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Comment Re:Slashvertisements at their best... (Score 2) 131

As someone who's been in the beta for two months now, Hearthstone is most definitely not pay-to-win, at least by CCG standards.

You get a core set of very good cards for playing though the tutorial and leveling up classes, easily done in Practice mode. You can earn more in game currency by playing - for winning, for reaching milestones, or as rewards in Arena, which is Hearthstone's version of draft. Rare, Epic and Legendary cards are NOT required to win. While the rares and epics are desirable, they're pretty easy to come by (you can disenchant unwanted cards to craft the cards you want). Legendaries are interesting, with extra animations and sounds, but are almost all VERY circumstantial, usually with distinct disadvantages. Top tier players very rarely use more than one or two in a deck. You can easily play with common cards and a few choice crafted rares and do very well.

Of course, a few expansions from now, and who knows. For now, playing for free works out fine.

Comment Re:Horse already left the barn (Score 1) 233

And now, because there are so many aspiring faculty, I suspect more schools are refusing to give tenure to Assistant Professors, predicated on the basis that they aren't bringing in enough grants (in a grant funding climate that's never in living memory been worse). On top of establishing their research program by submitting dozens of grant applications as well as publishing any meager scraps of results they can drum up, they have to teach classes, mentor graduates, undergrads and postdocs, and often do significant "service" to the University (extensive time-sucking nonsense on various committees). When an Assistant Prof can't hack the minimally 80h work week, there are plenty more people ready to come in and try. Source: I recently left my position well before a tenure decision for a well-paying awesome industry job, and don't regret it a bit.

Comment Re:Democratization (Score 1) 194

However, there is a clear difference between a fraudulent paper, and a shoddy paper in which the experimental results are clearly an error.

Catching fraud can be very tough for a reviewer, since they pretty much have to rely on the author's word that the primary evidence exists. They don't get to go look at the students' lab notebooks, or whatever. If someone wants to fabricate a graph, or photoshop a gel, that's going to be hard to figure out. It's only going to be caught when someone with the interest, knowledge and proper resources attempts to replicate the experiment.

In this case, the fake paper's conclusions are clearly a mistake. They state a dose dependency, and then show a graph with a flat line. Kindergarten mistakes. Even an undergraduate with a basic understanding of what a biological assay is should be able to spot the wrong conclusions right away. You'd literally have to not read the paper to not miss it. If that gets past a reviewer, that's a much bigger problem.

Comment Re:Democratization (Score 2) 194

Close. The reviewers are actually the anonymous party, and they see the author list. So there's much more potential for abuse.

A quality editor can usually see through bias in a reviewer, and I've seen them override a reviewers decision if they think there's a problem. There have certainly been unfair, biased reviews from people with an agenda (arguably it's more common in grant reviews, in my experience), but this is not usually perceived as an endemic problem. In many journals, a submitter can recommend reviewers, and can recommend against reviewers whom they don't want to see the paper. With some exceptions, scientists are generally a pretty ethical lot since we all have to live with the peer review system, and thus everyone knows that rampant abuse would just hurt everybody.

Comment Re:Child abuse is machine recognizable; piracy is (Score 1) 348

Or, even more likely there is a law enforcement database of known child porn images, and you look for what you know is out there. In my soul, I have to believe that the generation rate of new kiddie porn images is low enough that law enforcement keeps up with it, and investigates when new images start showing up at the dark crevices of the internet that distribute them.

Comment Re:not where from, where to? (Score 1) 523

I don't want to defend WoW too much, as I just quit, but I have to disagree when people who haven't raided since TBC say that the raids are too easy. Raid mechanics in Cata and MoP are very complex. Vanilla and TBC was almost entirely a matter of gearing to be able to burn the boss. You can still do that to some degree in MoP, especially if you're just doing the super-dumbed-down LFR raids (meant for beginners, or gearing). But many bosses in the current tier of normal and hard-mode raid content are at least as complex and unforgiving in terms of movement and raid awareness as the Lich King fight was back in Wrath. Every other bit of content outside of hard-mode raids are very dumb and simple, but don't dismiss the current raids.

Comment Re:energy? (Score 4, Interesting) 328

Luciferase genes are common throughout nature. Not just fireflies. It's just where they were studied from first. There's no heat produced - it's essentially the most efficient light source we know of. Far more efficient that anything we can manufacture. The actual reaction is not terribly different from one of those plastic glow sticks, just a biological form of it.

The only problem I see is that I just can't see how it's going to be very bright. I remember a classroom demo where the professor took purified luciferase and the reactants you need, and it lit up and glowed for a while, but petered out pretty quickly. The bio reaction is ATP-dependant, so having a plant with a bright light is going to have to consume tons of energy that the plant would rather be using to maintain normal processes.

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