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Comment: Its a bit different (Score 1) 193

by DarthBobo (#43054377) Attached to: The Real Reason Journal Articles Should Be Free

The question isn't 'why don't academic publish in open access journals', its really 'why aren't the open access journals as good'?

I publish in both. My papers get read *more* in the open access journals. But the quality of scholarship of those papers, and the ones published along with it is lower. The simple reason is that the open access journals need my money to stay afloat - the fees I pay them to 'publish' (really for the copyediting, layout and coordinating peer review) bias their decision making. Its like an investment bank paying a credit rating firm to rate their product. Guess what - that shit smells like roses! Traditional journals are more likely to be hard-nosed, rejecting more papers up front and picking tough peer reviewers. They make their money by keeping their subscribers who want a monthly issue full of rigorously reviewed worked.

So, like my peers, I trust papers published in the traditional journals more than the open access journals, because I know that there is less financial bias. And when I have a choice because I have a great piece of scholarship to publish, I want it in with the other work that I trust myself.

Comment: The summary is misleading a best (Score 2) 198

by DarthBobo (#42890385) Attached to: Computers Shown To Be Better Than Docs At Diagnosing, Prescribing Treatment

Probably because its a summary of a press release, rather than the actual paper. This was a computer simulation exercise - a model. No patients were actually treated. There was no prescribing. There were no superior outcomes. Its all hypothetical.

Could an AI outperform an MD? Sure, could happen and probably will eventually. But this model doesn't show that. It just shows that its easier to model health care in silicon than the real world. Remember we can cure cancer in mice - models aren't the same thing as reality.

Comment: Loyalty counts (Score 1) 735

by DarthBobo (#37639458) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer?

This is the most mercenary discussion I've seen on Slashdot, ever.

If your employer isn't loyal to you (within reason) then you don't want to be there. Most of the organizations I have worked for - including some very big ones - actually do try to avoid laying people off in a downturn, at least skilled white-collar workers. In a knowledge industry if you burn your workers every knows and it gets tougher to hire in the future.

You already know whats right for you - the other job. That means you need to leave - but doesn't mean leaving the current company (& coworkers!) in the lurch. Ask the new employer if they will give you a couple of months before you start; if so, get an offer letter with those terms. Seriously - I just hired a programmer and a project manager on these terms (2 months and 3 months respectively). They needed the time to close out projects, train new hires etc. I was impressed that they were loyal to their old employer - and presume they will leave me one day with the same grace and style. Their old employers (who couldn't match my offer) were pleased that they were willing to stay that long, and will in the future give them glowing recommendations - and might hire them back. Co-workers don't feel shafted etc. Did I want them sooner? Of course - but they were the right people and I'm willing to wait.

Now, your current employer might tell you to stuff it, and to clear out your desk. Or that they will hire someone and they only want 2 weeks and then your out. Fine - you have been loyal and done your part, and the new employer presumably will take you sooner.

Loyalty means doing your best in a hard situation, not picking between 2 weeks notice and staying forever.

Comment: Re:A nice gesture of openness (Score 2, Interesting) 114

by DarthBobo (#33827820) Attached to: Facebook Implements 'Download Your Profile' Option

Spear phishing is phishing targeted at a single individual. Since its in Wikipedia and all over the Interwebs and all those black hatted types talk about I'm guessing the poster didn't make it up. Then again maybe he is one of those black hatty, Wikipedia writing trolls making s***t up in a conspiratorial way. You never know ...

Nintendo

Mega Man 10 Confirmed For WiiWare 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the with-new-bosses-chair-man-and-bread-man dept.
The upcoming issue of Nintendo Power revealed that Capcom is working on Mega Man 10 for a release via WiiWare sometime in the future. "Like Mega Man 9 (released for WiiWare in 2008), Mega Man 10 remains true to the series's roots with 8-bit-style graphics and sound, and tried-and-true Mega Man gameplay." According to the early look at Nintendo Power's article, the game may include an easier difficulty mode, likely inspired by complaints that the previous game was too hard. It also previews one of the new bosses, who is apparently called "Sheep Man." Make of that what you wool.
Image

Zombie Pigs First, Hibernating Soldiers Next 193

Posted by samzenpus
from the fattening-up-on-brains dept.
ColdWetDog writes "Wired is running a story on DARPA's effort to stave off battlefield casualties by turning injured soldiers into zombies by injecting them with a cocktail of one chemical or another (details to be announced). From the article, 'Dr. Fossum predicts that each soldier will carry a syringe into combat zones or remote areas, and medic teams will be equipped with several. A single injection will minimize metabolic needs, de-animating injured troops by shutting down brain and heart function. Once treatment can be carried out, they'll be "re-animated" and — hopefully — as good as new.' If it doesn't pan out we can at least get zombie bacon and spam."

Comment: Re:earth sciences, who needs them? (Score 1) 485

by DarthBobo (#27482529) Attached to: Scientist Forced To Remove Earthquake Prediction

Jindal said: "Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C.â

He never said the problem was it didn't create jobs, nor that it was working fine and didn't need additional funds. Instead he mocked it ("something called 'volcano monitoring'") and said flat out that the Federal government shouldn't be doing it.

I'm sure there's pork in the bill. Jindal's failure wasn't trying to point out pork. Jindal's failure was in being ignorant and hypocritical. He is the governor of a state already receiving the largest stimulus package since Reconstruction and one that depends on federal funding for "something called hurricane monitoring." Only a fool would think the rest of American had forgotten Katrina so quickly.

Comment: Beta blockers aren't the best choice of examples (Score 1) 467

by DarthBobo (#27458023) Attached to: Believing In Medical Treatments That Don't Work

Yes, early administration of IV beta blockers caused more heart failure. It also caused people have fewer additional heart attacks and to drop into nasty rhythms requiring painful shocks.

The take home of the big study wasn't not to give beta blockers - it clearly showed they worked for the reason we had always given them - but to be judicious. Don't push them IV at the first sign of a heart attack. Give them to people who seem to have enough cardiac output to spare. In essence, think - don't just give them because a) the study protocol says the get it, or b) the hospital guidelines says to give them.

Comment: Re:The standard? (Score 1) 328

by DarthBobo (#27193461) Attached to: Collaborative Academic Writing Software?

Thompson (EndNote's publisher) sucks. Its a monopoly that control's the three dominant packages, and because of network effects (ie, "because of collaboration ...") they can market crap and people have to buy it.

Eventually someone will come out with a cross-platform product that leapfrog's EndNote and will make a killing. Until then ...

Comment: Re:biomedical equations? (Score 1) 328

by DarthBobo (#27193431) Attached to: Collaborative Academic Writing Software?

Few, and if they are present then its usually a single, short equation with a derivation etc. Word does just fine for these purposes. Any paper that required a more sophisticated equation editor than Word provides wouldn't be appropriate for your average medical journal readership. While you can argue that this is soft science, NIH's funding and the sheer volume of publications is mind-boggling.

But more to the point, all of the talk about formatting etc is a bit irrelevant. Most of journals in my field require final submissions to be in MS Word format as they perform the formatting. We can submit a draft for review as a PDF (double spaced, please), but the final version is expected to be in Word so they can make it fit their own standards.

Biochemistry and the bench science journals may be different, but at the general medical and public health level, it would be difficult to get a LatEx manuscript through the peer and final submission process without hiccups.

Comment: Real Title: Why One Journalist Hates Doctors (Score 1, Informative) 1064

by DarthBobo (#27039473) Attached to: Why Doctors Hate Science

The fact that the medical system has struggled to implement evidence (ie, science) based medicine over the past 20 years is not evidence that physicians hate science. Its evidence that the science is poor, the process is hard and there are tremendous incentives against it. Its just damn difficult.

Think physicians hate "science"? Try explaining to a patient why they should take the drug that is 10% less effective than the competitor but half the price. Or explain why the diagnostic procedure that saved their best friends life is unlikely to find anything in their case, wouldn't hurt them -- but is "worthless" from a cost efficacy perspective. We all struggle with cost efficacy - no one wants to get something less than the best, patients even less than physicians.

Besides which, "doctor" means teacher, not medical practitioner. So exactly why does this journalist think that teachers hate science? And how does citing a Senator help? Yes, Coburn is a physician (albeit an obstetrician which is one of the fields that has struggled the most to integrate hard science appropriately due to the overwhelming malpractice issues), but Coburn doesn't believe in science in the first place - famously calling global warming a "bunch of crap."

Garbage.

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