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Provocative New Insights From the Largest Consumer Sleep Study Ever Released | The Huffington Post

• Exercise is good for sleep: Any amount is helpful, but the optimal amount is 30 minutes, which correlates to 14 minutes of extra sleep per night. • Caffeine: Good news here! Three or fewer cups of coffee didn’t notably affect average sleep time much, but those who drank four cups or more slept 26 minutes less. • Alcohol: Surprisingly, those who had one or two drinks slept an average of 16 minutes more than people who had more than two drinks (or none at all).

Amazon pays readers with books for editing

Amazon wants to take some of the mystery out of predicting what books will sell with its new Kindle Scout publishing program, which lets readers vote on their favourite excerpts from unreleased books to determine what does (and what doesn’t) get published. Welcome to the court to common opinion, aspiring authors. In exchange for their participation in the program, Kindle Scout users will get free book credits, based on their ability to successfully pick winners. Those who nominate books that eventually get published will get a free Kindle version of the e-book a full week before publication day.
Visible Prices is the tool that I wished for to help students grasp the economic content of literature, and to provide researchers with a means of studying how authors used prices in their texts. In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Jane’s salary as governess to Mr. Rochester’s ward is £30 per annum. This database makes price back into a visible part of the reading experience by allowing students to discover what £30 meant in purchasing power, or to see how the salary that Bronte chose compared with those being offered at the time of composition and publication. Economic historians have, in the past, gathered price listings for staple goods and raw materials, such as wool and wheat. These records of the changing prices of a specific commodity have been formatted as excel spreadsheets, or as .txt files. They are readable, but not manipulatable, and are able only to track specifically focused inquiries, i.e. “What was the price of wheat recorded in France from 1825-1913?”. As printed documents have migrated onto the web, researchers have gained greater access to economic data, though the challenges of making it easy to combine and manipulate remain.
Like many existing crowd-sourced datasets (Quora, Stack Overflow, Amazon Reviews), we assign users points or votes based on their tenure, reputation, and the actions they take. Superusers like points and gamification. It rewards diligent, hard-working SUs (which are the majority) and punishes the few malicious “bad players.” But data scientists like probabilities and guarantees. We’re interested in making statements like, “we are 99% confident that each entry is correct.” How do we allocate points to users in a way that rewards them for behavior but allows us to make guarantees about the accuracy of our database? At Foursquare, we have a simple, first-principles based method of resolving proposed venue attribute updates. We can gauge each Superuser’s voting accuracy based on their performance on honeypots (proposed updates with known answers which are deliberately inserted into the updates queue). Measuring performance and using these probabilities correctly is the key to how we assign points to a Superuser’s vote.
In the course of a week Quirky fields some 2000 ideas—the kind people toss off in the cafeteria over lunch or sketch on a Starbucks napkin—from an online community of 600,000 would-be inventors. Working in small groups, the staff reviews each pitch and whittles the list down to roughly 15. On Thursday nights in the company's New York City headquarters, a former brick warehouse outfitted with weathered wood floors, sleek glass walls, and lofty white ceilings, Kaufman assembles the staff and a handful of honored guests to help him choose two or three winners. (PopMech's Jerry Beilinson is an occasional participant.) The online community observes the entire process on a live Internet feed, offering input along the way. After a few minutes of discussion Kaufman asks for a show of hands from the attendees seated in the eight rows of folding chairs in front of him.
But unlike Facebook, Twitter really was a collaboration; an idea that came out of a failed podcasting company that happened to come about at the right time. While Dorsey had the germ of the idea, without the collaboration of the people who worked at Odeo, that idea would have remained just an idea. Glass’s realization that the initial concept could be adapted to connect people to their friends was significant. And the name he came up with undoubtedly helped, too. Without Williams and Stone influencing its development with the lessons they learned from Blogger, it still would not have taken off. Making it a company required Williams’s money, then Wilson, Sabet and Fenton’s and dozens of other investors, not to mention Costolo, who turned it into viable business, and 2,000 employees who helped shape it into one of the biggest social networks on the planet. Such is the case with every company in Silicon Valley, though you never hear it in their creation myth. Dorsey will make $400 million to $500 million when Twitter goes public. Glass stands to make about as much as Dorsey’s secretary at Square.
The first person reading the comment was 32 percent more likely to give it an up vote if it had been already given a fake positive score. There was no change in the likelihood of subsequent negative votes. Over time, the comments with the artificial initial up vote ended with scores 25 percent higher than those in the control group.
People want to have their cake and eat it, too, of course. They want to fund a risky project but suffer no consequences of that risk; they want to skirt the publisher model but don’t enjoy the position that puts them in as de facto “publishers” of a game. The fact is, Kickstarter doesn’t magically make every problem with game development go away. Just because it circumvents EA or Activision doesn’t also mean that every Kickstarter game will release without a hitch.