Year: 2020

Algorithm downgrades nearly 40% of English exam results

An algorithm used to determine school-leaving grades in England has downgraded 39% of the results predicted by teachers — with disadvantaged students suffering the biggest drop.

Exam regulator Ofqual adopted the system when exams across the country were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, teachers were instructed to submit their predicted grades for each student. The algorithm then moderated their assessments by comparing them to their school‘s historic performance and each pupil’s past results.

In total, the algorithm downgraded about 280,000 A-level results, with poorer students more likely to receive lower grades.

Ofqual’s figures revealed pupils at fee-paying schools

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MLops: The rise of machine learning operations

As hard as it is for data scientists to tag data and develop accurate machine learning models, managing models in production can be even more daunting. Recognizing model drift, retraining models with updating data sets, improving performance, and maintaining the underlying technology platforms are all important data science practices. Without these disciplines, models can produce erroneous results that significantly impact business.

Developing production-ready models is no easy feat. According to one machine learning study, 55 percent of companies had not deployed models into production, and 40 percent or more require more than 30 days to deploy one model.

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Why skin tone modifiers don’t work for 🤝, explained by an emoji historian

The Unicode Consortium kicked off a revolution of internet proportions when it introduced the skin tone modifier to a handful of emoji in 2015. Since then, the executive body behind all our emoji (and a million other characters) has extended skin tone support to a bunch more emoji, including at least a dozen hand gestures.

But the skin tone modifier is notably missing for one particular hand-themed emoji: 🤝.

It’s a mystery that has troubled Redditors for years. Determined to get Reddit the answer it deserves, I set out on a quest to find out why that is.

“What makes

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4 ridiculously easy ways you can be more eco-friendly

When it comes to saving the planet, the question of where to start can be overwhelming. And while larger, governmental change is urgently needed, we can all individually contribute to being  part of “the solution” rather than “the pollution.”

Savvy consumerism is no longer reserved for staunch eco-warriors, and it’s easier than ever to make “green” choices. There are plenty of examples: Veja creates fashionable sneakers from recycled plastic bottles, organic cotton, or wild rubber from the Brazilian Amazon. Personal care brand By Humankind delivers shampoo bars in paper boxes and provides refills for its deodorant. Whether it’s sustainable fashion

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Understanding Microsoft’s Open Service Mesh

Only a few years ago, when we talked about infrastructure we meant physical infrastructure: servers, memory, disks, network switches, and all the cabling necessary to connect them. I used to have spreadsheets where I’d plug in some numbers and get back the specifications of the hardware needed to build a web application that could support thousands or even millions of users.

That’s all changed. First came virtual infrastructures, sitting on top of those physical racks of servers. With a set of hypervisors and software-defined networks and storage, I could specify the compute requirements of an application, and provision it and

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2 cloud architecture problems are still unsolved

As 2021 begins to appear on the horizon, most people will be happy to see 2020 in the rearview mirror. Despite the pandemic and all its chaos and uncertainties, 2020 was the year of the cloud. Pandemic-weary enterprises rushed to the cloud for safety, scalability, and agility.

We still have some architectural obstacles to overcome. There’s no time like the present to review the two architectural problems on the top of my list.

First would be the edge data and knowledge tiering problem. When a tiered architecture includes an edge device, we need best practices and processes to figure

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