Tag Archives: advantage

New study – baldness is a business advantage, men perceived as taller and stronger

From The Wall Street Journal:

Men with shaved heads are perceived to be more masculine, dominant and, in some cases, to have greater leadership potential than those with longer locks or with thinning hair, according to a recent study out of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

…Men with shorn heads were even perceived as an inch taller and about 13% stronger than those with fuller manes.

 

I don’t care if this study is true or not – any good news about balding is fantastic. I’m losing my hair and it’s nice to have something to look forward to – the shiny bald look will make me taller and stronger.

Though, it would have helped more in high school when the receding hair line began. Those early years are the hardest to deal with. And I know there are millions of men out there who agree with me.

The study also points out that the in-between period is the worst. The best is having full hair or no hair, but scruffy sides like George Costanza, received the worst ratings. So, men get out the razor when the recession gets too deep.

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Learn more about the Affordable Care Act – summary of Medicare reforms

A summary from the White House:

 

*Note: Medicare is for the elderly and Medicaid is for the poor. Most of the controversy and supreme court discussion is around Medicaid, not the below Medicare.

 

Strengthening Medicare

Nearly 50 million older Americans and Americans with disabilities rely on Medicare each year, and the new health care law makes Medicare stronger by adding new benefits, fighting fraud, and improving care for patients. The life of the Medicare Trust Fund will be extended to at least 2024 as a result of reducing waste, fraud, and abuse, and slowing cost growth in Medicare. And, over the next ten years, the law will save the average person in Medicare $4,200. People with Medicare who have the prescription drug costs that hit the so-called donut hole will save an average of over $16,000.

Lower Cost Prescription Drugs: In the past, as many as one in four seniors went without a prescription every year because they couldn’t afford it. To help these seniors, the law provides relief for people in the donut hole – the ones with the highest prescription drug costs. As a first step, in 2010, nearly four million people in the donut hole received a $250 check to help with their costs. In 2011, 3.6 million people with Medicare received a 50 percent discount worth a total of $2.1 billion, or an average of $604 per person, on their brand name prescription drugs when they hit the donut hole. Seniors will see additional savings on covered brand-name and generic drugs while in the coverage gap until the gap is closed in 2020.

Free Preventive Services: Under the new law, seniors can receive recommended preventive services such as flu shots, diabetes screenings, as well as a new Annual Wellness Visit, free of charge. So far, more than 32.5 million seniors have already received one or more free preventive services, including the new Annual Wellness Visit.

Fighting Fraud: The health care law helps stop fraud with tougher screening procedures, stronger penalties, and new technology. Thanks in part to these efforts, we recovered $4.1 billion in taxpayer dollars in 2011, the second year recoveries hit this record-breaking level. Total recoveries over the last three years were $10.7 billion. Prosecutions are way up, too: the number of individuals charged with fraud increased from 821 in fiscal year 2008 to 1,430 in fiscal year 2011 – nearly a 75 percent increase.

Improving Care Coordination and Quality: Through the newly established Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, this Administration is testing and supporting innovative new health care models that can reduce costs and strengthen the quality of health care. So far, it has introduced 16 initiatives involving over 50,000 health care providers that will touch the lives of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in all 50 states.

Providing Choices while Lowering Costs: The number of seniors who joined Medicare Advantage plans increased by 17 percent between 2010 and 2012 while the premiums for such plans dropped by 16 percent – and seniors across the nation have a choice of health plans.

 

More from this series:

Twitter’s edge is Big Data

Today Twitter announced that it purchased Backtype, a tiny company doing Big Data. The website says the company does “social media analytics” which is pretty much saying “Oprah sits on a couch.”

It’s the buzzy-est of buzz words, but if you dig into this you find that the company doing things that everybody wants. Like analyzing hits per link.

When a content creator shares their work the Backtype-created Storm product steps in. Giving you a realtime conversational graph, ability to search comments, and an influence score. Add to that comparison shopping through analysis of top sites and trending links.

But you may be asking, can’t I already do this?

Yes, you can, if you want it 24 hours later.

Stats on the web fall into two categories, instant low tech stats and delayed high tech stats. The market is saturated with the latter (delayed high tech stats) because the core innovations already exist. The reason is complicated but it boils down to the fact that today’s top hardware was built for the pre-Twitter/Facebook world.

To build for realtime processing requires a whole new set of operators where speed, size, and queries go supernova. To give you an example of this, see Backtype’s stats:

  • 100-200 machines (operating as one)
  • 100 million messages
  • 300 queries/second

This is the world that Twitter lives in, millions of messages/second. If you remember the early days of Twitter with all the downtime and Fail Whale messages, that was due to the technological limitations of the time.

They proved that quick, short messages are beloved by us humans to the tune of billions. Since then they have been massively scaling, customizing, and driving the industry. Not only do they need a way to process billions of messages without Fail Whal-ing, but they need to offer (paid) services on top of it.

This is where Backtype comes in. The team built a fascinating service on top of Twitter that does stream processing, continuous computation, and distributed RPC (remote queries of 100s of machines).

The simple translation of this is “live analytics”. The complicated version, pulled from Twitter’s:

“Imagine you have a cluster of 100 computers. Hadoop’s distributed file system makes it so you can put data…in…and pretend that all the hard drives on your machines have coalesced into one gigantic drive….it breaks each file you give it into 64- or 128-MB chunks called blocks and sends them to different machines in the cluster, replicating each block three times along the way.

“…the second main component of Hadoop is its map-reduce framework, which provides a simple way to break analyses over large sets of data into small chunks which can be done in parallel across your 100 machines.”

By buying this technology Twitter is pushing it’s edge with Big Data.

An advantage they started building years ago to make sure the product stopped failing all the time. It has taken them years, millions, and transformed the company into a professionally respectable “Big Data operation”, that is world class and in many ways unique.

Now they have some freedom to play around and Backtype provides the playground. Links stats, emerging trends, and viral memes are just the beginning.

We are about to see how realtime we can get…

Twitter's edge is Big Data

Today Twitter announced that it purchased Backtype, a tiny company doing Big Data. The website says the company does “social media analytics” which is pretty much saying “Oprah sits on a couch.”

It’s the buzzy-est of buzz words, but if you dig into this you find that the company doing things that everybody wants. Like analyzing hits per link.

When a content creator shares their work the Backtype-created Storm product steps in. Giving you a realtime conversational graph, ability to search comments, and an influence score. Add to that comparison shopping through analysis of top sites and trending links.

But you may be asking, can’t I already do this?

Yes, you can, if you want it 24 hours later.

Stats on the web fall into two categories, instant low tech stats and delayed high tech stats. The market is saturated with the latter (delayed high tech stats) because the core innovations already exist. The reason is complicated but it boils down to the fact that today’s top hardware was built for the pre-Twitter/Facebook world.

To build for realtime processing requires a whole new set of operators where speed, size, and queries go supernova. To give you an example of this, see Backtype’s stats:

  • 100-200 machines (operating as one)
  • 100 million messages
  • 300 queries/second

This is the world that Twitter lives in, millions of messages/second. If you remember the early days of Twitter with all the downtime and Fail Whale messages, that was due to the technological limitations of the time.

They proved that quick, short messages are beloved by us humans to the tune of billions. Since then they have been massively scaling, customizing, and driving the industry. Not only do they need a way to process billions of messages without Fail Whal-ing, but they need to offer (paid) services on top of it.

This is where Backtype comes in. The team built a fascinating service on top of Twitter that does stream processing, continuous computation, and distributed RPC (remote queries of 100s of machines).

The simple translation of this is “live analytics”. The complicated version, pulled from Twitter’s:

“Imagine you have a cluster of 100 computers. Hadoop’s distributed file system makes it so you can put data…in…and pretend that all the hard drives on your machines have coalesced into one gigantic drive….it breaks each file you give it into 64- or 128-MB chunks called blocks and sends them to different machines in the cluster, replicating each block three times along the way.

“…the second main component of Hadoop is its map-reduce framework, which provides a simple way to break analyses over large sets of data into small chunks which can be done in parallel across your 100 machines.”

By buying this technology Twitter is pushing it’s edge with Big Data.

An advantage they started building years ago to make sure the product stopped failing all the time. It has taken them years, millions, and transformed the company into a professionally respectable “Big Data operation”, that is world class and in many ways unique.

Now they have some freedom to play around and Backtype provides the playground. Links stats, emerging trends, and viral memes are just the beginning.

We are about to see how realtime we can get…