Monday, June 29, 2015

10 Best Meditation Apps for iPhone & iPad: Apps to Help You Master Meditation

Read more in iGeeks blog.

My favorite isn't on the list. It's called InsightTimer, and it's a basic timer with some Tibetan bells for unguided sessions.

Thanks, +Megan Gardner 

The Higher Life

A mindfulness guru for the tech set. 

Andy Puddicombe, a 42-year-old British meditation teacher trained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk, has been making waves with his iPhone app, Headspace, which teaches meditation and mindfulness techniques and claims Richard Branson among its three million users. The New Yorker looks at what the fuss is all about here.

Via +Connie Loizos 

Tama the cat: 3,000 attend elaborate funeral for Japan’s feline stationmaster

Japan’s most famous cat, who saved an obscure railway line in rural Wakayama prefecture from financial ruin, earns posthumous status of Shinto goddess. Read more in the Guardian.

Thanks, Vini

How Bitcoin's Technology Could Reshape Our Medical Experiences

Innovative uses for the blockchain. Read more in CoinDesk.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Behind Silicon Valley’s Self-Critical Tone on Diversity, a Lack of Progress

Read more in the NYT.

Silicon Valley's Gender Balance Woes Start Before People Are Even Hired

Even when looking for internships out of school, women are staying away from the tech field. Argh:

Read more in FastCoExist.

DBL Investors Raise $400 Million Impact VC Fund

Exciting to see double-bottom-line investors raising big funds! Read more in the WSJ

Big congrats to +DBL Investors 

ISIS and the Lonely Young American

The New York Times examines how online recruiters loyal to the Islamic State persuaded a young woman in Washington State to support their extremist cause.

Read more in the NYT.

For Potential Recruits, VC Is So 1999

Read more in TechCrunch.

8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8 A.M.

Check out Ben Hardy's post in Medium.

How side projects saved our startup

Read more on the Crew blog.

Via +HackerNews 

Maiden Names, on the Rise Again

Read more in the NYT.

Yay. Our thesis lives on. Great find, +Corinne Grzybowski 

Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood?

The rich array of microbiota in our intestines can tell us more than you might think. Read more in the NYT.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Why I Can’t Forgive Dylann Roof

Read more in the NYT.

"How do I get people to back my ideas?"

Thought this was an insightful response to an issue commonly raised when someone is thinking about starting a new venture.

Read more in Femgineer.

But isn't that "reverse racism"?

We talked about microagressions this week in Dev Bootcamp, and "reverse racism" came up. Thought this was a perfect response.

Thanks, +Dev Bootcamp and Jennifer

NRA Leader Blames Slain Charleston Pastor for Slaughter of His Congregants

"Eight of his church members, who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church, are dead," Cotton said. "Innocent people died because of his political position on the issue."
If you want to read more, the story is in MotherJones.

Thanks, Tom

TED Talk // Shia LaBeouf - Just Do It

One of the shortest TED Talks I've seen yet.

Thanks, +Jacob Rogers 

Why Women Apologize and Should Stop

Read more in the NYT.

And check out the Pantene "Sorry Not Sorry" Ad if you haven't already. Thanks, +Felicia Curcuru 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Your Miyagi Moment

Not sure if all your hard work (studying programming, preparing for the GMAT, learning a new language, building your company) is paying off?

Maybe you will have your "Miyagi Moment" soon. Read more in TechCrunch.

Thanks, +Dev Bootcamp 

From high school calculus straight to a job at IBM: Meet the first graduates of P-Tech

School leaders and industry partners are reinventing vocational education for low-income students. Can the new model work? Read more in FastCompany.

Tech Companies Fly High on Fantasy Accounting

An excerpt:
Technology shares have been powering the stock market recently, outperforming the broader stock indexes by wide margins. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100, for example, is up 19 percent over the last 12 months, almost twice as much as the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, which has risen 10 percent. 
Investor enthusiasm for all things tech is understandable, given the disruptions the industry is bringing to so many businesses and the potential profits associated with that upheaval. 
But there’s a more troubling aspect of the current exuberance for technology stocks: the degree to which so many of the popular companies with premium-priced shares promote financial results and measures that exclude their actual costs of doing business. 
These companies, in effect, highlight performance that is based more on fantasy than on reality.
Read more in the NYT.

No Time to Be Nice at Work

What does a toxic work environment look like and how can it affect you? Read more in the NYT.

How a series of humiliating events led to one of the fastest-growing startups ever

Read more about Parker Conrad, Zenefits CEO, in Business Insider.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Arianna Huffington to Grads: Make Time to Connect With Yourself

It's commencement speech time! Check out Arianna Huffington's speech at Vassar. An excerpt:
Sadly, we have become not just distracted by our devices, our texts, emails, constant notifications, and social media, but addicted to them. And when it comes to social media, let me break it to you: our addiction is not a bug, but a feature. This isn't some unforeseen side effect, it was always the intention, that social media would consume as much of our time and attention -- as much of our lives -- as possible.
...As someone who runs a 24/7 digital media company and who uses every form of social media ever invented, I hope I have some street cred when I urge you to build boundaries, introduce digital detoxes into your life, and learn to regularly disconnect from the jumble and the cacophony and make time to reconnect with yourself. There will be many profound and fulfilling relationships ahead of you, but the relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you'll ever have. And, like any relationship, it can't be taken for granted -- without care and attention, it will atrophy and, ultimately, break down.

Read more in TIME.

Thanks, +Andrea Sparrey 

Google Is Using A Super-Cryptic Method To Recruit New Developers

Read more in Business Insider.

A Caution for Would-be Digital Health Entrepreneurs

Read more in KQED Science.

How A Machine Learned To Spot Depression

Mind-blowing. Excerpt:
I'm in a booth with a computer program called Ellie. She's on a screen in front of me.
Ellie was designed to diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, and when I get into the booth she starts asking me questions — about my family, my feelings, my biggest regrets. 
Emotions seem really messy and hard for a machine to understand. But Skip Rizzo, a psychologist who helped design Ellie, thought otherwise. 
When I answer Ellie's questions, she listens. But she doesn't process the words I'm saying. She analyzes my tone. A camera tracks every detail of my facial expressions. 
"Contrary to popular belief, depressed people smile as many times as non-depressed people," Rizzo says. "But their smiles are less robust and of less duration. It's almost like polite smiles rather than real, robust, coming from your inner-soul type of a smile"...
Read more in NPR.

Don’t be a badge collector

An excerpt:
Lots of people — especially young and ambitious people — say they want to start startups. Very few do. If you’re young-ish and ambitious and you want to become one of those who actually does start something, the biggest danger you face is “credentialism”. 
What is credentialism? 
Crudely, credentialism (or, more rudely, “badge collecting”) is the belief that it’s always worthwhile to gain one more credential — a place at a prestigious university, a masters degree, a top-tier first job, one more promotion, and so on, before you leap into becoming a founder. Partly you think you’ll be more “ready” to be a founder later; partly you believe that the credential is a worthwhile hedge against potential failure. I think both motivations are misplaced.
Read more in Medium.

Early vs. Beginning Coders

An excerpt:
When I was working on Learn Python The Hard Way I was frustrated by how often I’d have to explain that the book is for a total beginner. The problem is that most of the technology world considers someone with about two programming languages under their belt a “beginner”, but learning two programming language would take you about 4-6 months. After 6 months you can’t really say someone is a beginner since, well, 6 months later is not the beginning. The beginning of something is…I mean why do I have to say this…at the beginning. Not 6 months later.
Read more at Zed Shaw.

Memorizing a programming language using spaced repetition software

Another view on how to use spaced repetition. Read Derek Silver's perspective.

Thanks, +Derek Gerson 

Tips For Mastering A Programming Language Using Spaced Repetition

Read more in Smashing Magazine.

Thanks, +Derek Gerson 

Tipping Point in Transit

No surprise here: computers are better drivers than numbers. An excerpt:
There are early signs that certain semiautonomous features will improve safety. The Highway Loss Data Institute, which tracks insurance loss statistics on vehicles, has found that Volvo’s forward-collision avoidance system, which slows or stops the car if it senses an imminent crash, has reduced claims of bodily injury by at least 18 percent.
Read more in the NYT. Thanks, +Justin Wickett 

Add emojis to your git commit messages!

Didn't know about this before. So neat.
  • Consider starting the commit message with an applicable emoji:
    • :art: :art: when improving the format/structure of the code
    • :racehorse: :racehorse: when improving performance
    • :non-potable_water: :non-potable_water: when plugging memory leaks
    • :memo: :memo: when writing docs
    • :penguin: :penguin: when fixing something on Linux
    • :apple: :apple: when fixing something on Mac OS
    • :checkered_flag: :checkered_flag: when fixing something on Windows
    • :bug: :bug: when fixing a bug
    • :fire: :fire: when removing code or files
    • :green_heart: :green_heart: when fixing the CI build
    • :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: when adding tests
    • :lock: :lock: when dealing with security
    • :arrow_up: :arrow_up: when upgrading dependencies
    • :arrow_down: :arrow_down: when downgrading dependencies
    • :shirt: :shirt: when removing linter warnings

Thanks, +John Hess and +Adam Fluke 

Boston Dynamics // Introducing Spot

"Spot is a four-legged robot designed for indoor and outdoor operation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. Spot has a sensor head that helps it navigate and negotiate rough terrain. Spot weighs about 160 lbs."

Thanks, +Jacob Rogers 

Depressed? Try Therapy Without the Therapist

Read more in the NYT.

Thanks, Julia and Reade

Inside Obama's Stealth Startup

President Obama has quietly recruited top tech talent from the likes of Google and Facebook. Their mission: to reboot how government works. Read more in FastCompany.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

HRB Daily Stat: To Get Someone to Respond, Ask Via a Sticky Note

The stat:
University professors were 58% more likely to fill out a questionnaire if a handwritten request to complete the survey was on a sticky note, rather than a cover letter, according to an experiment by researcher Randy Garner reported by Kevin Hogan on In another experiment, sticky notes also prompted people to act more quickly and respond in greater detail. Sticky notes not only stand out and garner attention, they also imply that a scribbled request is a special favor, making the recipient feel important, Hogan writes.
Read more in HBR.

Black Like Who? Rachel Dolezal’s Harmful Masquerade

Read more in the NYT.

Epic CEO to donate 99 percent of fortune

Judith Faulkner's letter signing the Giving Pledge gave me chills.

Thanks, +Elaine Choi 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Why Women Aren’t C.E.O.s, According to Women Who Almost Were

"It’s not a pipeline problem. It’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers." Read more in the NYT .