Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Having worked for a Springer journal, (Score 2) 189

by dstates (#45250311) Attached to: Why Johnny Can't Speak: a Cost of Paywalled Research
A "just price" might be acceptable, but the publishers have abused the market bundling thousands of journals together into packages for which they charge libraries millions of dollars a year and forbid the librarians from disclosing how much they paid. Charging $40+ per article when the reader cannot even determine in advance whether it will be a useful article and has no way to get their money back if it is not is also not a solution.

Comment: Academic co-dependency (Score 3, Insightful) 189

by dstates (#45250269) Attached to: Why Johnny Can't Speak: a Cost of Paywalled Research

The proprietary publishers have established an elaborate co-dependency relationship with academics. Academics depend on journal editorships and citations for promotion. Editors get many perks and prestige as a result of being an editor, but the selection of who becomes the editor is up to the publisher. Reviewers get pre-publication access to results. Yes, the reviewers are supposed to hold the information in confidence, but does pre-publication access help them in thinking about which directions to take in their own work? Absolutely. An extensive web of co-dependence has evolved between the proprietary publishers and the academic community.

Academics generally do not receive royalties from journal articles, but they do from book publications. Who publishes those books? The same publishers that publish the proprietary journals. Who selects which authors will be invited to publish books? The publishers.

Elite institutions and large university systems negotiate discounted and preferred subscription agreements giving their researchers free access to a wide range of journals, which in turn makes it more attractive for academic "stars" to go to those institutions. The faculty at those schools benefit from these favorable access agreements. Are we surprised that University of California faculty voted against open access?

It is also not just speech and language research. The majority of work in fields like cancer research is also published in paywalled journals. Cancer patients may not be able to wait a year before articles appear in open access archives.

The vast majority of academic work is supported by public funding, and charitable foundations support most of what is not government supported. High time to require open access. The academics are not going to do it themselves.

+ - When you can scan the entire Internet in under an hour->

Submitted by dstates
dstates (629350) writes "A team of researchers at the University of Michigan has realeased Zmap, a tool that allows an ordinary server to scan every address on the Internet in just 45 minutes. This is a task that used to take months, but now is accessible to anyone with a fast internet connection. In their announcement Friday, at the Usenix security conference in Washington they provide interesting examples tracking HTTPS deployment over time, the effects of Hurricane Sandy on Internet infrastructure, but also rapid identification of vulnerable hosts for security exploits. As Washington Post Blog discussing the work shows examples of the rate with which of computers on the Internet have been patched to fix Universal Plug and Play, “Debian weak key” and “factorable RSA keys” vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, in each case it takes years to deploy patches and in the case of UPnP devices, they found 2.56 million (16.7 percent) devices on the Internet and not yet upgraded years after the vulnerability had been described. Zero day exploits just became zero hour."
Link to Original Source

+ - Detroit Emergency Dispatch System Failes->

Submitted by dstates
dstates (629350) writes "For most of Friday, police and firefighters in Detroit were forced to operate without their usual dispatch radio when the emergency dispatch system failed. The radio system used for communication between 911 dispatchers and Detroit's police, fire and EMS crews went down around 5:30 a.m. Friday morning, causing a backlog of hundreds of calls and putting public safety at risk. Michigan State Police allowed Detroit's emergency system to use the state's communication towers, but access was restricted to top priority calls out of fear of overloading the State system.

More than 60 priority 1 calls and more than 170 non-emergency calls were backed up. With no dispatch to communicate if something went wrong and backup was needed, police were forced to send officers out in pairs for safety concerns on priority 1 calls.

Detroit’s new police chief, James Craig, says he's "appalled" that a redundant system did not kick in. The outage occurred only days after Craig took office. The $131 million dollar Motorola system was installed in 2005 amid controversy over its funding. Spokesmen for Motorola said parts of the system were regularly maintained but acknowledged that backup systems had not been tested in the past two years. They said the problem was a hardware glitch in the link between dispatch and the individual radios. As of 9 p.m. Friday Motorola spokesman said that the system was stable and that the company would continue troubleshooting next week."

Link to Original Source
Government

+ - Massive security breech at US Federal Government contractors site->

Submitted by dstates
dstates (629350) writes "SAM (Systems for Awards Management) is a financial management system that the US government requires all contractors and grantees to use. This system has recently been rolled out to replace the older CCR system. Last night, thousands of SAM users received the following message:

"Dear SAM user

The General Services Administration (GSA) recently has identified a security vulnerability in the System for Award Management (SAM), which is part of the cross-government Integrated Award Environment (IAE) managed by GSA. Registered SAM users with entity administrator rights and delegated entity registration rights had the ability to view any entity’s registration information, including both public and non-public data at all sensitivity levels."

From March 8 to 10, any registered user who searched the system could view confidential information including account and social security numbers for any other user of the system. Oops! The Government Services administration says that they have fixed the problem, but this is a serious black eye for the Fed."

Link to Original Source
Robotics

+ - Ohio Man Charged With Shooting Robot->

Submitted by
kkleiner
kkleiner writes "In what is sure to be only the beginning of human vs. robot confrontations, a surveillance robot belonging to the police was recently shot after a six-hour standoff with a 62-year-old heavily inebriated man. Shortly afterward, police entered the home and used an electronic stun device to subdue the man. After being issued a search warrant, authorities found a number of firearms within the residence, including two AK47 rifles and a 75-round ammunition drum, which is illegal in Ohio. Incidents between citizens and police robots will surely be on the rise as more bots are brought into service."
Link to Original Source
Windows

+ - Ask Slashdot: How best to set up a parent's PC? 2

Submitted by CodingHero
CodingHero (1545185) writes "My mother uses a recent enough PC running Windows XP and has a broadband connection, but her primary method of interacting with the online world remains the AOL software. She also likes to download and use various seasonal wallpapers, screensavers, etc. Usually all this works fine and I don't get family tech support calls, but occasionally something big goes wrong. Since she lives 400 miles away, that means I get to provide phone tech support. While I can usually get something fixed through simple instructions, sometimes it's just too complicated to properly diagnose and explain over the phone (e.g., a trojan infection that anti-virus won't get rid of on its own). I'd like to set up the system so that her account is not an Administrator and that I can easily (and securely) remotely connect to fix problems, install stuff she really wants to use (after proper vetting of course), and so on. Moving to Linux or a Mac is not an option. Upgrading the system to Windows 7 and breaking the AOL habit, while seemingly the best course of action, is going to mean a lot of my time up front to explain how to do things all over again, time that I don't have a lot of right now. Has anyone else had a similar experience? If so, what did you find was the best way to re-educate a parent and/or set up a method to securely remotely manage a system, or at least lock it down to better protect it?"
Science

+ - New Research Sheds Light on the Evolution of Dogs

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The first dogs descended from wolves about 14,000 years ago but according to Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods humans didn't domesticate dogs — dogs sought out humans and domesticated us. Humans have a long history of eradicating wolves, rather than trying to adopt them which raises the question: How was the wolf tolerated by humans long enough to evolve into the domestic dog? "The short version is that we often think of evolution as being the survival of the fittest, where the strong and the dominant survive and the soft and weak perish. But essentially, far from the survival of the leanest and meanest, the success of dogs comes down to survival of the friendliest." Most likely, it was wolves that approached us, not the other way around, probably while they were scavenging around garbage dumps on the edge of human settlements. The wolves that were bold but aggressive would have been killed by humans, and so only the ones that were bold and friendly would have been tolerated. In a few generations, these friendly wolves became distinctive from their more aggressive relatives with splotchy coats, floppy ears, wagging tails. But the changes did not just affect their looks but their psychology. Protodogs evolved the ability to read human gestures. "As dog owners, we take for granted that we can point to a ball or toy and our dog will bound off to get it," write Hare and Woods. "But the ability of dogs to read human gestures is remarkable. Even our closest relatives — chimpanzees and bonobos — can't read our gestures as readily as dogs can." With this new ability, these protodogs were worth knowing. People who had dogs during a hunt would likely have had an advantage over those who didn't. Finally when times were tough, dogs could have served as an emergency food supply and once humans realized the usefulness of keeping dogs as emergency food, it was not a huge jump to realize plants could be used in a similar way. " This is the secret to the genius of dogs: It's when dogs join forces with us that they become special.," conclude Hare and Woods. "Dogs may even have been the catalyst for our civilization.""

+ - SPAM: NICB says around 250K Vehicles Ruined By Superstorm Sandy

Submitted by InsureDirect
InsureDirect (2854617) writes "Damaged vehicles from Sandy had now reach to more than 250,000 thousands. The blog author wrote "But nevertheless, these estimates may still increase because there are still auto insurance claims that are being filed and processed. It is also significant to remember that the numbers only originate from those insured vehicles. We understand there presently exists lots of automobiles everywhere that does not have auto insurance and that also incurred damages from the storm."
Link to Original Source
News

+ - ProPublica Guide to News App Tech->

Submitted by dstates
dstates (629350) writes "ProPublica, the award winning public interest journalism group and frequently cited Slashdot source has published an interesting guide to app technology for journalism and a set of data and style guides. Journalism presents unique challenges with potentially enormous but highly variable site traffic, the need to serve a wide variety of information, and most importantly, the need to quickly develop and vet interesting content, and ProPublica serves lots of data sets in addition to the news. They are also doing some cool stuff like using AI to generate specific narratives from tens of thousands of database entries illustrating how school districts and states often don't distribute educational opportunities to rich and poor kids equally. The ProPublica team focuses on some basic practical issues for building a team, rapidly and flexibly deploying technology and insuring that what they serve is correct. A great news app developer needs three key skills, the ability to do journalism, design acumen and the ability to write code quickly, and the last is the easiest to teach. To build a team they look to their own staff rather than competing with Google for CS grads. Most news organizations use either Ruby on Rails or Python/Django, but more important than which specific technology you choose, pick a server-side programming language and stick to it. Cloud hosting provides news organizations with incredible flexibility (like how do you increase your capacity ten fold for a few days around the election and then scale back the day after), but they're not as fast as real servers, and cloud costs can scale quickly relative to real servers. Maybe a news app is not the most massive"big data" application out there, but where else can you find the challenge of millions of users checking in several times a day for the latest news, and all you need to do is sort out which of your many and conflicting sources are providing you with straight information? Oh, and if you screw up, it will be very public."
Link to Original Source

+ - Volcanoes Behind Earth's Cooling; China and India Exonerated

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Volcanoes have more impact on earth’s climate than previously thought, scientists at the University of Colorado have found. The researchers came across the finding as they looked for reasons our planet has not heated up as much as expected. The mainstream explanation was that the development in Asia (China and India, essentially) – where the industrial sulfur dioxide emissions increased 60 percent from 2000 to 2010, mainly driven by coal burning – was behind the cooling of Earth. According to the study by Ryan Neely which helped cement the mainstream view, small amounts of sulfur dioxide emissions from Earth's surface rise 12 to 20 miles into the stratospheric aerosol layer of the atmosphere, where chemical reactions create sulfuric acid and water particles that reflect sunlight back to space — which in turn cool the planet."
Verizon

+ - A fix for US ISPs who have been strangling YouTube->

Submitted by
ozmanjusri
ozmanjusri writes "Several American ISPs have been throttling their YouTube caches to the extent that the content is almost unwatchable. Many ISPs had caching agreements are in place with Google to improve performance but have chosen to reduce load (and therefore quality) instead.

To fix the problem on Linux, use iptables to reject the throttled cache and go direct to Google servers:

sudo iptables -A INPUT -s 173.194.55.0/24 -j REJECT
sudo iptables -A INPUT -s 206.111.0.0/16 -j REJECT

While it's possible the throttling happens because caches are bottlenecked or overloaded somewhere in the ISPs' network, complaints to forums have elicited 'We have no problems' responses."

Link to Original Source
Government

+ - Cisco looking to make things right with West Virginia ->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "Cisco has offered to "take back" routers it sold to West Virginia if the state finds they are inappropriate for its needs, according to this post on wvgazette.com. http://wvgazette.com/News/201302280075?page=1 The offer is in response to a state auditor's finding http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Joint/PERD/perdrep/BTOP_2_2013.pdf that West Virginia wasted $8 million — and perhaps as much as $15 million — in acquiring 1,164 ISR model 3945 branch routers from Cisco in 2010 for $24 million in federal stimulus funds, or over $20,000 per router. The auditor found that hundreds of sites around the state — libraries, schools and State Police facilities — could have been just as suitably served with lower-end, less expensive routers. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2013/022513-west-virginia-cisco-router-267067.html?hpg1=bn"
Link to Original Source
Earth

+ - Green Tech Blossoming From Le Mans Garage 56 Program->

Submitted by Motard
Motard (1553251) writes "The Garage 56 program was created by Le Mans organizers to showcase new technology at the 24 Hours fo Le Mans by allowing one additional entry to run unclassified (no trophies, no points). Last year's entry, the Deltawing, which goes just as fast as other Le Mans prototypes while using half the fuel, is already preparing to make the transition to a fully classified entry against the formidable Audi e-Tron Quattro hybrids at this month's 12 Hours of Sebring. This year's Garage 56 entry, the GreenGT H2 is slated to become the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to compete in a top-flight motorport event at next month's 24 Hours of Le Mans. Meanwhile, Nissan, the sponsor and engine-maker for the Deltawing's Le Mans effort has announced plans for 2014 for an all electric racer for the 2014 Garage 56 slot."
Link to Original Source

How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else. -- R. Buckminster Fuller

Working...