The Life and Afterlife of Aaron Swartz Years before he hanged himself in his Crown Heights apartment, the hacker, writer, and activist Aaron Swartz used to debate with his then-girlfriend Quinn Norton whether the Internet would mourn him if he died. It was Swartz’s stubborn belief that no one would notice or care if he died young, as he often thought he was fated to do. Like many young men of great promise and fluctuating moods, Swartz was an unstable compound of self-effacement and self-regard—among the most empowered, well-connected young people in America, yet convinced that his very existence was a burden to others, even those who loved him. There is a category of young person able to do things like contribute to the building of the Internet in their teens, or sell their tech start-ups for millions of dollars when they are 19, or rally a million opponents to a major piece of legislation when they are in their twenties. By the time he was 17, Swartz had already secured a permanent legacy written in code.
The Porsche 911: An ode to iteration by Jason Fried of 37signals The Porsche 911 celebrates its 50th anniversary. What an incredible run. The 911 has always served as special inspiration to those who believe in long-term iteration. Excellence takes its time. Bad sleep 'dramatically' alters body A run of poor sleep can have a potentially profound effect on the internal workings of the human body, say UK researchers. The activity of hundreds of genes was altered when people's sleep was cut to less than six hours a day for a week. Writing in the journal PNAS, the researchers said the results helped explain how poor sleep damaged health. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity and poor brain function have all been linked to substandard sleep. What missing hours in bed actually does to alter health, however, is unknown. So researchers at the University of Surrey analysed the blood of 26 people after they had had plenty of sleep, up to 10 hours each night for a week, and compared the results with samples after a week of fewer than six hours a night. More than 700 genes were altered by the shift. Meanwhile the natural body clock was disturbed - some genes naturally wax and wane in activity through the day, but this effect was dulled by sleep deprivation.
Malala Yousafzai Malala Yousafzai (Pashto: ملاله یوسفزۍ [mə ˈlaː lə . ju səf ˈzəj]; Urdu: ملالہ یوسف زئی Malālah Yūsafzay, born 12 July 1997) is a Pakistani school pupil and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. She is known for her activism for rights to education and for women, especially in the Swat Valley, where the Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. In early 2009, at the age of 11–12, Yousafzai wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls. The following summer, a New York Times documentary by journalist Adam B. Ellick was filmed about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region, culminating in the Second Battle of Swat. On the morning of Tuesday, 9 October 2012, Malala boarded her school bus in the northwest Pakistani district of Swat. Refugee
innovation engine Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States When we first collected much of this data, it was after the Aurora, Colo. shootings, and the air was thick with calls to avoid "politicizing" the tragedy. That is code, essentially, for "don't talk about reforming our gun control laws." Let's be clear: That is a form of politicization. When political actors construct a political argument that threatens political consequences if other political actors pursue a certain political outcome, that is, almost by definition, a politicization of the issue. It's just a form of politicization favoring those who prefer the status quo to stricter gun control laws. Since then, there have been more horrible, high-profile shootings. If roads were collapsing all across the United States, killing dozens of drivers, we would surely see that as a moment to talk about what we could do to keep roads from collapsing. What follows here isn't a policy agenda. 1. Mother Jones has tracked and mapped every shooting spree in the last three decades. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
A Urine Powered Generator : Maker Faire Africa Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 · 168 Comments Possibly one of the more unexpected products at Maker Faire Africa this year in Lagos is a urine powered generator, created by four girls. The girls are Duro-Aina Adebola (14), Akindele Abiola (14), Faleke Oluwatoyin (14) and Bello Eniola (15). 1 Liter of urine gives you 6 hours of electricity. The system works like this: Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which separates out the hydrogen. Along the whole way there are one-way valves for security, but let’s be honest that this is something of an explosive device… Cross-industry Collaboration Spurs Innovation: Procter & Gamble as Example A great example of a group of companies that collaborate to innovate. Procter & Gamble initiated a learning consortium of companies who are making business intelligence and analytics a strategic choice, and therefore transforming their business operations. And even though such cross-company and –industry collaborations are difficult to sustain they spur innovation. Procter & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald is very clear about the critical role for technology at P&G: He thinks better data analytics is at the heart of how P&G will improve productivity and make more innovative products. But to do that, companies need better analytics software. And that's why McDonald spoke Wednesday night at P&G's Cincinnati headquarters to a gathering of a few dozen top IT leaders from companies including Boeing, BP, Disney, FedEx, GE and Goldman Sachs. Any such cross-company cooperation is difficult to sustain. We believe in unique combinations as foundation to spur innovation.
Why Drag It Out? - Jen Doll An investigation into what inspires soooo many people to toss extra letters into their text messages Nishant Choksi "Hiiiii," he texted. “Hiiiii,” I responded. “How are youuuuu?” Rest assured: I am an adult. My phone buzzed again. Evvvvverywherrrre, from instant messages to texts to tweets and even e‑mails, I see examples of what language watchers call “word lengthening.” For the past five years, Sali Tagliamonte, a linguist at the University of Toronto, has been gathering digital-communications data from students. But why is anyone adding extra letters in the first place? Ben Zimmer, a linguist and lexicographer, notes that elongations, like emoticons and initialisms (OMG! Tagliamonte suggested a test: try communicating with someone I was close to without using elongations, and see how quickly I’d get a response of “What’s wrong?” “I could kiiiinda tell,” he wrote.
15-Year-Old Develops Hollow Flashlight Powered by Body Heat From a sleeping bag that charges your gadgets to entire buildings warmed by body heat, scientists are harvesting the heat emitted by humans as a source of renewable energy. But the latest development in thermoelectric energy generation doesn’t come from a high-tech lab at MIT; it comes from Ann Makosinski, a 15-year-old Canadian girl who developed a flashlight that is powered by the heat from a human hand. With the aim of reducing the number of single-use batteries that are thrown in landfills, Makosinski developed the innovative flashlight, which can be developed cheaply and deployed to populations that can’t afford electricity to light their homes. To create the thermoelectric flashlight, Makosinski used Peltier tiles, which produce electricity when heated on one side and cooled on the other. Makosinski sees the flashlight as more than just a novelty; the technology she’s working with could help prevent the unnecessary use of batteries, which leak toxic chemicals into the ground.
Best Practices Vs. Next Practices: Are You Looking Forward or Backward? Over my career, I have been coached by bosses, mentors, and colleagues that successful businesses build their business strategies upon best practices. Business people have often considered introduction of a new best practice as thought leadership. My question is should business leaders focus on developing best practices, which are based upon the past, or should they be thinking ahead? Looking Forward or Backward? I’m not so sure that touting best practices equates to thought leadership. Are founded upon what has worked most successfully in the past.Distract us from thinking about “Next Practices” or new ways of doing things for the future. I think Adrian hit the nail on the head with those comments. Next Practices Are All About Innovation Interestingly, the concept of “Next Practices” is not a new one. Dr. Saul Kaplan (Founder, Business Innovation Factory), May 2009 — “It is not best practices, but next practices that will sustain your organization on a strong growth trajectory. C.K.
Diagnosing the Wrong Deficit Though I treat a lot of adults for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, the presentation of this case was a violation of an important diagnostic criterion: symptoms must date back to childhood. It turned out he first started having these problems the month he began his most recent job, one that required him to rise at 5 a.m., despite the fact that he was a night owl. The patient didn’t have A.D.H.D., I realized, but a chronic sleep deficit. Many theories are thrown around to explain the rise in the diagnosis and treatment of A.D.H.D. in children and adults. For some people — especially children — sleep deprivation does not necessarily cause lethargy; instead they become hyperactive and unfocused. We all get less sleep than we used to. A number of studies have shown that a huge proportion of children with an A.D.H.D. diagnosis also have sleep-disordered breathing like apnea or snoring, restless leg syndrome or non-restorative sleep, in which delta sleep is frequently interrupted.