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When I think, you move: researchers achieve brain-to-brain interface

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It might sound rather frightening to have your arm move involuntarily, controlled by some unseen puppet master — but for researchers at the University of Washington, it represented a major breakthrough in human-to-human brain interfaces. Using a non-invasive brain-to-brain setup, a researcher in one lab was able to send a signal from his brain to control the movements of a second researcher in a lab on the other side of campus. It's believed to be the first human brain-to-brain interface; previous demonstrations have featured rat-to-rat and human-to-rat communication.

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A Vulcan mind-meld in action

The demonstration focused on a simple computer game: Rajesh Rao, a professor at UW who has worked on brain-computer interfacing for more...

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damianog
3324 days ago
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So your management fails at IT, huh?

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Recently on a mailing list sysadmins were describing horrible management they've experienced. Here is my reply:

First, I want to say that my heart goes out to all of you describing terrible working conditions, bad management, and so on. I have huge amounts of sympathy for you all.

Health is more important than anything else. If your job is driving you crazy and giving you high BP, my prescription is, 'Try, try, then quit'. Try to change things, talk to management, work to create the workplace you desire. Try again, I'm sure you feel like you've tried a lot, but people aren't mind-readers... make sure you've had serious conversations with the right people. However step three is quit. Send resumes and get the hell out of there.

It is vitally important that we don't feel any guilt about leaving a bad job, especially if we've made a "good faith effort" to turn things around (as I'm sure you have). Just like when people being laid off are told, heartlessly, "Sorry, it was a business decision" there are times you have to tell a company, "Sorry, it was a personal decision". (I want to acknowledge that not everyone is in a position where they can just up and leave. Being able to do so is quite a privilege, but I think people that work in IT are more likely to be in this position than most fields.)

There are two reasons we shouldn't feel guilt about leaving these kind of "bad jobs". First, our health is more important than anything else. Second, it is important that we don't try to 'save' companies that are intrinsically bad at IT management. I say this not as a joke and I don't say it lightly. If you feel a company is incurably bad at IT, it makes the world a better place for that company to go out of business. IT is the lifeblood of companies. It is a requirement for nearly any facet of business to function in today's world. Companies that treat IT has an appendage are dinosaurs that need to be left to die.

IT is not a "speciality". It is a skill everyone should have. Any CEO, COO, or VP that doesn't understand IT and IT MANAGEMENT that ALSO thinks they don't need to understand it is fooling themselves. Expecting only the people in the IT department to have IT and IT management skills is insane. Expecting that IT and IT management astuteness only needs to be found in the IT department is insane. Companies don't have a 'math department' that people run to any time they need to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. They expect everyone to have basic math skill and only turn to mathematicians for advanced or specialized mathematics. Similarly a modern company must expect that every staff person understands the basics of IT and every manager, VP, and CxO executive should be expected to understand IT and IT management as it is a fundamental, essential, part of doing business.

IT and IT management is as essential to a business as accounting is. You don't expect your CEO and other managers to be experts at accounting, but you expect them to understand a lot more than just the basics. However if, during a job interview, you learned that the CEO didn't know that accountants existed, or thought financial statements "magically wrote themselves" you would run like hell as fast as possible, right? You would reject any job offers and hope, for the sake of the well-being of the economy, that such a company disappears as soon as possible.

Why wouldn't you do the same for a company that treats IT and IT management like that?

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damianog
3343 days ago
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In America, the cheese is dead

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Market researcher Clotaire Rapaille was interviewed for an episode of Frontline on advertising and marketing back in 2003. I like what he had to say about the differences in how the French and Americans think about cheese.

For example, if I know that in America the cheese is dead, which means is pasteurized, which means legally dead and scientifically dead, and we don't want any cheese that is alive, then I have to put that up front. I have to say this cheese is safe, is pasteurized, is wrapped up in plastic. I know that plastic is a body bag. You can put it in the fridge. I know the fridge is the morgue; that's where you put the dead bodies. And so once you know that, this is the way you market cheese in America.

I started working with a French company in America, and they were trying to sell French cheese to the Americans. And they didn't understand, because in France the cheese is alive, which means that you can buy it young, mature or old, and that's why you have to read the age of the cheese when you go to buy the cheese. So you smell, you touch, you poke. If you need cheese for today, you want to buy a mature cheese. If you want cheese for next week, you buy a young cheese. And when you buy young cheese for next week, you go home, [but] you never put the cheese in the refrigerator, because you don't put your cat in the refrigerator. It's the same; it's alive. We are very afraid of getting sick with cheese. By the way, more French people die eating cheese than Americans die. But the priority is different; the logic of emotion is different. The French like the taste before safety. Americans want safety before the taste.

(via @pieratt)

Tags: cheeseClotaire Rapaillefood
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damianog
3350 days ago
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popular
3351 days ago
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8 public comments
neilcar
3350 days ago
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"[Y]ou never put the cheese in the refrigerator, because you don't put your cat in the refrigerator."
Charlotte, North Carolina
srsly
3350 days ago
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KAREN. HAVE YOU BEEN KILLING CHEESE??
Atlanta, Georgia
ksteimle
3349 days ago
With my mouth, yeah :) I was pretty close to sharing this, but the comment would've just been like "Karen's posting about cheese again, amirite?"
DGA51
3350 days ago
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I get cheese from a local farmer who makes it from raw milk and sells it directly to consumers and through retail outlets.
Central Pennsyltucky
Michdevilish
3350 days ago
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Never put your cat in the fridge
Canada
jsnklln
3347 days ago
No wonder I have so much trouble with them.
petertuuk
3353 days ago
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"you never put the cheese in the refrigerator, because you don't put your cat in the refrigerator"
rsuttong
3353 days ago
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Damn, I miss eating cheese in france. Cheap, delicious, amazing.
aaronwe
3353 days ago
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"And when you buy young cheese for next week, you go home, [but] you never put the cheese in the refrigerator, because you don't put your cat in the refrigerator."
Denver

04/24/13 PHD comic: 'The Shared Office Printer'

10 Comments and 28 Shares
Piled Higher & Deeper by Jorge Cham
www.phdcomics.com
Click on the title below to read the comic
title: "The Shared Office Printer" - originally published 4/24/2013

For the latest news in PHD Comics, CLICK HERE!

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damianog
3446 days ago
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popular
3448 days ago
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8 public comments
rmartinsjr
3444 days ago
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#fato
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
sredfern
3446 days ago
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Oh yes!!
Sydney Australia
Portlairge
3447 days ago
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Yup!
Encino, California
dreadhead
3448 days ago
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Yep.
Vancouver Island, Canada
cmg
3448 days ago
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Unfortunately missing the accounting dialog box that opens to the side
Birmingham, AL
KieraKujisawa
3448 days ago
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So true
Fredericksburg, VA 22408 USA
oppodude
3449 days ago
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This is awesome.
Jackson, TN
POrg
3449 days ago
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Amazing!
Champaign, Illinois

How to complete 'Snake' and accept the emptiness of life

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Snakedeath_large

It takes 13 minutes and seven seconds to complete Snake, the decades-old game that enjoyed a renascence through Nokia's early mobile phones. 13 minutes, seven seconds, one hundred pellets. But what is this endless pursuit of pellets for? What reward lies at the end of this snake's insatiable desire for food? Nothing. Victory in life only results in death. Immortalized in a two-minute GIF, this foreboding tale of how reptilian consumerism breeds nihilism is a mesmerizing journey of birth, life, and death.

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damianog
3463 days ago
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Hunting Down and Killing Ransomware

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Scareware, a type of malware that mimics antimalware software, has been around for a decade and shows no sign of going away. The goal of scareware is to fool a user into thinking that their computer is heavily infected with malware and the most convenient...(read more)
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damianog
3464 days ago
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