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Leaders should set direction, inspire, and get out of the way

LXer -

We've spent the week talking about catalyzing direction and what leaders in open organizations do differently. A lively Twitter chat with Thomas Cameron, Charlene Li, Marten Mickos, Marco Bill Peter, and many others provided outstanding takeaways. Let's look at a few of them to see if we can derive any best practices or new ideas.read more

An Algorithm That Can Predict Human Behavior Better Than Humans

Slashdot -

Quartz describes an MIT study with the surprising conclusion that at least in some circumstances, an algorithm can not only sift numbers faster than humans (after all, that's what computers are best at), but also discern relevant factors within a complex data set more accurately and more quickly than can teams of humans. In a competition involving 905 human teams, a system called the Data Science Machine, designed by MIT master's student Max Kanter and his advisor, Kalyan Veeramachaneni, beat most of the humans for accuracy and speed in three tests of predictive power, including one about "whether a student would drop out during the next ten days, based on student interactions with resources on an online course." Teams might have looked at how late students turned in their problem sets, or whether they spent any time looking at lecture notes. But instead, MIT News reports, the two most important indicators turned out to be how far ahead of a deadline the student began working on their problem set, and how much time the student spent on the course website. ... The Data Science Machine performed well in this competition. It was also successful in two other competitions, one in which participants had to predict whether a crowd-funded project would be considered “exciting” and another if a customer would become a repeat buyer.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

New Plastic For Old Amigas and Commodores

Slashdot -

Ichijo writes: Several years ago, Slashdot reported that the Amiga community had developed a way to restore old, yellowed ABS plastic to like-new condition, and they put the recipe for the gel, dubbed Retr0bright, into the public domain. Since then, it was discovered that the effect of the gel is only temporary, and plastic treated with the gel soon reverts to its original yellowed state even when efforts are made to block it from additional UV light. Now, Amiga enthusiast Philippe Lang has created a new Kickstarter campaign to design and build new, improved molds for Amiga 1200 housings and do a licensed production run using anti-UV ASA plastic in the original color plus black, transparent, and 9 other colors. His team is also investigating the feasibility of producing new Amiga 1200 keyboards if this campaign succeeds. This follows a successful production run by Commodore 64 enthusiasts of new C64c housings using the original injection molds and new C64 motherboards designed to modern standards and production methods. And a new Amiga 1200 clone motherboard is also in the works.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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