January | 2017 | The Knowledge Dynasty

Monthly Archives: January 2017

Wearable tech: This dress uses graphene to light up when you breathe

(CNN)The little black dress just got revamped.

Together with scientists, fashion designers have used graphene — a Nobel-Prize winning material that’s tougher than diamonds — to give their LBD a high-tech cut.
“We are trying to showcase the amazing properties of graphene,” Francesca Rosella, the co-founder of fashion company CuteCircuit, told CNN.
“If you look under an electron microscope, you can see how the structure of graphene is made up of what looks like hexagonal crystals. We used that structure as a starting point to design the dress.”

Discovering

orig

JUST WATCHED

Discovering the world’s strongest material

MUST WATCH

In January, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology used computer modeling to design a new — currently nameless — material: a sponge-like configuration that is just 5% the density of steel and about 10 times as strong.
This makes it both extraordinarily light but able to carry heavy loads — properties that make graphene ideal for future use in design or architecture.
For the moment, CuteCircuit’s LBD has only made use of small amounts of graphene as the expensive material isn’t yet mainstream.
So while the dress provokes thought on the future uses of graphene, it’ll still be some time before clothes combined with the material hit the mall.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/31/fashion/graphene-carbon-dress-wearable-technology/index.html

Baileys Prize: Why do book awards keep changing their name? – BBC News

Image copyright PA
Image caption Lisa McInerney won the 2016 Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction for The Glorious Heresies

It’s all change in the world of literary prizes.

This year will be the last Women’s Prize for Fiction has the word Baileys attached to it.

The liqueur company, owned by Diageo, said it had “regretfully decided to make way for a new sponsor”.

Orange sponsored the award for 17 years up to 2012 before Baileys took over in 2014.

How often do book prizes change their name?

The shifting nature of commercial partnerships means that book prizes can often change their names every few years.

It can just be a minor tweak – such as a simple change of prefix.

But sometimes well-known prize names can be rendered suddenly unrecognisable.

Up until 2015 the the most prestigious non-fiction prize was known as the Samuel Johnson Prize.

In 2016 it became the Baillie Gifford Prize to reflect a new sponsorship deal.

First awarded in 1999, it has also been known as the BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize and then the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Margo Jefferson and Svetlana Alexievich were among the nominees in the 2016 Baillie Gifford Prize

The Costa Book Awards started out as the Whitbread Awards in 1971 and only became known by their current name in 2006. The overall 2017 winner is announced this week.

The best-known literary prize of them all, the Man Booker Prize, was founded by the Booker McConnell company in 1968. Investment company Man Group began its sponsorship in 2002 and retained Booker in the official title.

What happened in the case of the Folio Prize?

The Folio Prize is a new kid on the block in terms of book awards.

It was first announced as the Literature Prize in 2011 amid a row about the decision by Man Booker Prizes judges that year to focus on “readability”.

It was the first major English language book prize open to writers from around the world.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ahdaf Soueif will chair this year’s Rathbones Folio Prize

Under the sponsorship of The Folio Society, its first 40,000 accolade was handed out in 2014. After the 2015 award, the Folio Society announced that it would not renew its partnership.

The prize took a year off in 2016 while it searched for a new sponsor and is back in 2017 as the Rathbones Folio Prize, with backing from Rathbone Investment Management.

Andrew Kidd, co-founder of the Folio Prize and of digital book club Alexi, knows all about the challenge of changing sponsor.

“We are a very young prize and we are still building public awareness,” he says. “We haven’t established ourselves enough to say we have a right to exist. We were born out of a particular moment.”

During its year off it was decided to open the fiction prize to any literary genre, including non-fiction.

Mr Kidd says the search for a new sponsor wasn’t as hard as he had expected.

“Because we waited until we had our own USP [Unique Selling Point] it was not that difficult at all. We had a compelling story to tell.”

This year’s winner will be announced on 24 May, with the Egyptian author Ahdaf Soueif as chair of the judging panel.

So how easily will the Women’s Prize for Fiction Book find a new sponsor?

Its co-founder, novelist Kate Mosse, is, as you might expect, optimistic.

“We feel very confident about attracting a new sponsor,” she told the BBC.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kate Mosse is co-founder of the Women’s Prize for Fiction

“We know that brands want to be associated with something that’s inspirational… and we know customers like to be involved with companies that have some sort of social purpose.”

Mr Kidd agrees: “Even when it was the Orange Prize everybody knew what it was. They’ve been so successful at building that unique brand that I would imagine it will be relatively easy to find a sponsor.”

He said that having such a high profile advocate in Kate Mosse also puts them in a strong position.

“There’s no question that there’s an important place for a prize that focuses on female voices,” he added.

“I would imagine that a lot of sponsors will be interested in associating themselves with something that has such a strong purpose.”


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Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-38795639

The Weather Channel takes on stereotypes in STEM

Female meteorologists have a simple request: Stop labeling us educated, highly trained scientists as “weather girls.” And maybe stop commenting on our dresses and lipstick and start asking about our forecasts.

“Women on television can also be scientists. It’s that simple,” said Ginger Zee, a meteorologist on Good Morning America and ABC World News Tonight.

On Sunday, The Weather Channel (TWC) debuted a two-part series exploring the unique challenges that women face in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

In the clip shown here, Zee and two other leading meteorologists Janice Huff of WNBC-New York and Jen Carfagno join Marshall Shepard, host of TWC’s Weather Geek program, to discuss ways to encourage young women to embrace science from an early age.

Left to right: Marshall Shepard, Jen Carfagno, Janice Huff and Ginger Zee on the set of “Women in Science Wx Geeks.”

Image: the weather channel

“More than ever, there are opportunities for girls and women who are interested in science to … find extra help and support along the way,” Carfagno, who hosts TWC’s AMHQ program, told Mashable.

She noted that stereotypes about women in science extend far beyond the 1950s-notion of the well-heeled weather girl. Think about the recurring movie plot, in which a frizzy, bespectacled geek suddenly gets hair gel, contact lenses and stops droning on about all that “dull” science stuff.

“Society still hangs on to that, and it’s a sort of underlying theme I feel that’s hard to shake,” Carfagno said.

Given those lingering cultural perceptions, and the fact that more men work in meteorology than women, “We decided we really need to do a show about women in science,” she said.

Part one of TWC‘s “Wx Geeks” special on women in science airs Jan. 29 at 12 p.m. ET. Part two airs Feb. 5 at the same time.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/01/29/weather-channel-meteorologists-weather-girl/

It’s called virtual reality for a reason

Paul Beatty: For me, Trumps America has always existed

Booker prize winner says presidents rise is not a shock and race relations have improved very little, even under Obama.

When Donald Trump was being inaugurated, Paul Beatty was lying in bed with his wife, groggy with medication halfway around the world, in Jaipur, India. His book, The Sellout, a sarcastic, complex novel on race relations in the US, was the first American work to win the Man Booker prize, but Beatty, faced by a phalanx of cameras at a press conference at the Jaipur literature festivalon Saturday, refuses to play along and be the voice of black America that the journalists so desperately want him to be.

“I don’t claim to offer any special insight,” he says. “I read the same newspapers you all do.” Reclining on a large sofa hidden from the crowds of literature enthusiasts attending the festival, Beatty slumps as though a dark cloud is hanging over his head. His pessimism about America’s future seems to reflect the gloom of many Americans who watched the former reality-TV star take the oath on Friday.

“It’s like a big test and it’s like, is the world going to fail? [Trumps victory] is so symptomatic of so much thats happening [in the world]. In the States everybody pays attention, because supposedly the States is different. But this xenophobia, this fear, this insecurity, with [Indian prime minister Narendra] Modi here, [Rodrigo] Duterte in the Philippines, they’ve always been there, but the fact that they’re making progress, that’s scary.”

“Trump’s rise is difficult to comprehend,” Beatty says. “It’s like a diorama on how we do things against our own self- interest,” he says. “Despite his misogyny, his rhetoric, 48% of women voted for Trump, 8% of African-Americans.”

He muses that many who support Trump do so just to provoke reactions. “I had a friend who was telling me about this friend of hers who she sees as a progressive, nice guy. And for the past month [before the election], he’d been saying pro-Trump things as jokes. And in my head I was like, you know hes not joking. And she was like, you’re probably right. He’s just testing these trial balloons. And I bet there’s so many people like this.”

To Beatty, Trump stood out as particularly undignified against the dignified ritual of the inauguration. “It’s funny because you have this decorum, and this guy is anything but gracious, anything but. At least Barack Obama has a level of civility that Trump doesn’t.”

President
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Barack Obama after taking the oath of office. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

But watching him take the oath, Beatty felt none of the shock or horror that many liberal Americans have since election results were announced. “Trump’s America,” he says, “is one that has existed for a long time, and one that Beatty knows well. This is nothing new. To me thats the part that feels disingenuous. When people go, I don’t recognise this place. And I’m like, where have you been? That’s the part that bothers me. With the police violence people are like, oh I didn’t know. And it’s like people have been putting this in your face for ages and all of a sudden now why now?”

After Trump’s victory was announced, a class of students that he teaches at Columbia University in New York greeted him in tears. “They were distraught. They were inconsolable. They are in their early 20s, so they’ve grown up with whatever Obama does symbolise, they’ve grown up with that for a big part of their lives. They’ve come of age with it, and all of a sudden that’s gone.”

For many, Obama’s presidency marked an era of change in America. But Beatty always doubted the rosy image of improving race relations under the nations first black president that was presented at the time. Some of his students, he says, were horrified and hurt when their own parents started spouting pro-Trump rhetoric. “What’s to be hurt by? Why are you hurt? Is this new for you? How is this new?”

The existence of white supremacy, xenophobia and violence is something he and many of his generation of non-white Americans have grown up with. Beatty describes always feeling an outsider in his own country. “Maybe I just don’t feel accepted, so I don’t feel hurt. I’m not a patriot. It’s just my home, where I grew up, but hurt, no. I don’t have that parental relationship to the place. It’s like if my mom kicked me out of my house, I’m hurt. I don’t have that relationship to the government, to the people. I don’t.”

Beatty doesnt want to make predictions about the future (at least, not in public), but he fears Trump’s presidency will make life more difficult for black Americans. I think things can get worse. I have zero faith in this guy. Zero faith in the people that stand behind him.

Within hours of being inaugurated, the LGBT and climate change pages on the presidential website were taken down. This and Trump’s America first rhetoric were alarming, Beatty says.

So was his victory despite his refusal to release his tax returns during the election campaign, and the leaked tape of him boasting about sexually assaulting a woman that presented a dangerous and terrifying new reality, where people no longer care how their politicians behave.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jan/22/paul-beatty-trumps-america-has-always-existed

Debt: Why more people are pressing the bankruptcy button – BBC News

Image copyright Thinkstock

A hug, a dance and a song is hardly the reaction you would expect from someone just about to be declared bankrupt.

The threat of losing your home, a year of financial restrictions, three years of paying creditors, and a six-year blight on your credit rating does not generally prompt a musical routine.

Yet the relief of facing up to, and striking out, unmanageable debts can lead to such a response, according to debt charities.

In this case, it was a man called Stephen, who submitted his bankruptcy form, hugged a debt counsellor, and danced around their office.

Now the perceived stigma of bankruptcy has also been diluted, according to the Insolvency Service. A new system in England and Wales means applications are made online, without the need to go to court.

‘Psychological’

“Going to County Court with 30 pages of paperwork in triplicate was a huge, daunting challenge under the old system,” says Mark Cowley, insolvency manager at debt charity Christians Against Poverty.

“There was a psychological effect in going to court. Many people assumed it was criminal although it is a civil procedure.”

Figures suggest that the new clickable application, and its lower fee, has increased the numbers choosing bankruptcy. So, is this a simple matter of convenience or is it actually the result of more people facing unmanageable debt as wages are squeezed and prices rise?


‘It took away the stress’

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Financial difficulties can be extremely stressful (picture posed by a model)

Shirley, from Basildon in Essex, had debts of more than 40,000. After attempting suicide, she was referred to Christians Against Poverty debt counsellors by her local housing association.

The charity says it would have taken her more than 20 years to repay the debts, so she applied for bankruptcy with a counsellor’s help.

“I suffer with anxiety, and when I get stressed I get blackouts,” she says.

“The thought of going to court for bankruptcy was a bit scary, I didn’t like that idea. My debt coach told me I wouldn’t need to go. Filling in the form online made it a lot easier. It took away the stress. I did have some help from my support worker because I’m dyslexic, but it was very easy. It was all really quick.”

Now, after setting up a savings plan with the charity, she is 63 in credit. “I’ve never been in credit that much before,” she says.


Image copyright Insolvency Service
Image caption Liz Thomas is The Adjudicator at the Insolvency Service for England and Wales

There are a variety of ways that someone with out-of-control debts can deal with the situation by going insolvent. Bankruptcy is only one of those options, yet it is the most recognised.

The threat of losing your home, the public admission of money troubles, and that trip to court have all created the stigma that has been attached to bankruptcy – even though, for some, it is clearly their best option.

The shift from court to internet, introduced in April and the biggest change to bankruptcy rules for 30 years, was in part an attempt to eliminate that perceived shame.

“It was a real barrier for some people,” says Liz Thomas, The Adjudicator at the Insolvency Service for England and Wales. “We now have a simpler form, we have ensured the questions were understood, and people are able to complete it in their own time.

“It is still lengthy. It takes several hours to fill in, and there is information to ensure people understand the seriousness of what they are doing.”

But now, after pressing the submit button, some 95% of “successful” applicants are declared bankrupt within two working days.


Bankruptcy and alternatives

Image copyright PA

Bankruptcy: The traditional way of escaping overwhelming debt. Ends after one year, but there is a possibility you may lose your assets, including your house, to pay something to the creditors. Since April, applications can be made online and considered by an adjudicator. Costs 680

Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA): A deal between you and your creditors, overseen by an insolvency practitioner. Less chance of losing your home, but involves paying some of your debts in one go

Debt Relief Orders: Introduced in April 2009, these allow people with debts of less than 15,000 (20,000 since October 2015) and minimal assets to write off debts without a full-blown bankruptcy


‘Spooked’

The new online system – unlike some more high-profile government IT projects – was on time and it worked. It remains exposed to the same frailties as any other online service. On Thursday, it was unavailable for several hours owing to a fault.

Still, the effect of the new system is starting to show, according to the Insolvency Service. The number of individuals declaring themselves bankrupt rose by 7% in the third quarter of 2016 compared with a year earlier. The full set of 2016 figures will be published on Friday.

Having assisted many people to complete bankruptcy applications, debt charities have broadly welcomed the online form.

“The roll-out date was optimistic, but the project has worked. The name ‘bankruptcy’ still spooks people, but it has taken the stigma out of it to some degree,” says Mr Cowley, of Christians Against Poverty.

Ironically, 90% of users say they would recommend the system to family or friends. A recommendation, no doubt, that they would rather not have to take up.

Image copyright Christians Against Poverty
Image caption Mark Cowley says bankruptcy is the best route for some people in serious debt

The upfront application fee is also cheaper. Under the old system, it cost more than 700; now, as there is no need for court fees, it costs 680.

That is clearer, charities say, but not necessarily better – or ultimately cheaper – for the poorest applicants. Under the old system, a court could waive its fee of about 150 for the most vulnerable.

That discount, or an equivalent, is no longer available. In its place is a system allowing people to pay the 680 fee in instalments. That fee, says Liz Thomas, will cover the cost of developing the new system within five years, at no cost to the public purse.

In Scotland, insolvency works very differently to England and Wales. The equivalent to the Insolvency Service is the AIB (Accountant in Bankruptcy).

The AIB functions like a court. Those seeking bankruptcy can apply online but not on their own. They have to have received advice from an approved money adviser or insolvency practitioner before applying.

In Northern Ireland, all bankruptcies are made through the courts.


Where to go for help

Where to find free debt advice

Insolvency service – bankruptcy explained (England and Wales)

Options for clearing debts – Scotland

Options for clearing debts – Northern Ireland


Image copyright Thinkstock

The online systems may have been applauded, but the true test has yet to come. Insolvencies are at historically low levels putting relatively little pressure on the system, but there are signs that the red alert is starting to return.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has frequently taken the opportunity to express concern about the level of household debt.

Borrowing on credit cards and unsecured debts such as overdrafts is rising at its fastest rate for a decade – a trend that he says requires the bank’s “vigilance”.

Rising unsecured debt should not be a problem when interest rates are low – as they are – and wages are rising. Yet it does leave households exposed to a financial shock if jobs are lost or interest charges rise.

So, there is some concern that default rates on this unsecured debt increased in the final three months of 2016, according to the Bank of England’s Credit Conditions Survey.

The following graph also reveals that UK households are funding their spending by dipping into their wages. This was happening at its fastest rate for two years in the third quarter of 2016, according to the latest official statistics.

A saving ratio of below zero basically means households are not saving, but are spending more than their disposable income. It was negative from the start of 2004 until the latter end of 2008.

The Office for National Statistics says a fall in the saving ratio may be an indication that households are more confident and spending more, rather than desperately ducking into their savings.

Analysts Capital Economics also notes that there is no need to panic over household debts.

The cost of servicing debts compared to household income is still low and manageable, it says. Interest rates would have to rise significantly to raise this cost to the levels seen in 2008.

No crisis in household debt means no glut of bankruptcies.

Still, there will always be people whose debts spiral out of control – and, for them, applying for bankruptcy has got a little bit easier.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38668084

Scientists create 3D-printed objects that can change shape after they’re printed

3D printed plastics tend to remain pretty stable over time. For example, your 3D-printed Yoda wont turn into a Chewbacca head without some severe plastic trauma until now. Scientists at MIT have created a 3D printing technique that allows you to change the polymers in an object after printing. This means you can grow or shrink and object, change its color, and even change its shape completely.

The idea is that you could print a material and subsequently take that material and, using light, morph the material into something else, or grow the material further, said Jeremiah Johnson, Associate Professor of Chemistry at MIT. Postdoc Mao Chen and graduate student Yuwei Gu led the research and wrote a paper on the findings.

The technique is called living polymerization and it creates materials whose growth can be halted and then restarted later on, according to the release.

The team first used a technique that involved a 3D printed object inside a solution. When you shined a UV light on the object while it was inside a solution the resulting chemical reaction released free radicals. These free radicals then bound to other monomers inside the solution, adding them to the original object. This was too reactive, however, and damaged the object.

The new technique uses polymers with chemical groups that act like a folded up accordion. When light hits the new materials they stretch out and change the material.

This let them create objects that changed stiffness in UV light and could grow and shrink when heated or cooled. They could even fuse two objects with just UV light.

Sadly you won’t be able to use this technology to morph a Millennium Falcon into the Death Star yet. However, the technology should make for some interesting materials experiments at MIT.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/16/scientists-create-3d-printed-objects-that-can-change-shape-after-theyre-printed/

Researchers find that moderate screen use is OK for teens

Parents rejoice! Researchers have found that moderate screen use has no detectable link to well-being and levels of engagement. This means your kids can play on the iPad for a few hours but not all of them.

The study, led by psychological scientist Andrew Przybylski of the University of Oxford, examined the habits of 12,000 British teens, found that the relationship between screen time and well-being is weak at best. The self-reported data asked teens about their measure of mental well-being as well as assessed their digital activities. This including gaming, TV, and social media.

When we looked at the existing literature as scientists, and parents, we saw an area rich in opinions but short on evidence. We were surprised how poorly linked the literature was to the advice provided to caregivers and educators, said Przybylski.

The key, said researchers, is to find the sweet spot between high and low technology use. The teens who used technology without overdoing it at the expense of other activities actually benefited from the connectivity.

Teens well-being increased as their screen time increased, up to a certain point, wrote the researchers. After that point, increased screen time was associated with decreased well-being. Interestingly the researchers also concluded that the overall risks are small in any case but it is worth parents time to focus on finding and enforcing the sweet spot instead of banning it outright or allowing unfettered access.

There is good reason to think that parents really struggle to meet stringent professional guidance on screen time, he said. Our work confirms that policy guidance on digital screens should be based on work that test explicit hypotheses about possible technology effects.

The research will appear in Psychological Science, the journal of the Association for Psychological Science. Just dont tell your teens.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/13/researchers-find-that-moderate-screen-use-is-ok-for-teens/

Do funny recruiting hacks work? Let’s ask a guy who tried

Do recruiting hacks work? Can you get a big company’s attention through wacky (or not so wacky) antics? One man, John Washam, tried and his story is, at the very least, interesting.

Washam wrote about his quest to work for Google on his blog, Googley As Heck. He posted his educational milestones on his way to learning software engineering with the explicit goal of working at Google. In the end, he posted a disappointing message: he didnt get a callback.

The question, then, is whether tricks like Washams work? I asked him.

TC: Who are you and what did you do?

John Washam: I’m John Washam, a self-taught web developer of 16 years. I’ve been studying computer science and software engineering full-time for over 8 months. I run 2 web-based businesses that take very little of my time, thanks to automation. So this afforded me the opportunity to level up my skills. I’ve always worked on the Web, and even though I had years of experience, I wasn’t qualified to work in many software areas. There were numerous jobs unavailable to me due to lack of computer science knowledge. I was an Economics major.

I set an audacious goal for myself to get hired as a Google software engineer.

TC: Why?

JW: I needed something that would get me to keep cracking open the books and writing code on the whiteboard every day, even though it was terribly intimidating and sometimes sleep-inducing. Over time, the fear and tedium subsided, and it became super-easy and a lot of fun. Knowledge conquers fear. I wanted to go deep in learning all of it, but there just wasn’t enough time in the day. I had to move on to the next topic to stay on schedule.

Google really meshed well with me wanting to grow my skills and go from web developer to software engineer. Their culture mimics an academic environment and merits provability and data over opinion. The more I got into computer science topics, the more this appealed to me. And the more I learned about Google, the more interested I became.

Google gets something like 2 million resumes a year, and even though I had a referral lined up, I wanted to make sure I would stand out in some way. I started posting my study progress on a new blog, Googley as Heck. I’m a web dev, so throwing a blog up is pretty trivial. My hope was that someone at Google would take notice. Every couple of days I would write a post about the cool thing I was learning that day. That was super enjoyable. Programmers like to show off their skills.

To organize my studies I made a to-do list of study topics based on Google’s candidate coaching notes, and augmented it with even more CS topics as I learned more and branched out. I had a rather empty Github profile, so I put the to-do list on Github to start making a decent commit history for myself. One day in October, after the to-do list was about 1600 lines long, it went viral. Now it’s #27, at over 33,000 stars, and my Github profile looks much better now. My little to-do list is being translated into 13 languages. There are many wonderful people contributing to the project now.

TC: Did you really think Google would notice? Why?

JW: I thought it was worth a shot. Google looks for Googleyness in candidates, so I wanted to be the definition of Googley.

I’ve launched a few startups. I treated this endeavor as I would a startup: build something great (my education), promote it like crazy (went viral on Medium, Hacker News, and Reddit), and go IPO or get acquired (hired) before you run out of money.

Promoting a startup is something I usually do rather well, especially when the startup is mine. This time was no different.

The week before I applied to Google, I posted an article on Medium that ended up being read over 100,000 times and recommended 4,000 times. I received an overwhelming amount of support and encouragement from readers, thanks to Quincy Larson, who posted the article on the FreeCodeCamp community on Medium. Quincy is a phenomenal person.

john_washam_bw-small-1TC: What was the real goal here?

JW: Keep in mind that Google was merely a motivator, not the reason for all my efforts. Sure, working at Google would be amazing, but the reason was to become a software engineer. I wanted to move beyond web development and open the doors to new opportunities in other areas of software development. I wanted to build the technologies I’ve used and depended on all these years: databases, servers, operating systems, and more. There’s a whole world of software engineering beyond the web browser.

TC: Did you succeed? What happened in the interview?

JW: I applied through a referral for a software engineer position. Last week I received a rejection email from the recruiter, and at first, I thought it was a mistake, and laughed it off. I checked in with my referral and he inquired into it and lobbied on my behalf, but in the end, it didn’t change the situation.

I never received a reason for the rejection. My referral couldn’t find out either. It was pretty disappointing.

The thing that bothered me is that I didn’t even get a phone screen. I didn’t even talk to a recruiter over the phone. After all that work and enthusiasm, I didn’t even get a chance to prove myself.

If it was due to my lack of experience, I definitely have more experience than a fresh college grad. Google hires people right out of college and I wasn’t expecting to come in the same as a 16-year veteran of the industry. I was only claiming 2-3 years experience.

I have to respect the recruiters decision, even if I don’t agree with it. They know their job better than I do. Recruiters look at hundreds of resumes every day, and they are highly tuned to detecting quality candidates and rejecting those who don’t match up with their model. For some reason, I just didn’t fit the profile. They probably are doing me a favor. It’s possible that I would have been in over my head and continually dragged my team down.

Google is known for having false negatives in their selection process, but if you’re good enough for Google, you’ll eventually get in.

I still like Google, however, I don’t know if I’ll apply again in the future. I want to get hired and stay at a company for a long time. I don’t want to hop around. The company that ends up hiring me will get a loyal, hardworking, enthusiastic employee. There are a lot of other places where I can strive for greatness and have that effort rewarded. Google served its purpose to motivate me now some other company will enjoy the benefits of that motivation.

TC: Do you think Google got scared of your l33t p0werz?

JWL: I don’t think my knowledge caused anyone to tremble in fear. I doubt my knowledge is intimidating. It’s the exact same set of topics they expect candidates to know or study to prepare.

I’ve done a lot of speculation about the reason why they decided to pass, but I won’t do that here. It’s all just guessing, which accomplishes nothing.

TC: Whats next? Where else are you looking for work?

In the end, I got what I wanted, which was my missing knowledge of computer science and close to the metal software engineering. I’m no longer afraid of linked lists or balanced binary search trees. I love them very much now. The things I find fascinating now are the same things an engineer with years of experience would find boring. It’s all new and exciting to me. I’ve gone past software engineering and studied machine learning, too. It’s all fantastic.

Well, I put all this effort into starting a new career as a software engineer. I’m looking at companies around the Seattle area, mainly larger companies, where they can afford to take in an enthusiastic and experienced yet green software engineer and give me the time to get up to speed. I want to work with a professional team and write great software, including testing, debugging and profiling. I’m looking to construct quality software.

I’m looking for an environment where a smart, hard-working, and knowledgeable software craftsman (in training) can thrive, grow, and learn. I will make mistakes, but will always work hard to keep from being a burden on my team. I won’t bring my ego to work. I’ll accept when I’m wrong and take the blame when I goof up.

To potential employers, bring me hard problems. I can learn anything. If you need me to become the in-house expert on OS internals, geometry algorithms, compiler construction, cryptography, machine learning, or Intel x86 instructions, then I will.

Anyway, back to studying. I’ve got coding problems to do.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/12/do-funny-recruiting-hacks-work-lets-ask-a-guy-who-tried/

Euro will fail in 10 years without reform Emmanuel Macron

French presidential candidate says currency amounts to a weak Deutsche Mark that has failed to unify EU states and stand up to the US dollar.

The euro may not exist in 10 years time if Paris and Berlin fail to bolster the single currency union, French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has said, adding that the current system benefits Germany at the expense of weaker member states.

Macron was economy minister under Socialist President Franois Hollande until he resigned this year to create his own political movement and stand as an independent candidate in this years presidential election.

The truth is that we must collectively recognise that the euro is incomplete and cannot last without major reforms, Macron said in a speech at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

Speaking in English, he added: It has not provided Europe with full international sovereignty against the dollar on its rules. It has not provided Europe with a natural convergence between the different member states.

France must implement labour market reforms and revamp its education system to revive growth, while Germany must accept that more investment instead of austerity can boost growth across the eurozone area, the centrist politician said.

The dysfunctioning of the euro is of good use to Germany, I have to say, said Macron, adding that a lack of trust between France and Germany was blocking major reforms that would increase solidarity among the 19 members of the eurozone.

The euro is a weak Deutsche Mark, said Macron. The status quo is synonymous, in 10 years time, with the dismantling of the euro.

He proposed the creation of a eurozone budget to finance growth-oriented investments and to extend financial assistance to struggling member states.

However, this would be anathema to the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, whose conservatives face an election this year and have faced domestic resistance to bailouts for Greece by hawks who say such payments turn the euro zone into a transfer union.

Macron spoke after the co-leader of Germanys far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party earlier told Reuters the eurozone should be split into two with a strong cluster around Germany and a weak cluster including France.

Macron, a rare advocate in France of deeper European integration, has taken the unusual step of encouraging supporters to cheer the European Union at political rallies in contrast with other politicians who often rail against Brussels.

Macron, 39, has enjoyed a boost in recent polls, which show him cementing his position as the presidential elections third man and within a whisker of reaching the crucial second round runoff to be held in May.

An opinion poll last week showed conservative candidate Francois Fillons lead in Frances presidential election race had narrowed, with both Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen gaining on the former prime minister.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/11/euro-will-fail-in-10-years-without-reform-emmanuel-macron

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