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Thomas Dimiduk
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Nice long article explaining a bit about what happens in high frequency trading. Even better, it offers some hope in the form of the story of a new exchange called IEX which apparently manages to fix the crazy unfair advantage high frequency traders get on normal markets.
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/magazine/flash-boys-michael-lewis.html?_r=0

Someone built a version of what I have been ranting needed to be done to fix the stock market.
How a band of outsiders discovered that the stock market was rigged — and set out to change it.
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mark wollschlager's profile photoVictor Echeverria's profile photo
 
I would like to point out that, based on this description of high-frequency trading, a more correct term would be "low-latency trading".
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Nice explanation for the (relatively) lay person of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Inflation discovery by the BICEP2 team.

This is far from my area of physics, but it looks like a pretty awesome discovery.

my tldr; (feel free to correct me if you know this better)
The inflationary Big Bang theory predicts that Inflation caused the universe to suddenly become optically transparent. The photons last scattered at that early time are the CMB. The polarization of these photons is not completely explained by standard gravitational lensing, but could be explained by gravity waves caused by the inflation of the early universe.

via +Felipe Lessa 
 
Echoes

Today's post is a summary of the BICEP2 results on inflation.  It has a lot of images, so it's on the blog.  At noon I'll be on the radio talking about the results (http://goo.gl/cnlWlq), so I've been spending much of my time doing background reading.  Tomorrow will bring a more traditional post.
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Heres a radical idea: Maybe we should make a new class of tenured professor: the teaching professor.
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It looks like the Ampere might be on track for getting a rigorous definition in terms of electron charge!
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Ameya Agaskar's profile photoAlexa Dosk's profile photoWinchell Chung's profile photo
 
It'll be nice when SI is all in terms of physical constants. No more kilogram brick in a safe, slowly evaporating.

Also, I spotted an error in the article. The second is not defined in terms of "the frequency at which electrons in caesium atoms transition between energy levels," but the frequency of the radiation corresponding to the hyperfine transition. So cesium atomic clocks are accurate by definition (OK, not quite because the definition specifies cesium at 0 K.)
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Interesting article that goes through the history of our definition of a "doctor", the crisis of a sort the modern conception of a doctor faces, and a proposal that the way forward is for doctors to emphasise their role as leaders.
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Thomas Dimiduk

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It seems like scientists are all about immortality these days. It's not just plants and people that are getting the treatment, though. A team of Harvard engineers are developing a way of producing color that could produce paint that never fades, and displays that never go dark.
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Further demonstrating that medicine is complicated, a 90,000 person, 25 year study has shown that mammography makes essentially no statistically significant difference in breast cancer mortality for women 40-59 years old. It does however lead to significant treatment of cancers that wouldn't have killed the patient. 

The actually British Medical Journal article is also quite readable if you want more detail:
http://press.psprings.co.uk/bmj/february/breastscreening.pdf
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I just signed this petition. To me it seems internet is really another utility like power and water, and shouldn't get distorted by monopolistic companies. If we actually had a competitive economy for internet access, I would be more ok with these companies doing whatever they wanted and just taking my business elsewhere. But when you only have one or maybe two options of companies that will serve your house, some regulation to keep the internet useful seems appropriate
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Nice summary by Schneier on what is wrong with mass surveillance:
(1) It is extremely expensive both in dollars and in loss of trust and faith
(2) I isn't effective (the NSA is down to only claiming that their surveillance has only stopped one, nonviolent, plot).

Reigning it in is going to be very hard, because there are many agencies doing these things, and they have shown a willingness to creatively interpret or otherwise bypass restrictions their ability to surveille. Furthermore, they work very hard to keep secret exactly what they do in fact do, making it even harder to review these activities.

My opinion, is that an important route to improve these problems is to cut way back on the amount of money we send to these agencies. I don't think a one or two order of magnitude decrease in funding for the intelligence community over the next ten years would be out of place. That money, spent on public safety or public health initiatives should be able to prevent far more deaths and injuries than the surveillance has, and will force the intelligence community to become more efficient about targeting real bad actors instead of just vacuuming up everything. 

via +glyn moody (but I made my own post because I wanted to use a real url instead of a bit.ly one)
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Another interesting move against the current status qua in science publishing. Of course it is easier for a Nobel Laureate to decide not to publish in these journals, but maybe it can help start a trend. 
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Have him in circles
5,322 people
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Grad Student - Scientist/Engineer
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I have ideas, some of them might even be good
Introduction
I am a grad student in Physics at Harvard.  I work in the Manoharan Lab (manoharan.seas.harvard.edu) I work on using Digital Holographic Microscopy to study biology (specifically cell growth).  

I am one of the core developers of Holopy www.launchpad.net/holopy a python package for analyzing digital holograms.  

I am creator of GroupEng: www.groupeng.org a computer utility to aid instructors in forming groups groupwork in their classes, specifically in following research recommendations for retention of women and minorities in engineering. 

I try to stay reasonably active, doing Aikido, Hiking, Sailing, Kayaking, Cross Country Skiing, Running, ...

I try to adhere to "If you don't have anything worth saying, don't say anthing" with respect to posting.  Don't expect a ton of posts from me, but I try to keep the quality reasonably high.  
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