Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The State of Preschool in the U.S. | US News


“Most developed nations now offer universal preschool – even China has committed to pre-K for every 4-year-old by 2020,” Steven Barnett, the institute’s senior co-director, said on a press call Tuesday.

“Meanwhile, the United States has made little progress. This is no way to compete globally now or in the future. Our first step back to leadership is quality preschool.”

The report, “The State of Preschool 2017,” takes into account enrollment, funding, teacher qualifications and other indicators of program quality.

Source: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The State of Preschool in the U.S. | Education News | US News

Five ‘Ethical Leadership’ Values In James Comey’s Book | GovExec.com


Comey writes about what he calls “ethical leadership” and notes that great companies “obsess over leadership talent—they hunt for it, test it, train it, and make it part of every conversation. They treat leadership talent like money.”

What does Comey see as important components of ethical leadership? Here are five main takeaways:

  1. The best leaders don’t overreact to mistakes and use them as teaching moments.
  2. Leaders create an environment where people want to do their best work.
  3. Leaders value humor that shows both confidence and humility.
  4. Leaders listen to dissenting opinions or facts.
  5. Leaders take the long view.

Source: Five ‘Ethical Leadership’ Values In James Comey’s Book – Management Matters – Management – GovExec.com

Do You Have “Advantage Blindness”?


No one wants to think they got to the top through an unfair advantage. You want to feel that you’ve earned it — that your hard work and carefully honed skills have paid off.

But the evidence on diversity in the workplace is conclusive: There are lots of people held back by bias. And that means that some of the people at the top have advanced partly through privilege.

Source: Do You Have “Advantage Blindness”?

How city birds evolved to be smarter than rural birds | Aeon Essays


It was here that, in 1975, the local carrion crows (Corvus corone) discovered how to use cars as nutcrackers. The crows have a predilection for the Japanese walnut (Juglans ailantifolia) that grows abundantly in the city.

The pretty nuts (a bit smaller than commercial walnuts, and with a handsome heart-shaped interior) are too tough for the crows to crack with their beaks, so for time immemorial they have been dropping them from the air onto rocks to open them.

Everywhere in the city, you find parking lots strewn with the empty nutshells: the crows either drop them in flight or carry them to the tops of adjoining buildings and then throw them over the edge onto the asphalt below.

Source: How city birds evolved to be smarter than rural birds | Aeon Essays

Oklahoma teachers strike: the state’s eduction association says the walkout is over. But many teachers say it’s not. | Vox


The Oklahoma teacher walkout is over — but not for everyone.

“I call on our community members to continue supporting these educators as they walk back into the classroom. We want as much support from them after the walkout as they received during the walkout,” Alicia Priest, president of the Oklahoma Education Association, said during a press conference. The OEA framed the walkout as a victory that ended with millions of dollars more in school funding.

Priest said that most of OEA’s members wanted to resume classes. But despite media reports to the contrary, the association is not a teachers union — it’s a professional association for school administrators, teachers, and retired educators that has no collective bargaining authority, as Priest told Vox.

Source: Oklahoma teachers strike: the state’s eduction association says the walkout is over. But many teachers say it’s not. – Vox

Google Has Intent to Cut Humans Out of Network | Light Reading

In a presentation at today’s MPLS, NFV and SDN World Congress in Paris, he revealed that Google has about 10,000 switches in operation in a typical large data center and is now handling around 30,000 configuration changes every month. Its search engine currently processes about 3.5 billion searches every day.

“What really stresses out the network is humans,” Vijoy Pandey, Google’s head of engineering for data centers and backbone networks, told his audience at a keynote presentation in Paris. “It is actually humanly impossible to do changes in the size of the network we have. Humans are looking at the design elements but software needs to handle the nitty-gritty.”

Pandey estimates that about 70% of failures happen when a management operation is in progress. The apparent aim is to make improvements through even greater reliance on automation

Source: Google Has Intent to Cut Humans Out of Network | Light Reading

The Top 5 Dangerous Assumptions Embedded Software Engineers Make | Design News


It’s not uncommon for a software engineer to be suspicious of prototype hardware that they are starting their software development on.

We all know that hardware, just like software, goes through several iterations until it works as the design engineer intended it to. Once the hardware gets to a solid revision though, we often assume that we won’t have any problems with it, which is a dangerous assumption.

Even perfectly designed hardware can still experience latch-ups, single event upsets, and other potential issues. The odds of seeing these issues during development in a few dozen prototypes under controlled conditions is minimal but once thousands or maybe even hundreds of thousands of devices start to be deployed around the world in various environments, the chances are much higher that the system will experience these issues.

The question then comes down to whether the system and software is designed to recover or handle such events.

Source: The Top 5 Dangerous Assumptions Embedded Software Engineers Make | Design News

Trade war or not, China is closing the gap on U.S. in technology IP race


“With the number of scientists China is training every year it will eventually catch up, regardless of what the U.S. does,” said David Shen, head of IP for China at global law firm Allen & Overy.

Indeed, IP lawyers now see President Xi Jinping’s pledge earlier this week to protect foreign IP rights as projecting confidence in China’s position as a leading innovator in sectors such as telecommunications and online payments, as well as its ability to catch up in other areas.

Last year, China overtook Japan as the No. 2 patent filer in the world, with 13.4 percent annual growth, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization. If maintained, the pace will take it above the United States in just over a year, a strong indication of its ambitions.

Source: Trade war or not, China is closing the gap on U.S. in technology IP race

How To Give Feedback That Actually Works, Without Hurting Anyone More Than You Have To | GovExec.com


Feedback helps us see our inevitable blind spots, and optimize our performance. As Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, famously stated, “You are not going to get very far in life based on what you already know.”

Poorly delivered feedback, however, can wreak havoc. At its best, it stirs confusion. At its worst, it breeds fear, resentment, and revenge. As a result, we’re conditioned to viewing the delivery of any feedback as a risk.

But anyone can master the art of giving feedback. Here’s how …

Source: How To Give Feedback That Actually Works, Without Hurting Anyone More Than You Have To – Management Matters – Management – GovExec.com

Here’s What Government Gets Wrong About Bug Bounties | Nextgov


The excitement surrounding government bug bounties, however, takes little account of how difficult they are to pull off and how much work must go into them, practitioners say, especially at federal agencies with limited staff and resources that are scrambling to keep up with the software vulnerabilities they already know about.

Bills that mandate additional bug bounties, said Katie Moussouris, a former chief policy officer with HackerOn, are “well-meaning, but misdirected,” and would reroute money that would be better spent beefing up agency’s existing IT security teams.

Source: Here’s What Government Gets Wrong About Bug Bounties – Nextgov