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In the article, they say that the Ghana experiment includes a comparison to a pure cash transfer (although I'm not sure of the amount of the transfer), and "the results are forthcoming."

> These positive results leave us with a number of important questions. First, is it better to deliver physical assets and support, rather than pure cash transfers? There is evidence—from an RCT evaluation of the GiveDirectly program in Kenya, which transferred on average PPP US$720 to poor households, either monthly or in one lump sum—that pure cash transfers also have positive impacts on consumption, food security, asset holdings in the short run (including productive assets), and on psychological well-being (49). Similarly, de Mel et al. (50) find that a cash (or in-kind) transfer to existing self-employed individuals in Sri Lanka has a persistent positive effect on self-employment profits 4.5 to 5.5 years later. Because it is cheaper and easier to just deliver cash rather than physical assets and training, and the initial consumption increases from Kenya seem to be higher than what we observe after 2 and 3 years, it would be useful to have a direct comparison of the effects of these programs. The Ghana experimental design does include a comparison of the Graduation program to merely an asset transfer, and the results are forthcoming.

> ...

> Second, how important was the training and coaching as a component in the full intervention? This is a particularly important component to test, because its costs are on average twice that of the direct transfer costs, and because operating at scale requires quality hiring, training, and staff supervision. As discussed above, we do not have experimental variation with which to test this question. Evidence from elsewhere suggests that the household visits, which are a large expenditure, may not be a cost-effective component. In Blattman et al. (33), for example, variation between zero and five household visits did not generate, after 9 months, large differences in income outcomes (but did lead to higher investment). Furthermore, a meta-analysis of self-employment training programs has found mixed but rarely transformative impacts from training (51).

I wish California would put traffic mitigation into its high-school driver's education classes. Knowing the rules of the road and driving safely are important, but so is reducing traffic, and some simple information could save a lot of time in traffic jams.

Like these cases?

"An American geologist who was imprisoned for more than seven years on a vague charge of “illegally procuring state secrets” has been deported by China and arrived home in Houston on Friday..."


"An American automotive engineer has been detained by the Chinese police for more than a year on charges of violating trade secrets, according to United States officials..."


I recommend this infographic from Nature magazine; it explains the upgrades and what they hope to learn in this run (including about supersymmetry, dark matter, the Higgs boson and a B+ meson decay anomaly).



Here's a good test to try in the store. You can do it in OneNote.

Using a business card as a ruler, try to draw a diagonal line, slowly (a few seconds to cross the card). Unless they have fixed it recently, the Surface Pro 3 cannot draw straight lines in this way, and they will be quite jagged.

In practice, you might never draw lines in this way, but the same jagged features will pop up everywhere, especially if you draw fine shapes carefully (as opposed to large strokes sloppily).


I really like Adobe's solution for this:


We need that at Surface...


"In any case, suggesting that people are advocating for 'unlimited' immigration is a bit disingenuous as it implies a practically infinite supply of new immigrants."

You might find this article of interest [1], since it counters both these points. Here are a few quotes, first advocating for unlimited immigration, and second suggesting that there is a practically infinite supply of immigrants.

1. "The gains to eliminating migration barriers amount to large fractions of world GDP—one or two orders of magnitude larger than the gains from dropping all remaining restrictions on international flows of goods and capital... For the elimination of trade policy barriers and capital flow barriers, the estimated gains amount to less than a few percent of world GDP. For labor mobility barriers, the estimated gains are often in the range of 50–150 percent of world GDP."

2. "The Gallup World Poll finds that more than 40 percent of adults in the poorest quartile of countries “would like to move permanently to another country” if they had the opportunity, including 60 percent or more of in Guyana and Sierra Leone... The size of these constraints is apparent in the annual U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery, which allocates permanent emigration slots mainly to developing countries. In fiscal year 2010, this lottery had 13.6 million applications for 50,000 visas (U.S. Department of State, 2011)—272 applicants per slot."

Here is a back-of-the-envelope calculation from the paper:

"We can check these calculations on the back of the metaphorical envelope. Divide the world into a “rich” region, where one billion people earn $30,000 per year, and a “poor” region, where six billion earn $5,000 per year. Suppose emigrants from the poor region have lower productivity, so each gains just 60 percent of the simple earnings gap upon emigrating—that is, $15,000 per year. This marginal gain shrinks as emigration proceeds, so suppose that the average gain is just $7,500 per year. If half the population of the poor region emigrates, migrants would gain $23 trillion—which is 38 percent of global GDP."

[1] Clemens, Michael A. 2011. "Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?" Journal of Economic Perspectives, 25(3): 83-106. https://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.25.3.83


On the other hand, some of their correct images have questionable captions as well. For example, they labeled the geyser picture correctly, but their top labels also included "sandbar", "breakwater" and "leatherback turtle". A better scoring function, perhaps including hierarchies to account for the very vague "restaurant" photos and very specific dog breed photos, might be helpful. Otherwise, it seems like we might be overfitting to the peculiarities of this dataset.


The costs are not that significant a concern right now [1]. So saving money on the attacks will allow the government to spend more on useful functions, and not so much on more attacks.

[1] "Destroying a $30,000 Islamic State Pickup Truck Can Cost Half a Million Dollars" http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/10/08/destroying-a-30000-islam...


According to the Wikipedia article, Sutter had title to 48,827 acres (76 square miles or 200 square kilometers).


A direct attack on this surveillance technology might be a losing battle. But what about passing laws to mitigate its effect, and possibly in the long run help fight it? Two examples:

1. A law requiring the government to delete this data after a certain amount of time.

2. Legal penalties for abusing this data. Perhaps standards for how the data must be protected.


The problem is even prescribed penalties against authority figures are rarely enforced. There are a few low-level people in jail for torture of prisoners, but not one administrator. Bush and Cheney should have been hauled before The Hague, much as they would have demanded of any leader of any other country that had unilaterally broken the Geneva Convention, but Obama wanted to "look forward," not backward.

There is/was almost zero prosecution of individuals involved in the global financial collapse of 2008. Occupy Wall Street protestors, on the other hand, were beaten, arrested, maced, and so on.

Rules against authority figures in this country are for show at best. Didn't used to be that way, but here we are.


Further, the IRS is a great example how they are being "punished".

The only thing you can take from them is funding. So did Congress -- took away money from IRS and brought their operational budget to those levels from 2008.

And now - pick one that is correct:

A) The director of IRS cut off $80MM bonuses promised to all those hard working ants that scrutinized non-profit applicants and further lost backup tapes that have been miraculously found years later; OR,

B) The director of IRS cut off funds for customer support telephone line, forcing people to wait minimum 30 minutes on the line before a real person answers, admitting on the record that majority of taxpayers won't be able to reach out for help in this tax period.

Any solutions to this clear abuse of power and disrespect to fellow citizens??


Real whistleblower protection would help. Changing the perception so that the public viewed them as heroes when they expose political malfeasance and cosy back room deals.



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