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Astrophysicists leave academia for Silicon Valley

Astrophysicists leave academia for Silicon Valley jobs in data science where they figure out what you want to wear, watch, and listen to.

“To understand what’s driving astrophysicists into consumer product startups, consider the recent explosion of machine learning. … These days, machine learning drives everything from Stitch Fix’s curated boxes of clothes to Netflix’s personalized movie recommendations. How does Spotify perfectly predict the songs that will surprise and delight you in its weekly personalized playlists? That’s machine learning at work. And while machine learning now constitutes its own field of study, because scientists from fields like astrophysicists have been working with those kinds of models for years, they’re natural hires on data science teams.”

Read more about it at Wired.

After Hurricane Dorian, The ‘Wikipedia Of Maps’ Came To The Rescue

“When Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas on Sept. 1, local disaster response agencies quickly realized they needed help. But not the kind of help you might expect: They needed mappers … more than 100 volunteers from around the world logged on to OpenStreetMap and, over the course of five days, used satellite imagery and mapping software to identify and draw more than 1,600 roads and 9,000 buildings.”

Find out you can get involved mapping the world at NPR.

He’s trying to fill in the gaps on Google street view

“One of the first things people do when they use Google Street View is check out the place where they live … So when Tawanda Kanhema moved to the United States in 2009, he looked up his hometown of Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city, on the map of panoramic images. A self-described tech enthusiast now some 10,000 miles away from home, he was eager to see a virtual tour of the city.” Read all about it at NPR.

Should you completely wipe your phone?

Alexander George at Popular Mechanics erases all content and settings on his iPhone once every few months. He doesn’t use a backup, transfer data, or build from the factory settings.

“Clearing out old apps or files, even if it’s just to re-download them, will help almost any device. But deleting is tedious. The trick is to do it all at once, with a clean wipe … your vital stuff will still be there. Modern cloud systems, as long as you have your password, will keep the stuff most of us really care about—your SIM card is your phone number, and as long as you have iCloud or Google Photos, copies of your photos and videos are safely stashed in a data center.”

Find out why George does this and how you can too at Popular Mechanics.