Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Yes, you can suffer from “collaborative overload”

A.K.A. “communication-induced burnout”. That constant barrage of messages, meetings, and emails reduces productivity; according to a recent survey, “wasteful meetings” was the most-cited time drain for US employees and “excessive emails” was No. 2. Some experts suggests scheduling “power hours” to set aside time for solo work, although that techniques can’t be effective unless companies respect the need for heads-down time. (LinkedIn)

 

The White House and Equifax Agree: Social Security Numbers Should Go

In the wake of Equifax’s massive cyberattack, White House cybersecurity coordinator Rob Joyce has called for the end of the SSN. Many, including ex-Equifax chief Richard Smith, agree the personal identifier has become too risky: “The concept of a Social Security number in this environment being private and secure — I think it’s time as a country to think beyond that,” Smith said during his Congressional testimony. Suggested substitutes include cryptographic keys or biometrics (such as fingerprints, iris scans). (Bloomberg

 

The cost of free college

England’s higher education system has become more equitable since instituting tuition fees supported by government loans, a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests. Since transitioning from free schooling, English universities have been able to offer additional aid to lower income students, and more funding led the British government to raise the university acceptance cap. Free college attendance is a growing trend in the US, with New York becoming the first state to offer it for residents earlier this year. Americans hold $1.31 trillion in student loan debt. (Marketwatch)

 

If you’re thinking of getting an AI assistant, you might want to recruit a 6 year old instead

Google’s artificial intelligence technology has a considerably higher I.Q. than Apple’s Siri virtual assistant, according to a new academic paper attempting to compare the smarts of various artificial intelligence systems. The paper — written by a trio of Chinese researchers, including Yong Shi, executive deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Research Center on Fictitious Economy and Data Science — says that in 2016 Google’s AI had an IQ of 47.28. It came out ahead of Chinese search engine Baidu and Microsoft’s Bing and had almost double the IQ of Siri. Notably, none of these systems had a higher IQ than a 6-year-old (55.5), much less an 18-year-old (97), the researchers found. But the Google and Microsoft systems have been getting smarter. In 2014 Google’s IQ score was 26.5, while Microsoft’s was 13.5. At that time the researchers were not yet analyzing Baidu and Siri. Apple, Google and Microsoft have all been investing in AI research, which can yield improvements in speech recognition, image recognition and other areas. These techniques can be applied to revenue-generating processes like serving ads. (CNBC)

 

Michigan woman, 46, is found guilty of keeping her deaf sister, 44, locked in a closet for SEVEN MONTHS

A Michigan woman who kept her adoptive disabled adult sister locked in a closet was convicted of charges including unlawful imprisonment on Monday (10/9). The Shiawassee County jury also found Candy Lawson, 46,  guilty of vulnerable adult abuse and embezzlement because she stole social security money that was intended for her sister, Dianna Churchill, 44. Dianna is deaf and has other cognitive and physical impairments. Jurors also heard allegations from Kentucky authorities about an adoptive brother who died there years before Dianna was found nearly starved to death. Lawson took her adoptive siblings Dianna and Justin Churchill into her care when her mother died 10 years ago. Neither can speak or hear and both are considered mentally challenged. Justin Churchill died in 2009 under Lawson’s care from similar circumstances. Kentucky police officers testified that he was just 60 pounds when he died. (ABC 12)

 

Dog licks competition for the world’s longest tongue

Mochi now has two titles to her name, a very good girl and world record holder. The Saint Bernard snagged the Guinness Book of World Records title for the longest dog tongue. “Mochi is a rescued Saint Bernard and we’ve had her for about six and a half years,” Mochi’s owner, Carla Rickert, told the Guinness World Records. “Her tongue measures from snout to tip seven point three inches.” In comparison, Mochi’s tongue length is equal to the length of two and a half Jenga blocks in a row. However, Mochi faces some obstacles to due her long tongue. These include breathing challenges, extra slobber and dirt/dust sticking to her tongue. It’s all worth it though, especially when feeding the pup some peanut butter. (KHOU TV)

 

Man lived with dead bodies of his mother, brother

Prosectors say a man lived in his house with the decomposing bodies of his mother and twin brother for about a year. Sixty-year-old Robert James Kuefler of White Bear Lake is charged with interference with a dead body or scene of death because he neglected to tell authorities they died of natural causes. The bodies were found last year. Kuefler was charged this week. (Fox News)

 

Hump-Day Wednesday brings us:

*Emergency Nurses Day  (Wednesday of Emergency Nurses Week) 
*General Pulaski Memorial Day (President) 
*International Day of The Girl 
*International Top Spinning Day  (2nd Wednesday)
*Myths & Legends Day For All Fantasy Movie, Books and Legends Cephalopods 
*National Bring Your Teddy Bear To Work & School Day  (2nd Wednesday)
*National Coming Out Day 
*National Food Truck Day 
*National Fossil Day  (On Wednesday of the 2nd Full Week)
*National Sausage Pizza Day
*S.A.V.E. (Stop America’s Violence Everywhere) (2nd Wednesday)
*Southern Food Heritage Day 
*Stop Bullying Day (2nd Wednesday)
*Take Your Parents To Lunch Day (2nd Wednesday)

 

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