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Comment: Lazy journalism (Score 5, Interesting) 157

by voislav98 (#48581189) Attached to: Google Closing Engineering Office In Russia
The article is a bit misleading, Russia office is not the only one being closed. Google is closing offices in Norway, Sweden, Finland and several US locations as well, probably cost cutting measures. Lazy journalism, Russia just passed a new law, ergo this must be the reason for the Google closing the office, since another big company shuttering facilities and laying people off certainly doesn't draw the site traffic these days. Funny that the connection with cracking down on internet freedom did not extend to Nordic countries and the US, because what other reason could Google have.

Comment: Re:why is it always comets and asteroids? (Score 2) 46

by voislav98 (#48556069) Attached to: Asteroid Impacts May Have Formed Life's Building Blocks
This! If you look at the science on this, pretty much any combination of basic ingredients (carbon monoxide/dioxide, methane, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, ammonia, etc.) and energy will produce the basic building blocks of life (amino acids or small peptides and nucleic acids). Energy can be anything, electrical discharge (the original Urey-Miller experiments), UV light (which also destroys some of the products, but forms them faster than they are destroyed), microwaves, ionizing radiation, etc. So as the parent said, people tend to pick the energy source that's in their area of expertise and for which they can get funding.

Comment: Fear mongering (Score 1) 493

by voislav98 (#47119089) Attached to: Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration
This is a sensible public health policy and a perfectly appropriate response to recent outbreaks, for example of measles in Calgary. But let's not let that get in the way of invoking poorly contrived analogies and imply that the government will harvest unvaccinated people for their superpowers. I wonder what Michele Bachmann's superpower is?

Comment: It's all about incentives (Score 3, Interesting) 197

by voislav98 (#45257997) Attached to: How To Better Verify Scientific Research
What is not discussed is that in science as in life it's all about incentives. All you have to is look at who is paying for these studies, directly (through research grants) or indirectly (speaking or consulting fees), and things will become much clearer. The biomedical and life sciences are most vulnerable to corruption because the incentives are very high, successful drug/treatments are worth a lot of money. Even unsuccessful ones, given the proper appearance of effectiveness are worth money.

Other sciences are less susceptible because there is no incentive to hype the results, not because those scientists are more ethical. There is two solutions for the problem. One is to remove incentives, which would mean overhauling the whole system of scientific funding. The other is to mandate raw data sharing. This would make it easier for people to reanalyze the data without actually redoing the experimental parts.

A good example of this is Reinhart-Rogoff controversy in economics, where they claimed one thing in their widely publicized 2010 paper (high debt levels impede growth), but their statistical analysis was shown to be riddled with errors, skewing the data to the desired conclusion. This was discovered the when they shared their raw data with a University of Massachusetts grad student. While data sharing would not eliminate these issues it would make is harder to perform "statistical" analysis that introduces biases.

Comment: Re:Disease (Score 2) 94

by voislav98 (#42938471) Attached to: US Joins Google, Microsoft In "Brain Race"
It's because it's the only way to get funding to do anything these days. NSF funding has been cut to the bone, but NIH is doing much better. This is why you always try to work a few magic words into your research proposal, like whichever disease is topical at the moment. If you can't, cancer is the old reliably, NIH always funds cancer.

+ - More Evidence for Water on Titan->

Submitted by gpronger
gpronger (1142181) writes "Researchers using data from NASA's Cassini continue to build evidence that Titan is composed of a frozen outer "shell", a layer of liquid water, and then a solid core.

"We think that the presence of an internal ocean is likely," said study lead author Rose-Marie Baland of the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels.

This is based upon calculations starting from prior work and reviewing orbital data that the best fit is if Titan has a subsurface ocean."

Link to Original Source

+ - Microsoft's New Anti-Mac Site->

Submitted by
StormDriver writes "Microsoft has launched a new ‘PC vs. Mac’ site, and this one encourages potential Canadian Mac buyers to ‘do the math’ before buying.

The idea is that you compare the price of Mac systems to ‘corresponding’ Windows-based systems (I can’t add enough quotes around ‘corresponding’ so I won’t try, but rest assured that these systems have been carefully chosen) and end up being awed by the savings you could make by choosing Windows over Mac (and then you spend the savings on a vacation)."

Link to Original Source

+ - Teen pregnancies in Canada plummet 40%->

Submitted by voislav98
voislav98 (1004117) writes "In not so "news for nerds" the Toronto Star reports that teen pregnancy rates in Canada dropped 36.9 per cent between 1996 and 2006, according to research released Wednesday by the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada. Although socio-economic inequality has been identified as the key factor influencing teen pregnancy rates, high-quality sex education in schools and easy access to health services were also found to be important. The Sex Information and Education Council of Canada receives funding from the makers of Trojan condoms. Incidentally, US pregnancy rates only dropped 25% over the same period, widening the teen-pregnancy gap between the two countries to 32.4 per 1000 women (27.9 vs 60.3). Both countries are yet to catch up to the 0.03 per 1000 women of the Slashdot nation."
Link to Original Source

+ - Bulgarian scientists in contact with aliens->

Submitted by voislav98
voislav98 (1004117) writes "Daily Telegraph reports that Bulgarian government scientists are in contact with aliens. Lachezar Filipov, deputy director of the Space Research Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, confirmed the research. Mr Filipov said that even the seat of the Catholic church, the Vatican, had agreed that aliens existed. He said humans were not going to be able to establish contact with the extraterrestrials through radio waves but through the power of thought. The publication of the BAS researchers report concerning communicating with aliens comes in the midst of a controversy over the role, feasibility, and reform of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. This begs the question is the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences trying to commit scientific suicide or it is some sort of a clever ploy to appeal to the lowest common denominator (which in Eastern Europe is very low and paranoid)?"
Link to Original Source

Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. -- George Carlin