12 Apr. 2013 | Comments (0)
A San Francisco start-up called Gild has created a program that evaluates and scores software developers on the work they’ve publicly released on the web, Technology Review reports. It's happening unbeknownst to the programmers and without their permission. This is a boon to recruiters, clearly, who can see if top-tier degrees and LinkedIn recommendations jibe with this Guild score. Or, they can perhaps find some résumé-less college student who’s been building apps since she was 16.
Of course, how useful the score is depends on how accurately the algorithm works and how easily it can be gamed. That question looms large as Gild CEO Sheeroy Dasai envisions developing similar tests for other professionals whose work appears online — like, say, a teacher’s online courses, a scientist’s research, or a journalist’s articles.
Would you throw a man under a bus to keep it from mowing down five pedestrians directly in its path? Clever research sheds new light on how mood affects your response to this classic moral conundrum. Subjects induced through music into a good or a bad mood and confronted with this Hobson’s choice were asked either “Do you think it is appropriate to be active and push the man?” or “Do you think it is appropriate to be passive and not push the man?” Turns out the mellow people tended to answer “yes” while the sour people tended to answer “no,” no matter which option was presented. In other words, the researchers suggest, your mood makes you feel better or worse about the choice at hand, rather than affecting your view of what choice to make.
Rather than driverless cars, Glen Hiemstra suggests, we should be paying more attention to the roads themselves, if we want to think expansively about the future of transportation. It's not that hard to seal solar cells between layers of glass and construct a roadway that can turn sunlight into power while it’s just sitting there all day long. The tricky part is developing a glass clear enough to allow sunlight, opaque enough not to create too much glare, and durable enough to last for years. But the payoff would be enormous: Operating at just 15% efficiency, such a U.S. road system would generate all the electricity the whole world currently uses. Companies like Solar Roadways are on the case; the Idaho-based startup plans plan to test its first road panels in a parking lot this spring.
This blog first appeared on Harvard Business Review on 03/14/2013.