SVP Technology at First Data Corp; large scale system architecture, infrastructure, tech geek, reading, learning, hiking, GeoCaching, ham radio, married, kids
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Is Anyone Using Open Daylight?

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A while ago I sent out an email to my SDN and network automation mailing list (join here) asking whether anyone uses Open Daylight in anything close to a production environment (because I haven’t ever seen one).

Among many responses saying “not here” I got a polite email from VP of Marketing working for a company that sells OpenDaylight-related services listing tons of customer deployments (no surprise there).

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JayM
2 hours ago
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Yeap. You do have to let people discover this on their own though. It sounds so great on the surface it will nag at true engineers if you don't let them dig into it for a while before they realize there are better alternatives.
Atlanta, GA
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Here’s How To Find A Minute Of Mindfulness Anywhere

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You can practice this super-simple meditation throughout the day.

Everyone’s mind wanders.

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JayM
2 hours ago
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Atlanta, GA
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Zillow announces competition with $1M prize for person or team who most improves its Zestimate algorithm, with the final round ending Jan 2019 (Kurt Schlosser/GeekWire)

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Kurt Schlosser / GeekWire:
Zillow announces competition with $1M prize for person or team who most improves its Zestimate algorithm, with the final round ending Jan 2019  —  The Zillow Zestimate, that much-debated, computer-generated home valuation tool, has been a fixture of the Seattle-based real estate media company for 11 years.

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JayM
1 day ago
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In states like GA, with specific laws around the sizing of a house in a listing (i.e.: put whatever you want, a buyer is buying what they see, no what they read)... then you can have a seller who puts into their listing that a home is (approximately) 6000 sq ft, even though that estimate is more than 10% off, and actual size is 5410 sq ft. No way Zillow can accurately estimate the price with bad data.
Atlanta, GA
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How to Know If You're a "Super Taster"

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On our latest episode of Bite, we talked to political journalist Dylan Matthews, someone who couldn't care less about food. Matthews opts for cheap burritos over caviar and dislikes eating certain textures. The conversation got me thinking—what about those who really enjoy the taste of food?

 

You've probably heard of the legendary "supertasters," people with a higher sensitivity to taste stimuli. I always envied these people—how enjoyable it must be for them to sink their teeth into milk chocolate with a gooey caramel core, or have a leg up in identifying complexities in a glass of red wine from Bordeaux. But that's not quite the case. Linda Bartochuk, a professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Florida's Center for Smell and Taste, says supertasters tend to be pretty picky eaters and prefer to stick to bland food, which means they may have more in common with Dylan Matthews than with restaurant critics.

Here are some more things you may not realize about super tasters and the science of taste:

  • Supertasters aren't inherently better at things like blind wine tastings.

Being able to recall the varietal, year, region, and make of wine with such accurate (and perhaps smug) detail isn't due to having more taste buds. It's often associated with practice and the ability to learn vocabulary and remember taste associations, according to Steven Munger, director of the Center for Smell and Taste. "What [wine expertise] may be doing is changing your ability to access information more efficiently and put it in a context of a memory," Munger said. 

  • Being a supertaster has health advantages...

Supertasters tend to avoid alcohol and cigarettes because of the strong flavor and unpleasant taste.

  • ...and disadvantages.

Given the bitterness or often distinct texture of certain vegetables like leafy greens, super tasters tend to dislike their strong flavors. Bartochuck says this may lead them to incorporate these healthy foods a lot less in their diets than the average eater. 

  • Supertasters tend to be women.

Bartochuck estimates that about 15 percent of Americans are supertasters, and women fall into the category more than men. She proposes this may have to do with how we evolved: A pregnant woman's sensitivity to bitter foods (sometimes a sign of poison) would have been an advantage for her fetus.

  • Illness can have a negative affect on your taste buds—supertaster or not.

Having a lot of taste buds doesn't mean they'll all stay on your tongue forever. Taste nerves found in the inner ear and the back of the throat can be damaged by infections or surgeries on the middle ear or tonsils.

  • You don't taste certain flavors on certain parts of your tongue.

When a Harvard researcher mistranslated a German scientist's 1901 study, the idea of "tongue maps" spread and is still found in textbooks today. The concept that sweet is tasted on the tongue's tip and bitter on the back is a taste myth scientists are still trying to dispel. We experience all five tastes—sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami (think broth or soy sauce)—on the front, sides, and back of our tongue.

Taste test: Find out if you're a supertaster

Tongues are covered with fungiform papillae, mushroom shaped-structures that house our taste buds, and supertasters have a lot more papillae than the average taster. The best way to test if you're a supertaster, Bartochuk says, is to take a close look at your tongue and compare it with friends' or family members'.

Here's an easy test you can do with a group of people: 

1. Get some Q-Tips, blue food coloring, and a magnifying glass.

2. Have everyone put a couple of drops of blue food coloring on a Q-Tip and swab their tongues. Taste buds won't get as saturated with color as the rest of the tongue—they may remain pink or turn a lighter shade of blue.

3. Use a magnifying glass to look at the tongues. Supertasters' tongues will be visibly covered by more fungiform papillae.

Then again, if you'd rather avoid dying your tongue bright blue, you can always order a supertaster kit online.

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JayM
2 days ago
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Atlanta, GA
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I Hated Growing Up Evangelical In Sweden, But It Made Me A Better Entrepreneur

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This introverted tech CEO learned the art of product evangelism earlier than most.

I was brought up in a highly religious family in Sweden, where evangelizing was encouraged from a very young age. I was just seven years old when I first had to preach to a crowd of over 700 adults. Soon afterward, I was sent out to go knocking on doors in search of potential converts.

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JayM
2 days ago
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I didn't hate it at the time like this person... but definitely the skills I gained growing up starting with public speaking at 7 or 8 years old, and knocking on the doors of strangers were very valuable in my professional career. I'm an introvert too, who can fake being an extrovert pretty well whenever I need to.
Atlanta, GA
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This is What Makes A Vacation Restorative

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Here’s how to make sure you return to work fully recharged after your vacation.

Time off helps us recover. When we’re not working, we’re able to rebuild internal resources that we depleted while dealing with the stress of work. But not all time off recharges us equally.

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JayM
2 days ago
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Atlanta, GA
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