Posts Tagged ‘Davis’

FreeBSD Throws the Clang/LLVM Switch: Future Releases Use LLVM

November 7th, 2012 11:33 admin View Comments


An anonymous reader writes “Brooks Davis has announced that the FreeBSD Project has now officially switched to Clang/LLVM as C/C++ compiler. This follows several years of preparation, feeding back improvements to the Clang and LLVM source code bases, and nightly builds of FreeBSD using LLVM over two years. Future snapshots and all major FreeBSD releases will ship compiled with LLVM by default!”

Source: FreeBSD Throws the Clang/LLVM Switch: Future Releases Use LLVM

Using Winemaking Waste For Making Fuel

October 24th, 2012 10:09 admin View Comments


Tator Tot writes “Grape pomace, the mashed up skins and stems left over from making wine and grape juice, could serve as a good starting point for ethanol production, according to a new study (from the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry). Due to growing interest in biofuels, researchers have started looking for cheap and environmentally sustainable ways to produce such fuels, especially ethanol. Biological engineer Jean VanderGheynst at the University of California, Davis, turned to grape pomace, because winemakers in California alone produce over 100,000 tons of the fruit scraps each year, with much of it going to waste.”

Source: Using Winemaking Waste For Making Fuel

They Work Long Hours, But What About Results?

October 7th, 2012 10:27 admin View Comments


theodp writes “HBS lecturer Robert C. Pozen says it’s high time for management to stop emphasizing hours over results. By viewing those employees who come in over the weekend or stay late in the evening as more ‘committed’ and ‘dedicated’ to their work, as a UC Davis study showed, managers create a perverse incentive to not be efficient and get work done during normal business hours. ‘It’s an unfortunate reality that efficiency often goes unrewarded in the workplace,’ writes Pozen. ‘Focusing on results rather than hours will help you accomplish more at work and leave more time for the rest of your life.’”

Source: They Work Long Hours, But What About Results?

Do We Need a Longer School Year?

September 3rd, 2012 09:58 admin View Comments


Hugh Pickens writes writes “Jennifer Davis writes that while summer holds a special place in our hearts: lazy afternoons, camping at the lake, warm evenings gazing at the moon, languid summers can be educationally detrimental, with most youth losing about two months of grade-level equivalency in math computational skills over the summer and students from low-income families falling even further behind. A consensus is building that the traditional nine-month school year might be a relic of the 20th century that has no place in an increasingly competitive global work force and an analysis of charter schools in New York reveals that students are most likely to outperform peers if they attend schools that are open at least 10 days more than the conventional year. What of the idea that summer should be a time of respite from the stresses of school? There are two wrong notions wrapped up in this perspective. The first is that somehow summer is automatically a magical time for children but as one fifth-grader, happy to be back at school in August, declared, ‘Sometimes summer is really boring. We just sit there and watch TV.’ The second mis-perception is that school is automatically bereft of the excitement and joy of learning. On the contrary, as the National Center on Time and Learning describes in its studies of schools that operate with significantly more time, educators use the longer days and years to enhance the content and methods of the classroom. ‘We should expect our schools to furnish today’s students with the education they will need to excel in our global society,’ says Davis. ‘But we must also be willing to provide schools the tools they need to ensure this outcome, including the flexibility to turn the lazy days of summer into the season of learning.’”

Source: Do We Need a Longer School Year?

Widely Used Antibacterial Chemical May Impair Muscle Function

August 15th, 2012 08:17 admin View Comments


New submitter daleallan writes “Triclosan, which is widely used in consumer handsoaps, toothpaste, clothes, carpets and trash bags, impairs muscle function in animal studies, say researchers at UC Davis (abstract). It slows swimming in fish and reduces muscle strength in mice. It may even impair the ability of heart muscle cells to contract. The chemical is in everyone’s home and pervasive in the environment, the lead researcher says. One million pounds of Triclosan is produced in the U.S. annually and it’s found in waterways, fish, dolphins, human urine, blood and breast milk. The researchers say their findings ‘Call for a dramatic reduction in use.’ It’s in my Colgate Total toothpaste, and in fact, preventing gingivitis is the only use that may be worthwhile, although this makes me think twice about continuing to brush with it.” This isn’t the first time Triclosan has been in the news over safety concerns.

Source: Widely Used Antibacterial Chemical May Impair Muscle Function

How Big Data Became So Big

August 12th, 2012 08:19 admin View Comments


theodp writes “The NYT’s Steve Lohr reports that his has been the crossover year for Big Data — as a concept, term and marketing tool. Big Data has sprung from the confines of technology circles into the mainstream, even becoming grist for Dilbert satire (‘Big Data lives in The Cloud. It knows what we do.’). At first, Jim Davis, CMO at analytics software vendor SAS, viewed Big Data as part of another cycle of industry phrasemaking. ‘I scoffed at it initially,’ Davis recalls, noting that SAS’s big corporate customers had been mining huge amounts of data for decades. But as the vague-but-catchy term for applying tools to vast troves of data beyond that captured in standard databases gained world-wide buzz and competitors like IBM pitched solutions for Taming The Big Data Tidal Wave, ‘we had to hop on the bandwagon,’ Davis said (SAS now has a VP of Big Data). Hey, never underestimate the power of a meme!”

Source: How Big Data Became So Big

Would You Trust an 80-Year-Old Nuclear Reactor?

July 24th, 2012 07:21 admin View Comments


the_newsbeagle writes “The worst nuclear near-disaster that you’ve never heard of came to light in 2002, when inspectors at Ohio’s Davis-Besse nuclear power station discovered that a slow leak had been corroding a spot on the reactor vessel’s lid for years (PDF). When they found the cavity, only 1 cm of metal was left to protect the nuclear core. That kind of slow and steady degradation is a major concern as the US’s 104 reactors get older and grayer, says nuclear researcher Leonard Bond. U.S. reactors were originally licensed for 40 years of operation, but the majority have already received extensions to keep them going until the age of 60. Industry researchers like Bond are now determining whether it would be safe and economically feasible to keep them active until the age of 80. Bond describes the monitoring techniques that could be used to watch over aging reactors, and argues that despite the risks, the U.S. needs these aging atomic behemoths.” Meanwhile, some very, very rich individuals have taken an interest in the future of nuclear power.

Source: Would You Trust an 80-Year-Old Nuclear Reactor?

Finding Fault With Anti-Fracking Science Claims

July 22nd, 2012 07:50 admin View Comments


A widely carried Associated Press article (here, as run by the Wall Street Journal) reports that some of the convincingly scientific-sounding claims of opponents of fracking don’t seem to hold up to scrutiny. That’s not to say that all is peaches: the article notes, for instance, that much of the naturally radioactive deep water called flowback forced up along with fracking-extracted gas “was once being discharged into municipal sewage treatment plants and then rivers in Pennsylvania,” leading to concern about pollution of public water supplies. Public scrutiny and regulation mean that’s no longer true. But specific claims about cancer rates, and broader ones about air pollution or other ills are not as objective as they might appear to be, according to Duke professor Avner Vengosh and others. An excerpt: “One expert said there’s an actual psychological process at work that sometimes blinds people to science, on the fracking debate and many others. ‘You can literally put facts in front of people, and they will just ignore them,’ said Mark Lubell, the director of the Center for Environmental Policy and Behavior at the University of California, Davis. Lubell said the situation, which happens on both sides of a debate, is called ‘motivated reasoning.’ Rational people insist on believing things that aren’t true, in part because of feedback from other people who share their views, he said.”

Source: Finding Fault With Anti-Fracking Science Claims

Does Every Startup Need a Slogan?

June 25th, 2012 06:00 admin View Comments

You’ve got a great name for your startup. What’s next? Before you design your logo, website and other marketing materials, it’s time to create a company slogan or tagline. Like Apple’s “Think Different” or Nike’s “Just Do It,” a great slogan inspires, motivates, informs and persuades. So how do you come up with the right one for your company?

“Having a great slogan is absolutely critical,” says Rich Davis, founder of Slogan Slingers, a crowdsourcing site for slogans and taglines. “In some ways I think it’s even more important than a logo, because everyone has a logo. Not every [new] business is savvy enough to leverage a really smart slogan.”

A good slogan can help you stand out from your competition. “If you have a slogan that conveys a simple, powerful message while your competition just has a logo, you have the advantage in standing out and winning over your target audience,” claims Davis. The right slogan can change how you’re perceived both externally and internally, he adds, citing the “Think Different” campaign as an example. “It represented the cornerstone of Apple’s entire brand. It was their philosophy in two words. It guided every product they developed and every decision they made.”

What Makes a Good Startup Slogan?

Good slogans are not always obvious. “Research shows that cookie-cutter slogans have no impact,” says Davis. “They’re quickly forgotten, and basically convey a general lack of passion within the organization. It’s the opposite of branding. If you care about your image, it’s worth investing the time in getting a slogan that stands out. If your slogan isn’t elevating your brand, you’re making a mistake by using it.”

So what makes a good slogan or tagline? Davis says it must have some basis in emotion. “Good slogans get you to feel something about a brand or even about yourself that you didn’t before.” The slogan can also tout a key benefit in a memorable way. “The Energizer Bunny campaign and their catchphrase, ‘It keeps going and going and going…’ is great example of this.”

In today’s Web-oriented world, do you need to worry about SEO or keywords when creating your slogan? “Taglines really do not impact SEO in any tangible way, unless sites continually link to you with your chosen tagline,” says Ben Fisher, the Social Media Marketing Dude. “One benefit to a keyword-rich tagline would be if the line was in plain text under the logo and displays as part of the site description.”

“You have website headlines, metadata, blogs and back links for SEO,” Davis agrees. “Your slogan should transcend all that.

Rich Davis, founder of Slogan Slingers

Davis warns that there are no set rules for slogan success. “Like a hit song, blockbuster movie or any creative product, there’s no specific formula for producing a timeless slogan. A lot of times on our site, a contest holder will see a slogan entry that is nothing like what they were originally envisioning but they instantly realize they’ve found ‘the one,’” says Davis. “That’s the magic of the creative process. There are basic elements a great slogan should possess, but the rest comes down to the writer’s imagination.”

Can Crowdsourcing Help?

Davis owned an ad agency before starting Slogan Slingers late in 2010 when crowdsourcing entered the marketing fray. “I thought, ‘Oh man. If someone ever uses crowdsourcing to generate slogans, that will totally kill an entire service category of my business.’ So I said to myself, it might as well be me.”

Slogan Slingers lets companies look for feedback and ideas about their slogans by putting the project out to thousands of professional writers. Companies choose a set price and provide as much information as they want on the type of slogan they need and for what purpose. Once the slogans start coming in, the business can give feedback to fine tune the pitch.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Source: Does Every Startup Need a Slogan?

Answers to the Facebook Question Larry Page Ducked on Charlie Rose

May 23rd, 2012 05:00 admin View Comments

Google founder Larry Page’s shot across Facebook’s bow in an interview with Charlie Rose on Monday night generated plenty of headlines Tuesday, but Page got off without really answering Rose’s original question: Is Google “worried or not worried about Facebook’s competition in search?”

We spent Tuesday tracking down experts who could speculate on if and when Facebook may try to compete against Google in search, and envision what Facebook’s version of search may look like.

As the social network’s share price continued to tank in its first full week of trading, and with former AdWeek editor Michael Wolff saying it was nothing more than another ad-supported website, Facebook will face pressure to find new revenue streams. For many observers, search seems like a likely tactic.

“I have a strong feeling that Facebook will almost likely have to do something like this if they want to keep their investors happy,” said Maciej Fita, the SEO director at Brandignity LLC. “It is really going to be about profits now, and even if they could steal 5% to 10% of Google’s search market, that could lead to some much better numbers on their balance sheet.”

Flexing Its Social Graph Muscle

None of the experts we spoke with envision Facebook creating a search engine, but instead they expect the company to use all of the data and endorsements for websites that are collected through likes and comments to better personalize search results for an individual user.

Aliza Earnshaw, director of sales and marketing at AboutUs Inc., said Facebook wouldn’t be limited to just pushing recommendations from your friends, but instead would be able to use the data it has from all of its members to figure out what sites people similar to you found useful.

“Of course, not everyone fills out the entire profile – nor even fills it out accurately – but with [905 million] members and counting, it’s possible that Facebook will be able to deliver search results that are even more highly relevant than Google results, especially for things that are lifestyle-related,” Earnshaw said.

Is Facebook a Threat to Google?

Of course, to get into search – even if it is to only steal a small percentage of Google users, as Fita suggested – means Facebook is prepping itself for a fight with the other dominant Web firm (plus a secondary battle with Microsoft’s Bing).

“They can’t just churn out a new Google the way Google churned out a new Facebook,” Dave Davis, managing director of RedFly Limited, said in an email. “They have one thing Google doesn’t have (much of at least): The open graph and individual behavioral data. [There are] 2.7 billion likes and comments per day (according to venturebeat) on websites, data that Facebook can link to individual users and their connections.”

Davis said he expects Facebook to launch search within two years, mainly due to shareholder pressure. He sees it being a truly “peer search” and was even willing to bet that Facebook would call it Peer Search.

“They will do it right. I think they will also phase this in on a vertical-by-vertical stage too,” he said.

Alhan Keser, CMO of digital media agency Blue Fountain Media, said Facebook will have to figure out how to break users’ habits of relying on Google for search.

“They have a long road ahead. Google’s algorithm was created overnight,” Keser said. “It took years to develop a system that gave relevant results. They succeeded by better satisfying users.”

Source: Answers to the Facebook Question Larry Page Ducked on Charlie Rose