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Jonathan Brier
Works at University of Maryland, College Park
Attends University of Maryland
Lives in Hyattsville, MD
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Jonathan Brier

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Beware cheap cables: Some issues found put your devices at risk. Make sure to check out his reviews, they may save your device.

I'm very happy to see people out there verifying and rating cables. This comes at the right time, days before my first USB C device arrives.

If you find or have verified his findings it would be of value to comment on those products. #devicesafty   #designtospec  
My team at Google has been very big proponents and innovators of USB Type-C. I've worked on two Pixel products now that use the connector and its related technologies (Power Delivery, Alternate Mode, USB 3.1). It really is an amazing little connector.

However, now that there are more and more Type C products rolling out from Nexus, One+, Nokia, and more, this I have found painfully true : USB Type-C will only be as good as its ecosystem, and more specifically, the worst of its ecosystem.

I have started reviewing USB cables on Amazon because I have gotten fed up with the early cables from 3rd party vendors that so blatantly flaunt the specification and I want to hold them to task.

You may not just get weird behavior from your devices with these bad cables... What some these vendors are doing is downright dangerous.

I've been contemplating setting up a blog where I document bad cables and perhaps give some insights into USB Type C as well.

#USB   #TypeC ,
#Nexus   #ChromebookPixel   #PixelC  

 Edit : Want to help check your questionable cables, and have a Pixel 2015?
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Hello hi friend
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Jonathan Brier

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Are you ready for citizen science day April 16th? Check out events near you!

#CitSciDay #SciFest will be going on in the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC's convention center. Meet the Science Cheerleaders and SciStarter team at booth 3523.
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Jonathan Brier

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It is great that a cleanup is underway to track down the pollution sources and divert runoff from the city to water treatment plants. Sadly we (the USA) let some of our waterways become polluted and even scarier is the continuous efforts to roll back parts of the Clean Water Act and other measures that help us clean up and prevent future catastrophes.

#pollution   #sustainability  
A detailed new report shows that polluters' efforts to clean up their practices have not been enough.
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Are you ready for National Citizen Science Day April 16th? Check out the events happening near you! #citsci
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Filled out form to find event on my Moto X and pressed find. Find button did not proceed. User error?
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Jonathan Brier

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You kind of get the sense of the scale of some citizen science projects when they can visualize their data on a global map.

It is very cool how we can track migrations thanks to citizen scientists participation. There are so many untapped project possibilities yet to be considered.
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Jonathan Brier

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Given the talent behind this new animated movie of the classic Dragon's Lair video game I am super excited. Some movies you may recognise The Land Before Time, An American Tale, All Dogs Go to Heaven, and Titan A.E among other big hits.

Their crowdfunding met their goal and are going for the stretch goal in the next eight hours if you want to support this even further. #indiegogo
Don Bluth & Gary Goldman come together to bring the classic game Dragon's Lair to the big screen. | Crowdfunding is a democratic way to support the fundraising needs of your community. Make a contribution today!
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The ability to harness archived data for science never ceases to amaze. This is one example of why archives should be well funded.
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Jonathan Brier

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The push for more two factor authentication for account security has been going on for a while, but its always good to encourage more sites to join. When a shopping site like +Etsy supports two factor, but where you get your genetic code download like +23andMe doesn't it seems like there is room to improve in this space.
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If any kind person would want to gift me this bundle I would not refuse. :) This collection looks entertaining. #Tolkien   #gradlife   #wishIhadarealpaycheckagain  
Pay what you want for fully dramatized versions of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit while supporting charity
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Jonathan Brier

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To all you sodastream users... You can stop over paying for CO2 with this mod.
As long as you have some basic Ikea skills and a nearby place to refill a tank, you can better manage the cost of your addiction to fizzy water.
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Definitely gonna have to look into this. 
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Jonathan Brier

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Nice exploration tool from the +Union of Concerned Scientists  on vehicle emissions comparisons. While they cover the standard categories using regional averages as explained at

I would be interested to see what different subscription levels to various Green-e certified renewables would do to the plug-in hybrid and battery electric. This tool would be a be good point to show the current level of renewable on average in a region, the current planned level they are trying to achieve versus opting to subscribe to an alternative provider who provides a higher percent renewable and how that impacts your emission profile now and in the coming year, five, and decade.
Climate pollution from electric cars varies between regions and car models. Use this tool to look at the numbers in YOUR area.
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A reason why buying original manufacturer cables are a safer bet in USB C... some are not building to the standards and making big messes. These cables handle more power thus the impact can kill your device!
Here are some pictures of the torn down SurjTech 3M cable that fried my Pixel.

This is a follow up to my review here :

Visual observations :
1. Red wire to G. Black wire to V. So wrong.
2. Missing SuperSpeed wires on the back of the connector. Only 4 wires in total. This cable was advertised as a USB 3.1 SuperSpeed cable but is entirely missing the TX/RX
3. Generally a poor job with the soldering of the wires.

Other observations using a multimeter : 
1) 10 kΩ resistor instead of 56 kΩ resistor used.
2) resistor hooked up as a Pull-down instead of a pull-up

#USB   #TypeC   #USBC  
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Jonathan's Collections
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PhD Student and Graduate Research Assistant
Thinking outside the norm, connecting people and ideas, making the world a more connected place
  • University of Maryland, College Park
    Graduate Research Assistant, 2015 - present
    Research assistant to Dr. Andrea Wiggins my PhD advisor where I work in the Open Knowledge Lab on research related to citizen science, online communities, social computing, data management, and group work.
  • SciStarter
    Strategic Advisor, 2013 - present
    Advise on business and social design. Co-develop the information architecture, assess usability usability, improve semantic design and SEO. Co-administer the IT infrastructure and site development. Additional consulting and responsibilities as they arise.
  • Charity Engine
    Support/ Community Manager / Consultant, 2012 - present
  • GridRepublic
    Community Manager / Outreach Coordinator / Support, 2008 - present
  • University of Michigan
    Post Masters Researcher, 2012 - 2015
    Working in the School of Information under supervision of Tom Finholt. Exploring the usability and user experience of the XSEDE supercomputing metrics tool XDMoD. Designed an Android app for evaluating energy consumption in maintaining social networks.
  • Biggs|Gilmore
    User Experience Designer Intern, 2011 - 2011
    Gathered and analyzed client content for the development of information architecture and wireframes. Worked with design and development teams on wireframe and functional design possibility. Delivered wireframes and information architecture design to client. Also conducted usability testing for web based games with children.
  • Oakland County Government
    IT Engineer, 2010 - 2011
  • The City of Portage
    Technical Leader, 2008 - 2008
  • The City of Portage
    Technical Assistant, 2007 - 2007
  • The Image Place, Inc.
    Lab Assistant, 2004 - 2004
    Conducted small and large print mounting and coating. Developed 35 mm and 110 mm films. Performed other misc tasks around the lab.
  • The Adler Planetarium
    Social Media Intern, 2011 - 2011
    Week long internship assisting in website usability analysis, social media strategy development, patron interview and surveys, and designing complex survey logic for future evaluations.
  • University of Michigan
    SI 631/634 Grader, 2012 - 2012
    Graded and answered questions in the Content Management Systems courses with a primary focus on Drupal. SI 631 is a client project course aimed at designing a site according to client requests. SI 634 is a intro course to Drupal configuration.
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Hyattsville, MD
Ann Arbor, Michigan - Portage, Michigan - Weirton, WV - East Lansing, MI - Rochester, MI
Citizen Science Advocate, Environmentally Conscious Geek, Information Addict.
I am a netizen and Eagle Scout who loves to make a difference in the world and champion user's rights.  Social good is core to my life. I focusing the majority of my efforts through the nonprofit GridRepublic.

You might think all I do is make accounts on new websites as seen by the extensive list of accounts on the right, but really I use most of these to study the behaviors within them to help me to better understand interactions, behaviors, and breakdowns in online communities.

My Research
I conduct user experience evaluations and research on the XSEDE supercomputing grid metrics interface which is the successor to the Teragrid.  I am ensuring everyone can get what they need from the system and make the experience as intuitive as possible.  For more on XSEDE watch the video highlight.

My work Interest
My goal is to work on projects that scale for social good.  My main interests are citizen science and volunteer computing.  I want to increase the efficiency of our world by harnessing underutilized resources for productive measures.  

My citizen science interest is in the abilities of mobilizing people to reconnect with the world around them and participate in research projects by helping to analyze, collect, and interpret the data and develop the hypothesis that currently is not possible in a reasonable time frame with current methods.

Similarly with volunteer computing I want to harness the computational resources available all around us. Why buy a computer, tv, phone, etc just to let its processing abilities go to waste when you are not actively using it.  People could let these devices process small parts of information for a cause they care about such as curing a disease or searching for cleaner fuels.

GridRepublic promotes, simplifies use of, and distributes a program for computers which harnesses spare processing power (number crunching) of computers to tackle challenging problems from scientists and other processing projects that the computer owner chooses to support.  

The projects come from universities and researchers from around the world. GridRepublic is powered by BOINC a software developed at the University of California Berkeley and funded by the National Science Foundation

Visit the GridRepublic website, GridRepublic Google+ page, the Progress Thru Processors app or the Gridrepublic page on Facebook to see more.

For a easy way to share GridRepublic with friends and colleges share the one page description pdf.  This pdf can also be found on the advocacy page in the GridRepublic community.

I like #scifi, #technology, and #sustainability... these are the circles I best fit into.

Contact & Following:
Bragging rights
Eagle Scout, Google+ beta user, Cr-48 beta user, Attended the #NASASocial at JPL for the Curiosity Rover Landing on Mars
Collections Jonathan is following
  • University of Maryland
    Information Studies - PhD, 2015 - present
    Focused work on citizen science and social computing activities with Dr. Andrea Wiggins as my advisor.
  • University of Michigan School of Information
    Masters of Science in Information - Social Computing, 2010 - 2012
    I attended graduate school at the University of Michigan for a Master of Science in Information and specialized in Social Computing and dabbled in Human Computer Interaction. My courses covered usability testing and research, recommender and reputation systems, ecommunities, game theory, and social conscious business design (Ross Business School cognate course).
  • Michigan State University College of Communication Arts and Sciences
    Bachelors of Science in Media and Communication Technology with a specialization in Information Technology, 2005 - 2010
    I graduated in May 2010 with a B.S. in Media and Communication Technology with an Information Technology Specialization at Michigan State University. The focus of my degree was Social Computing, Information Technology Projects, and Telecommunication Systems. The business courses included accounting and supply chain management. The telecom courses included project design, management, proposal and project development, and study of the various levels of Internet infrastructure and operations. All of these on top of the core courses for undergraduates and some engineering courses where I started my college career.
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Other names
Jon Brier, wolfgang8741, brierjon
Apps with Google+ Sign-in
  • Give it Up
  • Clash Royale
  • Crossy Road
  • Defender 2
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