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Comment Re:Well, I tell you what *I* think about it (Score 1) 125

Of course. I agree with the parent and grandparent that Wikipedia should cite the best sources possible. However, the parent's suggestion that we then have to cite closed access sources is based on a dubious assumption.

Here's the problem: the best possible sources are closed access, especially when we are talking about
things in medical research and life sciences.

I cannot judge for life sciences, but in my field of ocean modelling and climate research this is not true. Good sources used to be closed access sources, but more and more scientists prefer open access. Right now, in my field, open access journals (e.g. EGU's Geosci. Model Dev.) are at least as relevant as closed access (e.g. Elsevier's Deep-Sea Res. Pt II). This will only become more important in the future, hence Elsevier's attempt to stay relevant.

It is beneficial for active content creators to have access to these.

They will be able to create citations supporting articles on subjects that couldn't even be written otherwise.

Notability is a frequent issue on Wikipedia with articles on important subjects frequently getting deleted, because high quality citations have not been made to establish their notability ---- citations good enough to meet the criteria are only available through closed-access sources, such as professional journals.

It depends on both the field and the time when the science was done. I find it obvious that at least the original paper should be cited for any finding. Looking at the history of modern science, and that of open access, this is of course often closed source (well, some publishers make very old issues more and more available, but so far the point still stands). Anyone would agree that such a citation may be amended with another open access review paper, for instance. More recent research can be cited more and more from open access journals.

Finally... the purpose of Wikipedia is to be the encyclopedia anyone can edit,
Nobody ever said anything about the sources used by Wikipedia having to be the same

Indeed, nobody is saying that. We are talking about the accessibility of the sources, not whether they are libre or you can edit them. (That being said, there are even more advantages if the sources themselves are not only open access, but libre; this is already happening, e.g. many EGU journal papers are libre, and there is no copyright transfer either.)

It would hobble the encyclopedia and greatly limit its coverage, if only free citations can be used.

I love the idea of a free encyclopedia..... and I love the idea of open access journals, BUT let's not delude ourselves into thinking that the canonical work in the sciences are always the open access articles.

I fully agree. But often canonical work in science is in open access journals. I don't think what you say here is consistent with the first sentence about the best possible sources being closed access -- that is becoming less and less universal.

E.g. In article discussing relativity, I would much rather see the cite in the journal where Einstein actually published,
than some 4th order / quarternary source that someone preferred since it was an online magazine article available free of charge.

Yes, but there are many high-quality open access journals that may amend the primary citation.

I would also point out... open access today doesn't mean open access tomorrow.
Many times Online sources later go offline, or the publisher breaks the URL!

There are a lot of crap open access journals. Don't publish in those, don't cite from those. Within most fields it is clear what I am talking about. I think there is enough expertise between wikipedians to be able to judge which are good and which are bad. Papers should have a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). That does solve the URL breaking to some extend, in theory. At least I have not seen any counter examples in my field.

Now, what would be really cool is if Wikipedia could get a fair use "Excerpting" / "Automatic clipping" service,
where readers of an article could click on an "Excerpt" link by the citation and see an archived exceprt from the
article from online or scanned version, with the cited portion highlighted in yellow, and a bunch of context.

Then adopt a policy indicating that an excerptable source should be included for every referenced fact or assertion, when possible.

Yes, that is better than no content at all of the paper (or only the abstract).

Comment Re: Sure you can. (Score 2) 492

Whether "Linux" is a good or bad choice, or whether it will become a mainstream desktop OS is besides the point. At least, if we want to stay on topic here.

The original question was whether you can disable Windows 10's privacy-invading features. Some posts argue that you can (by changing settings or by cutting off network communication with Microsoft e.g.). While there are things that you can do that appear to increase the user's privacy, it will always be necessary to trust the company that you bought your proprietary software from to believe that you actually have privacy.

This is where the free software argument comes in. You can debate whether it is a good competitor or which GNU/Linux distribution or BSD is better (for whatever reason), but the point here is that if you are using software (and you are connected to the internet at any point), it must be free software in order to be reasonably certain that you can protect your privacy.

Comment Re:Bullshit (Score 1, Insightful) 299

I agree that this study does not suggest to become a vegetarian. However, less meat consumption (and other animal products, to a lesser extent) would help as well, of course.

I am a vegetarian to offset anthropogenic climate change. Others should join me, or decrease their meat production at least. First a warning: there might be potential side effects like you eat more healthy or animal welfare. Some people feel comfortable being a vegan. I don't ask people to do something that would make them unhappy. But they can try to do something. Really try it, and then decide what would be best for both you and the rest of us.

I will probably be modded down by the "pro meat conservative lobby".

There will always be cows, so I also encourage these kind of studies as well.

Comment UNIX - GNU ? (Score 1) 570

The decline of UNIX is, among other things, attributed to "the abundance of Unix-specific apps that can now also run on competitor's servers."

There is this thing called GNU, which has the explicit goal to replace UNIX. So it is not that Unix-specific apps can only run on other systems, the whole system is replaced. And though largely backwards compatible, improved as well (and free of course).

Comment the UN do something (Score 1) 284

In an effort to get ever more taxes for doing absolutely nothing

This is an ignorant remark. Compared with most governments and their institutes, the United Nations receive relatively little money compared with what they actually do. Read a few pages from http://www.dhf.uu.se/publications/development-dialogue/erskine-barton-childers-for-a-democratic-united-nations-and-the-rule-of-law/

But about the actual article: Of course it is a very bad idea to tax the Internet, certainly taxes on trafic since this can only affect net neutrality.

Comment Re:Your right to what? (Score 2) 328

No one has more rights than a citizen of the United States.

WTF? I am from another country than the United States of America and I am offended by this statement. What about using the phrase world citizen or human being? You watch too much 24.

Comment Re:Science? (Score 1) 84

Don't twist the words, the exact quote is:

We are funded to do research for the public good, yet prevented from taking our discoveries to the marketplace where they could be developed into new medicines.

So he does not say "funded by the public", but "funded [...] for the public good", etc.

Based on the actual quote you can give an argument for that this person is still an ass. Indeed, large parts of the funding are from the public, and therefore any inventions^H, ahum, discoveries(!) should be "returned" to the public immediately. There is still a market, medicines can be made from non-patented discoveries. If this is not possible, we are even in deeper shit that I thought.

Comment seems GNU/Linux based (Score 1) 121

not based on Linux nor one of the BSDs

At least the server edition is based on the Linux kernel according to the about page.

It uses the GCC compiler and many other tools from the GNU project.

So it is also, at least for a significant part, GNU based.
(Note that people often talk about GNU/Linux if they say Linux, so to be certain I show that it is also GNU based.)

Comment GNU and Linux (Score 1) 792

From the article:

But the free software movement he created did lead to the proliferation of Linux-based servers which are prevalent in data centers and power much of the Internet. This is perhaps ironic because Stallman expresses resentment about the credit given to the Linux kernel at the expense of his own GNU operating system.

I do not see how this would be ironic. I think the author does not understand that when people talk about a "Linux-based server" they virtually always mean a server with GNU/Linux.

Comment Re:Open source vs proprietary (Score 1) 792

Sure, it's good to have the source... It's nice to be able to see how things work, to make sure that they're doing the job we think they are, etc., etc. But that doesn't mean it's actually important to everyone that their software (and associated electronic devices) be open source.

This might be so, but this is not just about having the source code. It is about user freedom, as Stallman would put it. You might make a similar argument for free software, but that is less trivial. Then you will touch upon something fundamental like user freedom, which more people might care about than you now presume in your current argument.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg