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Sue T
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Absolute stupidity, or a grand plan?
Ryan Jones Sat, 22 Jul 2017 17:43 UTC     It hasn’t been a Good News Week over the last seven days in Australia. You all remember us, right? We may be on the other side of the world, way down under, and not very significant politically, but as a…

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Sammy J's Democratic Party.

Well worth watching the series!

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🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿_VALE YAMI LESTER_ 🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿Nuclear bomb survivor and activist, Yami Lester has passed away at 75. I had trouble classifying this article about this amazing man's life story. So I will repost in other categories too.

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Haven't read it yet. 
The decline and fall of Google+

Back in 2011, Google was feeling under threat from Facebook. They decided to create Google+, and put Vic Gundotra in charge. He said:

We’re transforming Google itself into a social destination at a level and scale that we’ve never attempted — orders of magnitude more investment, in terms of people, than any previous project.

But it didn't work:

"It was clear if you looked at the per user metrics, people weren’t posting, weren't returning and weren’t really engaging with the product," says one former employee. "Six months in, there started to be a feeling that this isn’t really working."

The question is just how Google can extricate itself without losing face. Here's part of the story:

By early 2014, less than three years after its big launch, the Google+ team had moved out of its coveted building to a spot on campus further from Page. Gundotra announced his departure from the company that April — in a Google+ post, of course — to pursue "a new journey."

Throughout Gundotra's tenure running social at Google, he alternately inspired and polarized his own employees and irritated other departments by encroaching on their fiefdoms with various Google+ efforts, according to multiple sources who worked with him. Gundotra's proximity to Page may have shielded him, but that could only last so long with the Google+ "ghost town" narrative and user backlash from the forced integration with YouTube.

More than a year after leaving Google, Gundotra has yet to announce that next stop on his journey. Two former colleagues say Gundotra is still mostly traveling and relaxing. "He's too young to retire," one associate says. "He'll go on to do something else."

David Besbris, who helped launch the social network with Gundotra, took over as head of Google+ and claimed that Google was committed to "social... for the long haul." Six months after making that statement, he was replaced in the top spot by Bradley Horowitz, a longtime Google executive.

The buried news in the Horowitz announcement: Google had begun referring to its social operations as "Google Photos and Streams." In Horowitz's blog post this week, that name expanded to "Streams, Photos, and Sharing." By rebranding in this way, Google can separate the failure of "Streams" — the feed activity that most associate with a social network — from the more successful features bundled with it.

"I’ve concluded that it’s time for a 'pivot'... or more precisely time to talk more openly about a pivot that’s been underway for some time (and in fact is reflected in the name of the new team)," Horowitz wrote on Monday, announcing the end of requiring a Google+ account to use Google products. "Google+ can now focus on doing what it’s already doing quite well: helping millions of users around the world connect around the interest they love. Aspects of the product that don’t serve this agenda have been, or will be, retired."

Translation: Google+ is shifting from a Facebook clone to more of a Pinterest lookalike to see if it can build momentum. At the same time, Google is investing resources to build more standalone social products like the Photos app, which has generated plenty of positive press.

"I don't think that owning a pure-play social network is important for Google at this point, but having a connection to social is important," says Brian Blau, an analyst who covers Internet companies for Gartner.

If and when the Google+ brand is phased, as many we spoke with expect, Google won't need to say it killed Google+. Several years from now, when nobody is paying attention, a Google employee can just publish a long list of features that have been done away with as part of a routine spring cleaning. Halfway down that list, an astute reader will see the word "Streams."

This story is from 2015. Around then, Google+ started downplaying 'circles' and getting weird bugs, which presumably don't get fixed because nobody in Google uses Google+.

It's too bad, because at the start felt Google+ was an exciting place: the place Facebook should be but isn't. But weirdos like me were never relevant to Google's plans for world domination. So, as Google+ twitched around frantically trying to appeal to more people, it got less interesting to my friends and me. Now that most of them are gone, I hang around mainly out of habit. The reason is that I haven't found a social media platform I like better.

But the upshot is actually good, for me at least! I'm spending more time working with my grad students - I've got 6 of them, so that's easily a full-time job. I also have a project going with a company, and a lot of online friends. So these days, instead of explaining stuff here, I'm more likely to spend half an hour in the morning sending people technical emails about math and physics. That turns out to be more satisfying.

It's not a complete substitute, because I like explaining stuff in a public forum. But I only like it if get interesting feedback, and I only like it if I feel some of my friends are listening.

My change in habits is also connected to Trump and his army of trolls. These days, when I post about politics or global warming, I start by getting interesting comments, but then people start to fight, and then, when the post gets a lot of +1s, the conversation gets swamped by blueheads: nasty people without real profiles. I got sick of dealing with this, so now I post without allowing comments. So, what was once a discussion forum now seems better as a place to merely broadcast my views. Sad.

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Mater Hospital in Brisbane backing a coal mine sends some interesting messages. Are we to assume that Black Lung is good, coal related respiratory issues are welcome and assorted coal induced cancers are fine? Are the many documented issues related to living near a coal mine irrelevant? Is working towards a clean and healthy environment old fashioned, and has concern about pollution as a result of coal mining become more of a "meh" shoulder shrug rather than outrage?
We generally expect hospitals to work to decrease illnesses, especially when the cause is preventable.
Backing a coal mine with advertising is an extraordinary stance to take. I wonder if Mater Hospital had patients being treated for coal related illnesses, how they feel about the ads. advertising. 

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The Daily Mail Yearbook 1914.
A fabulous low rate of death from diphtheria ranging from 89 to 125 per 1000 since anti toxic serums have begun to be used.
Deaths from whooping cough for both adults and children continue to fall!
White Plague continues to be a problem around 53,000 deaths per annum.
Phthisis (pulmonary tuberculosis) is far worse for males in London than anyone elsewhere.

So let's see those who are pro disease transport themselves back to these days and chat with the researchers and doctors battling to save people from often prolonged and painful deaths and see how they're welcomed.

Edited to reflect the more positive phrase pro disease rather than the negative anti-vaxers. With thanks to +Stuart Lamble for the reminder and also +Charles Strebor

#diseaseskill #whiteplague #whoopingcough #TB

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Yes, schools are a big part of the problem, and well trained and well resourced career counsellors should be mandatory in every school. (As regularly happened in Vic when I had the job many years ago.) This needs to be a dedicated position on top of current staffing levels - not taking a teacher from another area just to fill a gap.

As for useful resources, in 2015 the LNP government removed funding for some excellent resources which used to be provided to students for free. The Job Guide used to be distributed to every year 10 student to enable them to research, dream, explore and discuss a wide variety of careers based on interest. The equally excellent On-line Job Guide which had hyperlinks to extra information (relevant to different states) was also defunded. There's something similar now, but a hard copy is still beneficial for many students and some may not know this exists: - The Good Careers Guide | Job Guide

There were excellent programmes for parents, training them in how to use the resources, workshopping tactics to open up discussions in a positive way, teaching them not to impose their personal career frustrations and dreams on a child with no aptitude in the area and so on. Parents found these extremely useful and empowering to work with their children, rather than clashing with ideas that were outdated, irrelevant or uninformed.

It's not just schools to blame. When the government deliberately chooses to remove resources, ie the tools of the trade, they need to take some responsibility for the current appalling state of career education.

There's also a lot more discussion needed about knowing what jobs will be available in 10 years, with a strong reminder than aptitude is extremely important, also how to plan for a problematic future when un and underemployment is prevalent, including how to productively fill your time when there's no work and you're depressed as all hell from being blamed for something you had no part in creating, and industry taking their quota of responsibility for offering properly paid training, mentoring and so on. Then there's the elephant in the room of climate change; How do we support young people and ourselves) find meaning and sanity in our cooking world? Lots of big thorny questions, but let's blame schools, that's easy.

Rant over.

#careers #schools #education

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Small steps in the right direction add up.
A positive attitude, commitment and looking towards a more positive future are necessary -all lacking under the LNP IPA and murdoch triad.
#india #renewableenergy #solar 

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