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Wayne Radinsky
Attended University Of Colorado At Boulder
Lives in Denver
14,317 followers|6,054,365 views
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"From about 1915, when the statistical record begins, until 1980, about one in every 50 babies born was a twin, a rate of 2 percent. Then, the rate began to increase: by 1995, it was 2.5 percent. The rate surpassed 3 percent in 2001 and hit 3.3 percent in 2010. Now, one out of every 30 babies born is a twin." But why?

"Older women tend to have more twins than younger women -- and older women are having more of the nation's babies. The researchers found this demographic phenomenon accounted for one-third of the increase. They attributed the rest of it to the increase in infertility treatments, specifically in-vitro fertilization and 'ovulation stimulation medications.'"
A million more, roughly, when compared to the pre-1980 twin rates. So what changed?
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Fertility drugs?  Vastly better pre-natal care, that allows marginal pregnancies to go to term rather than suffering spontaneous abortions?
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"Everyone knows about the big Internet scams: the e-mails advertising diet pills, the proposed Nigerian bank transfers. But we tend to overlook the milder forms of truth-stretching that have come to shape online living."

"Few customers realize that the results generated by Amazon's search engine are partly determined by promotional fees." "More and more product reviews are now fake, and some earnest testimonials from bloggers are paid for." "When you 'buy' digital goods, the companies maintain that, despite the big 'buy' button, what they gave you is nothing more than limited permission to use it -- based on fine print that creates a license, not a transfer of ownership."
We tend to overlook the mild deceptions that shape online living, often perpetuated by companies like Apple and Amazon.
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Sichuan pepper chemically mimics touch and activates the same neurons that are affected by tingling and numbing paresthesia. It feels like the equivalent of a 50 hertz vibration.
The Sichuan peppercorn that makes our mouths tingle activates the same neurons as when our foot falls asleep. Scientists are hoping the connection unlocks clues for how to turn those neurons off.
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I got some of these once and discovered that you can't replace these fir other kinds of pepper.
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How Americans die. People aged 45-54 have made surprisingly little progress in mortality since the late-1990s. AIDS caused a surge of deaths in the early 90s which has subsided. Suicide is increasing, while other forms of death are decreasing or staying the same. People are living longer, so there is more Alzheimer's.
Americans die in smaller portions each year, but what kills us is changing.
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I should add- most common wisdom is that the fitness trend rolled back on itself in the 90s.
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Financial institutions across London all keep their own slightly different time, which enables high-frequency traders to exploit gaps such as how last year, Reuters admitted releasing manufacturing data 15 milliseconds before official publication due to a clock synchronisation issue, and algorithms instantly pounced on the early information, trading an estimated $28 million in shares in that 15 millisecond interval. That will soon be stopped by using the atomic clock at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Teddington to keep all the financial institutions' clocks in sync. Nothing similar will be done in the US because the US atomic clock is in Boulder, Colorado, far from New York which is the financial center of the country. But an atomic clock could be built in New York for the same purpose.
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High speed trading brings no benefit whatsoever to the real world. It's just a tool that some financial companies use to extract a marginal profit from transations by manipulating the markets. Do away with it.
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Have him in circles
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Wayne Radinsky

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How is Yahoo so worthless? Once you subtract out Yahoo's 24% ownership in Alibaba and its 35% stake in Yahoo Japan, Yahoo's core business is valued at negative $10 billion." Is it because investors are discounting Alibaba and Yahoo Japan because of the tax that would be charged if Yahoo sold the shares? Is it because of the "conglomerate discount"? Is it because investors think Yahoo's core business, digital advertising, while profitable, is a difficult business?

I have a theory: maybe "investors" just aren't that smart.
New calculations show that the company's core business is valued at negative-$10 billion. What?
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Investors have to do with limited information. Valuation inconsistencies must be related to the way large investors, such as hedge and pension funds consider possible future outcomes. Shares as property are valuable only if they bring owner control or if they have potential buyers on the market.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/amanda-h--goodall-explains-why-organizations-perform-better-when-technical-or-scientific-talent-is-put-in-charge
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"When watch­ing the TV news, or read­ing news­pa­per com­men­tary, I am fre­quently amazed at the attempts peo­ple make to inter­pret ran­dom noise."

"For exam­ple, the lat­est tiny fluc­tu­a­tion in the share price of a major com­pany is attrib­uted to the CEO being ill. When the exchange rate goes up, the TV finance com­men­ta­tor con­fi­dently announces that it is a reac­tion to Chi­nese build­ing con­tracts. No one ever says 'The unem­ploy­ment rate has dropped by 0.1% for no appar­ent reason.'"

I once read an excellent book called Fooled By Randomness (Nassim Taleb's best book, imho, but not his most famous). True to its title, the book is a catalog of all the ways we humans are fooled by randomness. And this example is in the book -- in fact he calls it the "Bloomberg Machine". The "Bloomberg Machine" reports false explanations of random fluctuations in stock prices and other financial data. "The stock price of ABC company was down on XYZ news." Oh really? Did you call everyone who bought and sold that stock that day -- thousands of people -- and ask them what the reason was?
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That is something I can really relate to, having seen misinterpretation of random data cause big problems in business. Sometimes you have to focus on long term trends and ignore short term fluctuations. 
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A switch that can be turned on and off using a single photon has been invented. That sounds pretty amazing but the article suggests in won't be used for conventional computing, but may find a use in secure communications by enabling quantum cryptography on fiber optic lines. If photons are disturbed in transmission the disturbance can be detected at the other end.
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Sounds like time for you to write up that grant application and find the answer for us, +Richard Healy!
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If anyone wants a ginormous inflatable astronaut, contact this guy. It looks like it'll otherwise be thrown away after the Coachella festival.
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There's no way my wife would agree to have that on our property.
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"Slater Victoroff and Alec Radford of Olin College of Engineering are looking to make machine learning as simple as any other programming function. That's why they developed Indico, a platform for machine learning and data science." They "got the idea for Indico from Kaggle, a large-scale data competition that the two began competing in during their sophomore year. On Kaggle, top PhD and post-docs from around the world compete on this platform for 'fortune, fame, and fun.' At first, Victoroff and Radford started competing as a hobby, but when they found themselves ranked as 66 out of 150,000, they thought it might be time to start something in this space."
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Have him in circles
14,317 people
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Software Design and Development
Employment
  • Software Design and Development, present
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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
Denver
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Denver - Silicon Valley, California
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Software Design Engineer
Introduction
I'm a software engineer specializing in great design of software -- every successful large software project ever made started out as a small software project that got larger. The key to a successful large project is knowing how to design software when it is small so it is capable of growing. Poor design in the early stages leads to high-entropy software that is difficult to maintain and add new features to years down the line. Good design in the initial stages allows new software features to be added easily. Good design doesn't take any more time than poor design, but you have to know how to do it.

Certain keys are very essential to good design. The beginning is the program's data structures, which form the foundation for any software project. The key to good data structure design is to make sure that the relationships between bits of data in your data structures are the same as the relationships between the objects or ideas that those data structures represent in the minds of your users. Any time these get out of sync, you are in for trouble -- but the trouble does not usually arrive immediately -- it can arrive months or years down the line. This delayed feedback cycle is one reason many software projects run late or fail. Any time the data structures are out of sync with the minds of users, there is the temptation to "patch" the problem by adding more data structures, that form a bridge between the existing data structures, and what you want to do. These "patches" are, unfortunately, "dirty hacks", that down the road will add complexity to your software. It is this complexity -- and more to the point, *unnecessary* complexity, that makes it more difficult to maintain or extend your software with new features in the future.

It is also extremely important to design the code structure correctly. It is very common to make basic errors like using global variables. Globals are very powerful, but should be used with care -- they connect separate components of the software with each other. (And be aware that many variables are global even when they are not called "global" in your particular programming language -- they can have other names). When you *want* something to apply "everywhere", globals are the right choice, because you change them in one place and the change is applied everywhere. But more often than not, globals are used when they shouldn't be, causing a change in one part of a program to cause another part of the program, that seems unrelated, to break.

Another minefield is object oriented programming. Objects are an extremely powerful and flexible programming metaphor -- and that's the problem. They are so flexible that they can mean almost anything, and they can make it easy for you to shoot yourself in the foot with excessive complexity. In reality, there is nothing wrong with non-object-oriented programming -- proper and thoughtful use of functions and libraries of functions -- so it is not necessary to use objects everywhere or make "everything" an object in your program. In particular, there is no advantage in doing "object-relational mapping" -- if you're doing this, it means you have designed all your data structures *twice* (once in the relational data model, and again in an object-oriented model), wasting effort. Furthermore, objects should only be used when they add *clarity* to a program, when they make it easier to understand how the program works, rather than more difficult. In certain situations, such as when polymorphism is needed to solve whatever problem your software needs to solve for the user, objects are a clear benefit, simplifying the design and adding clarity to the code. In many other situations, however, excess use of objects creates obfuscation, leading to maintainability problems and difficulty adding features to your software in the future.

And it is these complexity issues that impose limitations on how big your software can get, how many features it can have, and ultimately how well your business can grow and how well you can serve your customers.
Education
  • University Of Colorado At Boulder
    Computer Science
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