Here are some of the new and interesting articles we found this week.

How to Stop Saying “Um,” “Ah,” and “You Know” – “Used sparingly and effectively, filler words can make you more relatable to your audience, give you time to catch your breath, and emphasize key points. That’s why Google built fillers into the latest version of its AI assistant, Duplex. But when they become crutch words, used out of nervousness or lack of preparation, they hurt your credibility.”

Three Psychological Reasons You Should Leave Your Desk for Lunch – “Leaving the workplace is hugely beneficial for your mind, body and even productivity. It’s hard to avoid work when we eat at our desk — the next task can always be just one email away. A coworker could come ask for your opinion on something irrelevant. Your boss could pull you in for a quick, five-minute checkup meeting. A client could email you a question that only takes a minute to reply to. Before you know it, you’ve finished your sandwich, your half-hour break, and it’s time to get back to work. But you never really left.”

How Spotify and other streaming services broaden our musical horizons – “While it may seem intuitive that subscribers freed of economic limits on consumption would consume more, the sheer magnitude of the shift was startling. In the first week, the number of songs played by new converts to streaming increased by 132%, while the number of unique artists heard jumped by 62%. What’s even more surprising is that those trends persisted, even after the novelty wore off. Six months after the switch to streaming, users’ music consumption on digital platforms was still 49% higher than it previously had been, and the number of unique artists that they listened to was 32% higher, according to Bronnenberg.”

Future wildfires will be fought with algorithms – “Currently, most fires are reported by 911 calls, commercial flights, or fire lookout stations. That spotty approach lets some wildfires go undiscovered for hours or even days. Satellites focused on the Earth can improve coverage. Already, two NASA satellites currently orbiting the Earth scan nearly the entire planet once a day and can spot the thermal signature of a fire. The process takes at least three hours, which is about the time it takes for the satellites to cross over Goddard Space Flight Center outside of Washington, D.C., beam down the data, and run the images through a supercomputer. But an algorithm could be run on the satellites and process images in a matter of minutes, says James MacKinnon, a NASA computer engineer running a new AI project looking to do just that.”

Why you’re not prioritizing sleep even when it’s hurting your productivity – “Not getting enough sleep at night? You’re not alone. According to research by the Harvard Business Review, 43% of business leaders don’t get enough sleep at least four nights a week. Yes, you read that right–for the majority of the workweek, you’re probably working with someone who’s running on fumes, metaphorically speaking. And it’s much more than a few extra yawns throughout the workday. The lack of consistent, quality sleep has a significant impact: Rand study data shows that in the U.S., sleep deprivation causes more than $400 billion in financial losses each year and results in 1.23 million days of work lost.”

Downloading the newest Wi-Fi protocols: 802.11ax and 802.11ay explained – “If you don’t deal with this stuff for a living, it’s easy to get lost in all the different Wi-Fi protocols in the ether today. New additions have been released in sort of alphabetical order, but some are backwards-compatible and some aren’t. Some are “mainstream” and have broad consumer device support, and some are offshoot technologies rarely to be seen in anything you can buy at a big box store. It’s kind of a mess.”

The Tyranny of ‘Sorry for My Delay’ – “Phones, email, and texting have reduced these wait times to almost zero, but delays are still instrumental to understanding how people communicate, argues Jason Farman, a media scholar at the University of Maryland. “Waiting is seen as an antiquated practice that needs to be eliminated,” he writes in his new book, Delayed Response: The Art of Waiting From the Ancient to the Instant World, before suggesting that something gets lost in a culture that prizes instantaneousness.”

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