Summary of “How to prevent tick bites and Lyme disease during the tick threat of 2017.”

They turn to me because I’m a tick fiend: I’ve interviewed dozens of tick researchers and been to tick-borne disease conferences; I’ve covered the tick beat for Nature and Scientific American.
The year after a mast year, the acorn-gnawing mouse population booms, and then the year after that-i.e., right now-the mouse blood-sucking tick population goes bonkers.
Lyme usually takes at least 24 hours to transmit after a tick embeds-the range I’ve seen for most other tick-borne diseases is 12 to 36 hours, although there are scary exceptions.
Keep in mind, too, that tiny tick nymphs, which feed during the spring and early summer, are about the size of poppy seeds.
To give you an idea of just how awesome permethrin is: When members of the German army wore permethrin-treated clothes in tick-infested areas in 2010 and 2011, a single tick bite was reported among the soldiers each year.
We started using Bayer’s Seresto flea and tick collar a few years ago based on Mather’s recommendation, and we haven’t found a tick on our dog since.
Synthetic pesticides such as bifenthrin have been shown to effectively eliminate ticks, but they don’t reduce the chance that residents will get tick bites or a tick-borne disease.
Botanical treatments such as IC2, which is made from rosemary oil, also reduce tick numbers, but no one has studied how they affect the risk of tick bites.

The orginal article.

Summary of “You have fewer friends as you get older, and you spend more time alone”

Time with friends, colleagues, siblings, and children diminishes over the course of a lifetime.
The older we get, the person we spend the most time with is the one we see in the mirror.
That’s the conclusion of a recent, fascinating analysis of data from the American Time Use Survey, an annual census by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics of how Americans spend their hours.
The data do not count sleep, or time with people who wouldn’t be categorized in any of the relationships shown.
Time can also be counted twice: a party you attended with friends and your spouse would count for both categories.
Time with friends drops off abruptly in the mid-30s, just as time spent with children peaks.
Around the age of 60-nearing and then entering retirement, for many-people stop hanging out with co-workers as much, and start spending more time with partners.
Hours spent in the company of children, friends, and extended family members all plateau by our mid-50s. And from the age of 40 until death, we spend an ever-increasing amount of time alone.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How I Built an AI to Sort 2 Tons of Lego Pieces”

Even second-hand Lego isn’t cheap, sold as it is by the part on specialized websites, or by the boxed set and in bulk on eBay.
I noticed that bulk unsorted Lego sells for roughly €10 per kilogram, boxed sets go for €40/kg, and collections of rare parts and Lego Technic pieces go for hundreds of euros per kilo.
There exists a cottage industry of people who buy new sets and bulk Lego and manually sort all the pieces into more valuable groupings.
I decided to build something that would scan and sort each part accordingly.
Parts may be longer than a single image frame, parts can be a color that is extremely close to that of the background, and so on.
I came up with around 18 features, which included things such as the height of the part, whether or not it had any holes, how many studs were visible, and so on.
Another 4,000 parts went through the machine, 90 percent of which were labeled correctly! So, I had to correct only some 400 parts.
Once the software is able to reliably classify across the entire range of parts in my garage, I’ll be pushing through the remainder of those two tons of bricks.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Seattle’s Minimum Wage Hike May Have Gone Too Far”

The authors stressed that even if their results hold up, their research leaves important questions unanswered, particularly about how the minimum wage has affected individual workers and businesses.
During last year’s presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton called for the federal minimum wage to be raised to $12, and she faced pressure from activists to propose $15 instead. Recently the minimum-wage movement has faced backlash from conservatives, with legislatures in some states moving to block cities from increasing their local minimums.
Most – though by no means all – past research has found that modest increases to the minimum wage have little impact on employment, and that if employers do eliminate jobs or cut back hours, those losses are dwarfed by the income gains enjoyed by the majority of workers who keep their jobs.
Even some liberal economists have expressed concern, often privately, that employers might respond differently to a minimum wage of $12 or $15, which would affect a far broader swath of workers than the part-time fast-food and retail employees who typically dominate the ranks of minimum-wage earners.
The study is far from the last word on the impact of Seattle’s law, let alone the $15 minimum wage movement more generally.
Just last week another study used similar methods to reach seemingly the opposite conclusion: A report from the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California, Berkeley, found that Seattle’s minimum wage, “Raises pay without costing jobs,” as a press release on the study announced.
The University of Washington study suggests a possible flaw in that approach: That research, too, found essentially no job losses in the restaurant sector as a result of the city’s minimum wage hike.
An economist at the University of California, San Diego who has studied the minimum wage, said it isn’t surprising that Seattle’s minimum wage would have an unusually big impact because it is so much higher than most other minimums.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Here’s How Traders Lost Millions in the First Ethereum Flash Crash”

Markets for ether, the cryptocurrency linked to the ethereum distributed computing platform, were rocked yesterday by a huge flash crash that saw prices fall from over $365 down to as low as 10 cents on one exchange before bouncing back shortly afterwards-an event that is mildly worrying for anyone concerned about cryptocurrency volatility, but has had devastating consequences for some professional traders who have seen their holdings wiped out.
The crash occurred at about 3:30pm ET Thursday, when a huge sale of ether was made on the GDAX exchange, an extension of the popular Coinbase exchange and cryptocurrency wallet geared towards professional traders.
According to GDAX’s official statement, a single and as yet unknown actor sold millions of dollars worth of ether across a range of positions from $317 down to $224, meaning that ether was effectively trading at the lower end of this range.
The consequence of this initial drop in trading value was to trigger a number of stop loss orders-mechanisms by which a trader’s holdings will automatically be sold when the price dips below a certain marker.
The process was even more painful for the many traders who were engaged in margin trading, a feature that GDAX has only permitted on the exchange since March.
In margin trading, traders are permitted to place buy and sell orders for larger sums than they have in their accounts, multiplying the potential size of both gains and losses.
According to the support documents on the site, GDAX offered margin traders up to 3x leverage for the USD/ETH trading pair, meaning that someone with only a $1,000 account balance could buy or sell up to $3,000 of ether.
As a precautionary measure, margin trading accounts are set to automatically liquidate in order to make up the money borrowed if losses exceeded a certain amount, a process called “Margin calling.” With the crash happening so fast, traders were margin called almost instantly, and in some cases saw their entire holdings sold off at very low prices before they could react-selling, say, 100 ETH at $2 to cover just a few hundred dollars’ loss, right before the market bounced back to almost $300/ETH again.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Disrupt the Citizen”

In the same vein, the proliferating but ever meaningless distinctions between the “Bad” Uber and the “Good” Lyft have obscured how destructive the rise of ride-sharing has been for workers and the cities they live in.
According to the loophole in labor law that ride-sharing companies exploit, they’re not even “Jobs” so much as gigs; the drivers are independent contractors who just happen to use the ride-sharing app.
What ride-sharing companies had to do, in the old spirit of Standard Oil, was secure a foothold in politics, and subject politics to the will of “The consumer.” In a telling example of our times, Uber hired former Obama campaign head David Plouffe to work the political angles.
Ride-sharing companies-which explode traffic and undermine public transportation-can trim the balance sheets of cities by privatizing both.
What Plouffe and the ride-sharing companies understand is that, under capitalism, when markets are pitted against the state, the figure of the consumer can be invoked against the figure of the citizen.
As ride-sharing companies stepped up their lobbying pressure, politicians quickly folded-especially the politicians that already fashioned themselves as tech CEOs.
Still, ride-sharing companies, unprofitable juggernauts, are on the verge of dominating their markets.
The architecture of entire cities, top to bottom, is being slowly reshaped to fit the profit motives of ride-sharing companies.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Psychics Cope With Hearing Voices Could Help People With Psychotic Disorders”

In his book The Voices Within, the psychologist Charles Fernyhough-who describes hearing voices himself-traces the way thoughts and external voices have been understood by science and society throughout time.
According to Ann Shinn, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital, 70 to 75 percent of people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and between one-third and one-tenth of people with bipolar disorder report hearing voices at some point in their life.
Compared to their diagnosed counterparts, more of the psychics described the voices as a force that “Positively affects safety.” And all of the psychics attributed the voices to a “God or other spiritual being.” The patients were more likely to consider their voices a torment caused by a faulty process in their brain.
A much older experiment found a kind of unconscious ventriloquism among a group of people with schizophrenia: When participants began to hear voices, researchers noted “An increase in tiny movements in the muscles associated with vocalization.” The voices they heard came, in some sense, from their own throats.
A network of advocacy groups, the Hearing Voices Movement presents an alternative to the medical approach based on the belief that the content of a person’s voices can reflect the hearer’s mental and emotional state.
Her psychiatrist told her how limited her life would be by her voices, she says, and the voices grew more adversarial.
Longden, the Hearing Voices Network advocate, describes how she later learned to extract metaphorical meaning from the sometimes disturbing messages the voices had for her.
At least as subtext, Powers and Corlett’s study might suggest a kind of chicken-or-egg question: Were the psychics insulated from suffering because they were socialized to accept and cope with their voices, and were the psychotic patients suffering because they weren’t? The better question is: to what extent were the two groups experiencing the same thing?

The orginal article.

Summary of “Growth is getting hard from intensive competition, consolidation, and saturation at andrewchen”

The reason for the above is that there are multiple trends – happening right now – that impede growth for new products.
These trends are powerful and critical to understanding why all of a sudden, entrepreneurs/investors are starting to get into many new fields in order to find new opportunities.
The new Google/Apple app duopoly is more concentrated, more closed, and far less rich as compared to web – which means that mobile is far more stagnant and harder to break into.
If you’re introducing a new app – whether unbundling a more complex app or launching a new startup – how do you break into this? There’s not a ton of organic opportunities.
It’s currently at 2 billion users, with 17% YoY user growth, and its ability to add more inventory depends increasing its user base, or increasing users’ time spent on Facebook.
These trends are troubling, and mean that these channels are getting less engagement per user, and we haven’t found amazing new channels to replace them.
At the same time as advertising is getting more crowded, there’s also increasingly widespread availability and adoption of tools like Mixpanel, Leanplum, Optimizely and others that close the gap on being data-driven at companies.
Acquiring a new app user means stealing a user’s time from their favorite existing app.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Silicon Valley Pushed Coding Into American Classrooms”

Computer science is also essential to American tech companies, which have become heavily reliant on foreign engineers.
Along the way, Code.org has emerged as a new prototype for Silicon Valley education reform: a social-media-savvy entity that pushes for education policy changes, develops curriculums, offers online coding lessons and trains teachers – touching nearly every facet of the education supply chain.
Code.org’s multilevel influence machine also raises the question of whether Silicon Valley is swaying public schools to serve its own interests – in this case, its need for software engineers – with little scrutiny.
Code.org is now one of the largest providers of free online coding lessons and more comprehensive computer science curriculums.
The rise of Code.org coincides with a larger tech-industry push to remake American primary and secondary schools with computers and learning apps, a market estimated to reach $21 billion by 2020.Last year, Apple rolled out a free app, called Swift Playgrounds, to teach basic coding in Swift, a programming language the company unveiled in 2014.Photo.
Mr. Partovi, for his part, was hoping to go viral with a message that coding could improve students’ job prospects.
Mr. Partovi noted that Code.org had opposed a “More extreme” coding bill in Florida that would have required students to obtain industry certification.
One of its first results was a new program, developed with Oracle, to train public-school teachers how to teach students Java, Oracle’s popular coding language.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?”

Despite the narrow audience, scientific publishing is a remarkably big business.
In 2010, Elsevier’s scientific publishing arm reported profits of £724m on just over £2bn in revenue.
Scientists create work under their own direction – funded largely by governments – and give it to publishers for free; the publisher pays scientific editors who judge whether the work is worth publishing and check its grammar, but the bulk of the editorial burden – checking the scientific validity and evaluating the experiments, a process known as peer review – is done by working scientists on a volunteer basis.
The publishing business is “Perverse and needless”, the Berkeley biologist Michael Eisen wrote in a 2003 article for the Guardian, declaring that it “Should be a public scandal”.
Even scientists who are fighting for reform are often not aware of the roots of the system: how, in the boom years after the second world war, entrepreneurs built fortunes by taking publishing out of the hands of scientists and expanding the business on a previously unimaginable scale.
Maxwell had transformed the business of publishing, but the day-to-day work of science remained unchanged.
With the purchase of Pergamon’s 400-strong catalogue, Elsevier now controlled more than 1,000 scientific journals, making it by far the largest scientific publisher in the world.
On the question of why so many scientists are so critical of journal publishers, Tom Reller, vice president of corporate relations at Elsevier, said: “It’s not for us to talk about other people’s motivations. We look at the numbers and that suggests we are doing a good job.” Asked about criticisms of Elsevier’s business model, Reller said in an email that these criticisms overlooked “All the things that publishers do to add value – above and beyond the contributions that public-sector funding brings”.

The orginal article.