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Comment: Actual links (Score 1) 1

Please, spare us the gizmodo links. Just. Don't. Do. It.

The PLOS Biology paper is abstracted at
Full paper pdf at
Reasonable lay news version at
/. compatible edition: Natural light gets bluer at twilight. Mice respond to the colour shift. Authors think humans might too.

Comment: Re:Free the papers (Score 1) 81

Scientific paywalls (preventing access to science that was funded entirely or partially by the public purse) are a crime.

We need every available quality mind, rich or poor, on some of our scientific and engineering challenges today.

I agree in principle, but I think you're being a little over the top. Most contributors (rich and poor) to today's scientific and engineering challenges work in an institute that has access to the publications they need. For those who don't, they can access most articles by typing "[ARTICLE NAME] PDF" into Google. This works surprisingly often. If it's not available, just e-mail the author for a copy. Authors want their work read and don't give a shit about the pay wall. The paywall might be there, but it's not really stopping anyone from getting what they need.

Yeah, that's closing in on the real issue. Restricting the readership of an article increases the risk that it won't be read by the one person who sees its critical flaw. That's why pay-to-read is fundamentally anti-scientific, even more so than pay-to-publish. As libraries move more and more to electronic-only subscriptions the monopolistic concentration of power in the hands of a very few companies presents an unjustified threat to our access to knowledge. Secret retractions, where the retracted paper seems never to have existed, are one example of the problem: see RetractionWatch to understand what this represents.

Smart people don't all have someone else paying for their obscenely expensive access to papers which were written on the public dime. OpenAccess should be mandatory for *all* research work done on public or (tax-exempt) charitable funds, and for *all* citations on patents. If you have to pay to read it, then it is not truly public knowledge.

+ - More Problems At The Patent Office

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson writes: The work habits of examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have once again come under scrutiny and been found wanting, according to a new report.

An audit by the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Commerce, USPTO’s parent agency, showed that supervisors have no way to know whether examiners are issuing quality patents that will ensure an innovation is protected.

“We found that USPTO’s performance appraisal plans and related policies cannot distinguish between examiners who issue high-quality decisions versus those who issue low-quality decisions,” the report said. In addition, auditors found that nearly all examiners are graded “above average” on performance evaluations, entitling them to bonuses averaging more than $6,000 per year.

The inspector general last year found multiple abuses in USPTO’s telework program, including end-loading, examiners being paid full salaries despite not working for several weeks a year and even one examiner who’d installed a “mouse-mover” program on his home computer so auditors couldn’t tell he was not working. When it was discovered, supervisors did nothing.

It is unknown it an examiner filed a patent for a "method and device to move the mouse to defraud taxpayers."

+ - What features would you like in a search engine? 3

Submitted by nicolas.slusarenko
nicolas.slusarenko writes: Nowadays, there is one dominant search engine in the world among few alternatives. I have the impression that the majority of users think that it is the best possible service that could be made. I am sure that we could have a better search engine. During my spare time I been developing Trokam, an online search engine. I am building this service with the features that I would like to find in a service: respectful of user rights, ads-free, build upon open source software and with auditable results. Well, those are mine. What features would you like in a search engine?

+ - When You're the NFL Commish, Getting E-Medical Record Interoperability's a Cinch->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: The NFL recently completed the rollout of an electronic medical record (EMR) system and picture archiving and communication system (PACS) that allows mobile access for teams to player's health information at the swipe of a finger — radiological images, GPS tracking information, and detailed health evaluation data back to grade school. But as NFL football players are on the road a lot, often they're not being treated at hospitals or by specialists whose own EMRs are integrated with the NFL's; it's a microcosm of the industry-wide healthcare interoperability issue facing the U.S. today. The NFL, however, found achieving EMR interoperability isn't so much a technological issue as a political one, and if you have publicity on your side, it's not that difficult. NFL CIO Michelle McKenna-Doyle, who led the NFL's EMR rollout, said a call from a team owner to a hospital administrator typically does the trick. Even NFL Commissioner Roger Godell once made the call to a hospital CEO, "and things started moving in the next couple of days," McKenna-Doyle said. "They're very aware of the publicity."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Privacy First (Score 1) 3

by LeadSongDog (#49493753) Attached to: What features would you like in a search engine?
Yup. Also browser neutral, plain html, text-only result preview (pubmed e.g.), structured results (clusty/copernic e.g.), result filtering. Pay-per-use vice advertising model (bitcoin, paypal, etc). Clear disclosure of what jurisdictions will see the data. Identify or filter-by license applicable to result.

+ - Life Insurance Companies Hoping Wearables Can Delay Death Payouts 2

Submitted by cameronag
cameronag writes: Life insurance companies have started providing free fitness trackers (such as FitBits) to new customers. In exchange for letting their activity be monitored, customers can receive discounts of up to 15%. Insurer John Hancock said of the recent move, "Delaying a death benefit would obviously be good for us, but also good for them." According to recent research, up to 57% of adults would be likely to use a fitness tracker in exchange for lower premiums.

+ - Leaked Sony Contract Reveals Hollywood's Netflix Geo-Blocking Requirements->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Michael Geist has uncovered Hollywood's geo-blocking requirements that imposes on Netflix in its content licensing agreements. Included with the Sony documents posted by Wikileaks, the contractual provision requires Netflix to use geo-blocking technologies. However, it is only required to target VPNs and anonymizers that "have been created for the primary intent of bypassing geo-restrictions." Moreover, Sony was forced to admit that "geolocation and geofiltering technologies may in some cases be circumvented by highly proficient and determined individuals or organizations."
Link to Original Source

+ - The Hidden FM Radio Inside Your Pocket->

Submitted by mr crypto
mr crypto writes: Data providers would probably prefer you not know that most smart phones contain an FM chip that lets you listen to broadcasts for free: "But the FM chip is not activated on two-thirds of devices. That's because mobile makers have the FM capability switched off." The National Association of Broadcasters, National Public Radio, and American Public Media — have launched a lobbying campaign to get those radios switched on.
Link to Original Source

+ - Breakthrough in Artificial Photosynthesis Captures CO2 In Acetate->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Researchers from Berkeley Lab and the U.S. Dept. of Energy have created an artificial photosynthetic process that capture carbon dioxide in acetate, "the most common building block today for biosynthesis." The research has been published in the journal Nano Letters (abstract). "Atmospheric carbon dioxide is now at its highest level in at least three million years, primarily as a result of the burning of fossil fuels. Yet fossil fuels, especially coal, will remain a significant source of energy to meet human needs for the foreseeable future. Technologies for sequestering carbon before it escapes into the atmosphere are being pursued but all require the captured carbon to be stored, a requirement that comes with its own environmental challenges. ... By combining biocompatible light-capturing nanowire arrays with select bacterial populations, the new artificial photosynthesis system offers a win/win situation for the environment: solar-powered green chemistry using sequestered carbon dioxide."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:As opposed to what, exactly? (Score 1) 186

by LeadSongDog (#49485821) Attached to: How Many Hoaxes Are On Wikipedia? No One Knows

What source of information is flawless and can be believed without question? Why do people exhibit good critical thinking skills when it comes to Wikipedia, but swallow wholesale what they get from Encyclopedia Britannica, CNN, Fox News, the Bible, etc?

Perhaps because those others tell them to believe, while Wikipedia tells them *not* to believe, but think critically? Compare:


+ - Why 'Designed for Security' is a Dubious Designation->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: The list of products designed to be security enhanced that turned out to be anything but seems to get longer by the day. In just the latest instance, reported by Wired last week, the crowd-funded privacy-enhancing home router Anonabox had to be recalled after an independent researcher discovered serious security flaws in the product. But security experts caution that the real problem may be bigger than vulnerabilities hidden in application code: 'Designed for security products don't just have to be good. They have to be beyond reproach,' explains John Dickson, a Principal at the Denim Group. 'All it takes is one guy with a grudge to undo you.'
Link to Original Source

+ - World's Tiniest Computers Are About To Be Released->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: University of Michigan professors are about to release the design files for a one-cubic-millimeter computer, or mote. They have finally reached a goal set in 1997, when UC Berkeley professor Kristopher Pister coined the term "smart dust" and envisioned computers blanketing the Earth. Such motes are likely to play a key role in the much-ballyhooed Internet of Things.
Link to Original Source

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