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Cat Allman
Works at Google OSPO
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Cat Allman

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For those of us who celebrate it, Merry full moon Christmas!

And a belated Happy Solstice!
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Isn't it gorgeous?? So glad we don't have cloud cover for it, no full moon on Christmas until 2035!

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Cat Allman

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Do cool stuff. Open source. In Mountain View with Google
Open Source Engineer
https://grow.googleplex.com/opportunity/job/8499645119
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Alan Clegg's profile photoCat Allman's profile photoEric Christopher's profile photo
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One of the best groups to work in at Google from what I've heard.
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Cat Allman

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Rome so far...
Sleeping too much for site seeing after an easy but sleepless series of flights and a migraine in the night, so dinner with friends in the old ghetto was welcome. Slept in so instead of dashing around I wandered into a park near my hotel to enjoy watching Romans living their lives over coffee, little Italian children singing "all about the bass" in Italian, Italian crows - so elegant - and Italian lizards enjoying the sun. Off to work now.
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Hope you've caught up on sleep and ditched that migraine for good! I loved Rome; it was this cognitive dissonance mishmash of ancient civilization surrounded by noisy, modern Italian life.
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Cat Allman

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A lyric piece on baseball, dance and parenting. http://www.csnbayarea.com/show/baseballet 
Baseball and Ballet. What happens when performance art combines with sport on one of the most scenic sporting stages in the world?
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Warning - falling rocks!

The annual Perseid meteor shower (arguably the best meteor shower of the year) should be very good on the nights of August 10/11, 11/12, 12/13, and 13/14 -- especially after midnight (indeed, the predawn hours should yield the largest hourly rate).  The peak is predicted to occur in the early morning of Thursday, August 13 (that is, midnight through predawn on Wednesday night, Aug. 12/13). The Moon will be a waning crescent, so it won't brighten the sky very much (New Moon will be on Aug. 14). The meteor shower occurs because Earth flies through debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, and the little bits of rock and ice will burn up as they zip through Earth's upper atmosphere (altitude about 60 miles) at nearly 130,000 miles/hour.  ("Shooting stars" or "falling stars" are not stars at all, of course!)

I encourage you to view the meteor shower, for at least half an hour
(but an hour or longer is better). Try to get as far away from city
lights as possible. No binoculars or telescopes are needed; just 
look at the sky with your unaided eyes from as dark a location as
possible. Let your eyes become dark-adapted so you can see fainter
meteors (this can take up to 15 minutes). Choose an open sky, without buildings or trees in the way. You can lie down on a blanket or a reclining lawn chairfor comfort, if you wish.

Looking anywhere in the sky is fine, but views to the northeast should
provide the most meteors. If you have dark, clear skies, you might see
a few dozen per hour (perhaps even one per minute, at the peak of the shower before dawn on Aug. 13). The meteor rate will be highest when viewed from the northern (not southern) hemisphere.

There are many useful references with additional information and
viewing tips, etc., if you Google "Perseid meteor shower 2015"; see,
for example,
http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/everything-you-need-to-know-perseid-meteor-shower,
http://www.astronomy.com/observing/sky-events/2015/08/perfect-conditions-for-summers-top-meteor-shower,
and
http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/observing-news/plan-for-the-perseids/ .

Feel free to distribute this message to friends who might be interested.

Good luck, and have fun!
In N. Hemisphere, August's Perseid meteor shower ranks as a favorite. You can see these meteors from S. Hemisphere, too. 2015 is a great year for this shower!
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I'm going to try meteor trail propagation if I can get a yagi built in time.
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Cat Allman

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Hi all,

As part of my work with the Google | Making Science team I'm looking for recommendations of people doing interesting science and/or engineering/making video / audio content on the web, including but not limited to YouTube. Please send me any suggestions, especially of work you think doesn't get the attention it deserves. 

Thanks in advance for your help!

Cat
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Thanks, everyone!
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If you're not paying for the product, you are the product.

I have to admit, this is a catchy line.  It appeals to the inner cynic in us all and makes a certain amount of sense in a core, "what can you do for me," type of thinking.

But it's hog-wash.

I work for Google so I follow the news about the company and I'm really tired of seeing that first line, or some variation of it, spouted by people who really don't care enough to want to think it through.  It does not work that way!

Yes, Google is a company.  And yes, Google is a reasonably large company (though not that large compared to the likes of IBM, GE, etc.).  But though a company is a single entity in the eyes of the law, it is not run like that.  Google is full of many thousands of individuals, many of whom are more rabid about user privacy than the privacy watchdogs that complain.  I've watched them take Larry and Sergey to task on stage about the smallest things.  I've done it twice myself.  If the leaders of the company purposely violated our users' trust, there would be open revolt and the founders would be lucky to not find themselves strung up by their toes.

Everything Google does is done for our users.  Your happiness is always the first priority, even above Ads.  (I've seen this in both policy and various practical implementations.)  You are not product; you are our customers!  That's simply the way we view it and it permeates the company from bottom to top.  Everything is done to make a better service for you.

Even Ads is viewed as a service to our users.  Random ads are garbage.  Useful ads are a benefit.  Yes, it's also a benefit to our publishers and yes, it's also a benefit to our shareholders.  Since when did win-win-win arrangements become a bad thing?

I won't claim that Google always gets it exactly right or that we haven't made mistakes.  We don't and we have.  And we admit it.  And it will happen again.  Sorry.  But everything is done with the right intent even if it doesn't always work out as hoped.  Hindsight is perfect.

Google is the most moral company in which I have ever worked.  But guarding our users' privacy doesn't just make moral sense, it makes business sense.  If we purposefully violated our users' privacy, we wouldn't have a business at all before very long.
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Cat Allman

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Happy 85th birthday, Mildred Dresselhaus, and many happy returns!   

Mildred Dresselhaus, whose lab at MIT has had impact on graphene, carbon nanotubes, fullerene, and just about everything you need for that space elevator you've been building in your garage is my new hero. 

Seriously, read the article, which includes such highlights as:
- Her recent IEEE Medal of Honor
- How to time your morning commute to coincide with Enrico Fermi's
- Scavenging the materials for her PhD project out of the leftover equipment from the Manhattan Project (!!?!!)
- Whether a 1-day-old baby needs government clearance to be allowed into Lincoln Lab
http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/profiles/mildred-dresselhaus-the-queen-of-carbon
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It sort of looks like something out of The Matrix, to me.
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Since he posted this, someone has written an extension for Firefox that does this to the whole web.
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Yay, Sarah!
 
It’s official: Intel embedded software architect Sarah Sharp is a software superhero. (With the alliterative Stan Lee comic-book name to prove it.) Today—as superheroes tend to do—she’s making headlines. Sharp, an engineer in Intel’s Software and Services Group’s Open Source Technology … Read more >
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Cat Allman

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Google | Making Science: as of yesterday we are the proud sponsors of NOVA! Extra special to me at least that the first program we're sponsoring is about Pluto  :)

"Watch as the New Horizons spacecraft captures our first clear view of Pluto’s icy surface. Airing July 15, 2015 at 9 pm on PBS"

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/chasing-pluto.html

and

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/education/
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Watch as the <em>New Horizons</em> spacecraft captures our first clear view of Pluto’s icy surface.
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Marc MERLIN's profile photo
 
So glad that we're a sponsor again after so many years off.
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Have them in circles
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Great place to stay near the EICC When all the "official" hotels for the conference I was attending were either booked or over my company' travel cap, I choose the Bonham because it was walking distance to the EICC and had good reviews. Very glad I did. When I first arrived and was walking to my room the narrow hallways did not prepare me for the enormous room with a lovely view of the Forth through big, operable windows that I found behind the door to #208. Big comfy bed, stall shower AND deep bathtub - all spotless. Breakfast was plentiful and delicious. My room was so quiet at night I assumed the hotel was mostly empty only to find the breakfast room quite full in the mornings. Plus the neighborhood is pleasant to walk through to my workday, and easy to find a cab in if it's really pouring. I hope I get to come back!
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