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David Richter
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David Richter

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I got out to see Kubo last night. It's a really excellent movie. Don't believe me? Rotten Tomatoes has it at 97% fresh [1].

This track is the first one in the credit role. It's a very good cover.

[1] https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/kubo_and_the_two_strings_2016/
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Me: "I dunno. I'm not 'with her.' My politics can't be summed up in a slogan that fits on a T-shirt."

My brother: [shows picture of T-shirt]

Me: Disregard, then.
The tee that says, I'm liberal AF, but I also like getting things done.
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A frightening analysis of Trump as demagogue and would-be tyrant.
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Signal boost for a friend of mine.
 
This is the latest thing I've been making. It's an Arduino Micro variant with an ESP8266 on board.
Logos Electromechanical LLC is raising funds for Arachnio on Kickstarter! The first truly open source Arduino variant with integrated WiFi. Small and rugged enough to take the Internet of Things everywhere.
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If you're using Google+, you probably care about your Google account.
 
Special offer from Google today: run a 2-minute security check on your account (which is really a good idea anyway) and get a free 2GB of Drive storage space. If your Google account matters to you -- your GMail, YouTube, Google+, Drive, and so on -- this is something worth running every few months.

And after you do that, go enable 2-step verification. (https://www.google.com/landing/2step/) It's the single best thing you can do to protect your account from being compromised. 
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Horrifying, really, and will hopefully spur a transition to open data for all published clinical trials of approved or up-for-approval drugs.
 
Clinical trials are formally high-quality controlled trials, but the raw data is a trade secret of the drug company -- not even the peer reviewers see it. Here a court released some data and documents, so we get a glimpse of what can be hiding: the primary statistical significance was massaged, its effect size was egregiously misstated (as d = 2.9 instead of 0.32!), unfavorable metrics were dropped, and a new metric was tailored onto the data to give a rosier statement.

The drug company wanted to market Celexa for children and adolescents, and they got a published peer-reviewed randomized trial saying it was safe and effective. It actually failed to show the expected difference from placebo, especially in children, but doctors gave it to children trusting this study.

Why so dodgy? Probably related to the fact that the paper was written by a communications consultant hired by the drug company. The academic 'author' was chosen and sent their full draft. Email said they wanted to ghostwrite this paper for "speed and greater control", control needed because "I've heard through the grapevine that not all the data look as great as the primary outcome data". These secondary metrics were dropped from the paper, and they then chose a paper format saying "As a Brief Report, we feel we can avoid mentioning the lack of statistically significant positive effects at week 8 ..." Not even most commercial ghostwriting would be as sketchy as this, I would hope, but the entire fact of ghostwriting was then not disclosed with the published paper.

http://content.iospress.com/articles/international-journal-of-risk-and-safety-in-medicine/jrs717
OBJECTIVE: Deconstruction of a ghostwritten report of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled efficacy and safety trial of citalopram in depressed children and adolescents conducted in the United States. METHODS: Approximately 750 documents fr
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Lucky Oaklanders!
 
YCombinator's UBI experiment will take place in Oakland, CA!

http://blog.ycombinator.com/moving-forward-on-basic-income
Y Combinator's new research hub is conduct a five-year study on basic income, it said on Wednesday.
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The Atlas of Emotion is a tool to help people better understand what emotions are, how they are triggered and what their effects are, and how to become aware of emotions before acting on them.
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I wonder how many people abandon public school for private during and after public school staff strikes?
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Dunno. There's one extra child in Miles's class at Grasshopper Montessori for that reason, but they expect to return to public school. A bus driver told me yesterday that s group of parents in his neighborhood are taking turns hosting their pool of kids.
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Things that delight me!
"The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote after recounting the legal struggles faced by same-sex partners.
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Every day, we read about another woman who has thrown in the towel. A woman who's left her team, or her company, or her industry, fed up with the constant exhaustion of having to continually deal with sexism in the technology industry. And there are doubtlessly many many more who leave silently, without a high-profile exit. How many women (or trans* people, or minority ethnicities, or...) leaving the industry—or worse, never entering it—over this shit are we prepared to tolerate? Even if they don't leave, how many lives are willing to make miserable? How many careers are we willing to stunt through fear, anger, and distress?

I want to make one thing perfectly clear, especially to my fellow white straight cis-males: I'm not OK with this. Not by a very long way. As a manager, I want to make it quite clear that any team under my management will have zero tolerance for sexism, racism and transphobia, in whatever form they come. If I see it, I will call it out. If you want to do it, move elsewhere (ideally out of my company, or even better out of CS altogether). This applies as well for teams, groups, or conferences I participate in, but don't manage: if I see it, I will say it. If it continues, I am done with you and I will do everything in my power to never have to work with you again, at my current or any future company.

I beg all of you to watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaqpoeVgr8U, a video made in the face of (yet another) sexual misbehaviour scandal in the Australian army. It is by far one of the most powerful anti-sexism messages ever spoken. I literally have a calendar reminder set to watch this every few months, because it is so powerful and resonates with me so strongly. It's a refreshing reminder of what a powerful anti-sexism message can look like.

Watch it, and if you take nothing else away from David Morrison's speech, take away this: "The standard you walk past is the standard you accept". It doesn't matter if you're not doing it (making the jokes, performing the microaggressions, belittling the contributions); it matters that you allow it to happen. By allowing it to happen, without stepping in, you are giving it your implicit approval, and letting it take root and grow. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

For the managers reading this, remember his followup: "That goes for all of us, but especially those who, by their rank, have a leadership role". As managers, some of us have a unique ability and responsibility. Do not let this fester in your team. If it festers in your team, it spreads, and the whole of your team, your company, and your industry all become lesser places for it.

Don't be silent. We, as individuals and as an industry, need to root this rot out and destroy it. It will take all of us, and I promise to do what I can.

Author's note: this is an edited version of something I posted internally at Google.
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