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Comment: Re:Not good for one's career (Score 1) 136

by danudwary (#46218121) Attached to: How Blogs Are Changing the Scientific Discourse

While I don't blog, anything that gets an academic writing and shaping their thoughts can be a good thing. And in the modern grant-writing process, it's absolutely better to get your ideas out there - it helps you to plant your flag, and it gets people thinking about your ideas. If your blog has followers, you get immediate feedback and critical analysis. And suddenly, you're recognized as the expert in that area.

Like it or not, at least in the US system, your grant application is not reviewed solely on its merits. The surest way to get a grant rejected is to have a really good idea that is completely unproven, and which a reviewer (who's probably reading 30 other applications that afternoon) will immediately be overly skeptical about. An application from a "recognized" expert will be far better received than someone who is just getting started. While most academics aren't going to know what a blog or twitter is, all it takes is for one reviewer in the room who does know to speak up and say "You know, this young guy with very few pubs has actually been deep into this for a while..."

But, yeah, there's a balance. If you should be in the lab, it's best to be in the lab, and you should absolutely not be live-blogging experimental results, no matter what.

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 126

by danudwary (#46140447) Attached to: Can Wolfram Alpha Tell Which Team Will Win the Super Bowl?

Hasn't been that way in a long time. Until recently, my wife had an Arizona cell phone number, and we haven't lived there in a decade. I have three phone numbers, none of which has the same area code. 15 years ago I had a choice of the last four digits of my phone number from a short list (I chose 0666. The operator was like "Are you SURE?"), so that's not temporal either. Between vanity numbers, reuse of numbers, and internet VOIP numbers, etc, it's all muddy. Maybe this system worked for your parents or grandparents who haven't moved in 40 years, but not at all predictive for the majority of the population anymore.

+ - Teaching Bioinformatics on Raspberry Pi->

Submitted by danudwary
danudwary (201586) writes "From the article: "Teaching bioinformatics at universities is complicated by typical computer classroom settings. As well as running software locally and online, students should gain experience of systems administration. For a future career in biology or bioinformatics, the installation of software is a useful skill. We propose that this may be taught by running the course on GNU/Linux running on inexpensive Raspberry Pi computer hardware, for which students may be granted full administrator access. We release 4273, an operating system image for Raspberry Pi based on Raspbian Linux. This includes minor customisations for classroom use and includes our Open Access bioinformatics course, 4273 Bioinformatics for Biologists." While I taught my classes in the past with virtualization, this might be a better option, particularly in the value of making programming or methodological inefficiencies more obvious."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Slashvertisements at their best... (Score 2) 131

by danudwary (#45674771) Attached to: Game Preview: <em>Hearthstone</em>

As someone who's been in the beta for two months now, Hearthstone is most definitely not pay-to-win, at least by CCG standards.

You get a core set of very good cards for playing though the tutorial and leveling up classes, easily done in Practice mode. You can earn more in game currency by playing - for winning, for reaching milestones, or as rewards in Arena, which is Hearthstone's version of draft. Rare, Epic and Legendary cards are NOT required to win. While the rares and epics are desirable, they're pretty easy to come by (you can disenchant unwanted cards to craft the cards you want). Legendaries are interesting, with extra animations and sounds, but are almost all VERY circumstantial, usually with distinct disadvantages. Top tier players very rarely use more than one or two in a deck. You can easily play with common cards and a few choice crafted rares and do very well.

Of course, a few expansions from now, and who knows. For now, playing for free works out fine.

Comment: Re:Horse already left the barn (Score 1) 233

by danudwary (#45526245) Attached to: Is a Postdoc Worth it?

And now, because there are so many aspiring faculty, I suspect more schools are refusing to give tenure to Assistant Professors, predicated on the basis that they aren't bringing in enough grants (in a grant funding climate that's never in living memory been worse). On top of establishing their research program by submitting dozens of grant applications as well as publishing any meager scraps of results they can drum up, they have to teach classes, mentor graduates, undergrads and postdocs, and often do significant "service" to the University (extensive time-sucking nonsense on various committees). When an Assistant Prof can't hack the minimally 80h work week, there are plenty more people ready to come in and try. Source: I recently left my position well before a tenure decision for a well-paying awesome industry job, and don't regret it a bit.

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