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Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Recruiting Wars!!!How To Beat Google To Tech Talent!!!! - Let's just call the Googleplex what it really is: the ultimate recruiting tool. Employees are shuttled to Google's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters for free. Once they arrive, they're treated to massages and free gourmet meals. Plus, they're surrounded by thousands of young, type-A employees from the best schools.

Oh, and then there's the ultimate status symbol: Google's soaring stock price.

Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) has been grabbing talent at a ferocious pace. It's on track to double its head count to 20,000 from 10,000 at the end of last year. It employs swarms of contract recruiters to scour top engineering schools for fresh-faced newbies and raid competitors for hoary veterans. Read the glowing press clips and you'd think that Google has an insurmountable edge in the war for tech talent. The stakes can't be much higher: Even if it never capitalizes on the ideas all those brilliant new hires generate, Google locks them away from would-be competitors.

But if you talk to people who have worked inside Google's recruiting operation--or people who have competed against it--they'll tell you that the Silicon Valley's ultimate hiring machine can be beat. The trick: use Google's consensus-driven decision-making process--and exacting standards--against it. "Hiring over there is a protracted battle, to say the least," says one recruiter.

To understand how to beat Google, you first need to know its history. Early on, the company faced a dilemma. While the company's co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are Stanford-educated computer scientists--in other words, they are quite bright--as the smartest companies get bigger, they tend to get dumber. Call it reversion to the mean.

So, Google created a process designed to keep Google chock full of brainiacs. The result: an exacting, consensus-driven process. New hires are vetted extensively to ensure that they are not only smart enough, but that they'd fit in with Google's culture.

That makes speed Google's biggest vulnerability, recruiters say. While a Google hire might have to endure round after round of interviews, a savvy company can pluck off a candidate at the manager level and below by hitting him with an offer--and giving him or her just a few days to respond.

Tough standards are Google's other vulnerability. The company targets graduates of top schools who have top grades: that all but rules out, say, Microsoft Founder Bill Gates or Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs, neither of whom have a college degree.

Moreover, candidates on the cusp will get less lucrative offers from Google than candidates from elite schools with the top grades that Google targets. That makes a brilliant student from an out-of-the-way school a soft target.

Another weakness: A single objection will almost always sink a candidate's chances of ever getting hired at Google, those familiar with the company say. That gives a competitor a shot at grabbing a socially awkward but otherwise brilliant young engineer.

The most daunting problem for Google, however, is a math problem. While Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt asserts that Google's growth is accelerating as it grows larger, that pace may slow down: Google disappointed Wall Street after admitting it "overspent" on new hires during its latest quarter.

Moreover, recruiters are already pointing to Microsoft and Cisco (nasdaq: CSCO - news - people ) when talking about the future of Google. The two mega-cap tech companies cranked out millionaires in their earlier days, but their share prices have been sedate for years now. Google may only hire geniuses, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that Google is just too big to make its newest employees as rich as their peers.

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Google, Incorporated Shares- A (NASDAQ: GOOG) | At A Glance

$ 503.00 $ -8.01 -1.6%
All prices in USD
Price delayed at least 15 minutes Fri Aug 03 2007 16:00 EDT

5d 1m 1y Advanced ChartPowered by

Price $ 503.00Change -8.01
Open 510.05% Change -1.6%
Prev Close 511.01Volume 3,176,402
Market Value 116 bilP/E Ratio 42.8
Bid 503.26EPS 11.76
Ask 503.30Dividend 0.00
High 513.20Yield 0.0
Low 503.00Shares Out 231 mil
52wk High 558.5852wk Low 363.36
Industry: Internet Information Providers
Sector: Technology


The Company provides targeted advertising and global internet search solutions as well as intranet solutions via an enterprise search appliance.

Google, Inc. Shares A
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
Phone: (650) 253-0000
Fax: (650) 618-1499
Web Site:

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LHC- My Space & Earth: Space Shuttle Endeavour Cabin Now Ready

LHC- My Space & Earth: Space Shuttle Endeavour Cabin Now Ready

LHC- My Space & Earth: Space Shuttle Endeavour Cabin Now Ready

LHC- My Space & Earth: Space Shuttle Endeavour Cabin Now Ready

LHC- My Space & Earth: Planet Orbiting A Giant Red Star Discovered With Hobby-Eberly Telescope

LHC- My Space & Earth: Planet Orbiting A Giant Red Star Discovered With Hobby-Eberly Telescope

Lake Superior changes puzzle scientists :Lake changes could be a sign of climate change

  • Story Highlights

  • Lake Superior's level is at its lowest point in eight decades

  • The average water temperature has surged 4.5 degrees since 1979

  • Lake changes could be a sign of climate change, but scientists aren't sure

  • Low water has cost the shipping industry millions of dollars

Deep enough to hold the combined water in all the other Great Lakes and with a surface area as large as South Carolina, Lake Superior's size has lent it an aura of invulnerability.


Changes to Lake Superior could be signs of climate change, although scientists aren't sure.

But the mighty Superior is losing water and getting warmer, worrying those who live near its shores, scientists and companies that rely on the lake for business.

The changes to the lake could be signs of climate change, although scientists aren't sure.

Superior's level is at its lowest point in eight decades and will set a record this fall if, as expected, it dips three more inches. Meanwhile, the average water temperature has surged 4.5 degrees since 1979, significantly above the 2.7-degree rise in the region's air temperature during the same period.

That's no small deal for a freshwater sea that was created from glacial melt as the Ice Age ended and remains chilly in all seasons.

A weather buoy on the western side recently recorded an "amazing" 75 degrees, "as warm a surface temperature as we've ever seen in this lake," said Jay Austin, assistant professor at the University of Minnesota at Duluth's Large Lakes Observatory.

Water levels also have receded on the other Great Lakes since the late 1990s. But the suddenness and severity of Superior's changes worry many in the region. Shorelines are dozens of yards wider than usual, giving sunbathers wider beaches but also exposing mucky bottomlands and rotting vegetation.

On a recent day, Dan Arsenault, a 32-year-old lifelong resident of Sault Ste. Marie in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, watched his two young daughters play in mud on the southeastern coast where water was waist deep only a few years ago. A floatation rope that previously designated the swimming area now rests on moist ground.

"This is the lowest I've ever seen it," said Arsenault.

Superior still has a lot of water. Its average depth is 483 feet and it reaches 1,332 feet at the deepest point. Erie, the shallowest Great Lake, is 210 feet at its deepest and averages only 62 feet. Lake Michigan averages 279 feet and is 925 feet at its deepest.

Yet along Superior's shores, boats can't reach many mooring sites and marina operators are begging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge shallow harbors. Ferry service between Grand Portage, Minnesota, and Isle Royale National Park was scaled back because one of the company's boats couldn't dock.

Sally Zabelka has turned away boaters wanting to dock at Chippewa Landing marina in the eastern Upper Peninsula, where not long ago 27-foot vessels easily made their way up the channel from the lake's Brimley Bay. "In essence, our dock is useless this year," she said.

Another worry: As the bay heats up, the perch, walleye and smallmouth bass that have lured anglers to her campground and tackle shop are migrating to cooler waters in the open lake.

Low water has cost the shipping industry millions of dollars. Vessels are carrying lighter loads of iron ore and coal to avoid running aground in shallow channels.

Puffing on a pipe in a Grand Marais pub, retiree Ted Sietsema voiced a suspicion not uncommon in the villages along Superior's southern shoreline: The government is diverting the water to places with more people and political influence -- along Lakes Huron and Michigan and even the Sun Belt, via the Mississippi River.

"Don't give me that global warming stuff," Sietsema said. "That water is going west. That big aquifer out there is empty but they can still water the desert. It's got to be coming from somewhere."

That theory doesn't hold water, said Scott Thieme, hydraulics and hydrology chief with the Corps of Engineers district office in Detroit. Water does exit Lake Superior through locks, power plants and gates on the St. Marys River, but in amounts strictly regulated under a 1909 pact with Canada.

The actual forces at work, while mysterious, are not the stuff of spy novels, he said.

Precipitation has tapered off across the upper Great Lakes since the 1970s and is nearly 6 inches below normal in the Superior watershed the past year. Water evaporation rates are up sharply because mild winters have shrunk the winter ice cap -- just as climate change computer models predict for the next half-century.

Yet those models also envision more precipitation as global warming sets in, said Brent Lofgren, a physical scientist with the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor. Instead there's drought, suggesting other factors.

Cynthia Sellinger, the lab's deputy director, said she suspects a contributing factor could be residual effects of El Nino, the warming of equatorial Pacific waters that produced warmer winters in the late 1990s, just as the lakes began receding.

Austin, the Minnesota-Duluth professor, said he's concerned about the effects the warmer water could have.

"It's just not clear what the ultimate result will be as we turn the knob up," he said. "It could be great for fisheries or fisheries could crash

More About Warming

Temperature Record

One central problem for those who promote the idea of man made global warming is the earth's temperature record - on almost all time scales.

In the last decade, there has been no clear warming trend (as the UK Met Office and IPCC's own figures demonstrate). In the last century, much of the warming occurred prior to 1940, when human emissions of CO2 were relatively small compared to today. During the post-war economic boom (when one would have expected the temperature to rise) the world cooled, from the 1940s till the mid-70s (again, this is evident from accepted data used by the IPCC).

But it's important to look back further in time 1,000 years. The climate record which used to be accepted as the standard account of this period was published in the first IPCC report. But this account posed a problem. A thousand years ago there was time a warm period - apparently warmer than today (known to climatologists as the Medieval Warm Period). This was followed by a relatively cold period (known as the Little Ice Age), from which, over the past two to three hundred years, seem to have made a slow, welcome recovery.

This was all rather undermined the idea that current temperatures were either unusual or alarming.

In subsequent IPCC reports the original graph was replaced by another - the famous 'Hockey Stick' (so-called because it looks like one). The Hockey Stick was a lot more dramatic, and was featured proudly on the top of the front page of the new IPCC reports. But was it true? The Hockey Stick debate is very telling, and we urge readers to review the links below.

Further back in time, still within our current 'interglacial period, we find more warm spells - notably what geologists call the 'Holocene Maximum' when, for a few thousand years, the earth was significantly warmer than we find it today.

Over longer time periods of course, the earth has been far, far hotter than it is today (with tropical forests covering much of the earth) and also far, far colder, with much of the earth buried under miles of ice. The Earth's climate has always changed, and changed without any help from us.

But there is another problem, a very major problem, for those who promote the idea of CO2-led global warming. According to global warming theory, if an enhanced greenhouse effect is responsible for warming the earth, then the rate of temperature rise should be greatest in that part of the earth's atmosphere known as the troposphere, specifically in the tropics. And yet the observations, from weather balloons and satellites have consistently shown that not to be the case. I urge readers to look at the Christy et al papers below. The latest one was recently published in the Journal of Geophysical Research (2007).

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Space Shuttle Endeavour Cabin Now Ready

By Md. Moshiur Rahman. (

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL - A successful valve replacement aboard NASA's shuttle Endeavour at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) has cleared the spacecraft of any air leaks, space agency officials said Friday.

"The test went great," said George Diller, a NASA spokesperson here at KSC. "Endeavour's cabin is now leak-free."

With the fix in place, engineers are continuing to prepare Endeavour for a planned Aug. 7 launch to carry on construction of the International Space Station (ISS). The shuttle and its seven-astronaut STS-118 crew are slated to lift off at about 7:02 p.m. EDT (2302 GMT) Tuesday and rendezvous with the ISS two days later.

Endeavour's faulty valve was one of two in the orbiter's crew cabin, and is designed to relieve excess air to prevent over-pressurization of the shuttle.

The successful check came after a faulty positive pressure release valve was discovered during an earlier inspection, and was replaced yesterday with one of shuttle Atlantis' working valves. Diller explained that engineers made the switch because getting a brand new valve would have taken too much time and pushed back the launch date.

Diller noted that the leak "was considerably greater" than NASA allows.

"Over time, the kind of leak we found would not have been a safe situation," he said. Diller added that the length of the current mission made fixing the leak a top priority, as reserves of air could have run dangerously low.

With the repair a success, Endeavour's STS-118 crew is expected to arrive today at KSC in preparation for next week's launch.

Commanded by veteran astronaut Scott Kelly, Endeavour's crew will deliver a fresh load of cargo, spare parts and a new starboard-side piece of the ISS during an 11-to-14-day mission. The flight also marks the first launch for teacher-turned-astronaut Barbara Morgan, who first joined NASA's ranks in 1985 as the backup for Teacher in Space Christa McAuliffe. McAuliffe and six NASA astronauts died in January 1986 when their space shuttle Challenger broke apart just after launch.

Morgan and her STS-118 crewmates are due to arrive at KSC in T-38 supersonic jet trainers at about 5:00 p.m. ET (2100 GMT).

NASA: Shuttle, Astronauts on Track for Launch
4 August 2007 1:20 p.m. EDT


- After a week of finding, replacing and testing a crew cabin leak aboard the space shuttle Endeavour, NASA officials said a 24-launch delay has put shuttle processing back on track.

"We're back on a much more customary schedule," said George Diller, a NASA spokesperson here at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). "There's a much more relaxed atmosphere here," he said of the launch, which is now scheduled for Aug. 8 at 6:36 p.m. ET (2236 GMT).

Meanwhile, Diller said, the seven-person crew of STS-118 got the fit of their launch and entry suits checked, underwent a flight plan review, packed for the 11-to-14 trip, trained with a robotic arm simulator and crew commander Scott Kelly and pilot Charlie Hobaugh flew a shuttle training aircraft.

"They're getting into the right frame of mind and sleep cycles for the mission," Diller said. "Everything is very much on track."

Shuttle Launch Delayed to Wednesday Night
3 August 2007 1:50 p.m. EDT

,- NASA officials said today that the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour will be delayed to Wednesday, Aug 8 at 6:36 p.m. ET (2236 GMT).

George Diller, a NASA spokesperson here at KSC, said a series of time-consuming issues-such as a cabin leak aboard Endeavour-contributed to the delay.

"We simply ran out of time," Diller said of the tasks needed to prepare the orbiter for its wayward journey.

The original launch was scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 7:02 p.m. ET (2302 GMT).

Shuttle Endeavour Now Leak-Free, Crew to Arrive Today
3 August 2007 9:39 a.m. EDT

, Fla. - NASA's shuttle Endeavour is now free of air leaks after technicians at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) finished a second cabin leak test last night, NASA said today.

"The test went great," said George Diller, a NASA spokesperson at KSC. "Endeavour's cabin is now leak-free."

The check came after a faulty positive pressure release valve was discovered during an earlier check, and was replaced yesterday with one of shuttle Atlantis' working valves. Diller noted the valve was switched out because there was not ample time to receive a brand new one.

Later today, the seven-person crew of STS-118 crew is expected to arrive here at KSC in preparation for an Aug. 7th launch aboard NASA's Endeavour shuttle.

Along with the rest of the crew, teacher-turned-astronaut Barbara Morgan will arrive in T-38 supersonic jet trainers at 5:00 p.m. ET (2100 GMT).

Shuttle Endeavour's Faulty Valve Replaced
2 August 2007 5:19 p.m. EDT

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Working to meet a planned Aug. 7th launch of the shuttle Endeavour and its STS-118 crew, engineers at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida successfully replaced a faulty positive pressure release valve today.

The valve is used to remove excess gas in the event of over-pressurizing cabins in the shuttle. George Diller, a NASA spokesperson at KSC, said there was not enough time to get a replacement valve sent to the space center, so one is being borrowed from Atlantis, Endeavour's sister shuttle.

Diller said the replacement was a success and shouldn't pose a problem to the upcoming launch from Pad 39A at 7:02 p.m. EDT (2302 GMT).

"If we still have a leak, we'll definitely be surprised," he said.

Engineers are now re-performing the cabin pressure leak test which will determine whether or not the replacement was an acceptable fix.

NASA Prepares for Endeavour Shuttle Launch
2 August 2007 10:27 a.m. EDT

NASA engineers are working through a pressure valve replacement aboard the space shuttle Endeavour as its seven-astronaut STS-118 crew prepares to head towards the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida for Tuesday's planned launch.

The valve replacement, required to stifle a cabin leak inside Endeavour, is expected to be completed today and is not expected to impact the planned Aug. 7 launch at 7:02 p.m. EDT (2302 GMT), NASA said.

Meanwhile, Endeavour's crew - commanded by veteran shuttle flyer Scott Kelly and including educator astronaut Barbara Morgan - are due to arrive at KSC on Friday at about 5:00 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT).

Endeavour Shuttle Crew to Rehearse Escape Plans
19 July 2007 8:37 a.m. EDT

NASA's seven-astronaut STS-118 crew is rehearsing the final hours before their planned Aug. 7 launch today at Launch Pad 39B of NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida.

Commanded by veteran spaceflyer Scott Kelly, the astronauts were scheduled to don their bright orange launch/entry spacesuits earlier today and should have reached the White Room leading into their shuttle Endeavour at Pad 39A in

, Florida. Barbara Morgan, an
schoolteacher and NASA's first official educator astronaut, is part of Endeavour's crew.

A launch countdown rehearsal and shuttle escape drill, all part of NASA's standard prelaunch Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, are on tap for later today.

Here's a brief rundown on today's upcoming events (All times EDT):

· 9:30 a.m. - Simulated Endeavour shuttle hatch closure with crew inside.

· 11:00 a.m. - Simulated launch time.

· 11:25 a.m. - Emergency shuttle escape drill.

· 11:50 a.m. - Return to KSC's Astronaut Crew Quarters.

· 1:50 p.m. - Return to launch pad for payload checks.

· 3:40 p.m. - Depart KSC for


- Tariq Malik

Endeavour Astronauts Train for August Launch
17 July 2007 4:55 p.m. EDT

The seven astronauts of NASA's STS-118 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) are in the midst of several days of prelaunch training for their planned Aug. 7 liftoff. The mission will deliver fresh cargo, supplies and a new piece of the station's exterior framework during an up to 14-day flight.

STS-118 commander Scott Kelly and his crew - which includes NASA's first educator astronaut Barbara Morgan - are undergoing a traditional training session known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, or TCDT. In additional to visiting their space shuttle Endeavour at its Pad 39A launch site and checking their payload. The astronauts will also perform a dress launch rehearsal to practice final prelaunch activities and emergency escape procedures.

At about 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) Wednesday, the astronauts will speak with reporters at Endeavour's launch pad during an event to be broadcast live on NASA TV, which is available by clicking here or using the button at the left.

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Space dream now reality

BY age 33, Barbara Morgan had taught school on a native American reservation in the Rockies and in Ecuador's capital in the Andes. That did not dim her longing for a classroom higher in the sky."I want to go on the space shuttle," Ms Morgan wrote to NASA in 1985, applying to be the first teacher in orbit. "I want to get some stardust on me."

But NASA chose high school teacher Christa McAuliffe instead, with Ms Morgan as her backup.

Ms McAuliffe never made it to orbit -- on January 28, 1986, space shuttle Challenger exploded after liftoff, killing Ms McAuliffe and six crew.

On Wednesday, Ms Morgan, now 55 and the mother of two sons, finally gets her chance, being scheduled to blast off in Endeavour on her first space flight -- and America's first effort since Challenger to put a teacher in orbit.

Originally scheduled for Tuesday, NASA delayed the launch to allow workers time to finish replacing a leaky valve in the shuttle's cabin.

NASA is playing down the flight's symbolism, but Ms Morgan's participation could give the space agency a public relations boost at a time when it has been plagued by problems.

The breakup of Columbia in 2003 killed seven astronauts, while this year NASA has been confronted with an embarrassing astronaut love triangle, a computer meltdown on the International Space Station and a report that unidentified astronauts drank heavily before a launch on two occasions.

"I've definitely thought about Christa and the whole (Challenger) crew," Ms Morgan said. "They've been with us every day of training."

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