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Comment: Re:Agilent has been split up again.... (Score 1) 523

by nmr_andrew (#49614397) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Announces Bid For White House

The Agilent name is now used on their chemical/life sciences stuff (chromatographs, NMR, etc.)

You might not want to include NMR in that. Agilent shuttered that division last October with nearly zero warning. Lots of good people affected by that, many employees only had ~2 weeks from the announcement until they were out the door. Fortunately at this point many have found other jobs. Agilent is also effectively letting all of their NMR technology go into a black hole; the tax write off is apparently worth more to them than they could sell the IP for (welcome to screwed up US tax codes). I'm SO glad that Bruker now has a near monopoly on NMR - nothing against Bruker, but...

Not that I'm bitter about this or anything.

+ - 10 Easy Rules to Curb Over-optimistic Reporting in Computational Biology->

Submitted by sandbagger
sandbagger writes: In in biomedical research in particular, is most often overoptimistic with respect to the superiority of new therapies or the strength of association between a risk factors and outcomes. Published results appear more more spectacular, or more satisfactory than they actually would if they reflected the truth.

Causes of this problem are diverse, numerous, and interrelated. The effects of 'fishing for significance' strategies or selective/incomplete reporting are exacerbated by design issues or publication bias. Research and guidelines on how to reduce overoptimistic reporting in the context of computational research, including computational biology as an important special case, however, are surprisingly scarce. Many methodological articles published in computational literature report the superior performance of new methods , too often in general terms and—directly or indirectly—implying that the presented positive results are generalizable to other settings.

Such overoptimistic reporting confuses readers, makes literature less credible and more difficult to interpret, and might even ultimately lead to a waste of resources in some cases.

Here are ten simple rules to address the problem of overoptimistic reporting.

Link to Original Source

+ - Doctors and others reject UK 'Let's protect the children' moral panic->

Submitted by Bruce66423
Bruce66423 writes: The NSPCC, a large child protection charity in the UK, recently produced a report with the headline claim that 10% of 12-13 year olds reported themselves to be addicted to pornography. This prompted a Conservative Party pledge to block internet access to such material. This article is a letter challenging the moral panic and its scientific basis, going as far as to suggest that greater porn use is correlated with reduced sexual violence!
Link to Original Source

+ - Universities Pushing Back Against Patent Reform Bill->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh writes: The Innovation Act is a bill winding its way through the U.S. Congress that aims to reign in abuses by patent trolls. But the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities are opposing the legislation, insisting that it be rewritten so that it's "narrowly tailored to address the abuses of this small minority of patent holders without substantially weakening the U.S. patent system as a whole."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Cheap is cheap. (Score 1) 22

by nmr_andrew (#49440009) Attached to: LG Will Lend You a Free Phone If You Talk About It On Social Media
More likely, they either require a credit card upfront with the understanding that you won't be charged if you return the device within, say, 45 days, or given that a phone is kind of useless without service, you'll sign an agreement with your carrier that the full cost will be added to your bill if it's not returned.

+ - Your Porn Is Watching You 2

Submitted by merbs
merbs writes: Thirty million Americans regularly watch porn online. That’s a lot more than fess up to it, even in anonymous surveys: In 2013, just 12 percent of people asked copped to watching internet porn at all. But thanks to pervasive online tracking and browser fingerprinting, the brazen liars of America may not have a say in whether their porn habits stay secret. Porn watchers everywhere are being tracked, and if software engineer Brett Thomas is right, it would be easy to out them, along with an extensive list of every clip they’ve viewed.

+ - Sign Up at Before Crooks Do It For You->

Submitted by tsu doh nimh
tsu doh nimh writes: If you're an American and haven't yet created an account at, you may want to take care of that before tax fraudsters create an account in your name and steal your personal and tax data in the process. Brian Krebs shows how easy it is for scammers to register an account in your name and view you current and past W2s and tax filings with the IRS, and tells the story of a New York man who — after receiving notice from the agency that someone had filed a phony return in his name — tried to get a copy of his transcript and found someone had already registered his SSN to an email address that wasn't his. Apparently, having a credit freeze prevents thieves from doing this, because the IRS relies on easily-guessed knowledge-based authentication questions from Equifax.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Great idea... (Score 1) 160

by nmr_andrew (#49337085) Attached to: Energy Company Trials Computer Servers To Heat Homes

Farther up the east coast, a lot of older rentals have radiators with a single boiler for multiple units. The landlord is required to heat for a certain part of the year (15 October to 15 April is fairly common). There may be rules for a minimum livable temperature, and at least in NYC there are plenty of examples of "slum lords" who don't maintain that.

But to support the parent post, few if any of these units have a thermostat in them. But I suppose you do have some control. You can always open/close the valve to a given radiator (and many really do effectively have those two settings with little in between) or open a window if it gets too hot.

Comment: Re:Why not a Mac? (Score 1) 385

by nmr_andrew (#49293349) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Laptop To Support Physics Research?

I'll have to agree with this. I'm partial to Mac myself, but really any reasonable quality laptop should suffice. Since she wants to do at least some coding and simulation, I'd look for a quad core i5 or i7 with a decent amount of RAM.

The choice of desktop OS should be a combination of what she's comfortable with and what's truly required. If her subfield tends to write papers in Word and/or required lots of editing of figures in "real" graphics tools, that likely means Mac OS or Windows will be preferable for the day to day OS. A VirtualBox VM with whatever Linux distro is used on the clusters available to the lab (Scientific Linux?) should take care of the rest - it should run small jobs at near native speeds if there's not much else going on, provide a developer environment similar to other work computers, and any really heavy lifting is going to be offloaded to a cluster somewhere anyway.

tl;dr version: get her any laptop/OS combo she likes with decent specs and run an appropriate linux under a VM

Comment: Re:Better Arguments Needed (Score 1) 1081

by nmr_andrew (#49268677) Attached to: How To Execute People In the 21st Century
The second reason there's a low recidivism rate for murderers is because most of them kill somebody they already know for some real reason. Not necessarily a good reason, but often somebody stole from them, or cheated on them, or whatever. I suppose a few enjoy it and want to do it again, and this doesn't consider serial killers or other true psychopaths, but most people convicted or murder are unlikely to do it again.

Comment: Re:Just recycle the energy! (Score 1) 221

by nmr_andrew (#49217321) Attached to: New Concept Tire Could Recharge Car Battery

Wow, I think this is the first reply that didn't just poo-poo the whole thing.

Tires WILL heat up due to friction. From TFS, it sounds like the idea is to convert some of this heat to something useful, like electricity. No violation of thermodynamics there. If you make the assumption that otherwise that energy is wasted as heat, your overall efficiency will go up.

Now, is this truly feasible? I don't know, I suspect as others have pointed it it's more PR than anything else. It really comes down to whether the added cost and complexity can ever be offset by the amount of power recovered.

Comment: Re:Those without a timeline will be at an advantag (Score 1) 209

When enough people will have a timeline, not having one will become suspicious.

Will become? It already is, at least in some circles. How many stories have we had on /. about people not getting a job or at least having a harder interview process because they don't have a Facebook profile for HR to troll through? Granted I don't, but I think I'm just old enough that it won't matter, at least so long as I continue to put some minimum into a LinkedIn profile so I have some semblance of an online persona.

The clothes have no emperor. -- C.A.R. Hoare, commenting on ADA.