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Omar Bickell
Works at Statistics Canada via AIM Group
Attended McGill University
Lives in Montreal, QC, Canada
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Omar Bickell

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I splurged and got the "Extreme" version of this very cool toy "for ages 8 to 108". You snap the components together to create any one of a wide range of electronic gizmos in just minutes. My kids (who are 4 and 7) and I were immediately hooked. 
Elenco®'s Snap Circuits® makes learning electronics easy and fun! Just follow the colorful pictures in our manual and build exciting projects such as FM radios; digital voice recorders; AM radios; burglar alarms; doorbells and much more! You can even play electronic games with your friends...
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... along the way you also get to try to give them some kind of intuitive way of thinking about electricity. My daughter asked me how the electricity knew where to go since she was pretty sure it didn't have eyes. :-D While I didn't have the best answer for her, I referred to how water didn't need eyes to know where to go either, it just tried to get as low as possible... and that electricity was similar.

She was a little scared by the thunderstorm last night, but I was able to comfort her by suggesting (the oversimplification) that our house had metal components that would make the lightning pass around us, instead of through us, if it got hit, "like the blue pieces in the game". 
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Copyright extensions are out of control and ought to be reigned in.
Officials are now working overtime to finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a secret controversial trade agreement that would trap the U.S. and its partners into excessive copyright term lengths. Speak out now and help us fight back against backroom deals that keep culture and knowledge locked up for decades.
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It isn't often that people follow the old adage and "get a second opinion" for their obscure health problems, but with CrowdMed you can get a lot more than two opinions.

I'll give this a try when I have to, but hope it'll be a while before that happens.
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I didn't realize that there was a DIY way to make the "deepdream" images. I gotta check this out.
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It is pretty cool that the global Drupal Association meetings feature public/open segments that are posted online. It has come a long way since its ragtag beginnings.
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This course is a great start for any wannabe "big data" scientist out there. I completed the first instance of it a some time ago and while it was fairly demanding (5-10 hours per week), it stands out as one of the best courses I have ever taken in any context. They cover a very good range of topics and provide hands lots of hands-on experience.  

The second instance of this course starts today and I highly recommend it. If you're not up to the time commitment, you can just watch the videos and still get something out of it.
Through inspiring examples and stories, discover the power of data and use analytics to provide an edge to your career and your life.
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Omar Bickell

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Great read! While I find this analysis interesting, compelling and useful, I'm not convinced of the need to adhere to a pure version of just one of the three "visions", or IT innovation paradigms, that the author presents. Reality has a way of being messy, consisting of a constant interplay between different systems.
 
Long, but good read, interesting historically and a great message.
Designers! I am a San Francisco computer programmer, but I come in peace! I would like to start with a parable about airplanes. In 1981, my mother and I flew from Warsaw to New York City in this airplane, an Ilyushin-62. The Il-62 exemplifies a Soviet design approach I like to think of as "add ...
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IMO, this is quite significant. Automatic photo/video annotation is to video what speech/sound recognition is to audio.

I smell another wave of "the semantic web is coming" coming.

EDIT: Code is up on GitHub - https://github.com/karpathy/neuraltalk
We haven't designed fully sentient artificial intelligence just yet, but we're steadily teaching computers how to see, read, and understand our world. Last month, Google engineers showed off their...
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This is an interesting article describing how "blockchains", a fundamental component of cryptocurrency protocols such as Bitcoin, could be applied to tracking and validating non-financial transactions, thus opening the door to a wide range of decentralized services.
Forget the currency; it’s the protocol behind it that matters. It will mutate and take over everything we do (or could one day do) on the Web. You’ve been warned
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This 4+ hour video of scientists mulling over the minutia of their data gathering, analysis and reporting processes isn't going to be everybody's cup of tea, but I found it rather fascinating.

Reproducibility is fundamental to the scientific doctrine and yet it is surprisingly rarely achieved or even achievable. Enhancing reproducibility inevitably requires increasing transparency, establishing common standards and building tools that allow disparate data and processes to be compared, combined and interoperable. 

The life sciences have become dominated by computation and make heavy use of open source software and version control systems such a Git to enable decentralized and yet coordinated management and curation of code and data. However, they often lack such "versioning" systems for tracking experimental protocols, data, metadata and methodology reporting.

I can't help but see many overlaps with modern web development where reproducibility and portability are crucial, and yet are rarely perfectly achieved, and where much of the design, decision-making and production process still falls outside the reach of version control and automated build systems.
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This is both interesting and beautiful. 
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Here's one from a recent series. It is hard to pick which one to show since they are all their own special snowflakes. But I also don't want to flood G+ with too much goodness. ;-)

#digitalart  
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Omar's Collections
People
Have him in circles
506 people
Steven Daniel Designs's profile photo
Thierry Brégaint's profile photo
Зоя Нарченко's profile photo
James  Jones's profile photo
John Albin Wilkins's profile photo
Jasmine Cool's profile photo
kate mcdonnell's profile photo
Mike Wink's profile photo
Seren Dagdeviren's profile photo
Work
Occupation
All things Drupal
Employment
  • Statistics Canada via AIM Group
    Senior Drupal Architect, 2014 - present
  • Acquia
    Technical Account Manager, 2013 - 2014
  • Drupal consulting
    Freelancer, 2013
  • Koumbit.org
    Co-Founder, 2004 - 2010
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Montreal, QC, Canada
Story
Tagline
A geek, activist, motivator and long-time Drupal evangelist. I like to think big but keep it real.
Introduction
A geek, activist, motivator, entrepreneur and long-time Drupal evangelist. 

I'm proud of what I accomplished over the last decade and am excited by the challenges that lay ahead for the next one. 
Bragging rights
I built my first website in 1995 and have been using Drupal since fall 2001. Co-Founded Koumbit.org in 2004.
Education
  • McGill University
    Masters in Urban Planning, 1995 - 1997
  • Concordia University
    Bachelor of Science in Geography, 1990 - 1993
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Omar Bickell's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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