Updates from January, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • drdianehamilton 4:44 pm on January 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , HTML5, , , , , ,   

    Job Seekers: The Demand is in Apps so Consider Learning HTML5 

    This year will be about tablets and apps.  For those looking for a job right now, there are plenty of companies including Google who are looking for app experts. 

    Apps are everywhere these days.  Look at iPhones, Androids, iPads and such and you’ll see plenty of little mobile programs that are the fasting growing thing out there.  Angry Birds and Cut the Rope are just a few of those fun little games that people are playing.  Not all apps are games.  Many are used for productivity. 

    It has become a very competitive field out there with Google, Itunes, Facebook and other companies expanding in the area of apps.  The Wall Street Journal reported, “World-wide, revenue from mobile apps is expected to triple this year to $15.1 billion, including paid downloads and advertising revenue generated by free apps, according to research firm Gartner Inc. Besides the potential of making money directly from such creations, more and better apps can help devices powered by Google’s Android operating system continue to gain ground on Apple’s iPhones and iPads.”

    [GOOGAPP]

    Because of the popularity of apps, Google is taking this very seriously and is in the market to hire app experts.  For more about this, check out the Wall Street Journal article that reported,“Google executives in October said the company was on track to generate $1 billion a year in mobile-related revenue, though it declined to provide a breakdown of the revenue sources. Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., last week said it planned to hire more than 6,000 employees this year, and a spokesman said mobile would continue to be an important area for the company.”

    The increase in jobs is great if people have the skills.  What is required to get a job creating apps?  The applicant must have strong HTML5 skills.  The number of job listings that include the words HTML5 or apps is increasing.  Tech. professionals looking for jobs may want to check out Dice.com.  This job board lists opportunities for people with high tech skills. 

    [JOBSKILLS]

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  • drdianehamilton 2:06 pm on January 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , ForProfitSchools, , , Graduation Rates, , , , U.S. Education Department,   

    Gainful Employment Rule: Effect on For-Profit Schools and Graduation Rates 

     

    For-profit education is beginning to feel the squeeze.  July 2, 2012 marks the day that the U.S. Department of Education rule goes into effect.  This rule restricts students from using government aid to pay for schooling that doesn’t include occupations that have a strong entry-level salary.  

    This isn’t the only issue that for-profits are facing.  A loophole has been close that would allow schools to financially reward admission counselors for enrolling students.  This is one of the reasons enrollment is down at some of the major for-profit universities.  This has also led these universities to increase tuition to cover their losses. 

    The programs that are considered not high paying enough to meet the Gainful Employment rule will be shut down.  The New York Times reported that accounts for only about 5% of these schools’ programs. What happens to the students already enrolled in them? The Arizona Republic reported  that they are allowed to continue with the program under the “teach out” rule.

    Many for-profit universities are implementing new programs to help face their new challenges including:  orientation programs to improve retention, trying to bolster brand awareness, and finding ways to comply with the July deadline to meet the Gainful Employment Rule. 

    Many of the guidelines that are changing now are to protect students and to be sure that they are graduating with degrees that will be worth their expense. Politics Daily reported that a study completed by the Committee of Health Labor Education and Pensions found “94.4 percent of students attending for-profit schools take out loans, compared to 16.6 percent attending community college and 44.3 percent enrolled in traditional four-year public schools. Much of that money comes from federal Pell Grants, which help low-income applicants attend schools of higher education, but is often never returned if they don’t graduate.”

    It is important that students are able to complete their programs, not only to pay back the loans, but to move ahead in their careers.  The New York Times claimed, The report, “Subprime Opportunity,” by the Education Trust, found that in 2008, only 22 percent of the first-time, full-time bachelor’s degree students at for-profit colleges over all graduate within six years, compared with 55 percent at public institutions and 65 percent at private nonprofit colleges.

    For now, for-profit colleges are making some needed changes. The Arizona Republic reported that Peter Wahlstrom of Morningsar, who tracks major for-profit education companies, stated, “What you are trying to do is create a solid program based on academic quality, which, in turn, helps with student outcomes. That helps with retention, that helps with enrollment, and that eventually helps with financial results.”

     
    • Shona 12:10 pm on February 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wow; one of the reasons for the incredibly low graduation rates at for-profit schools is their eagerness to enroll anyone who applies. I used to work at a public university, and while tuition revenue was very important to us as well; we didn’t chase after our applicants trying to get them to enroll (not that we had the staff to do that anyway).

  • drdianehamilton 2:51 pm on January 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Artificial organ, Baylor College of Medicine, Blood vessel, , Frankenstein, Organ, Rice University, Texas A&M University, tissue   

    Is Frankenstein Possible? Growing Human Blood Vessels and Artificial Organs 

     

    image via google.com

    Micromasony, or the ability to use cells for building artificial organs is something MIT researchers have been working on for some time.  Now there has been a new breakthrough where scientists have found they can actually take lab-grown tissue to grow its own blood vessels. Teams have implanted new vessels into mice cornea and confirmed new capillary growth. To see a video of this actual growth, check out a link by Popsci by clicking here.

    If we can take cells and turn them into artificial organs, use tissue to grow blood vessels, is a Frankenstein type creature next?  Actually lightning bolts do have some place in this discussion.  According to Popsci “Lightning bolts may not bring Frankenstein to life, but their blood vessel-like patterns could form the foundation for artificial organs. Now researchers at Texas A&M University hope that those pretty feathery patterns could find a use, channeling bodily fluids through artificial organs. Discovery News reports that the lighting-carved tunnels resemble veins and arteries near the spot where nails are driven into the blocks, while the patterns deeper within the block appear more like smaller capillaries.”

     
  • drdianehamilton 7:38 pm on January 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: All Things Digital, Chegg, , , , , , Morgan Stanley,   

    LinkedIn IPO May Be Sooner Than You Think 

    LinkedIn has already completed the first step in the IPO process.  With over 90 million members in over 200 countries and an estimated worth of $2 billion, its growth is undeniable. All Things Digital reported, “LinkedIn, the online business networking site, is likely to file regulatory documents for an initial public offering as early as today, according to sources close to the situation.”

    Linkedin may not be the only big name going IPO soon.  According to All Things Digital, “LinkedIn’s entry into the public market is one that many expect will be followed by other Internet firms in the coming year, including Zynga, Chegg and, most anticipated of all, Facebook.”

     
  • drdianehamilton 2:55 pm on January 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Clickthrough rate, , , , , Linkedin Advertising, SharesPost, ,   

    LinkedIn Ads to Target its 90 Million Members Prior to IPO 

    With over 90 million members, LinkedIn has the attention of advertisers.  With the release of LinkedIn Ads, individuals and groups can be targeted, with a reported click-through rate that is 3-4 times higher than other campaigns. 

    MediaPost reported, “LinkedIn Wednesday formally launched its pay-per-click, self-serve ad system after being in beta since 2008. Rebranded as LinkedIn Ads, the text-advertising service formerly known as DirectAds mainly expands audience targeting options to include job title, LinkedIn groups and companies. Previously, the platform offered several targeting choices such as age, gender, geography, job function and seniority.”

    Linked-IN

     

    LinkedIn Ads is about focus and reaching the target demographic.  Advertisers can spend as little as $10/day, but they must use a credit card to pay unless they spend over $3000/month for 2 months in a row.

    This new advertising comes prior to their IPO, to possibly sweeten the offer.  Media Post claims, “The company plans to file for an IPO in the first quarter, according to a Wall Street Journal report earlier this month. LinkedIn had estimated revenue of $200 million in 2010 and online market SharesPost has reported that the company has an implied valuation of $2.2 billion.”

    LinkedIn is one of several rumored IPOs due to come out this year. For more information, check out Top Social Media Sites IPO.

     
  • drdianehamilton 9:06 pm on January 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Adam Carolla, , , , Dwight Schrute, , Ken Auletta, Kevin Pollak, Kevin Smith, Names, New Yorker, Office, ,   

    Does Your First Name Determine Your Intelligence? 

    AOL Jobs had an interesting article today about how the first letter of your name could be an indication of your intelligence.  Researchers analyzing several different studies about names found that those students with names starting with A and B had a better GPA than those with names starting with a C and D.  They noted this was especially true if the students liked their initials. 

    Imagine my concern since I am Diane Danielle or D. D.

    More research much be performed to see how letters past D did on their GPA.  However, they did discover more baseball players struck out if their first name started with a K.

    Should you change your name if it’s not associated with good things?  You might want to read the article , by clicking here, to find out.

    The following list is from that AOL Jobs article explaining the success or failure associated with some popular names.   I found it interesting that Dwight was on the leader list since I am a fan of TV show The Office and Dwight Schrute

    One of the biggest studies on names was conducted by the Sinrod Marketing Group’s International Opinion panel. After surveying 75,000 adults, the panel found:

    Names associated with intelligence

    • Abigail
    • Alexis
    • Grace
    • Leah
    • Meryl
    • Vanessa
    • Alexander
    • David
    • John
    • Kenneth
    • Samuel
    • Tim

     

    Names associated with leadership

    • Ruth
    • Alexander
    • Dwight
    • Lance

     

    Names associated with working hard

    • Adal
    • Ingrid
    • Mariel
    • Margaret
    • Jake
    • Manuel
    • Ron
    • Todd
     
  • drdianehamilton 5:49 pm on January 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Body Worlds, , Cropreservation, Cryogenics, , , , Plastination, , , Ted Williams   

    CryoPreservation: Having Your Brain Preserved After You Die 

    Ted Williams help to bring to light cryogenics and the procedure of freezing a human head.  While preserving parts of us after we die may seem bazaar, there may be some things we can learn from brain preservation. 

    According to the Brain Preservation Organization, “Due to a series of recent scientific developments, human beings may soon have an inexpensive and reliable way to preserve their brains, including the molecular features that give rise to their memories and identities, in room-temperature storage after they die. This technology is called plastination (chemopreservation), or chemical fixation and embedding in plastic, and is a distant cousin of the process seen in such exhibits as Body Worlds. Today, “perfect” plastination is routinely done for very small amounts of brain tissue (one millimeter cubed), and soon it will be attempted for whole animal and human brains. Cryopreservation (involving very low temperature storage) is another, more expensive process that also deserves to be carefully evaluated for its ability to preserve the critical structures of our brains. Today, leading-edge neuroscience is identifying the synaptic structures that store and generate our unique memories and identity, and new imaging techniques are allowing us to verify when these special structures have been successfully preserved, starting with general synaptic connectivity all the way to the signal states of individual brain proteins.”

    This organization is even offering a prize of $106,000 to those teams that can actually preserve a large animal brain.  Their hope is to preserve the human wisdom and diversity that dies with us along with our brains. 

    As one might guess, not everyone is thrilled with this idea.  For those with objections to such a project, this site has created a page for overcoming objections

    Their mission is to, “promote scientific research and services development in the field of whole brain preservation for long-term static storage. Through outreach to appropriate scientific communities, online activities, presentations and articles, directed research grants, challenge prizes, and other methods, we seek to explore the scientific hypothesis of whether a reliable surgical procedure exists that is capable of preserving the precise neural circuitry of the human brain at nanometer scale.”

    For those interested in reading more about cryopreservation, chemical preservation or scanning and circuit mapping click here for more information.

     
  • drdianehamilton 4:08 pm on January 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Nature versus nurture, Parent, Psychological Science, Twin, University of Texas at Austin, University of Virginia,   

    Wealth and Its Impact on Children’s Mental Abilities 

    Many traits have been studied to see what actually determines a child’s mental abilities.  Nature vs. nurture is a common debate.  Recent research from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Virginia tested the mental abilities of 750 pairs of twins to determine if wealth made an impact.  Their abilities were analyzed at 10 months and again at 2 years. 

    According to WSJ.com, “When it came to the mental ability of 10-month-olds, the home environment was the key variable, across every socioeconomic class. But results for the 2-year-olds were dramatically different. In children from poorer households, the choices of parents still mattered. In fact, the researchers estimated that the home environment accounted for approximately 80% of the individual variance in mental ability among poor 2-year-olds. The effect of genetics was negligible. The opposite pattern appeared in 2-year-olds from wealthy households. For these kids, genetics primarily determined performance, accounting for nearly 50% of all variation in mental ability. (The scientists made this conclusion based on the fact that identical twins performed much more similarly than fraternal twins.) The home environment was a distant second. For parents, the correlation appears to be clear: As wealth increases, the choices of adults play a much smaller role in determining the mental ability of their children.”

    To read more about this study, check out the following article by the Wall Street Journal by clicking here.

     
  • drdianehamilton 11:45 am on January 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Adjusted Gross Income, , , , Education Tax, Hope credit, , Opportunity rover, , , , ,   

    College Tuition and Tax Credits 

     

    Many students are going back to school due to the economy, a job loss, or just being ready to reinvent their careers. Students should be aware of a couple of tax programs to help with paying for college. They are called the Hope/American Opportunity and the Lifetime Learning tax programs. A student may not claim both on their taxes. It is an either/or type of situation. These programs help by reducing the amount of taxable income.

    HotcoursesUSA does a nice job of explaining the two programs:

    The Hope/American Opportunity Tax Credit:

    General Facts:

    • Must be enrolled at least half-time in a program leading to an undergraduate degree or other legitimate education credential.
    • The maximum yearly credit per eligible student is $2,500.
    • Partially refundable, which means up to $1,000 could be paid back to lower-income taxpayers when the credit exceeds their total tax bill.
    • There is no limit on how many family members can receive the credit.
    • Amount of credit begins to phase out if your AGI single return is between $80,000 and $90,000 or more and for a joint return is between $160,000 and $180,000 or more.
    • The student must be listed as a dependent on the tax form for parents or guardians to claim a Hope credit for their child’s college expenses.
    • A student can claim credit if they are not listed as a dependent on another person’s tax form.

    The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit:

    General Facts:

    • The Lifetime Learning credit can only be used for tuition and fees. The credit can be claimed for 20 percent of the amount you pay.
    • A taxpayer may claim a tax credit for 20% of up to $10,000 in a combination of tuition and fees. This equates to a $2,000 tax credit in 2008 and 2009.
    • Amount of the credit begins to phase out if your AGI single return is between $50,000 and $60,000 and for a joint return between $100,000 and $120,000.
    To find out more information about these tax credits, check out the IRS.gov site.  The IRS site includes helpful graphs to explain eligibility.
     
  • drdianehamilton 4:26 pm on January 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Charles Spearman, Cro-Magnon, David Geary, , , , Flynn Effects, , , , , , National Public Radio,   

    Are Humans Getting Dumber as Our Brains are Shrinking? 

    Did you know that our brains are actually shrinking? NPR.org reported, “Cro-Magnon man, who lived in Europe 20,000 to 30,000 years ago, had the biggest brains of any human species.  In comparison, today’s human brain is about 10 percent smaller.”

    The human brain is still an enigma is many respects.  Are there differences in the human brain that cause people like Einstein to achieve so much?  Studies were completed on Einstein’s brain and they actually found he had some differences.  There is speculation that due to the way that Einstein’s brain was missing a part of a bordering region, that this enabled neurons to communicate more efficiently.  

    With all of the technological inventions, one might think that people should be getting smarter. However, in the NPR article, this decreasing in brain size may have a negative impact, “The experts aren’t sure about the implications of this evolutionary trend.  Some think it might be a dumbing-down process. One cognitive scientist, David Geary, argues that as human society grows increasingly complex, individuals don’t need to be as intelligent in order to survive and reproduce.” 

    If this is true, the movie Idiocracy may be foreshadowing some frightening possibilities.  The movie displays what life would be like if people continue on their current path of finding entertainment in reality shows, tattooing, partying and enjoying other less than useful activities.  This movie seemed to play off of studies done by Lentz in 1927 that claimed the intelligent people were having fewer children than the less intelligent people.  This would lead to a society of less intelligent people.  The Examiner claims Lentz’s work has merit, stating “This conjecture has been confirmed by studies like that of Hernstein and Murray (1994), who demonstrated that in the U.S. females with an average IQ of 111 had 1.6 children, whereas females with an average IQ of 81 had 2.6 children.”

    The Examiner claims that there is hope for improvements, though, due to something called the Flynn effect. “Even if genotypic IQ is heading towards a decline across the world, there is still phenotypic intelligence that has increased over the last few generations. This phenomenon, also known as Flynn effect, is attributable to advancements in nutrition, education, and a more intellectually stimulating environment. The Flynn effect has led to gains of 7.5 IQ points a generation, much greater than .43 IQ points decline in genotypic IQ.”
    There is something called Spearman’s g that refers to one’s general intelligence that was postulated in 1904 by Charles Spearman.  g, written in lower case like, now refers to general intelligence. A neuroscientist named John Duncan explained Spearman’s work in his book How Intelligence Happens.  The Wall Street Journal explained, “Mr. Duncan makes a convincing case that these brain areas constitute a special circuit that is crucial for both Spearman’s “g” and for intelligent behavior more generally. But his book elides the question of whether this circuit is also the source of IQ differences. That is, do people who score high on IQ tests use the frontal and parietal areas of their brains differently from people who score lower? The answer, discovered by other researchers, turns out to be yes.”

    It appears that our brains are decreasing in size, more people with lower IQ scores are having children, but we can increase our education and nutrition.  We can also learn more about how our frontal and parietal areas can be improved.  There is hope that we are not necessarily headed for an Idiocracy-like future.

     
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