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Comment: Costs missing in the post's assumptions. (Score 4, Informative) 193

by caesar-auf-nihil (#43047329) Attached to: The Real Reason Journal Articles Should Be Free

As someone who is on the editorial board for 3 journals, reviews about 3-4 papers a week, and is not a faculty member (I'm a contract researcher) with over 50 peer reviewed publications to his name, let me tell you about some costs you're missing in your assumptions.
1) You're correct that the peer review process is provided free by scientists like myself, and it is our duty to provide this review. However, I'll spend 1-3 hours on a paper reviewing for content. What I'm not doing is copyediting. You're assuming that the papers submitted are in good shape when they arrive, and I would say out of the hundreds of papers I've reviewed over the years, only rarely have I found one polished and ready to go. Almost all of them have formatting errors, typos, and grammatical errors. The worst ones sometimes are those where the author is not a native English speaker. They could have absolutely fantastic results, but the spelling and grammar is so bad you can't exactly figure out if they've discovered something novel or if their results are totally bogus. You need to pay for someone (or multiple someones) to clean up, copyedit, and format each paper.
2) Electronic review system. I'm not seeing how your model pays for this. Someone has to pay to host, maintain, and power those servers - they don't set up themselves. That is a cost that can be divided per paper submitted to the journal - but then onto #3.
3) Many of the open-access journals make the author pay to submit the article upon acceptance to the journal, thus paying for items #1 and #2, but with budgets being cut you're asking the author to sacrifice even more of his small budget (which in my case pays some of my salary). So who pays in the end is always going to be a sticking point.
4) Not all peer review is fast. You're assuming all scientists are ideal and get right on the paper as soon as they get it. I've had papers that came back in a week, and others that took 9 months (reviewer #3 sat on it and the editor couldn't get them to follow up after they had accepted the invitation to review). So you need to pay for some infrastructure to either pull the paper back from the offending reviewer, or pay for automatic reminders and follow-up.

I personally like the existing system as is - it works well for me and I can usually rest assured that the content which does finally get published is polished and ready to use. But I'll agree that the journal costs are not sustainable. What I'd rather see is that after 5-10 years, any federally funded research automatically becomes public domain. That way the journal publishers make their funds to sustain the quality of the journals (and I'm talking print quality here only) and the system continues to run smoothly, plus the public domain gets to build off of the results that we as taxpayers paid for.

Comment: How to safely cut fiber-reinforced composites (Score 1) 247

by caesar-auf-nihil (#36703666) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Safely Saw Up Motherboards?

I actually am a composites engineer - we work with the materials made out of fiberglass and epoxy all the time, and more exotic materials as well like aerospace grade carbon fiber and high temperature resins. These materials can be safely cut if you have the right tools, which I'll go through and then suggest what you may be able to do as a "do-it-yourself" option.
1) For any fiber reinforced polymer, to cut through it you will have to have a high speed saw (which you have) but it will kick up two types of particles - tiny pieces of broken epoxy (micron sized dust) and tiny fiberglass strands, which many others have listed here as problematic for your health. A HEPA grade half-face respirator (one that fully seals around the mouth and nose) will address the inhalation, and goggles will address anything else kicked up by the cutting, but, these are secondary protection to the main protection, which is a wet saw. You have to cut these things while they are covered with a steady thin flow of water. The water effectively washes away the particles as you cut through them. Or at least it captures about 90% of the particles as we found during a NIOSH study done in our labs. This is why we wear the filters and gloves and goggles to catch the rest. If you don't have a wet saw you may be able to engineer one, crudely, as I'll describe below.
2) Other secondary protective gear you should have would include something to cover your arms and chest depending upon how much dust you kick up. Just because you haven't inhaled it doesn't mean you haven't landed the particles on your skin somewhere. You can buy disposable Tyvek fabric "suits" which will protect you from any dust the wet saw misses. They're a bit hot to work in for a long time, but they do the job and after you sweat/stink them up - out they go in the trash.
3) With circuit boards, you also have the fun of dealing with the components, some of which cut through fine, and others you should never cut through (capacitors for example). I would recommend removing all components from your cut line before you start cutting through it. It may mess up the ascetics of what you're making, but you'll be much better off if they are removed and you put them back later via super glue or some other adhesive.
4) So let's address the make-shift wet saw. Obviously you can't immerse your saw in water (unless you want to electrocute yourself) so either you have to isolate the power supply to the motor (fully insulated and waterproof), or engineer a small hose to direct water onto the cut line while you very slowly cut into the board. You want the water flow to be enough to keep the surface fully wet while cutting, but not a river. If you're creating a water-fountain when you cut, the flow is too much. You also want a platform to lay the board upon so you can make your straight cuts - you're feeding the water-covered cut line into the blade, not running the blade into the board. So the platform should be metal or something else water-proof, but if metal, make sure it's something that doesn't rust or you can remove to clean and dry.

I will admit that the make-shift wet saw can work, but, you'd probably be better off investing in a proper wet saw for your work from a ease of use and safety perspective. You can probably even get one at a machine shop or factory auction when a company goes out of business.

Best of luck.

Security

+ - What is the best Firewall/ AV software

Submitted by Stevecrox
Stevecrox (962208) writes "With the recent scandals in america and the seeming rise in Bot nets I have to ask what anti virus software and firewall software do you use? I've tried a lot of the larger ones like kasperly, avast, norton, bullguard and stopped using them either they caused a huge drain on my system recources (like mcafee and avast) or they simplied lied. There have been times when I've been without the net for weeks and yet norton, kasperly and bullguard have imformed me that I was being attacked through the internet from IP adress 205/207.xxx.... when I had no network connection and my router was unplugged from the phone line(my home network is wired and all addresses are 192.xxx.) None of the AV software I've tried has ever shown my machine to have a virus and I'm using spybot but know I should be using alot more, where do I spend my money?"
United States

+ - Outsourcing Recruiters and Headhunters?

Submitted by
fury88
fury88 writes "I've recently begun the long and tedious job search for a Senior Software Engineer. It's been a few years since I've really looked at the market and what makes it more difficult is I need to relocate to another city and state. To my surprise, I've been getting dozens of calls from Indian recruiters. Of course they are going by "Justin" or "Ashley" but I can't understand a word they are saying. Here's what gets me that I thought I'd like to share. Do these companies really know who they are using to staff positions? I am all for listening to anyone that has a good offer for me no matter who they are but if I can't understand what they are saying, how does that help? I literally had to hang up on one of them because they weren't listening to me. It seems to me that if I was a company who hired a staffing agency, I would sure as hell want the recruiters to be able to communicate effectively, otherwise you risk losing qualified candidates. Am I wrong here and how long has this been going on?"
Software

+ - Good Samaritan Computer Law needed

Submitted by
Hyresse
Hyresse writes "Companys release software based on Financial reasons... even if the software isnt complete and or tested. Those same companys then use the law or will sue to prevent any bugs and/or exploits from being exposed. Since all software can expose people to the open and present danger from the current Cyber war between criminials and the Law, everyone risks becoming a casuality to live fire. an example is for your computer showing porn to children even when you never went to any porn site. or all your personal information being stolen. Everyone risks great finiancial problems and/or legal action against themselves as a side effect. The criminials already know of exploits and are useing them. Anyone that exposes these exploits to the public Risk being Sued and/or Jailed... The public needs to know if the software they are using is currently being used by criminials for illgotten gains. Software companys dont want these flaws exposed because it damages their reputation and opens them up to the public sueing them for gross negiliance. Where to draw the line.... I draw the Line at this... any software that has a flaw and that flaw is currently being exploited to gain control needs to be labled a WEB RISK.. any company that tries to prevent the exposure of a WEB RISK Software needs to be considered a accomplice to any criminial activity... anyone that has evidence that a exploit exists and is being used needs to be protected from legal action so that they can speak about it.. to write about it. to announce it. THIS IS NOT ABOUT FIXING THE EXPLOIT... a software company will fix it or not.... its their future.... hiding dangerious flaws and allowing others to pay for their mistakes needs to be against the law."
Software

+ - What tax software do you use?

Submitted by r_jensen11
r_jensen11 (598210) writes "I know this topic has been asked at least once before, but seeing as how 6 years have passed, I figured the question is due again. It's about that time of the year again when we find out how much we owe Uncle Sam (Or as in my case, how much Uncle Sam owes me.) Software has changed drastically in the past 6 years since the previous query I found on Slashdot, as well as many tax rules. Does anyone here use tax software other than TurboTax and TaxCut? I know that there are also online forms I can fill out, but which ones are accessable to people that use OS's other than Windows and OSX? I'd preferably use a program that I can use off-line and store my information locally instead of using eforms, but if I have to resort to eforms, which ones should I investigate and which ones should I stay far away from?"
Quickies

+ - Cancer cured.....again

Submitted by supermegadope
supermegadope (990952) writes "From the article. at http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNew s/20070116/cancer_dca_070116/20070116?hub=Canada

""I think DCA can be selective for cancer because it attacks a fundamental process in cancer development that is unique to cancer cells," said Dr. Evangelos Michelakis, a professor at the University of Alberta department of medicine and a key study author.

The molecule appears to repair the damage that cancer cells cause to mitochondria, the units that convert food into energy."

"In addition, because DCA has been used in both healthy people and ailing patients with mitochondrial diseases, researchers know it is a relatively non-toxic molecule that can be immediately tested in patients with cancer.

The compound, which is sold both as powder and as a liquid, is widely available at chemistry stores.

Furthermore, the compound is not patented, nor is it owned by any drug firm, so it would be an inexpensive drug to administer.

However, because DCA is not patented, Michelakis expressed concern that it may be difficult to find funding from private investors to test the compound in clinical trials. ""
Quickies

+ - Cancer cured.....again

Submitted by supermegadope
supermegadope (990952) writes "From the article.

""I think DCA can be selective for cancer because it attacks a fundamental process in cancer development that is unique to cancer cells," said Dr. Evangelos Michelakis, a professor at the University of Alberta department of medicine and a key study author.

The molecule appears to repair the damage that cancer cells cause to mitochondria, the units that convert food into energy."

"In addition, because DCA has been used in both healthy people and ailing patients with mitochondrial diseases, researchers know it is a relatively non-toxic molecule that can be immediately tested in patients with cancer.

The compound, which is sold both as powder and as a liquid, is widely available at chemistry stores.

Furthermore, the compound is not patented, nor is it owned by any drug firm, so it would be an inexpensive drug to administer.

However, because DCA is not patented, Michelakis expressed concern that it may be difficult to find funding from private investors to test the compound in clinical trials. ""
United States

+ - Don't blame phone for this fire, investigator says

Submitted by
netbuzz
netbuzz writes "You can't turn on the news or scan the 'Net today without encountering a story about the cell-phone fire that left a California man in critical condition and his residential hotel a mess. Every account pointed an accusing finger at the phone and its unnamed manufacturer. Turns out there may have been a rush to judgment, as the on-scene fire investigator tells Network World that it was the victim's intoxicated state, not the phone, that was primarily responsible for the fire. It will be interesting to see what experts think of this theory. As an aside, the investigator won't reveal the brand name of the phone, saying the manufacturer doesn't deserve the publicity. That secret shouldn't last long.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/1049 3
 "
AMD/OSTG

Bundles featuring AMD chips with ATI graphics discounted

Submitted by OSTG Marketing
AMD has a special deal for you. They are offering bundles featuring AMD chips with ATI graphics at a discounted price. The strategy will help AMD sell more CPUs and graphic cards while giving consumers a price break. "This is the way to compete with Intel and Intel has been able to do this for years. Why not attack it where it hurts the most - right in its beloved platformace business? Centrino and Intel desktop platfor
AMD/OSTG

AMD will remain in the discrete GPU business

Submitted by OSTG Marketing
Rick Bergman of AMD has confirmed that the new combined AMD/ATI business will indeed remain in the discrete graphics chip business for the foreseeable future. "Many had anticipated that AMD's venture into platforms might cause the processor designer to use GPUs only for enabling its processor business via platforms, and eventually forsake the discrete graphics market. Now, it appears AMD has the R700 waiting in t

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