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Uber reportedly plans to kill surge pricing

( Editor’s note: NPR’s original report of Uber’s alleged plan to eliminate upsurge pricing has been disputed by Uber. An update has been added below to provide additional clarity .) Uber may soon put an end to the pricing practises that constantly frustrate users but foster more drivers to reach the road. The company is planning on killing upsurge pricing, the controversial feature that automatically increases fares during high demand periods like after big events or during storms, NPR reports.

Instead, Uber will predict areas of higher demand for cars through machine learning, Uber Advanced Technologies Center engineering lead Jeff Schneider told NPR. Drivers would be made aware of the likely increased number of activity and requests ahead of time, obliging more drivers to certain areas without raising the fees for people who get sticker shock when looking at a 200 percentage upsurge fare on a rainy night.

Software would calculate where and why upsurge would happen based on massive amounts of riding data, and send drivers to certain areas before the demand for cars skyrockets. Already the company is using predictive data to figure out human behavior. Uber is using similar machine learning techniques with the food delivery feature UberEATS, predicting demand for lunch, according to NPR.

Getting rid of surge would benefit riders, and truncate the flood of angry messages whenever Uber ups fares. Riders often merely have themselves to blamed when they’re hit with a hefty receiptit’s obvious within the app when upsurge pricing makes, and you must accept a higher fare before requesting a ride. However, Uber has turned on upsurge pricing at inappropriate periods, including during the Sydney, Australia hostage crisis in 2014.

Drivers, however, may not welcome the automated change. Multiple drivers I’ve chatted with during Uber rides have said they specifically target upsurge areas in order to pick up clients that are willing to pay more, and NPR reports upsurge provides a significant boost in income for many drivers.

In the three months of stubs provided, upsurge fares were about a quarter of his total take-home pay, boosting his income by virtually $700 month. That’s money to fix his car, pay insurance, take the family out. A day at the museum, for example, expenses a hundred bucks .

In the Uber driver forum on Reddit, a popular digital water cooler for people who work for the on-demand taxi app, drivers are blaming the company for the proposed change.



Some say they only drive during upsurge, and is very likely to stay home during times of higher demand if the base fare was kept the same. However, others suggest that Uber should slightly increase the base fare during times of high demand, benefitting drivers and not reaching passengers’ billfolds as hard. Killing upsurge may also weed out drivers who casually drive to make money off upsurge times.

The team building the predictive tech is an example of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center, the same group that’s working on the self-driving cars that may eventually replace drivers entirely.

Drivers are currently freelance employees of Uber, which means they don’t receive benefits from the company or labor protection. Uber’s recent settlements in class-action lawsuits in California and Massachusetts included creating “driver associations” that would theoretically be able to bring issueslike disputes over killing surgeto Uber management. As a result of the settlements, Uber also plans to let drivers start collecting tips-off, which might assuage concerns over removing upsurge pricing.

It’s unclear when Uber plans to eliminate surge, but riders won’t be paying outrageous fees forever.

Update 1:50 pm CT, May 3 : An Uber spokesperson told the Daily Dot that the company doesnt have plans to get rid of upsurge pricing: “Uber is always go looking for ways to better predict supply and demand in a city. But this story is not accurate: we have no plans to end dynamic pricing. While we understand that no-one likes to pay more for the same journey, it’s the only way to ensure that passengers can always get a ride when they need one.”

However, NPR has updated its initial reporting to include the transcript of members of the public conversation that took place between reporter Aarti Shahani and Ubers Jeff Schneider 😛 TAGEND

Schneider: And so the idea is if you can predict that demand, you get that datum out there and you get that supply there ready for the demand so the upsurge pricing never even has to happen. And I think that’s one of the really cool things that machine learning’s doing for Uber right now.

Shahani: So only note, Jeff from Uber is saying that machine learning will solve the problem and get rid of upsurge pricing.

Schneider: There we go!

Shahani: There we go, promise to customers .

We’ll continue to update this story as more information becomes available.


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Toxic-waste sites hiding in plain sight

( CNN) David T. Hanson documents the massively invisible.

A nature photographer by trade, he long ago abandoned Ansel Adams opinions of wilderness. Those shadowy canyons and vaulted peaks seem so antiquated in the modern epoch — a day when mountains are crushed for coal and rivers are stillness by walls of concrete.

693 ISS Machine Learning

We’ve been trying for a few months to create a machine learning workstation that we could push on an industrial scale. We’ve ultimately done it. It is ready to go.

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[ Download] Mad Isn’t Bad: A Child’s Book about Anger( Elf-Help Books for Kids )` PDF

Mad Isn’t Bad: A Child’s Book about Anger( Elf-Help Books for Kids) LINK: http :// pdflink.co/ 08702933 11 PDF ePUB MOBI eBook FREE Download& Read Online …

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Best Metros for early career Analysts/ Scientists?

I’m a data reporter looking to transition into an analyst role. I live in North Texas, and have experienced a complete lack of response to my resume for even entry level data analyst roles( I have 4 years of reporting experience& have been adding programming skills to my toolbox/ resume) – I’ve been actively searching for 4.5 months and am involved in the programming community.

The market here seems over saturated and generally not open to non traditional backgrounds for Analysts( for ref, I have a BS, but in a social science ).

Listings which show how many people have applied merely corroborate some suspicions: even a temporary analyst undertaking at a nonprofit requiring merely a high school degree has 40 ish applications in less than a day. I may not have a traditional background, but I have no doubt I can do an entry level analyst undertaking and slowly incorporate self-taught skills to work my style up.

I know NY& SF are hot regions for experienced professionals, but are there good metros for early career analysts? Places open to transitioning professionals, lots of analyst roles, data-literate community, etc.? Perhaps Boston, Chicago, Seattle?

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Neuron-recording nanowires could help screen drugs for neurological diseases

Colorized scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of a neuron (orange) interfaced with the nanowire array (green). (credit: Integrated Electronics and Biointerfaces Laboratory, UC San Diego)

A research team* led by engineers at the University of California San Diego has developed nanowire technology that can non-destructively record the electrical activity of neurons in fine detail.

The new technology, published April 10, 2017 in Nano Letters, could one day serve as a platform to screen drugs for neurological diseases and help researchers better understand how single cells communicate in large neuronal networks.

A brain implant

The researchers currently create the neurons in vitro (in the lab) from human induced pluripotent stem cells. But the ultimate goal is to “translate this technology to a device that can be implanted in the brain,” said Shadi Dayeh, PhD, an electrical engineering professor at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and the team’s lead investigator.

The technology can uncover details about a neuron’s health, activity, and response to drugs by measuring ion channel currents and changes in the neuron’s intracellular voltage (generated by the difference in ion concentration between the inside and outside of the cell).

The researchers cite five key innovations of this new nanowire-to-neuron technology:

  • It’s nondestructive (unlike current methods, which can break the cell membrane and eventually kill the cell).
  • It can simultaneously measure voltage changes in multiple neurons and in the future could bridge or repair neurons.**
  • It can isolate the electrical signal measured by each individual nanowire, with high sensitivity and high signal-to-noise ratios. Existing techniques are not scalable to 2D and 3D tissue-like structures cultured in vitro, according to Dayeh.
  • It can also be used for heart-on-chip drug screening for cardiac diseases.
  • The nanowires can integrate with CMOS (computer chip) electronics.***

A colorized scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of the silicon-nickel-titanium nanowire array. The nanowires are densely packed on a small chip that is compatible with CMOS chips. The nanowires poke inside cells without damaging them, and are sensitive enough to measure small voltage changes (millivolt or less). (credit: Integrated Electronics and Biointerfaces Laboratory, UC San Diego)

* The project was a collaborative effort between researchers at UC San Diego, the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics at the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and Sandia National Laboratories. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Center for Brain Activity Mapping at UC San Diego, Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the National Institutes of Health, the March of Dimes, and UC San Diego Frontiers of Innovation Scholar Program. Dayeh’s laboratory holds several pending patent applications for this technology.

** “Highly parallel in vitro drug screening experiments can be performed using the human-relevant iPSC cell line and without the need of the laborious patch-clamp … which is destructive and unscalable to large neuronal densities and to long recording times, or planar multielectrode arrays that enable long-term recordings but can just measure extracellular potentials and lack the sensitivity to subthreshold potentials. … In vivo targeted modulation of individual neural circuits or even single cells within a network becomes possible, and implications for bridging or repairing networks in neurologically affected regions become within reach.” — Ren Liu et al./Nanoletters

*** The researchers invented a new wafer bonding approach to fuse the silicon nanowires to the nickel electrodes. Their approach involved a process called silicidation, which is a reaction that binds two solids (silicon and another metal) together without melting either material. This process prevents the nickel electrodes from liquidizing, spreading out and shorting adjacent electrode leads. Silicidation is usually used to make contacts to transistors, but this is the first time it is being used to do patterned wafer bonding, Dayeh said. “And since this process is used in semiconductor device fabrication, we can integrate versions of these nanowires with CMOS electronics, but it still needs further optimization for brain-on-chip drug screening.”

Abstract of High Density Individually Addressable Nanowire Arrays Record Intracellular Activity from Primary Rodent and Human Stem Cell Derived Neurons

We report a new hybrid integration scheme that offers for the first time a nanowire-on-lead approach, which enables independent electrical addressability, is scalable, and has superior spatial resolution in vertical nanowire arrays. The fabrication of these nanowire arrays is demonstrated to be scalable down to submicrometer site-to-site spacing and can be combined with standard integrated circuit fabrication technologies. We utilize these arrays to perform electrophysiological recordings from mouse and rat primary neurons and human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived neurons, which revealed high signal-to-noise ratios and sensitivity to subthreshold postsynaptic potentials (PSPs). We measured electrical activity from rodent neurons from 8 days in vitro (DIV) to 14 DIV and from hiPSC-derived neurons at 6 weeks in vitro post culture with signal amplitudes up to 99 mV. Overall, our platform paves the way for longitudinal electrophysiological experiments on synaptic activity in human iPSC based disease models of neuronal networks, critical for understanding the mechanisms of neurological diseases and for developing drugs to treat them.

Read more: www.kurzweilai.net

7 Classic Children’s Books With Shockingly Dark Backstories

Every writer, whether they realise it or not, brings these experiences and biases into every tale they render, regardless of whether they’re writing East Of Eden or The Berenstain Bears Get Ursine Diabetes .

But now and then those its own experience come from an absolute waking nightmare of a life and end up fueling some of the cherished books you read as a kid. That’s right, gang — it was the private and horrific torments of total strangers that taught you the joys of imagination.

# 7. Harry Potter Is A Direct Result Of The Death Of J.K. Rowling’s Mother

Harry Potter is easily the most beloved children’s franchise that opens with a double slaying and attempted infanticide. But J.K. Rowling didn’t construction Harry an orphan because she had just watched a bunch of Disney movies — when she was 25, her mother died after years of suffering from multiple sclerosis. Her father is still around, but their already-difficult relationship became worse after her mom’s demise, and they didn’t speak for years, which may explain why James Potter, in addition to being dead, is a bit of an asshole.

The incorrect guy became a rat .

To wit, when Goblet Of Fire “re coming out”, Rowling dedicated her pops a signed copy read, “Lots of love from your first born.” The elder Rowling treasured this gift for three whole years before auctioning it off for $48,000, because your children’s love doesn’t set brew in the fridge.

After her mom’s demise, Rowling got married and had a daughter … and then got divorced, left her job, fell down a serious depression, lived in relative poverty, and contemplated suicide. This period inspired the series’ happiness-destroying, soul-eating Dementors, the haunting, yet admittedly lucrative, personification of the sadnes Rowling had been experiencing.

Harry Potter And The Smiths Greatest Hits Album .

Furthermore, pretty much every plot phase in Harry Potter is motivated by demise. Voldemort is obsessed with cheating demise, Harry gains special powers when his parents are killed in front of him, Snape’s entire life revolves around his love for a dead female, and the absolute massacre that is the final book in the series sees the deaths of a bunch of the characters( and generates at the least one brand-new magical orphan ). Seriously, the dust jacket for the Harry Potter series might as well be shreds of the tattered, bone-resin cowl of the specter of Death itself.

Now, obviously, J.K. Rowling picked up the pieces of her life and went on to make all of the dollars in the known Universe. But she’s been candid about regretting not telling her mom about her early is currently working on Harry Potter while, at the same period, stating that had her mother survived, Harry Potter as we know it probably wouldn’t exist( and The Boxcar Children wouldn’t have turned to a life of copper steal and buying K-2 Spice behind a gas station ).

# 6. Every Book Roald Dahl Wrote Is About His Own Tragic Life

Roald Dahl’s books are pretty strange. The title character from James And The Giant Peach ( James , not the peach) lives the perfect life until persons under the age of 4, at which point his parents are inexplicably eaten by an escaped rhinoceros and he’s sent to live with an abusive aunt. The kid in The Witches begins the tale with a pair of dead parents. Matilda’s parents are alive but terrible, and her school’s headmistress locks misbehaving children in iron maidens and throws them out of windows, because that was apparently part of British curriculum.

“Me best is 75 meters.”

But Dahl was just following the classic advice of writing what you know, which in his case happened to be sadnes and demise. When he was 3 his sister died, and then a few a few weeks later his father bounced off countries around the world too. His mother then sent him to a boarding school that featured regular canings and a autocratic headmaster who once confiscated the food care packages of every son because they wouldn’t turn in their friend for a minor prank, among other hellish experiences. Dahl probably just assumed that dead parents and draconian schoolmasters were experiences all the children of the world shared.

After fracturing his skull in a accident while invited to participate in the Royal Air Force during World War II, Dahl got married and had five kids, including a son who suffered a massive brain trauma after being struck by a taxi and a daughter who died at 7( the same age Dahl’s sister was when she died ), and his wife had three strokes while pregnant with another daughter. Clearly, there was no human in the United Kingdom better are in accordance with make a career out of writing books for children.

“The snozzberries actually savours like the cold void of human despair.”

According to one of his other children, Dahl was overwhelmed by all the somber misfortune in his life and decided to take it out on his 8-year-old daughter, which he did by dedicating her wine and Quaaludes to pacify her fits, a therapy he would administer after calling, “Why can’t you be like[ your dead sister ]? “

“You keep giving me that stuff, I will be.”

Later, when she was a adolescent struggling with mental illness while in a, um, boarding school, Dahl offered such gentle reassurances as, “You’re not like normal people, ” and telling her that psychiatrists are useless quacks. It turns out that while war, dead parents, and abusive teachers may allow you to write strong, independent, and inspiring heroes, they also apparently turn you into kind of a shitty dad.

# 5. The Wind In The Willows Is About The Author’s Spoiled, Suicidal Son

The Wind In The Willows is the timeless narrative of a drunk frog-man named Mr. Toad and his friends, Mole and Rat, as they go on escapades in the Wild Wood. Judging by that sentence alone, it is easily one of the most British narratives ever written.

It was like Redwall with firearms .

At first, the origins of Wind In The Willows seem downright adorable. Kenneth Grahame had a son, Alastair, and the characters came out of bedtime narratives Grahame made up for him. He refined them over the years, even sending Alastair letters with the most recent narratives when Grahame was away from home. It’s an unbelievably charming piece of literary history, you stop reading right now , close the browser, and go on living the rest of your life.

Alastair was born with health problems, but his parents insisted that he was a genius and obsessed over him, a parenting dynamic that usually turns out about as well as having a bridal for your puppies. It’s been speculated that the character of Mr. Toad was based on Alastair, which seems like a touching tribute until you remember that Mr. Toad, while kind and intelligent, is also a spoiled and impulsive brat who’s wasting his late father’s fortune on stupid hobbies.

Look at this asshole. Did he truly need to blow fund on that bandana ?

That’s harsh, but it didn’t come out of nowhere, considering that Alastair had developed the habit of lying in front of cars and forcing them to squeal to a halting. He had also started insisting that he be called Robinson, which seems like a harmless bit of youthful insurrection until you learn that a political extremist by the same name tried to slaying Grahame for running a bank. So, to recap, Grahame’s son adopted the name of a human who tried to kill Grahame and would cause vehicle collisions for fun.

“That’s what you get for not writing a satisfactory resolution to Mr. Toad’s jailbreak tale, Not-Dad . ”

Alastair eventually began to resent his father’s narratives, and Grahame stopped signing his name to the letters he wrote to Alastair because “he could not find himself capable of affection to a complete stranger, ” according to his biographer. Although, continuing to write fanciful narratives about stuffy British rodents was apparently something he could continue doing, and The Wind In The Willows was eventually published to incredible commercial success. And Alastair? At the age of 20, he laid down across a railway and allowed himself to be beheaded by an oncoming train.

Well, uh, all the other Willows characters had cute origins, right? Like the mild-mannered, lovable Mole? Yeah, turns out Grahame rescued a mole that was being attacked by a bird in his garden, only for the mole to escape and be beaten to demise by his housekeeper, because everything Grahame touched turned to cosmic shit, like some kind of dime-store King Midas.

His mustache probably caught on fire every time he tried to bridegroom it .

# 4. Charlotte’s Web Is Based on E.B. White’s Obsession With Spiders

Charlotte’s Web is a classic children’s tale about a fucking spider and a pig obsessed with the ticking clock of his own mortality. Maybe E.B. White was trying to send a message about how it’s what’s on the inside that counts, or perhaps he was trying to create a book that would stand out from the rest of the market. Or perhaps he had a ingesting obsession with spiders. Yeah, it’s that last one.

This was pre-Internet, though, so he had to draw his own hentai .

You ensure, White owned a barn, and one morning he spotted a spider in it. Rather than call, burn the entire building to the ground, and rebuild anew atop the ashes like a sane person, over the next few weeks he maintained an eye on the spider and its bulging egg sac. When autumn rolled around and the spider faded, White decided that the newborns didn’t deserve to grow up without a mother. So he carefully boxed up the egg sac and took it with him when he endeavoured to New York City for work. A few a few weeks later the eggs hatched, and White delighted in watching the tiny little spiderlings scurry all about, because something in his mind had turned frozen and black. He defined the spiders free in his home for two weeks, at which point his maid politely informed him that she wasn’t getting paid enough to maintain a cabinet of horrors. White presumably defined the spiders free in the streets of New York, where they turned around and scuttled right back into his home, because that’s what spiders do.

And thus began a lifelong fascination for the author. White researched spiders meticulously and even wrote his wife a poem in which he pretended to be a spider, which is generally something you find pasted into a flesh notebook with letters clipped out from various newspapers.

Roses are red
My legs number eight
If you’re reading this poem
It’s already too late

# 3. Where The Wild Things Are Is About Maurice Sendak’s Frightening Home Life

“I’m not Hans Christian Andersen. Nobody’s gonna make a statue in the park with a lot
of scrambling kids climbing up me.” –The author

The titular Wild Things were inspired by author Maurice Sendak’s extended family, as his aunts and uncles had a tendency to visit his childhood home and pinch his cheeks until they turned as red as Bill Clinton’s gin flowers. The experience was traumatizing for young Sendak — he describes his relatives as “all crazy — crazy faces and wild eyes, ” which suggests that he probably wasn’t asked to speak at their funerals. He subsequently came to understand that they were first-generation Polish immigrants who had just escaped from a 1930 s Europe in which things weren’t seeming so hot for them, but it’s hard to have an expressed appreciation for the intricacies of international politics when you’re a kid frightened of his Olde Country relatives.

But it’s not only Polish relatives who caused problems — Sendak insists that he wouldn’t have produced the work that he did if his home life hadn’t been chaotic. His mother was exiled to America from Poland on her 16 th birthday for the offences of having multiple sexual partners, while on the day of Sendak’s bar mitzvah, his father learned that his entire family back in Poland had been killed. Sendak describes his parents as “nuts, ” because if your folks aren’t a little crazy, you probably don’t grow up to make books that, in his own words, “refuse to cater to the bullshit of innocence.”

“The Wild Things are actually imaginary, like Santa Claus . … Why are you crying? ”

# 2. Winnie The Pooh Is Based On A Real Bear

As we’ve previously discussed, Winnie The Pooh ruined the lives of its creator, the real Christopher Robin, and the book’s illustrator, because that book was apparently a goddamn pestilence. But did you know that the titular Winnie was a real bear? Well, guess what? He goddamned was .


The year was 1914, and Germany was being uppity again. Canadian soldier Harry Colebourn was traveling across Canada to board a ship to England, when he made the completely understandable decision to buy a bear cub, as explained in an entry from Colebourn’s personal diary, which reads “Left Port Arthur 7 a. m. In train all day. Bought bear $20. ” That is not a joke.

“Bear eat old lady arm. Lot of blood. Happens.”

Colebourn named the bear Winnie, after his hometown of Winnipeg, and Winnie became his regiment’s unofficial mascot. Winnie even slept under Colebourn’s bed, presumably because Colebourn harbored a lifelong anxiety of ogres. But when it came period for Colebourn to ship off to the furrows of France, he was worried that Winnie would be in danger, because she was still a cub and was much too small to knock any dastardly Germans’ heads from their shoulders. So he donated her to the London Zoo, who set her in an exhibit that allowed infants to stroll in and play with her, because people in the early 20 th century didn’t dedicate a single fuck about anything. The kids were safe, though, because Winnie had been raised in captivity by the hunter who had killed her mother.

Winnie became a popular attraction — a certain little son named Christopher Robin, the son of author A.A. Milne, was especially fond of her.

She probably liked him more than the donkey he maintained trying to fingernail a fake tail to did .

Christopher named his stuffed bear after Winnie, which in turn became the inspiration for Milne’s whimsical narratives about the Hundred Acre Wood, which Walt Disney Studios would heroically feign they invented 40 years later.

# 1. Peter Pan Is Based On The Dead Brother J.M. Barrie Tried To Impersonate

This might shock you, but there’s a disturbing backstory to the narrative of a flying man-child who takes actual children on violent escapades. And that’s because Peter Pan ‘s author, J.M. Barrie, knew firsthand both the appeal and the tragedy of biding young forever.

Barrie was the ninth of 10 “childrens and”, when he was 6, his older brother David drowned in an ice skating collision. David was their mother’s favorite child, so in order to help her get over the loss, Barrie would pretend to be David, which would typically end in his mother’s unrestrained letdown. As you might imagine, this does wonders for a child’s self-esteem.

Clearly, shitty impressions are not the sole domain of bad ‘8 0s standup and Frank Caliendo .

Because even the best notions require workshopping, Barrie kept up the ruse by garmenting in David’s clothes and adopting his dead brother’s habit of whistling, which we’re certain was in no way haunting. This seemed to help, but you can’t pretend to be your dead 13 -year-old brother forever, and ultimately his mother was forced to take comfort in the fact that, in a way, David was a boy who would always be young and would never leave her. Throw in some pirates and fairy dust and boom, you’ve got a whimsical adventure.

But wait, it gets sadder and stranger! Barrie didn’t eventually come up with the tale for Peter Pan until years later, when he was stuck in a loveless marriage with no infants. So, he did what any lonely human would do — he befriended another family’s “childrens and” wrote Peter Pan to entertain them. Several of the characters, including Peter himself, were named after his surrogate infants, much to their delight.

None of them were cool enough to inspire Rufio .

He eventually became their guardian when their parents died, an honor that Barrie took great pride in, and three-fifths of his inherited infants died untimely deaths. Basically, J.M. Barrie had the childhood of a Dickensian street urchin and the adulthood of a curst Egyptologist, and it resulted in a tale that Hollywood cannot stop reimagining.

Read more: www.cracked.com