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Comment: Too many bodies, too few incentives. (Score 5, Insightful) 487

by pnotequalsnp (#35939650) Attached to: Reform the PhD System or Close It Down
The competition for tenure track positions is currently insane, since the professors from previous generations have trained too many PhDs. The funding agencies reward large labs under a single PI with large grants, with the labs mostly running on graduate students and post-docs who themselves see no way out. Now we are seeing career post-doctoral positions, especially in the biomedical sciences; see the recent suggestions about making a post-doctoral position more permanent. Not everyone can be a manager (PI), so we are stuck being graduate students or post-docs. I know industry is also a home for PhDs as I am one of those happy campers, but the fact is there are too many PhDs being trained relative to the number of positions available.

Lets have a system where the professor is rewarded for doing their own research, rather than their ability to write grants and farm out the work to their subjugated minions.
PC Games (Games)

OnLive CEO On Post-Launch Status, Game Licenses 121

Posted by Soulskill
from the cloud-gaming-doesn't-involve-lakitu dept.
CNET has a lengthy interview with OnLive CEO Steve Perlman about how the service is shaping up almost a month after launch. Demand seems to have outstripped their expectations, and it required some quick server expansion to compensate. He also addresses a common concern among gamers — that the licenses for games could expire in three years. Perlman says, "It's less of an issue about the licenses evaporating, and more of an issue of whether or not we continue to maintain the operating systems and the graphics cards to run those games. If a game is tied to a particular Nvidia or ATI card, or if it's relying on a particular version of Windows with different drivers, we can't be sure that those will continue to be available as our servers age and need to be replaced. If it's a popular game that can't run on old hardware anymore, the publishers can do an upgrade for the game. Also, servers usually do last longer than three years, so chances are we'll keep running them. But we have a legal obligation to disclose what might happen. I think the probability of us pulling a game in three years is on the order of 0.1 percent. It's also highly unlikely that a game server will evaporate after three years, but we have to allow for that possibility." He also goes into future plans for expanding OnLive, both in terms of the content they offer and the devices they may support. The Digital Foundry blog followed up the latency tests we discussed with a full review, if you'd like an unbiased opinion of the service.
Math

Man Uses Drake Equation To Explain Girlfriend Woes 538

Posted by samzenpus
from the less-math-more-social-science dept.
artemis67 writes "A man studying in London has taken a mathematical equation that predicts the possibility of alien life in the universe to explain why he can't find a girlfriend. Peter Backus, a native of Seattle and PhD candidate and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, near London, in his paper, 'Why I don't have a girlfriend: An application of the Drake Equation to love in the UK,' used math to estimate the number of potential girlfriends in the UK. In describing the paper on the university Web site he wrote 'the results are not encouraging. The probability of finding love in the UK is only about 100 times better than the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy.'"

Comment: Re:It's so very odd..... (Score 1, Insightful) 1376

by pnotequalsnp (#28760757) Attached to: Ireland Criminalizes Blasphemy
To paraphrase Dawkins: "agnosticism is flawed because it assumes that the probability that God exists is equal to the probability that God does not exist". I think you would rather say that right now you cannot rule out the existence or the non-existence of "God" (provably soon). But to say that they are equally likely (probability) is incredibly naive, since you presumably have to tell me which God you are talking about, which history has shown to be ever-changing (Zeus, Thor, etc.). Therefore you are neither atheist nor agnostic.

Comment: Re:nice (Score 1) 181

by pnotequalsnp (#27367011) Attached to: Android Scans DVD Bar Codes, Downloads Movies
Sorry sir but you are wrong. I'll reiterate my limited econ 101 experience: we assume perfect information for markets to be perfectly efficient, so having the price across all offerings is a good thing. What you should decide is if the extra cost at the given store is worth the added benefits (customer service, locality, other factors). This is commonplace today, for example when choosing eco-friendly dry cleaning, products without lead etc. Obviously people choosing Walmart are making the choice that the added services are not worth the extra price. Not everyone has the same values (which determine price) as you.

Comment: It does not rock (Score 2, Interesting) 239

by pnotequalsnp (#26337299) Attached to: New Method To Revolutionize DNA Sequencing
Considering current sequencing technology generates terabytes of data per day (see the Sanger center), then wouldn't it be efficient to maximize the amount of information per pixel (i.e. per byte)? This method is actually is much worse (orders of magnitude) than the current method. There are many other problems with what they do, but hopefully the cash infusion can last them another 2 years until the write a paper like this. BTW, the say that appropriate camera tech. will be available in 2-5 years, but they're ready now! They might be buying time...
Medicine

Doctor Performs Amputation By Text Message 242

Posted by samzenpus
from the l33t-5ki11z dept.
Peace Corps Online writes "Vascular surgeon David Nott performed a life-saving amputation on a boy in DR Congo following instructions sent by text message from a colleague in London. The boy's left arm had been ripped off and was badly infected and gangrenous; there were just 6in (15cm) of the boy's arm remaining, much of the surrounding muscle had died and there was little skin to fold over the wound. 'He had about two or three days to live when I saw him,' Nott said. Nott, volunteering with the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, knew he needed to perform a forequarter amputation requiring removal of the collar bone and shoulder blade and contacted Professor Meirion Thomas at London's Royal Marsden Hospital, who had performed the operation before. 'I texted him and he texted back step by step instructions on how to do it,' Nott said."

Comment: Re:Shenanigans (Score 1) 115

by pnotequalsnp (#25654591) Attached to: First Whole Cancer Genome Sequenced

Fine, but you can't do the research if you don't have the genome. The title of the article wasn't "Cancer Genome Sequence, Cure Eminent."

I am saying if you claim to that you have the genome, you should probably have the genome. They don't. I said nothing about cures for cancer. Again my point stands, since they only have the differences between the tumor genome and a "reference genome" (same for the normal genome of that person). They then compare the two to see the differences in the differences. The have a 10% data missing problem.

Comment: Shenanigans (Score 1) 115

by pnotequalsnp (#25653711) Attached to: First Whole Cancer Genome Sequenced
I call shenanigans, since at least 7% of the genome is repetitive elements, centromeres, cnvs etc. etc. Also, remember that they use a reference genome, which itself is not complete. What happens if the cancer/person has a sequence not found in the reference genome. I know, it is not reported. It is more informative to say 90% of the tumor was sequenced. Probably the last 10% was the important part anyways (cnvs and the number of repeats are very important), so this is just anther "first post" in Science and Nature. Can they start publishing proper papers rather than "hot" papers?
Censorship

YouTube Reposts Anti-Scientology Videos 435

Posted by timothy
from the fun-and-easy-to-destroy-stuff dept.
Ian Lamont writes "YouTube has reposted anti-Scientology videos and reinstated suspended YouTube accounts after receiving thousands of apparently bogus DCMA take-down notices. Four thousand notices were sent to YouTube last Thursday and Friday by American Rights Counsel, LLC. After YouTube users responded with counter-notices, many of the videos were reposted. It turns out that the American Rights Counsel had no copyright claim on the videos, and the group may not even exist, although the text of the DCMA notices have been linked to a Wikipedia editor. While filing a false DMCA notice is a criminal offense, prosecution in these cases rarely comes about."
The Internet

IsoHunt Petitions Canadian Court For Copyright Blessing 217

Posted by timothy
from the petition-to-the-courts-not-petition-online dept.
A Cow writes "As an act of self-defense, the popular BitTorrent site isoHunt has decided to file a petition to ask the Court of British Columbia to confirm that isoHunt — and sister sites Torrentbox and Podtropolis — do not infringe copyright. isoHunt owner Gary explains to TorrentFreak: 'Our petition summarizes BitTorrent technology, its open nature and a whole ecosystem of websites and operators that has developed around it, that CRIA does not own copyright to all files distributed over BitTorrent or on isoHunt websites, and we seek legal validation that we can continue to innovate within this emerging BitTorrent ecosystem on the Internet.'"
Privacy

Identifying a Culprit In a Bloodbath 47

Posted by timothy
from the sounds-utterly-foolproof dept.
worromot writes "A group of geneticists published a method to determine if a given individual's DNA is present in a mixture (e.g., in a pool of blood on a carpet). An individual's DNA can comprise less than 1% of the mixture. (The article is in open access on PLoS Genetics website.) While this is a potential boon for forensics, there are more immediate worries about the privacy of the participants of the genetics studies that had been under way for many years. As Science magazine writes, 'The discovery that a type of genetic data that is widely shared and often posted online can be traced back to individuals has prompted the US National Institutes of Health and the Wellcome Trust to strip some genetic data from their publicly accessible Web sites and NIH to recommend that other institutions do the same.' The gravest worry was that an individual who had someone's genetic code could determine, based on the pooled data, whether the person participated in a disease study and whether they were in the disease group, or thereby glean private health information. NIH plans to ask institutions that have posted pooled data on their own Web sites to take these down, too."

How many QA engineers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 3: 1 to screw it in and 2 to say "I told you so" when it doesn't work.

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