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Comment: Re:We should expect some wingnuts to say... (Score 1) 109

by jmv (#47396029) Attached to: How Did Those STAP Stem Cell Papers Get Accepted In the First Place?

It would certainly be nice, but it's not realistic. For a simple paper, it would likely cost a few thousands, but for anything that requires fancy material, it could easily run in the millions. The only level where fraud prevention makes sense is at the institution (company, lab, university) level.

Comment: Re:We should expect some wingnuts to say... (Score 1) 109

by jmv (#47386703) Attached to: How Did Those STAP Stem Cell Papers Get Accepted In the First Place?

So you're saying that reviewers should have to reproduce the results (using their own funds) of the authors before accepting the papers or risk being disciplined? Aside from ending up with zero reviewers, I don't see what this could possibly accomplish. Peer review is designed to catch mistakes, not fraud.

Comment: Re:Simple: Peer review is badly broken (Score 1) 109

by jmv (#47386313) Attached to: How Did Those STAP Stem Cell Papers Get Accepted In the First Place?

I think what is missing is that a) more reviewer actually need to be experts and practicing scientists and b) doing good reviews needs to get you scientific reputation rewards. At the moment,investing time in reviewing well is a losing game for those doing it.

Well, there's also the thing that one of the most fundamental assumption you have to make while reviewing is that the author's acting in good faith. It's really hard to review anything otherwise (we're scientists, not a sort of police)

I agree that good reviews do not need to be binary. You can also "accept if this is fixed", "rewrite as an 'idea' paper", "publish in a different field", "make it a poster", etc. But all that takes time and real understanding.

It goes beyond just that. I should have said "multi-dimensional" maybe. In many cases, I want to say "publish this article because the idea is good, despite the implementation being flawed". In other cases, you might want to say "this is technically correct, but boring". In the medical field, it may be useful to publish something pointing out that "maybe chemical X could be harmful and it's worth further investigation" without necessarily buying all of the authors' conclusion.

Personally, I prefer reading flawed papers that come from a genuinely good idea rather than rigorous theoretical papers that are both totally correct and totally useless.

Comment: Re:Simple: Peer review is badly broken (Score 1) 109

by jmv (#47384005) Attached to: How Did Those STAP Stem Cell Papers Get Accepted In the First Place?

This is not a new phenomenon, it seems to just be getting worse again. But remember that Shannon had trouble publishing his "Theory of Information", because no reviewer understood it or was willing to invest time for something new.

That's the problem here. Should the review system "accept the paper unless it's provably broken" or "reject the paper unless it's provably correct". The former leads to all these issues of false stuff in medical journals and climate research, while the latter leads to good research (like the Shannon example) not being published. This needs to be more than just binary. Personally I prefer to accept if it looks like it could be a good idea, even if some parts may be broken. Then again I don't work on controversial stuff and nobody dies if the algorithm is wrong. I can understand that people in other fields have different opinions, but I guess what we need is non-binary review. Of course, reviewers are also just one part of the equation. My reviews have been overruled by associate editors more often than not.

Comment: Re:The people that invent things must be compensat (Score 1) 131

You think progress is slow now? See what happens when companies actively hide how they do things rather then relying on patients to protect their IP.

Yeah, imagine all these iPhone owners with rounded corners they can't even see because Apple had to hide them.

Comment: Re:Encryption (Score 1) 220

by jmv (#47097483) Attached to: PHK: HTTP 2.0 Should Be Scrapped

How do you explain to the user well their data might be encrypted yet their data is not protected since it is not trusted?

I'm talking about http here, not https. The idea is that even with http -- where you don't pretend that anything is secure -- you still encrypt everything. It's far from perfect, but it beats plaintext because the attacker can't hide anymore -- it has to be an active attack. I don't pretend to know all about the pros and cons of http 2, but plaintext has to die.

Comment: Re:Encryption (Score 5, Insightful) 220

by jmv (#47096403) Attached to: PHK: HTTP 2.0 Should Be Scrapped

Nothing is NSA-proof, therefore we should just scrap TLS and transmit everything in plaintext, right? The whole point here is not to make the system undefeatable, just to increase the cost of breaking it, just like your door lock isn't perfect, but still useful. If HTTP was always encrypted, even with no authentication, it would require the NSA to man-in-the-middle every single connection if it wants to keep its pervasive monitoring. This would not only make the cost skyrocket, but also make it trivial to detect.

Comment: Re:Encryption (Score 5, Informative) 220

by jmv (#47096331) Attached to: PHK: HTTP 2.0 Should Be Scrapped

A server cannot ask for encryption.

AFAIK, HTTP2 allows the server to encrypt even if the client didn't want to.

Unless the client establishes a secure connection in the first place, the server has no way of knowing if the client is actually who they claim to be. If the client attempts to establish a secure connection and the server responds with "I can't give you a secure connection" then the client needs to assume there is a man in the middle attack going on and refuse to communicate with the server.

If you're able to modify packets in transit (i.e. Man in the Middle), then you can also just decrypt with your key and re-encrypt with the client key. Without authentication, there's just nothing that's going to prevent a MitM attack. Despite that, being vulnerable to MitM is much better than being vulnerable to any sort of passive listening.

Comment: Re:Encryption (Score 4, Informative) 220

by jmv (#47096119) Attached to: PHK: HTTP 2.0 Should Be Scrapped

Last I heard, it still supports unencrypted, but only if both the client and server ask for it. If either one asks for encryption, then the connection is encrypted, even if there's no authentication (i.e. certificate). With no certificate, it's still possible to pull an active(MitM) attack, which is much harder to pull off at a large scale without anyone noticing (i.e. you can just collect all data you see).

Comment: Re:Technically (Score 4, Interesting) 335

by jmv (#46995487) Attached to: Zuckerberg's $100 Million Education Gift Solved Little

But there is definitely an allure to private schools, where the vast majority of the students are there to learn, most of the parents care enough to spend inordinate amounts of money on education, and the entire system is geared towards keeping your business and keeping those Ivy League acceptance rates up instead of ass-covering.

Having been to a private school, I can tell you that most of the focus is not education, but on looking good to the parents. I don't think teachers are any better (though probably not worse), and the main reason students are better come down to pre-selection (entrance exam, no poor children). The only fundamental plus is that they're allowed to expel troublemakers.

Comment: Leave it alone (Score 4, Insightful) 218

by jmv (#46975943) Attached to: Google Testing Gmail Redesign

The thing that bothers me most with Google (not just Gmail, Android too) is the constant change in interface. I use the average app about 2-3 times between UI redesigns. I don't care how great the new UI is if it takes me more time to learn it than the time it's going to save until the next redesign. How about you make your new designs 3x better and update 1/3 as often? Seems like it would help the vast majority here.

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