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Gender Equity at Harvard: great article

Harvard Business School Case Study - Gender Equity -

The administrators and the class of 2013 were parting ways, their experiment continuing. The deans vowed to carry on but could not say how aggressively: whether they were willing to revise the tenure process to attract more female contenders, or allow only firms that hired and promoted female candidates to recruit on campus. "We made progress on the first-level things, but what it's permitting us to do is see, holy cow, how deep-seated the rest of this is," Ms. Frei said.

Confessions of an economic hit man

You should read this book: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. It's shocking and insightful.

Basically the book explains and teaches that when you hear, for example, that Egypt is getting a billion US$ in military aid, that's not what it sounds like. We are not sending them a check for a million bucks. We are actually sending the million bucks to US millitary corporations.

Why? Because the funds that Egypt gets can only be spent with specific US companies on specific items, either hardware or service contracts. And moreover the books explains that often the recipient country doesn't even want what they are required to purchase or the project that they are required to undertake, lets say a new highway, bridge, airport or whatever.

So read the book and also, keep that in mind when you learn for example that Senators backing war in Syria are flush with defense industry cash «

According to an analysis by MapLight, which tracks lobbying and campaign contributions in Congress, senators who voted in favor of the resolution received, on average, 83 percent more money from defense contractors and other defense interests than senators who voted against the resolution.

The other side of the Snowden story

What Did Edward Snowden Get Wrong? Everything | RAND:

Incidents like the Snowden affair put my former colleagues in the intelligence community in an impossible position. Yes, the official explanations about the virtues of data-collection efforts can sound self- justifying and vague. But they're still right. I know firsthand that Gen. Keith Alexander, the NSA director, is telling the truth when he talks about plots that have been preempted and attacks that have been foiled because of intelligence his agency collected. I know because I was on the inside, I have long held security clearances, and I participated in many of the activities he describes.

[edtech] Who knew there was “university in a box” software!

I stumbled across this web site. I can't say anything about their status or quality but I was suprised that someone developed what looks like a complete "university admin in a box" cloud based software. Maybe I can use it for Bootup Academy!

Get a Feature tour of Fedena - Management Information System:

Fedena provides user-friendly dashboards with login access to all the teachers, non-teaching staff, students, parents and management body of your institution. The various modules available in Fedena takes care of all the processes in your institution, right from admission of new students to generating transfer certificate, when the student completes the studies.

[GEEKY] Using bundler to create and publish a gem

A really useful link. For Ruby programmers only.

Jorge Coca | [HOW-TO] Build a Rails gem with Bundler - Gumby Framework:

Since I'm building a new Rails website, and I wanted to use Gumby as a part of my Gemfile, and I couldn't find a gem with the newest version of the framework, I decided to write my first Rails gem and publish it to the community.

Double Agent?

I am reading a really cool book right now: GARBO: The Spy Who Saved D-Daya about a double agent and an elaborate look behind the curtain of espionage during WW2. Makes me wonder about the amazing amoung of leaked detail about a missle strike on Syria.

Could it be a total spoof, and even as we speak, special forces are infiltrating Damascus and doing their thing? And "whoops" - did I just give it all away?

Review & Outlook: Loose Lips on Syria -

It's always possible that all of this leaking about when, how and for how long the U.S. will attack Syria is an elaborate head-fake, like Patton's ghost army on the eve of D-Day, poised for the assault on Calais. But based on this Administration's past behavior, such as the leaked bin Laden raid details, chances are most of this really is the war plan.

Nice article about Algebra vs. Arithmetic

If you are anything like me, this is something you've try to articulate. Here's a great article on that arcane topic!

What is algebra? | profkeithdevlin:

Is mastery of algebra (i.e., algebraic thinking) worth the effort? You bet -- though you'd be hard pressed to reach that conclusion based on what you will find in most school algebra textbooks. In today's world, most of us really do need to master algebraic thinking. In particular, you need to use algebraic thinking if you want to write a macro to calculate the cells in a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel. This one example alone makes it clear why algebra, and not arithmetic, should now be the main goal of school mathematics instruction. With a spreadsheet, you don't need to do the arithmetic; the computer does it, generally much faster and with greater accuracy than any human can. What you, the person, have to do is create that spreadsheet in the first place. The computer can't do that for you.

Trouble in password land, again?

I was rather pleased with myself!

I have been changing all my passwords to easier to remember but supposedly harder to crack passwords. I had read, on good authority, that making a password longer was a better protection that using lots of funky characters. So for example, I set my gmail password to "when-i-need-to-send-mail". Nice and long. Also, sites that check a password for safety, tell me that's a good password. gives it a 100% - "Very Strong".

I admit that my inutition was confused. I was using common english words. Even though I have a lot of them and a long overall password length, it did feel like it was not as secure as the experts were telling me…

Shoot. Here we go again. Now it seems simple length is not good enough, occording to this article.

"thereisnofatebutwhat­wemake"--Turbo-charged cracking comes to long passwords | Ars Technica:

For the first time, the freely available password cracker ocl-Hashcat-plus is able to tackle passcodes with as many as 55 characters. It's an improvement that comes as more and more people are relying on long passcodes and phrases to protect their website accounts and other online assets.

Dear Consumer Reports #consumerreports

The way you try to get me to renew my subscription is just as bad as many of the merchants you call out in your reviews.

It is August. I have now received 3 mailings saying things like "It's almost too late" and " THIRD NOTICE" reminding me to renew my subscription.

My subscription doesn't expire until December 2013, 4 months from now. We are barely half way through the subcription period.


You are setting a horrible example.