Link 6/26/15

Another argument for remote work.  Pixar once accidentally deleted the entirety of Toy Story 2.  When I read the headline I assumed this was some sort of really complicated RAID failure, but no, someone “rm –rf”ed from the wrong directory and the backup’s overflow mode was “overwrite old data.” Translation: someone typed “delete all” from the wrong directory, the backup system didn’t have half the space it needed, and it didn’t tell anyone when it ran out.  The movie was saved because an employee was working from home after giving birth, and she had a two week old copy at her house.

Then Pixar decided they didn’t like the movie and redid the whole thing.  But it was a great story up till then.

How do you think family income predicts children’s college attendance?  This article gives you a chance to predict it before you see the actual results (along with other people’s guesses).  Keep in mind the x-axis is income percentile, not income.  I was unable to find a graph that went by income.

Attempted chlamydia vaccine in the 1960s made people more likely to get the infection (and this was not just because they had riskier sex- they saw the same effects in mice).  New research suggests this is because the vaccine somehow stimulated the part of the immune system that is supposed to recognize your own cells and prevent your immune system from attacking it.  The vaccine taught your immune system to ignore chlamydia infection.  They think they’ve found a way to correct for that.  Bonus: Vaccine works better as a nasal spray than a skin injection because the uterine lining is more like the sinuses.

Putting the bed net problem in perspective.

Diet, Skeptics, and Getting It Wrong:  “Mocking people for wanting to absorb their food and avoid intestinal cancer isn’t going to teach anyone anything except that they should stop listening to you.”

It always makes me happy to see researchers studying who a drug helps, rather than looking at the population average.  This week it’s a suspected link between blood pressure and the efficacy of a particular PTSD treatment.

Many software teams operate on “you were the last person to touch it, you own it.”  Sometimes this makes sense (it prevents people from checking in cheap hacks and leaving others to deal with the consequences), but it also engenders a learned helplessness, because you can’t make one change without becoming responsible for every bug and feature request until someone gets desperate enough to make one little check in, at which they become responsible for every bug and feature.  It engenders a kind of learned helplessness that encourages hacks rather than digging in a fixing a problem.  The Copenhagen Interpretation of Ethics is this problem, but for altruism..

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