Neurobiology course

January 20, 2018

Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life

New York City’s Bold, Flawed Attempt to Make Algorithms Accountable

January 20, 2018

NYC’s Bold, Flawed Attempt to Make #Algorithms Accountable QT: “#NYC should commit to demanding openness in all future contracts with vendors of these algorithmic services…It’s a dereliction of duty to allow vital decisions to be made by a black box.”

“Frank Pasquale,… told me much the same. “While the terms of past contracts are hard to revisit, New York City should commit to demanding openness in all future contracts with venders of these algorithmic services,” he said. “They have the leverage here, not the firms. Secrecy may incentivize tiny gains in efficiency, but those are not worth the erosion of legitimacy and public confidence in government. It’s a dereliction of duty to allow vital decisions to be made by a black box.”

Cathy O’Neil, the author of “Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy,” told me. “What we’re finding is that the world of algorithms is one ugly wormhole.” In insulating algorithms and their creators from public scrutiny, rather than responding to civic concerns about bias and discrimination, the existing system “propagates the myth that those algorithms are objective and fair,” O’Neil said. “There’s no reason to believe either.””

Facebook Job Ads Raise Concerns About Age Discrimination

January 20, 2018

Facebook Job Ads Raise Concerns About Age Discrimination QT: “The ability of advertisers to deliver…message to the precise audience most likely to respond is the cornerstone of
$FB…[but]…opportunities only to certain age groups has raised concerns”.

“The ability of advertisers to deliver their message to the precise audience most likely to respond is the cornerstone of Facebook’s business model. But using the system to expose job opportunities only to certain age groups has raised concerns about fairness to older workers.

Several experts questioned whether the practice is in keeping with the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which prohibits bias against people 40 or older in hiring or employment.”

Opinion | At the Solstice, in Praise of Darkness

January 20, 2018

At the Solstice, in Praise of Darkness QT: “Imagine a…movie…[capturing] the position of the setting sun…throughout the yr….[the sun] would migrate…betw its southernmost & northernmost positions on the horizon [&]…slow down toward the extremes.”

“When this cycle was first explained to me as a child, my teacher advised me to imagine the “leaning” Earth as it arcs through its annual orbit around the sun….But such
illustrations, however useful, make it easy to overlook the loveliest aspect of this Thursday: that a solstice is in fact a moment of rest.

What stops at the December solstice is the sun’s apparent southward and night-lengthening (or night-shortening, in the Southern
Hemisphere) march across the sky. The true meaning of “solstice” — indeed, the word’s Latin roots refer to the stilling of the sun — was made clear to me by George Greenstein…He asked me to imagine a continuous movie composed of photographs that capture the position of the setting sun (the rising sun would work equally well) throughout the year.

In this movie…the setting sun would migrate back and forth between its southernmost and northernmost positions on the horizon. The sun would accelerate toward the middle of its journey (around spring and autumn, when the lengths of the day and the night change most quickly) and slow down toward the extremes. Once the sun reached an endpoint, it would at last come to rest — as it will on Thursday — before its motion reversed.

Transforming Dumbo, a Brooklyn Neighborhood, With New Condos – The New York Times

January 19, 2018

The Dark Bounty of Texas Oil | The New Yorker

January 19, 2018

The Lost Picture Show: Hollywood Archivists Can’t Outpace Obsolescence – IEEE Spectrum

January 18, 2018

The Lost Picture Show: Hollywood Archivists Can’t Outpace Obsolescence Lots of useful stats on the costs of data storage for movies: $1k/Tb for 20yr store. 1 big budget film is ~350Pb & $20k/yr to store (1hr TV episode is $12k). Maj archives have >10k hrs.

Sam Gustman, associate dean of the USC Libraries, says that the Warner archives are now part of 50 petabytes of archived data at USC, which also includes nearly 54,000 video interviews with Holocaust survivors gathered by the USC Shoah Foundation. For 20 years of storage, including power, supervision, and data migration every 3 years, USC charges $1,000 per terabyte, or $1,000,000 per petabyte. That works out to a relatively affordable $2.5 million per year for its current 50-PB holdings. It’s not a money-making business, Gustman adds.

Meanwhile, the motion-picture studios are churning out content at an ever-increasing rate. The head of digital archiving at one major studio, who asked not to be identified, told me that it costs about $20,000 a year to digitally store one feature film and related assets such as deleted scenes and trailers. All told, the digital components of a big-budget feature can total 350 TB. Storing a single episode of a high-end hour-long TV program can cost $12,000 per year. Major studios like Disney, NBCUniversal, Sony, and Warner each have archives of tens of thousands of TV episodes and features, and they’re adding new titles all the time.

Meanwhile, the use of higher-resolution digital cameras and 3D cameras has caused the amount of potentially archivable material to skyrocket. “We went from standard definition to HD and then from HD to UHD,” Peter Schade, NBCUniversal’s vice president of content management, said in an interview. Pixel resolutions have gone from 2K to 4K and soon, 8K, he adds. Codecs—the software used to compress and decompress digital video files—keep changing, as do the hardware and software for playback. “And the rate of change has escalated,” Schade says. “}}

#1 Secret Why Google is the Most Valuable Company on Earth – Crowdsourcing Week

January 16, 2018

Dan geschwind new cell paper on ATACseq for brain cortex

January 15, 2018

The Dynamic Landscape of Open Chromatin during Human Cortical Neurogenesis

Luis de la Torre-Ubieta6
Jason L. Stein6
Hyejung Won
Carli K. Opland
Dan Liang
Daning Lu
Daniel H. Geschwind

Reconstructing an African haploid genome from the 18th century

January 15, 2018