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Comment: A good thing? (Score 2) 112

by excelsior_gr (#49263061) Attached to: Scientific Study Finds There Are Too Many Scientific Studies

Although this could be due to the "publish or perish" mentality, that often forces researchers to break down their work in several publications of lesser impact than make a single publication of larger impact, the fact that the "lifetime" of publications is getting shorter may also mean that the research is speeding up. Knowledge moves faster from papers, then to books, and then to being "common", and before you know it you don't really have to cite someone every freaking time anymore because everyone knows what you're talking about (I'm talking about things that are considered "common knowledge" here; you surely don't cite Newton every time you mention that white light can be broken up using a prism). More commonly, somebody will sum the "state of the art" into a book or in a good introductory chapter of a doctoral dissertation and people will cite that, instead of all the papers. Also, books keep getting cited for decades after their publication, so maybe a follow-up study could check whether there is a similar trend in the citation of books?

While the plurality of journals has made publishing quite easy nowadays, I don't think this is the reason for the observation that papers get forgotten faster. A bad paper will not even get noticed and will probably get cited only by its own authors in subsequent publications. Since we are talking about papers that do get cited here, this means that they have managed to attract some attention, and can therefore not be too crappy.

Comment: Re:amazing (Score 1) 279

by excelsior_gr (#49121465) Attached to: Intel Moving Forward With 10nm, Will Switch Away From Silicon For 7nm

The price of $3/kg must be for metallurgical grade silicon, i.e. with a purity of about 98-99%. The polycrystalline silicon used as a raw material to produce wafers is solar grade (the same used in solar panels), which is 99.999999999% pure. This used to go for $200/kg a few years ago, but now the prices have plummeted at about $20/kg. Pulling a monocrystal, chopping it up and polishing it for the semiconductor industry adds a premium to the price, but I can't tell how much that is per kg. I think they are sold per piece after that, and the price also depends on the wafer's diameter.

Comment: The IP is right where it is needed. (Score 2) 145

by excelsior_gr (#49082659) Attached to: The Burden of Intellectual Property Rights On Clean Energy Technologies

Given that China, the US and the EU are together responsible for more than 50% of the worldwide CO2 emissions, I would expect that the Intellectual Property to combat climate change is right where it is needed. Saying that taking action against climate change is hurdled by poor countries not having the intellectual rights to the necessary technology silently suggests that poor countries are part of the climate change problem, which is absolutely not true.

I've heard a lot of lame excuses on why nothing is being done concerning climate change, but whoever thought of this one deserves a cookie.

Comment: Re:um, OK (Score 1) 690

by excelsior_gr (#49020691) Attached to: Free-As-In-Beer Electricity In Greece?

After WWII:
World: Greece, you gotta re-build your infrastructure! You look like shit.
Greece: I don't have any money!
World: OK, we will lend you some, but the Marshall Plan is for the big boys. You'll get normal loans.
Greece: Uh, thanks, I guess.
World: Also, what's all that communist talk over there? Here are some of our boys to rule. Don't worry we checked them up; they're legit.
Greece: They're all over the place torturing people and starting fights with Turkey! We'll overthrow them.
World: Ugh, that turned up ugly! Now Turnkey is pissed and you'll need weapons. You got any?
Greece: We got some old stuff hanging around.
World: That won't do. You need proper equipment.
Greece: I don't have any money!
World: Don't worry, here's a loan. I hear the US is having a yard sale.
Greece: Thanks, I guess.
Russia: Why are you buying their stuff instead of ours? We just sold of our best stuff over to Turkey and they'll screw you over!
Greece: Uh-oh. I need another loan!
World: Sure, here ya go. By the way, do you need any cars? We make all kinds of stuff you can use for improving your infrastructure, too.
Greece: Cars are cool! But we don't have any money and we already owe you tons.
World: Yeah, you do, but this shit's gotta go. Hey, now that you're a democracy again, maybe your politicians like getting re-elected?
Greek politicians: Sure thing!
World: Then take this loan (and a fat "bonus") and use the money to create counter-productive jobs in the public sector. Then hire your voters to fill them and you're all set!
Greek politicians: Gee-wiz! This plan is foolproof. We can go on for decades!
World: See? Now everyone is happy. By the way, you still owe us a shitload of money.
Greek politicians: Sure, whatever.
Greece: The public sector is swollen like a toad, we owe money to everyone, some genius had the bright idea to host the Olympic Games in 2004 for the lulz, and why do we keep buying those weapons again? Shouldn't NATO and the EU back us up in case of trouble?
World + Greek politicians: Look at the silly monkey!
Greece: This debt is too much. I can't take it.
Greek government: Hmmm, yeah. That's probably because of the last government. By the way, they lied about the economic balance to get us in the Euro-zone.
Greek opposition: All we did was some creative accounting! They do that in Hollywood all the time! And don't you give me that last-government shit. We were in this together!
World: You did what?! I want my money back!
Greece: We don't have any. We never actually did!

I think the rest is ongoing history, so I might as well stop here.

So much for your "Greece spent the money in entitlement" bullshit.

Comment: Re:Is google now about to become a target? (Score 4, Insightful) 311

by excelsior_gr (#48788401) Attached to: Google Fund To Pay For 1 Million Copies of Charlie Hebdo

Charlie Hebdo themselves are responsible for provoking this tragedy

Just like women that get raped are "asking for it" when showing cleavage, right? So, in public they must conceal their body under a burqa, right?

Repeat after me: You cannot tell a journalist what to write just like you cannot tell a woman what to wear.

Comment: Not going to happen (Score 1) 141

by excelsior_gr (#48787395) Attached to: 3D Cameras Are About To Go Mainstream

No, they're not. But not only because 3D screens and purchasable 3D media need to become mainstream first, but because not even normal 2D video is "mainstream". Allow me to elaborate:

If you're an amateur photographer with a camera, you have a multitude of free or low cost tools at your disposal (cameras/phones and software) that will make your photography suck appreciably less. Even if you're pretty serious about it and your photos are quite good, the average person that you show them to will swipe through your entire portfolio in a few seconds and move on. People take photography and photos for granted. Photographs nowadays are EVERYWHERE and people are just not going to invest time in looking at them. For good or bad, they just won't.

The same is starting to happen with videos. Everybody carries a video-shooting camera with them nowadays, but the videos that are being shot with it are the equivalent to un-edited snapshots and they just suck. If you're lucky, your video snapshot will be of some journalistic value and a news outlet will buy it off you. But other than that, it's just crap. Making a good video without good equipment and without good software (pirated software doesn't count!) is a pain in the ass. There is also no low-cost video-editing software that is up to the task of making your video not suck, IMHO (I'm open to suggestions!).

Adding to all this is the fact that videos just take time to watch. So, the proud owner of a video-capable DSLR or smartphone will pretty much be asking his/her friends to go through several minutes of shaky, badly-lit, unedited footage of some event that made them feel in a certain way, but took absolutely no pains to transfer that feeling to video. And now we get to watch this in 3D?! This must be a nightmare coming true! Look, home-videos are OK for what they are. They have had their place since the VHS days, but that's about it. Shooting them in 3D is not going to add to the experience. People will see your video in their Facebook news feed or whatever, click on it, watch the first 10 seconds and move on. Like photos, videos nowadays are also everywhere.

And the worse thing is that you can't really make them suck less. The cheap video-recording devices are there. We now need cheap video-editing software to go with it that will target the mainstream crowd (I would kill for video-editing version of Lightroom, for example). We need to create a "middle-class" of video-shooters that will have a creative interest in looking at 3D capabilities. Once we have this and once this has become mainstream, we can discuss about adding the 3D functionality into the stew. Before that time, 3D is just fluff.

Comment: Re:No African OT either.... (Score 1) 327

by excelsior_gr (#48715865) Attached to: The Coming Decline of 'Made In China'

The iPhone in China is priced at about $1000, which is about $250 higher than in the US. At the same time, an average Chinese factory worker earns $1.36 per hour, i.e. about $220 per month, which is about 16 times less than in the US. This may be about double than what they would get at the family farm, and the wadges are rising rapidly, but they still have a long way to go before they can afford the commodities they are producing (notice how I'm not talking about golden cars here, but about stuff people in the "western world" throw away every couple of years). So don't pretend you are some kind of benefactor, because you actually aren't.

And BTW, "we" are all those responsible for this situation, since I'm typing this in a high-end phone, but the least I can do is show some acknowledgment and respect for those that produced it.

Comment: Re:Advance to Go (Score 1) 155

by excelsior_gr (#48707711) Attached to: Designing the Best Board Game

That's because you stuck to the rules. I once played it with a couple other, ahem, more creative players that turned it into an awesomely funny haggle game, by more or less inserting a "trading" round at the end of each turn in which they would offer money+estates for other player's assets that would offer them a strategic advantage. The face value of the offer would more often than not exceed the price of the haggled item. It was out-of-the-box, emotional and very entertaining.

Comment: Re:No African OT either.... (Score 0) 327

by excelsior_gr (#48707085) Attached to: The Coming Decline of 'Made In China'

You got everything right but ignored the fact that they ask for longer hours because they are paid peanuts. Since asking for a raise will get them sacked, all that is left for them to do is to enslave themselves to the enthroned employers.

Maybe they are better off working in a factory than in agriculture, but we shouldn't pretend we give them the freedom to decide for themselves what is best for them when we are pretty much holding a knife to their throats.

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin