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Comment Costs, Benefits and Evidence (Score 1) 474

OK, I'll agree that identity theft is a potential cost. You seem to think the benefits are negligible while dismissing non-techies (at least senior ones) as "morons".


Do you have any hard evidence that active networkers in general suffer more identity theft than non networkers? Anything specific to LinkedIn? Based on your post, I'd expect to see a long line of "morons" at the Social Security office and on soup lines ... maybe I missed the 60 Minutes episode on that.


Submission + - Symantec's Tech (non)Support

carpeweb writes: "I'm stuck. OK, I admit, in hindsight, my decision to use Norton 360 for "Secure Online Backup" seems pretty stupid. I have been trying for more than three weeks to get Symantec to restore my files. After a week, I started insisting that their tech support people escalate the issue to an executive with the authority to approve simply copying my files from their servers to CDs. Symantec's policies and procedures seem to prohibit any sort of escalation out of tech support and up to a managerial level. In fact, their policies and procedures seem to prohibit escalation back to Symantec. (Symantec has outsourced support to e4e and Sutherland, among others.) I've had dozens of support calls with over 25 analysts (telephone and online chat), all of which end with "it was a pleasure to assist you" but no actual assistance. So, I'm escalating this issue to /.. Who else has had problems restoring files from Norton, and what have they done about it? I'd love to hear any strategy that worked. Short of that, I'd love to embarrass Symantec to the point where they might actually consider helping me."

Avoiding the Word "Evolution" 895

jakosc tips us to a disturbing article in PloS Biology on the avoidance of the word "Evolution" in scientific papers and grants. From the paper: "In spite of the importance of antimicrobial resistance, we show that the actual word 'evolution' is rarely used in the papers describing this research. Instead, antimicrobial resistance is said to 'emerge,' 'arise,' or 'spread' rather than 'evolve.' Moreover, we show that the failure to use the word 'evolution' by the scientific community may have a direct impact on the public perception of the importance of evolutionary biology in our everyday lives... It has been repeatedly rumored (and reiterated by one of the reviewers of this article) that both the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation have in the past actively discouraged the use of the word 'evolution' in titles or abstracts of proposals so as to avoid controversy."
United States

The Role of Prizes In Innovation 87

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "The Wall Street Journal's David Wessel assesses the impact on innovation of the increasing number of prizes, such as the X Prize, that reward solvers of intractable problems. From the column: 'Prizes prompt a lot of effort, far more than any sponsor could devote itself, but they generally pay only for success. That's "an important piece of shifting risk from inside the walls of the company and moving it out to the solver community," says Jill Panetta, InnoCentive's chief scientific officer. Competitors for the $10 million prize for the space vehicle spent 10 times that amount trying to win it. Contests also are a mechanism to tap scientific knowledge that's widely dispersed geographically, and not always in obvious places. Since posting its algorithm bounty in October, Netflix has drawn 15,000 entrants from 126 countries. The leading team is from Budapest University of Technology and Economics.'"

Submission + - Of Gay Sheep, Modern Science and Bad Publicity

gollum123 writes: "The NYTimes about what happened when Charles Roselli set out to discover what makes some sheep gay ( html?em&ex=1169874000&en=ba2500e4c3032167&ei=5087% 0A ). Dr. Roselli, a researcher at the Oregon Health and Science University, has searched for the past five years for physiological factors that might explain why about 8 percent of rams seek sex exclusively with other rams instead of ewes. The goal, he says, is to understand the fundamental mechanisms of sexual orientation in sheep. But since last fall, when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals started a campaign against the research, it has drawn a torrent of outrage from animal rights activists, gay advocates and ordinary citizens around the world — all of it based, Dr. Roselli and colleagues say, on a bizarre misinterpretation of what the work is about. The story of the gay sheep became a textbook example of the distortion and vituperation that can result when science meets the global news cycle. The news media storm reached its zenith last month, when The Sunday Times in London published an article under the headline "Science Told: Hands Off Gay Sheep." It asserted, incorrectly, that Dr. Roselli had worked successfully to "cure" homosexual rams with hormone treatments, and added that "critics fear" that the research "could pave the way for breeding out homosexuality in humans.""

At Least 25 Million Americans Pirate Movies 392

ThinSkin writes "Roughly 18 percent of the U.S. online population has illegally downloaded a full-length movie at some point in the past, according to a telephone and online study of 2,600 Americans. A typical movie downloader is 29 years of age, while 63 percent of all downloaders are male, and 37 percent are female. Kaan Yigit, director of the study, observes, 'There is a Robin Hood effect — most people perceive celebrities and studios to be rich already and as a result don't think of movie downloading as a big deal. The current crop of 'download to own' movie services and the new ones coming into the market will need to offer greater flexibility of use, selection and low prices to convert the current users to their services — otherwise file-sharing will continue to thrive.'"

Diebold Security Foiled Again 201

XenoPhage writes "Yet again, Diebold has shown their security prowess. This time they posted, on their website, a picture of the actual key used to open all of their Diebold voting machines. Ross Kinard of Sploitcast crafted three keys based on this photo. Amazingly enough, two of the three keys successfully opened one of the voting machines. But fear not, Diebold has removed the offending picture, replacing it with a picture of their digital card key. Take that, hackers!"
The Courts

Submission + - Software company fails to prove it wrote its own s

Hades1010 writes: "A dispute between two software houses remains unresolved after the Court of Appeal refused to rule that one company definitely did not copy the other's software. The ruling does not mean that copying did take place, though. In an unusual case centring on a software development outsourcing contract, a development company pulled out of an agreed mediation process in order to seek a court order which declared them innocent of copying the other company's technology. The court had to make its decision without analysing any of the software involved. here is the link ompany_fails_to_prove_it_wrote_its_own_software/"

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