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  • drdianehamilton 8:09 am on September 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , ,   

    Using Personality Assessment to Ace the Job Interview 

    Showing up to a job interview without researching the company’s background, products and future potential is an error many job applicants make.  Even those who have properly researched the company may still make the mistake of not assessing the interviewer’s needs. There are some important tips that job-seekers can utilize to ace the interview even if they are not made aware of who will interview them ahead of time.  

    Job candidates need to keep in mind that people like to receive information based on their personality preferences.  In an interview situation, that means that the job-seeker needs to assess the interviewer’s personality to look for clues about these preferences.

    Based on the following personality types, tailor how information is delivered in the following way:

    Interviewer is an Introvert (they prefer to think about what they want to say before they say it):  They may not want a lot of chit chat. Allow them to have time to ask questions and don’t talk over them. 

    Interviewer is an Extrovert (they tend to say what they are thinking without processing first):  Realize they require information quickly and may talk over you or end sentences for you.  If they ask a question and you need more time, simply say something like, “That is a good question; let me think about that for a moment.”  That will buy you some time to formulate your answer.

    Interviewer is Direct (they prefer to get to the point and may be abrasive): Don’t hem and haw around.  Get right to the bottom line information they require.

    Interviewer is Structured (they like facts and figures):  If they have charts and graphs around and ask for statistics, give them data.  They like quantifiable answers.

    One way to find out more about the person doing the interview is to look around the office for clues.  Try to find things that you have in common with them.  Show an interest in the things they showcase like pictures, plaques, awards, etc.  For more information about acing the interview, read 10 Most Important Steps to Obtain a Dream Job.

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  • drdianehamilton 7:39 pm on September 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AIDS, Antiretroviral drug, , Foldit, Gamer, HIV, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, University of Washington, Video game   

    Video Gamers Using Skills to Help Fight HIV 

    Online gamers have used their gaming skills in a very unusual and helpful way.  Scientists found that gamers were able to figure out the structure of an important protein that may help to develop drugs to block HIV retroviruses. 

    A video game called Foldit, developed by the University of Washington in 2008, is a game that has been used by gamers in a competition to see if they could unfold chains of amino acids through the use of online tools associated with this game. 

    Scientists were amazed to see that the gamers were able to develop a model of an important enzyme in 3 weeks.  This can provide important insight into design for antiretroviral drugs and help in the fight against the HIV virus.

    According to News.Yahoo.com “It is believed to be the first time that gamers have resolved a long-standing scientific problem.  One of Foldit’s creators, Seth Cooper, explained why gamers had succeeded where computers had failed. People have spatial reasoning skills, something computers are not yet good at.”

     
  • drdianehamilton 8:23 am on September 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Academic Dishonesty, , , , , , , , ,   

    New Studies Show Technology to Blame for Increase in Plagiarism 

    Article first published as New Studies Show Technology to Blame for Increase in Plagiarism on Technorati.

    Two Pew Research studies conducted in the spring of 2011 have shown that technology has made it easier for college students to cheat.  TechNewsDaily reported, “A report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 55 percent of college presidents said they noticed an increase in plagiarism over the past decade, and 89 percent of that group said technology has played a major role.”

    Some are blaming this increase on the fact that more colleges are offering online courses. PewSocialTrends reported, “More than three-quarters of the nation’s colleges and universities now offer online classes, according to the survey of college presidents, and about one-in-four college graduates (23%) have taken a course online, according to the general public survey.” However, others are saying this is not only an online course issue as traditional courses allow students Internet access to do their research as well.  The traditional classroom has seen its share of technology-related issues including the use of portable cellular devices to text answers to test questions.

    Research shows that there will be more growth in digital learning. With this growth has generally come more appreciation. Online learning has become a more well-respected form of learning.  “The vast majority of two-year colleges offer online courses (91%), and their leaders are among the most likely to believe that online learning is comparable to learning in a classroom.” However, with access to the Internet, schools must take steps to insure that students are submitting their own work. 

    One of the biggest issues is plagiarism. Sometimes students plagiarize unintentionally due to a lack of understanding how to cite correctly in APA format.  However, many intentionally plagiarize. Schools have combatted this problem by requiring papers be run through a plagiarism-checker like TurnItIn.  Universities buy licenses to use the TurnItIn website which checks documents for originality.  TurnItIn boasts the following statistics:

    • 150+ million archived student papers
    • 90,000+ journals, periodicals & books
    • 1+ million active instructors
    • 14+ billion web pages crawled
    • 10,000 educational institutions
    • 20+ million licensed students
    • 126 countries

    Sites like TurnItIn include many of the papers that are sold online.  Students who are caught submitting these papers face being expelled.  Plagiarism checkers are helpful finding papers that have already been written. However, they cannot detect papers that students pay others to write for them.

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  • drdianehamilton 8:06 am on September 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chat, , , , , , , SitePal, , , , ,   

    SitePal and Voki: Add Pizzazz to Your Website or Classroom 

    There are some fun sites that can be used to animate pictures to add pizzazz to websites or online classrooms.  One of these sites, Voki, is free and is available for non-commercial use.  For commercial use, SitePal starts at just $9.95/month. 

    Are you looking for a way to create content for an online classroom?  Consider adding a link to Voki.  “Voki enables users to express themselves on the web in their own voice using a talking character. You can customize your Voki to look like you or take on the identity of lots of other types of characters… animals, monsters, anime etc. Your Voki can speak with your own voice which is added via microphone, upload, or phone. Voki lives on your blog, social network profile and will soon be integrated in various instant messaging platforms. You will also be able to download it to most video supported phones.”

    Click on the picture below to see what happens if you add a link to your Voki-created file.   Be sure to hit the play button to hear the message once you get there.

    If you are looking for a way to stand out on your website, resume, email signature line, or other form of social media, consider SitePal. “SitePal is an easy-to-use service that allows you to create a speaking avatar for your website and empower your online communication.” Click on the picture below to see that animation. 

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  • drdianehamilton 5:56 am on September 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Apple Store, , , California, , , , Sales tax, ,   

    Purchasers from Amazon Responsible for StateTaxes 

    Article first published as Purchasers from Amazon Responsible for StateTaxes on Technorati.

    Amazon has enjoyed an advantage over their competition.  They have not had to add tax to the purchase amount in states where they don’t have a physical presence.  Slate reported, “According to Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, a 1992 Supreme Court ruling, companies are only required to collect sales taxes from their customers when they have a presence in the state in which they reside.”

    This has been a sore spot for many of Amazon’s competitors.  Many of them feel that if they should have to handle the taxes for customers, so should Amazon.  This advantage has made them undersell big competitors like the Apple Store and Best Buy. 

    Purchasers from the Amazon site may think they are getting a better deal. In reality, there may be taxes owed, but it won’t be by Amazon.  What many people in certain states like Arizona don’t know about their purchases on Amazon, is that it is going to be up to them to keep financial records of what taxes are due.  At the end of the year, when they file their tax returns, these taxes should be included in any amount owed to the government. 

    According to the Arizona Republic, “If you buy something online from a retailer who doesn’t have a physical presence in Arizona and they don’t charge state tax or the tax from the state where they’re located, then you’re probably liable for the use tax – the 6.6 percent tax. The safest thing to do is if you buy something online and you get a receipt, save it. It’ll probably show if there was any sales tax from the state where it was charged. If there’s not and there is no Arizona tax, then you should think about paying the use tax on that.”

    What if you haven’t kept all of your Amazon receipts?  Go to your account page on Amazon and under Order History, click on Download Order Reports.  This tool allows you to put in the date range of purchases to request a report of purchased items.   

    According to Amazon’s site, “Items sold by Amazon.com LLC, or its subsidiaries, and shipped to destinations in the states of Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, or Washington are subject to tax.”  It is wise to check with your state to see what your tax obligation is.  For more information from Amazon regarding taxes, click here.

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  • drdianehamilton 6:23 pm on September 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aggression, , , , , , Prefrontal cortex, Serotonin, University of Cambridge   

    New Research Uses Imaging to Show Serotonin’s Link to Anger 

    Article first published as New Research Uses Imaging to Show Serotonin’s Link to Anger on Technorati.

    The University of Cambridge recently published study in the Journal of Biological Psychiatry that provides insight into why some people are more aggressive. Scientists have known that when people haven’t eaten or are overly stressed, they have a harder time controlling their anger. Scientists now have the ability to use technology to scan the brain and visualize the connection between serotonin and the ability to handle emotions. 

    According to The University of Cambridge News, “Although reduced serotonin levels have previously been implicated in aggression, this is the first study which has shown how this chemical helps regulate behavior in the brain as well as why some individuals may be more prone to aggression.”

    Healthy volunteers had their serotonin levels altered through diet manipulation. Their brains were then scanned with a function magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as researchers measured their reactions to images of faces showing anger, happiness or neutral expressions. The findings suggested that when the serotonin was low, the prefrontal cortex had a more difficult time controlling emotional responses.

    According to author Dr. Molly Crockett, “We’ve known for decades that serotonin plays a key role in aggression, but it’s only very recently that we’ve had the technology to look into the brain and examine just how serotonin helps us regulate our emotional impulses. By combining a long tradition in behavioral research with new technology, we were finally able to uncover a mechanism for how serotonin might influence aggression.”

    Serotonin has been the subject of many psychological studies.  In 2003 a popular study indicated that there was a gene responsible for people to be more receptive to becoming depressed.  However, in 2009, a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association that analyzed data from 14 studies found that this serotonin gene was not linked to depression

    How serotonin affects depression and aggression will continue to be studied. Currently, the most widely prescribed antidepressants are serotonin enhancers.  The researchers from the Cambridge study hope that this new discovery can help pave the way to new treatments of psychiatric disorders. 

    WebMD offers a 9-question quiz to help sufferers recognize the symptoms of depression caused by low serotonin.

     
  • drdianehamilton 5:55 am on September 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Business Analytics, , Dachis Group, , , , Social business, Social Business Index,   

    New Site Measures the Future of Social Business 

    Article first published as New Site Measures the Future of Social Business on Technorati.

    Social Business Index is a new site that ranks and scores the social performance of top global companies. The list of companies on this site already includes such giants as Samsung, Coca-Cola, Levi’s, Dell, Target, and IBM. The site is currently free and offers businesses analytics and competitive intelligence to improve social media performance.

    According to the SBI site, some of the things they offer for companies include:

    • Company Index – View the rankings and strengths of companies using social business strategies.
    • Industry Performance – View cumulative social business scores for top industries.
    • Trends – View companies on the move and top performers.
    • Social Business Graph – View the strength of the constituents (company, market, employees, partners, influencers) of your social business community and the strengths of the conversations among them.
    • Compare – Compare conversation strength, account strength, and score of your company and its competitors.
    • Filter Settings – Filter your view by contexts built from region, subsidiary, department, or brand.

    SBI is a project of Dachis Group, one of the world’s largest social business management consultancies.  According to ZDNet, “The new platform currently analyzes hundreds of millions of signals from tens of thousands of companies, through the use of natural language processing, machine learning, and clustering algorithms in near real-time.”

     

    Social Business Intelligence is a hot topic right now because businesses can use this analytic information to deliver actionable information and make critical decisions.   According to TheNextWeb, “That treasure trove of data and potential insight is ripe for analysis and insight to understand the impact and value of a particular activity. That insight can be immediately acted on to optimize the strategies of a brand because of the unique nature of social’s authentic, two way communication with the market. Not only does this provide the potential for superior marketing results, but creates the opportunity to test many messages with many segments and measure them individually (in a way, similar to the unique A/B testing of performance marketings simpler marketing activities).”

     
  • drdianehamilton 9:03 am on September 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Adrian Lamo, Asperger syndrome, Asperger's Test, Autism spectrum, , BitTorrent, Bram Cohen, , Gary McKinnon, , , Ryan Cleary, Simon Baron-Cohen   

    Famous Computer Geniuses with Asperger’s 

     

    In a recent TED.com talk by Misha Glenny, titled Hire the Hackers,Glenny noted at the end of his talk that many famous computer hackers have characteristics that are consistent with Asperger’s Syndrome.  He mentioned he discussed this with Professor of Development Psychopathology at Cambridge, Simon Baron-Cohen, who “confirmed Gary McKinnon who is wanted by the United States for hacking into the Pentagon suffers from Asperger’s.  Cohen explained that certain disabilities can manifest themselves in the hacking computer world as tremendous skills.”

    This is not the first time that there has been mention of famous hackers having this disorder.  Adrian Lamo, once hunted by the FBI, was institutionalized and diagnosed with Asperger’s.  Cnet News recently reported, “Ryan Cleary, the 19-year-old charged in the U.K. on five counts of computer hacking activity, has Asperger’s syndrome.”

    According to Wired.com, “There are no reliable figures on how many people have Asperger’s, but anecdotally a lot of them are drawn into the computer field, particularly the logic-heavy world of coding. BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen has diagnosed himself with the disorder, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates is frequently speculated to have it.” According to Businessweek, Bram Cohen’s disorder is, “a condition that keeps him rooted in the world of objects and patterns, puzzles and computers, but leaves him floating, disoriented, in the everyday swirl of human interactions.” In the movie The Social Network, some of the mannerisms that the Mark Zuckerberg character displayed may have implied he had Asperger’s as well.

    Some other famous minds that have been noted as having Asperger’s include Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton.  The article, The Potential Genius of Asperger’s contains a long list of famous people who have been thought to have this disorder.

    Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen developed an AQ test that measures the Autism Spectrum Quotient.  “In the first major trial using the test, the average score in the control group was 16.4. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher. The test is not a means for making a diagnosis, however, and many who score above 32 and even meet the diagnostic criteria for mild autism or Asperger’s report no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives.” To take the Asperger’s test, click here.

    The following is Misha Glenny’s talk from TED:

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  • drdianehamilton 10:36 pm on September 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Annals of Family Medicine, Antidepressant, , , , IMS Health, Journal of Internal Medicine, , Primary care, Primary care physician   

    Acceptance of Treatment of Depression 

    Article first published as Acceptance of Treatment of Depression on Technorati.

    As more people find themselves suffering from depression, more individuals are not reporting their symptoms to their doctors. The reason for this is based on their fear of the treatment their doctor may recommend. 

    The Annals of Family Medicine recently published an article titled Suffering in Silence: Reasons for Not Disclosing Depression in Primary Care.  In this study, they found that out of 1054 adults studied, 43% of them were reluctant to disclose symptoms of depression to their physicians. “Concern that the physician would prescribe antidepressants was the leading reason for nondisclosure of depression, far surpassing concerns about referral for psychotherapy. These findings suggest that patients lack confidence in their ability to negotiate an acceptable plan of care that reflects their treatment preferences.”

     

    In the Annals study, the authors found that over 87% of respondents felt that their primary care physician was the appropriate source for depression care.  In the article Which Doctor is Best for Treating Depression, it was noted, “Studies show that 74% of people seeking help for depression will first go to their primary care physician. Of these cases, as many as 50% are misdiagnosed. Even of the cases that are correctly diagnosed, 80% are given too little medication for too short a time.”

    In Medscape Today, it was noted that psychiatrists sometimes prefer for family practitioners to treat mild-to-moderate depression as long as they do the proper analysis, “Screening is best accomplished with the brief 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Patients are asked how often they experience certain problems, such as lack of interest in activities, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, inability to concentrate, and thoughts about death. Easy to use and score, this tool allows you to determine the severity of the illness.”

    For those who have had side effects to prior medications, the thought of trying something that may make them feel worse may be a real concern.  In The Journal of Internal Medicine article,  Older Patients’ Aversion to Antidepressants, the authors found, “Four themes characterized resistance to antidepressants: (1) fear of dependence; (2) resistance to viewing depressive symptoms as a medical illness; (3) concern that antidepressants will prevent natural sadness; (4) prior negative experiences with medications for depression.”

    It may be easier for physicians to prescribe an antidepressant than to spend time researching other possible causes of their patients’ symptoms.  Primary care physicians are prescribing more antidepressants than ever.  “Nearly three-quarters of all prescriptions for anti-depressants are written without a specific diagnosis.  This has medical experts worried that anti-depressants are being prescribed too often to patients who may not need them. According to IMS Health, an estimated total of 254 million prescriptions were written for anti-depressants last year alone, up from 231 million in 2006.  Each year, Americans spend $10 billion on anti-depressants. Additionally, seven percent of all visits to a primary care doctor end up with a prescription being written for anti-depressants.”

    While some may say that depression is on the rise, others argue that people are looking for a panacea or are requesting medications due to direct to consumer advertisements by the drug manufacturers. 

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  • drdianehamilton 5:27 pm on September 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Updates   

    Facebook Now Allows Subscriptions to Your Site 

    Facebook announced a new feature that will allow for people to expand their exposure on Facebook.  People can subscribe to your feed if you set it up for them to do so.  This is a useful tool for companies who have a profile but not a separate Facebook page to promote.  Without having a page set up, the profile site previously required an acceptance by the owner for people to view the content. 

    With the new subscribe feature, all that has to be done to allow others to view the profile, is for the owner of the profile to look for the word subscriptions under their profile picture.  By clicking on that, they can enable others to see their updates.

     

    This isn’t the only change announced by Facebook. According to TechCrunch, “In addition to Subscriptions, Facebook is also making it easier to tweak the amount and types of content that show up your News Feed. Now, when you’re viewing a user’s profile, you’ll be able to hit a button and choose from three subscription settings:

    • All updates: Everything your friend posts
    • Most updates: The amount you’d normally see
    • Important updates only: Just highlights, like a new job or move

    You’ll also be able to choose what kinds of content you want to see (for example, you could opt to block all game-related updates from one of your friends, but keep their photo updates).”

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