Around the web – Highlights Week 40

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Around the web – Highlights Week 40

A list of the articles I read this week (40) and the highlights I made for them. (Last week)

VP9 encoding/decoding performance vs. HEVC/H.264

  • For example, the red point at 1960kbps has an SSIM score of 18.16. The blue line has two points at 17.52 (1950) and 18.63 (3900kbps). Interpolation gives an estimated point for SSIM=18.16 around 2920kbps, which is 49% larger. So, to accomplish the same SSIM score (quality), x264 needs 49% more bitrate than libvpx. Ergo, libvpx is 49% better than x264 at this bitrate, this is called the bitrate improvement (%). x265 gets approximately the same improvement over x264 as libvpx at this bitrate
  • Conclusion
    • Next-gen codecs provide 50% bitrate improvements over x264, but are 10-20x as slow at the top settings required to accomplish such results.
    • Normalized for CPU usage, libvpx already has some selling points when compared to x264; x265 is still too slow to be useful in most practical scenarios except in very high-end scenarios.
    • ffvp9 is an incredibly awesome decoder that outperforms all other decoders.


This Video Shares the Best Life Lessons From People of All Ages

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s YouTube channel, has people aged 6 to 93 sharing their best pieces of advice for life. The video starts with the youngsters, and some of the advice is meant to be a joke, but as the video goes on the wisdom gets a little more practical. For example, take a chance and ask that person to dance, you don’t need to eat all you can at a buffet just because it’s an “all you can eat” buffet, and always back up your hard drive. Other great lessons include always being kind to your family, getting laid off can be a blessing in disguise, being a starving artist only works if you actually make art, and to spend all your money or your kids will do it for you. Last, but not least, you shouldn’t always listen to other people’s advice. Other people’s advice isn’t always right for you, and none of us really know what we’re doing anyway.


The Surprising Downsides of Being an Overachiever

  • But there’s a fine line between doing your best work and being a chronic overachiever, which can set you up for failure. Here’s why you might want to rethink that “I can do it all” attitude.
  • Occasionally, giving your work that extra something is the right thing to do, but making a habit of it turns your overachievement into your new work baseline.
  • Worst of all, it can actually keep you from achieving things; and that defeats the purpose of overachieving in the first place.
  • You’ll Strive for Perfection Instead of Productivity
    • Overachievers have a hard time prioritizing because everything is equally important. Choosing one project to focus on at the expense of another can cause tremendous turmoil. After all, there’s no excuse for being lax about any task, no matter how far down on the priority list. This dilemma frequently causes overachievers to get stuck; it’s can be just too difficult to make those painful choices about what not to do perfectly. This type of wheel spinning is a drain on personal productivity.
  • You Can Become a People-Pleasing Pushover
    • If you teach your boss and coworkers that you’re always willing to do the work that “someone’s gotta’ do,” you’ll always be the one it gets dropped on. Over time, you might turn into a pushover that doesn’t want to let anyone down, so you do all the grunt work; convincing yourself that you’re your boss’s “go-to” guy, when you’ve really just put a sign on your back that says “worker bee.” Literally ask yourself, “Is this something I’m expected to do, and how will it benefit me if I do it?”
  • You Could Miss Out on Promotions
    • The sad reality is, the hardest workers don’t always get promoted. To get promoted, you need to show that you’re valuable
      The less your boss worries about you, the more he or she values you.
    • The more value you deliver the firm beyond your assigned work, the more likely you’ll get to the next level.
    • It means that you should be coming up with new ideas and projects, then executing them without direction. That grunt work can probably be done by anybody, so you doing it just makes you an “anybody,” and “andybodies” don’t get promotions. Instead, focus on creating value for your place of work, not just fulfilling on it.
    • there’s a big difference between high-performers—the people that get promoted—and the bad kind of overachievers:
      • High-Performers are Strategists:
        • They know when to wait, when to attack, how to sacrifice, and when to change direction. They can position the company to achieve victory in multiple ways and move on non-linear paths.
      • Overachievers are Brute Force:
        • They have one mission, and that is to get from point A to point B as fast as possible within the rules provided. They focus on completing as much as possible, in a linear fashion, until there is nothing left to complete.
  • You Might Start to Resent Your Coworkers
    • you can start to resent your coworkers for not working as hard as you are, even if you’re pushing yourself needlessly.
    • If you think every one of your coworkers is lazy, there’s a good chance you’re just doing more than you need to. Let your coworkers pick up some of that slack and you might find you like them a bit more.
  • Failure Can Hit a Lot Harder
    • but our perfect permanent record will have a nasty F on it, thereby lowering our life GPA.


Some Supplements are Basically Drugs

  • Yohimbe is an African tree, and supplements made with its bark are sold as a natural (but not necessarily effective)
    fat-burner and aphrodisiac.
  • but the active ingredient, yohimbine, also exists as a prescription drug for erectile dysfunction. It’s not used very often, in part because of side effects including irregular heartbeat, dizziness, and anxiety.
  • In other words, the makers may have been dumping prescription-strength drugs into their product.


Google voice search: faster and more accurate

Today, we’re happy to announce we built even better neural network acoustic models using Connectionist Temporal Classification (CTC) and sequence discriminative training techniques. These models are a special extension of recurrent neural networks (RNNs) that are more accurate, especially in noisy environments, and they are blazingly fast!


Forget Red Delicious: Here Are the Apples You Should Use in Everything

  • So Fresh, So Crisp: Galas, Honeycrisps, and Fujis for Snacking
  • Get Baked: Golden Delicious for Desserts
  • Liquid Assets: Honeycrisps, Galas, and Cameos for Juice and Cider


Record Yourself Exercising to Improve Your Technique and Form

In weightlifting,form and technique are everything. You can think you’re doing everything right, but you wouldn’t know for sure unless you’ve been trained by a professional, actually watched yourself lift, or ideally, both. Sure, you can ogle yourself in the mirror, but a better way to learn is to record a video of yourself with your phone’s camera. Then you can review it later (ideally with a trainer) and see what you should fix.


How Often You Should Wash Your Clothes, Based on Science

  • The obvious stuff here includes washing socks, underwear, and t-shirts. This is all the clothing that’s closest to your body’s primary sweat glands, shedding skin cells, and skin oils. These should be washed regularly, preferably after each use.
  • For towels, which pick up tons of skin flakes and bacteria, its advised to wash them after three uses.
  • Jeans? Unless they getting sweaty or dirty, you don’t really need to wash them at all. The same goes for any other pieces of clothing that are far away from your sweat glands.


Autonomer Lastwagen absolviert erste Autobahntour

  • …teilautonomen Fahren muss ein Mensch weiter im Cockpit sein und jederzeit eingreifen können.
  • den Autopilot ein, der für den Großteil der Testfahrt auf der Autobahn 8 bei Stuttgart die Steuerung übernahm
  • “Der Highway Pilot bringt mehr Sicherheit, weil er immer zu hundert Prozent da ist, er wird nie abgelenkt, er wird nie müde, er lässt in der Konzentration nicht nach – das heißt: mehr Sicherheit.”


Neue Perspektive für Kohlenstoff-Transistoren

  • den Fortgang der Internationalen Roadmap für Halbleiterentwicklung bis nach 2025 zu gewährleisten.
  • Bei den üblichen Kontaktierungsverfahren wächst der Kontaktwiderstand in dem Maße, wie die Größe der Kontaktregion abnimmt. Für Mikrochips auf Basis von Silizium sind deshalb bereits bald Widerstände erreicht, die für Transistoren nicht mehr praktikabel sind.
  • diese Barriere dabei umgehen können. Dafür verwenden sie Kohlenstoffnanoröhrchen als Transportkanal und Molybdän als Kontaktmetall.


How Accurately Do Running Apps Track Your Distance?

  • Since the location is never totally exact, it may help to think of your GPS signal as a dog that runs mostly next to you. He’s your buddy, so he’s never far away; if you know how far the dog traveled, that’s roughly the same distance you traveled too.
  • In a study published in PLOS ONE, GPS devices underestimated the distance that athletes ran on a back-and-forth path, and overestimated how far they ran in a 200-meter loop—in each case, the error varied but was in the range of 2-3%. Another real-world test, published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, found that the error was usually under 6.2%—fine for their purposes (measuring total training mileage) but not something you could always rely on to tell the difference between a nine- and a 10-minute mile.
  • Advances in both software and hardware have made devices more accurate over time.


Only Interrupt Someone to Improve the Conversation

  • you should refrain from interrupting: To finish someone else’s sentence (good in close personal relationships, but not so much in work settings) or to co-opt the conversation and talk about yourself (“I know what you mean…one time in band camp…”). Both situations can make the interrupter seem rude
  • it’s good to interrupt: If you want to make sure you understand what the other person just said, for example, or to get a conversation back on track (like a meeting).


Don’t Fear Rejection: It’s Just One Person’s Opinion

  • when one person rejects another, it reveals a lot more about the “rejecter” than the “rejected.” All you are really seeing is the, often shortsighted, opinion of one person.
  • One thing is for sure: If you give too much power to the opinions of others, you will become their prisoner.


Blotting Pizza with a Napkin Actually Cuts Significant Calories

  • Mental Floss rounded up a few estimates, finding rough agreement between Food Detectives (35 calories per slice) and Popular Science (20 to 50 calories).
  • consider that with three slices you can blot off something like 120 calories,


Making sense of the Universe’s brightest galaxies

  • The brightest galaxies in the Universe are known as submillimeter galaxies
  • While they’re very bright at visible wavelengths, most of their output there is blocked out by dust.
  • Their star formation rate is so intense that it actually challenged conventional models of how galaxies form when these SMGs were first discovered a decade ago.
  • might have been formed through the collision of gas-rich galaxies in a model known as the “merger-starburst” hypothesis.
    for the “smooth accretion” hypothesis, which has more massive galaxies slowly being fed by gas over a longer period (about a billion years).
  • One of the reasons we can’t choose between these two models is that SMGs are notoriously hard to simulate.
  • This marks a departure. A recent influential paper had provided some support for a version of the merger-starburst scenario involving the collision of multiple smaller galaxies. This work makes a strong case for the smooth accretion model, though it’s not the final word on the matter. The simulation makes specific predictions that can be tested in future observations of actual SMGs, though, which may help provide some clarity.
  • Nonetheless, the work is undoubtedly a milestone: the first simulation that successfully produced the SMGs in all their splendor.


Computer Learns to Hack Chess

  • but unlike other common chess programs, Giraffe taught itself to play.
  • The top chess playing computers clock in at super grandmaster level but they are not self-taught
  • using a neural network approach
  • neural network trains by starting from real board positions (modified from a database of moves) and playing both sides of the game
  • Over many iterations, the C++ neural network develops its own set of rules. This requires examining over 350 features of each position (for example, is castling permitted, or how far sliding pieces can move).


Get Ripped, Not Rude: Ten Rules for Proper Gym Etiquette

  • If You Use It, Put It Back—Where It Belongs
  • Respect Your Gym Equipment
  • Death to Sweat Stains (And Germs)
  • Texting Is Not a Thumb Workout
  • Maybe someone is waiting for you to finish your sets or you might be blocking someone’s view of the mirror.
  • Grunt If You Must (but only if you must)


Helping an Employee Overcome Their Self-Doubt


  • If someone on your team is hampered by a harsh inner critic, they’re likely to talk themselves out of sharing their ideas and insights.
  • As a manager or mentor, one of the most powerful ways you can unlock your people’s potential is to give them a toolkit for managing self-doubt.
  • Typically, managers and mentors make a mistake. They think their job is to encourage, compliment, or cheerlead when their people are struggling with self-doubt. They say things like, “You really can do this!” Or “I have complete confidence in you. I wouldn’t have given you this role if I didn’t think you had the capability to do it.”
  • In the coaching field, this is known as “arguing with the inner critic.”
  • Coaches-in-training are taught, “Never, never argue with the client’s inner critic.”
    • First, such reassurance rarely is convincing.
    • Second You’re giving them a fish, but you aren’t teaching your people how to fish.
  • 1. Introduce the idea of the “inner critic.”
    • You might choose to call it imposter syndrome, the voice of self-doubt, monkey mind, or another term you feel is appropriate for your work context. Use this list of common qualities of the inner critic’s voice to help your people identify their critics.
  • 2. Ask your team members to start developing the skill of managing their inner critics.
    • Clarify that you understand that fears and self-doubts will naturally come up when your team members or mentees grow into new roles, take on greater responsibility, or speak up.
    • To do this, they should practice noticing when they’re hearing their critic, and to name the critic thoughts as such when they occur. That’s as simple as noting to oneself, “I’m hearing my inner critic’s worries about this again.”
    • “I knew I had a little, mean, nagging voice inside my head, but until now I hadn’t really appreciated how much impact it had on the choices I make.” Another realized she was not applying for an available promotion largely because of inner critic.
    • After the discussion, she applied for the job – and got it.
    • “In addition to encouraging her,” Grace said, “we spent time digging through how the changes had triggered her inner critic. We made a clear plan for what she needed to accomplish. Many milestones were reached (and celebrated) but when things didn’t go to plan, we explored whether/how the manager’s inner critic was factoring in. As time went on, the manager learned to better predict when her inner critic might kick in, and how it could be quieted. She gained a tool she can rely upon, and navigated challenging times of change with flying colors.
  • Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message
  • Access more articles and resources from Tara here.


Toxic Habits: Overthinking

  • Rumination is thinking (and thinking and thinking) about something upsetting, but in a passive way, without actually taking action.
  • Rumination makes people think they are working on a problem, but not only does rumination not produce solutions, it also exacerbates the problem. All that thinking takes up time and energy individuals could spend fixing the problem.
  • In fact, those who ruminate develop major depression at four times the rate of those who don’t ruminate. It’s like a hamster running frantically on a wheel, exhausting itself without actually going anywhere.


10 Lessons I Learned from a Year of Productivity Experiments

  1. Work on Your Highest-Leverage Tasks to Become More Productive
  2. The Three Most Effective Tips Are Also the Most Boring
    • nothing has made me more productive than eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising.
  3. Always Question Blanket Productivity Advice
    • It’s okay to buck conventional wisdom if something else works better for you.
  4. Forming Good Habits Makes You More Productive Automatically
    • According to Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit, 40-45% of our daily activities are automatic habits.
  5. The Three Ingredients of Productivity Are Time, Energy, and Attention
    • how to better manage your time,
    • how to better manage your energy,
    • and how to better manage your attention.
  6. There’s No Single Productivity Secret, but There Are Hundreds of Tactics
    • I uncovered so many of these tactics that I assembled a list of my favorite 100 tactics when I closed out my year.
  7. Working Too Hard or Too Much Shatters Your Productivity
    • when I limited how much time I spent on a task, I forced myself to exert more energy over less time so I could get the task done in what limited time I had.
    • When you throw more energy at your work without taking the time to recharge or nurture your energy levels along the way—like by exercising, taking breaks, eating well, or investing in effective stress relief strategies—you’re going to run out of fuel and burn out.
  8. The Best Way to Feel Motivated Is to Know Why You Want to Get Something Done
  9. Becoming More Productive Is Pointless If You’re Not Kind to Yourself in the Process
    • Constantly be mindful of how kind you are to yourself when you’re pushing yourself to get more done. When 80% of what you say to yourself in your head is already negative, it’s important that you are kind to yourself every chance you get, particularly when you’re putting more pressure on yourself to become a better human being.
  10. Productivity Isn’t About How Much You Produce, It’s About How Much You Accomplish
    • Unless you run a factory, measuring your productivity based only on how much you produce gives you only a shallow, limited picture of how productive you are.


100 time, energy, and attention hacks to be more productive

Read the whole article, it’s pretty structured and to condensed to condense it further.

By |2015-10-04T11:55:43+00:00October 4th, 2015|Allgemein, Lifehacker, Technology|0 Comments

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