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Comment More like marketing: "Over 48 hours!" (Score 1) 72

The odd minutes may add up but I suspect it sounds better in marketing-speak: "Over 48 hours!" sounds more impressive than "48 hours 1 minute" or "2 days" perhaps?

Plus as somebody else had noted maybe there's a government contract which specifies money will be given if a prototype can be shown to run for at least 48 hours. Over 48 hours? 48 hours 1 minute, send us the money!.

Comment has your money and chooses... (Score 1) 130

"Funny how broke-ass Russia can afford to spend 50B next year ..."
Priorities... you have your national budget and you decide how you want to spend it. Most people think their government should spend more on X (the thing they are passionate about) and less on Y (the thing they don't care about). I guess you have to decide how to slice up the cake.

Comment At a crude level, how does this work? (Score 1) 398

Broadly speaking, how does this mining work (yes, too lazy to go and read, but you appear to be knowledgeable so I thought I'd come straight to primary expertise than secondary documentation...)?

- I set my computer to using downtime to run problem solving software that the bitcoin people provide? In a certain amount of time, made more efficient by running lots of computers simultaneously, I am granted some currency (which has real world value) for doing so?

Is this how mining basically works?

I win bitcoins by dedicating computers to some mathematical task? The bitcoin owners pay me to put my computers onto a task? They pay me a virtual currency that I can then trade for real money?


Comment cheaper if less profit made... (Score 3, Informative) 128

I'd like to see some evidence that publishing a journal requires each article to be costed at 2995 dollars (a suspicious looking figure to me).

I'm an academic. I get asked to peer review articles for free. We do it as part of our workload. I have colleagues who edit journals. They do this for free. I author articles: I do this within the costs of my project, the journal gets my article for free. Authors work for free, reviewers work for free, editors work for free. It's just the production and publicity team that get paid (the publishing house). We don't even expect them to roll the presses and produce paper versions these days, we are happy with web links to PDFs.

So we need to think hard about what the costs are in putting an online journal live onto the internet.

Why do academics continue to publish in closed journals? because generally they are still the high impact ones (with a very few exceptions). So I, and many other contract researchers like me, tend to publish in closed journals because these look better on the cv. Philosophical high ground is all well and good but when you've got a child to feed and a house to pay for you have to be pragmatic and keep in a job.

I can imagine this might change over the next 20 years or so as more and more folk start open access journals and they are gradually given greater impact ratings.

Personally I think we're going to see a few universities taking the lead with open access journals and this might break into the monopoly held by a small number of publishers right now. If you're doing it not-for-profit you can do it cheaper than a commercial publishing house that has to show profit to its shareholders.

Comment ticket bait or careless drivers? (Score 1) 984

Thanks for your considered response. I think you make a good point indeed, I think there will always be a problem when speed camera companies earnings are related to income, perhaps another metric would help make sure cameras improve public safety rather than generate income. Perhaps a before and after comparison of traffic accidents/ pedestrian fatalities in the areas covered?

I'd agree with you, I'd hope to see revenue declining as more people obeyed the speed limit going past a school where children are walking. And if it doesn't? Does this say that people refuse to slow down when travelling past a school? (would be possibly indicated by repeat offenders) or that there's a lot of passing traffic (single time offenders) and the warning notices aren't well posted (e.g. you come down a fast slope and immediately round a corner there's the school, and there's no distance between the school and the slow down notices?) Have to go and think about the implications of this!

Comment you appeal and ask for the camera to be tested? (Score 1) 984

"what if the camera loses its calibration? how do you fight that without knowing?

- you appeal on the grounds that you believe the camera wasn't correctly calibrated and demand a calibration test by an independent tester? Costs to be picked up by the loser in the court case?

  I am assuming this is unlikely to be an intermittent fault, what do you think? (not my area). There are millions of speed cameras around the world, there must be some evidence on how often/likely "losing calibration" is and what forms it takes.

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