrison

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Everything you need to know about computer security in one video!
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This is amazing...

Though now I feel a little inadequate as a dad.  To be fair I never realized such a thing was possible.  
 
This "animated cake platform" has a 3D printed skeleton. Steel fishing wire is wound up by a stepper motor which pull the skeleton to a standing position. A dc motor with leadscrew lifts the head and open the arms. All controlled by Arduino. It was a team effort by me and my wife who did the cake and icing.
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Okay, who wants to play?
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Who came up with this ridiculous, boring concept? Ranting on a random topic? Don't we have better things to do with our time than ranting about a silly game? Jeez, this makes me mad.
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Project Sunroof is awesome!

I love this new 20% project from Google. They take a bunch of high-resolution Google Earth data and figure out how much sunlight individual houses get. Currently, this is live for the Bay Area and Fresno in California, plus the Boston area. So you can get a pretty good estimate of whether solar panels would save money on your house. Hint: solar makes sense for a lot more people than you'd think!

You can even connect directly with several different solar panel providers if you'd like to start saving money now. I hope that Google expands this even more widely at some point.

Edit: By the way, here's one more reason why this kicks butt. The price of solar is dropping so much that the cost of solar panel modules isn't the primary factor as much anymore. Instead, the overall cost of solar installation, including cost for solar installers to find customers, is one of the larger factors now. If Project Sunroof can help solar customers and solar installers find each other more easily, that just pushes solar to be even cheaper and more widely accessible. If you're interested, see http://rameznaam.com/2015/08/10/how-cheap-can-solar-get-very-cheap-indeed/ for a little more about this.
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It turns out that building a black hole is not too hard.  Or at least, we could build a device that can create a black hole - the scale and precision required is enormous, but imaginable compared to other things humans have built.

Though you do have to keep feeding it matter forever or within 100 years it will explode, so keep that in mind.
 
How to make a black hole

+Brian Koberlein, one of the most consistently energetic and interesting people here on G+, recently wrote about how to make a black hole.

His recipe works like this:

INGREDIENTS: one small neutron star, one solar mass of hydrogen.

Take a neutron star 2 weighing solar masses.  Gradually add one solar mass of hydrogen gas, letting it fall to the surface of the neutron star.  Be careful: if you add too much too quickly, you'll create a huge nuclear explosion called a nova.  When your neutron star reaches 3 solar masses, it will collapse into a black hole.

This is the smallest type of black hole we see in nature.  The problem with this recipe is that we'd need to become at least a Kardashev Type II civilization, able to harness the power of an entire star, before we could carry it out.

Louis Crane, a mathematician at the University of Kansas, has studied other ways to make a black hole.  It's slightly easier to make a smaller black hole - and perhaps more useful, since the Hawking radiation from a small black hole could be a good source of power.

Crane is interested in powering starships, but we could also use this power for anything else.  It's the ultimate renewable energy source: you drop matter into your black hole, and it gets turned into electromagnetic radiation!

Unfortunately, even smaller black holes are tough to make.  Say you want to make a black hole whose mass equals that of the Earth.  Then you need to crush the Earth down to the size of a marble.  The final stage of this crushing process would probably take care of itself: gravity would do the job!  But crushing a planet to half its original size is not easy.  I have no idea how to do it.

Luckily, to make power with Hawking radiation, it's best to make a much smaller black hole.  The smaller a black hole is, the more Hawking radiation it emits.  Louis Crane recommends making a black hole whose mass is a million tonnes.  This would put out 60,000 terawatts of Hawking radiation.  Right now human civilization uses only 20 terawatts of power.  So this is a healthy power source.

You have to be careful: the radiation emitted by such a black hole is incredibly intense.  And you have to keep feeding it.  You see, the smaller a black hole is, the more Hawking radiation it emits - and as it emits radiation, it shrinks!  Eventually it explodes in a blaze of glory: in the final second, it's about 1/100 as bright as the Sun.  To keep your black hole from exploding, you need to keep feeding it.  But for a black hole a million tons in mass, you don't need to rush: it will last about a century before it explodes if you don't feed it.  

Unfortunately, to make a black hole that weighs a million tonnes, you need to put a million tonnes of mass in a region 1/1000 times the diameter of a proton.

This is about the wavelength of a gamma ray.  So, if we could make gamma ray lasers, and focus them well enough, we could in theory put enough energy in a small enough region to create a million-ton black hole.  He says:

Since a nuclear laser can convert on the order of 1/1000 of its rest mass to radiation, we would need a lasing mass of about a gigatonne to produce the pulse. This should correspond to a mass of order 10 gigatonnes for the whole structure (the size of a small asteroid). Such a structure would be assembled in space near the sun by an army of robots and built out of space-based materials. It is not larger than some structures human beings have already built. The precision required to focus the collapsing electromagnetic wave would be of an order already possible using interferometric methods, but on a truly massive scale. This is clearly extremely ambitious, but we do not see it as impossible.

I'm not holding my breath, but with luck our civilization will last long enough, and do well enough, to try this someday.

For details, see:

• Louis Crane and Shawn Westmoreland, Are black hole starships possible, http://arxiv.org/abs/0908.1803.

Here is Brian's post on how to build a black hole:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BrianKoberlein/posts/epaoFG9hsh4

#spnetwork arXiv:0908.1803 #blackhole
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I think global warming could filter us out quite nicely - not our species, but our civilization with the technology we have now.
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Trust Levels of News Sources by Ideological Group. Fascinating!

Help me ensure I understood this right.  Consistently Liberal and Mostly Liberal people tend to trust a lot more variety of sources across the entire spectrum. 28 and 24 respectively. 

Consistently Conservative and Mostly Conservative people tend to trust a lot fewer sources of news. 8 (omg!) and 12 respectively.  The lack of diversity of information sources might explain the existence of more (but not all) closed minds in such groups and more dug into their own points of view.

Is this an unreasonable understanding of this data set?

Additionally, the sources Consistently and Mostly Conservative people do trust, are less trusted by the other three groups of people! Fox News, Breitbart, Drudge Report, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh.

This explains why America is becoming more and more polarized.

Is this a reasonable understanding of this data set?

One bizarre data point: Everyone distrusts BuzzFeed more than they trust it!!  And yet, as we know from competitive intelligence analysis, everyone is still reading BuzzFeed. :)

Data source: http://goo.gl/6eo9k5
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I worry a lot about the gender disparity in software engineering and technical roles.

When the subject comes up, though, there's often an objection to the whole premise.  In the U.S., we're in a reasonably free labor market, so if there was real discrimination the market would have corrected for it.  Maybe women just don't like programming.

I've ever found that argument very compelling - lots of relatively free markets fail in in certain situations, and markets are made of people who have all sorts of consistent, unconscious biases (myself included).  This post says is much better than I could:

http://danluu.com/tech-discrimination/
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I like this comic.  Now when my kids ask me if I'm a super-hero, maybe I can say yes?

http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=3840
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Finn's first drawing!

Mostly blue and green, I think it's probably the sparkling Aegean, viewed from the palace of Knossos. That kid is a nut for anything pre-Mycaenean.
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"Weekends and the 40-hour workweek are ... actually the carefully considered outcome of profit-maximizing research by Henry Ford in the early part of the 20th century. He discovered that you could actually get more output out of people by having them work fewer days and fewer hours."

Amazon isn’t the only company burning out their employees with unsustainable expectations. Let’s break the cycle.
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It turns out that the work to be done and the challenges of the 21st century are not exactly the same as those of the early 20th century.

It might be entirely true that Dustin Moskovitz was not always highly productive with his time, and also true that in some cases people work more than 40 hours a week and that is tremendously valuable to the organizations they are part of.

There is a lot of wishful thinking going on by people who imagine the world to be exactly the way they would wish it to be.
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Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling:
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+Lauren Weinstein​ ha, some of these are more like writing exercises than rules, actually. I don't have much time for writing but maybe I can apply these to all the email threads I'll be sucked into tomorrow.
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This guy is finding pharmaceutical companies that he thinks are profiting from bad patents which should never have been issued. He shorts their stock, then files an "IPR" challenge, which is a process by which anyone can try to challenge a bad patent, by presenting specific evidence that it shouldn't have been granted because of prior art.

This is the the best example I have ever seen of hedge fund managers actually making the world a better place.
A few months ago, we wrote that it looked like much needed patent reform had stalled out in Congress, despite expectations that it would fly through Congress easily this year, having the strong support of both the majority party in Congress and the...
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Work
Occupation
Support Engineer, Search Quality Team at Google
Employment
  • Google
    Support Engineer, Search Quality Team, present
  • AT&T
  • SBC
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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
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CA
Previously
Cleveland
Story
Tagline
Googler on the Search Quality Team and a bit of a geek.
Introduction
I work on Google's Search Quality Team, trying to make the web a little bit better place for searchers and webmasters.

This is my personal account, but feel free to follow if you're interested in stuff related to Google, web design, programming, maps, photography, random funny things my kids says, and related geekery.
Education
  • Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Kent State University
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Jason Morrison's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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Delicious pancakes, friendly staff.
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