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Comment EEOC (Score 1) 409

According to it seems like prohibition from workplace discrimination based on national origin extends to hiring. Unfortunately, the most likely outcome of a lawsuit like this one would be a fat settlement for this indivisual, after which, it will be business as usual at Oracle and at other companies with similar hiring practices.

Comment Timing of the announcement (Score 5, Informative) 212

Well, the Indian economy has slowed down considerably, investor confidence is down, and years later, many of the problems noted in the posts above still remain to be solved. While this mission had been previously reported in other sources, the linked article was published on August 15--Indian Independence day--so the official announcement by the PM sounds more like the kind of feel-good pitch that one can expect in any 'address to the nation,' in most places in the world. The Chandrayaan mission was similarly announced 9 years ago during an independence day speech by a former PM, and completed 5 years later, although the costs ($90 million) were substantially higher than initially announced. Given that track record, it seems highly unlikely that this project can be pulled off in $100 million, although I suppose like any government initiative, the project probably has a better chance of getting funded if the scientists asked for that amount than what it might actually take (say, 10 times as much?), and then ask for more later! :-) At the end of the day, any kind of government investing in science is a good thing, and the recent Mars Curiosity landing is more evidence that a space mission captures people's imaginations like nothing else. Hopefully, this mission will have that kind of effect on the next generation of students in India.

Comment Legal immigration for skilled immigrants (Score 1) 463

There has been at least one bill in recent years--HR 3012--which would have made legal immigration easier for highly skilled workers, and which was passed with an overwhelming majority in the House (389/15), only to be placed on hold indefinitely by Sen. Chuck Grassley in the Senate. The way I see it, 389 votes in favor of such reform suggests that the majority of Americans support such a move, but there seem to be many (largely) political hurdles to overcome before anything concrete actually gets done about it.

Comment Google's mobile Ad revenue (Score 5, Informative) 215

According to this article, Google is estimated to bring in $4 billion in mobile Ad revenue in 2012. Even if these estimates were off by (a generous) 25%, that still sounds like a lot of money. What exactly am I missing here that led the Forbes author to predict Google's demise? I must admit I don't know much about where Facebook stands in this regard.

Comment This sounds awfully familiar (Score 4, Interesting) 1367

I recall reading about these sort of opinions before with regard to both climate change and evolution, and the common thread seems to be the amount of attention given by the American news media. Differences of opinion, although common in every field, don't quite seem to get that kind of attention unless someone conveniently benefits from giving them press. Would be interesting to find out years later, if this latest opinion-piece was somehow published in response to the recent interest by the NCSE to start educating people about climate change, also explained further here.

Comment Naming policy (Score 1) 159

Apparently, their naming policy is still very much geared toward individual users. Upon trying to create a page for my non-profit, we were first required to update our profile, and then warned that our name was not consistent with their naming policy, so I had to update it. After doing so, it allowed me to create a page, but the profile has a warning saying that it has been disabled because our name was flagged as being inconsistent with their policy. I understand that this is in an alpha stage, but the process needs to be significantly simpler, without imposing unnecessary restrictions on names and such.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 4, Informative) 499

The software download itself is free, although upon running the tool, it brings up the following message on one of the dialog screens, "During the upgrade process, you will enter the PIN number from the upgrade card you purchased," which suggests that they are charging for it. Sadly, my computer is not upgradeable by this method.

Comment Grant writing cycle (Score 1) 453

In my field, I have noticed that the grant writing cycle often drives researchers to propose doing things that are inherently difficult to do outside a particular setting (e.g. an academic medical center), but which is helpful in getting funding for research. One of the undesirable consequences of such research then is that it is either difficult to reproduce the exact setting (and consequently the results) elsewhere, and it can lead to findings that have limited external validity.

Comment Data warehousing (Score 1) 224

I have serious doubts about how they came up with that number. Data captured once can be stored in a data warehouse and analyzed and reused in many different ways for analytics and reporting, so I am not sure how they estimate that 90% of data is never used again (unless, of course they meant that it is not pulled up again on the frontend application side, which would still make no sense at all).

At our hospital, they have replaced the inpatient electronic medical records system at least 3 times in the last 20 years, and our data warehouse, which has been around for more than 15 years, contains a large percentage of that clinical data from the different (current & historical) systems. A lot of this data is still used pretty actively for retrospective research, recruitment of patients for clinical trials, operational and financial resource planning, forecasting, cost-accounting, etc. In other words, at our institution, most of our data is used all the time, but for different purposes.

What US Health Care Needs 584

Medical doctor and writer Atul Gawande gave the commencement address recently at Stanford's School of Medicine. In it he lays out very precisely and in a nonpartisan way what is wrong with the institution of medical care in the US — why it is both so expensive and so ineffective at delivering quality care uniformly across the board. "Half a century ago, medicine was neither costly nor effective. Since then, however, science has... enumerated and identified... more than 13,600 diagnoses — 13,600 different ways our bodies can fail. And for each one we've discovered beneficial remedies... But those remedies now include more than six thousand drugs and four thousand medical and surgical procedures. Our job in medicine is to make sure that all of this capability is deployed, town by town, in the right way at the right time, without harm or waste of resources, for every person alive. And we're struggling. There is no industry in the world with 13,600 different service lines to deliver. ... And then there is the frightening federal debt we will face. By 2025, we will owe more money than our economy produces. One side says war spending is the problem, the other says it's the economic bailout plan. But take both away and you've made almost no difference. Our deficit problem — far and away — is the soaring and seemingly unstoppable cost of health care. ... Like politics, all medicine is local. Medicine requires the successful function of systems — of people and of technologies. Among our most profound difficulties is making them work together. If I want to give my patients the best care possible, not only must I do a good job, but a whole collection of diverse components must somehow mesh effectively. ... This will take science. It will take art. It will take innovation. It will take ambition. And it will take humility. But the fantastic thing is: This is what you get to do."

Comment A look inside chrome://plugins/ reveals: (Score 0, Flamebait) 285

Google's PDF plugin:
C:\Users\#########\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\6.0.437.3\pdf.dll (MIME type: application/pdf)

Adobe's PDF plugin:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat 9.0\Acrobat\Browser\nppdf32.dll (MIME types: application/pdf, application/vnd.adobe.pdfxml, application/vnd.adobe.x-mars, application/vnd.fdf, application/vnd.adobe.xfdf, application/vnd.adobe.xdp+xml, application/vnd.adobe.xfd+xml)

The files themselves appear to be quite different, and handle different MIME types, so hopefully this is not simply Adobe's stuff packaged within Chrome.

Submission + - Do foreign IT Pros. drive down wages in the US? (

v1x writes: There has been a lot of debate on slashdot over this topic and recently, findings published in Management Science Vol. 56, No. 5, May 2010, pp. 745-765 concludes, "The salary premiums for non-U.S. citizens and for those on work visas fluctuate in response to supply shocks created by the annual caps on new H-1B visas. Setting lower and fully utilized annual caps results in higher salary premiums for non-U.S. citizens and those with work visas." Also covered in The Register

Comment Patents Vs Incentives for Research (Score 1) 263

The question of what might happen to research in the absence of patents or without the prospect of commercialization is an interesting one by itself, and many slashdot readers have noted the pros and cons of patents in the posts above. As is evident from the publications describing the evidence for these genes--and arguably also the publications that preceded these specific discoveries--a large body of this research was supported by pubic funding.
Therefore if there were any serious argument in favor of the patentability of genes, then I would argue that the taxpayers that bore the burden of supporting such research are also entitled to a stake in the returns from the patents. In the very least, they could start by paying the NIH and other sponsors of their research in the same way that they pay the Universities where the research is typically conducted, so that these funding agencies may then invest in other researchers.

I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay. -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.