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The Internet

Submission + - Craigslist Cutting off PadMapper (padmapper.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Sad news for anyone who wants to find apartments or houses listed on Craigslist, but doesn't want to have a dozen Google Maps tabs open, Craigslist is cutting off PadMapper (the popular housing search tool)

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 153

If i could see my money would all help research efforts in the fields of ...innovative green power, genetic mutation ... health as well as many others i would donate $1000 - $10000... with all the rules and regulations involved as well as bureaucrats getting half the money, I'm not sure it would reach it's full potential.

Given how things work for #SciFund, we have an 8% overhead to rockethub and about a 2-5% for folk at universities (although this varies) since it goes through a different channel than government grants. And we have projects looking at greener power applications as well as problems of global good production. So, great! Sounds like a perfect match for you!

Comment Maybe should have been: Where can it succeed? (Score 2) 153

I have been fascinated by the comments in this thread. And I realize perhaps I mis-stated the question. The tacit assumption seems to have been that this may be a potential replacement for NSF/NIH funding or otherwise that can completely support a research lab.

And maybe it can. But I agree with all the posters that the chances of crowdfunding as a complete replacement for more traditional funding sources are highly unlikely. As everyone has noted, #SciFund is targeting pieces of research programs rather than whole labs (although we do have some folk trying for a chunk of their salary). And perhaps it is no accident that the first time around, the disciplines and scientists that have been attracted to #SciFund are not ones who are trying to purchase or use multi-million dollar pieces of equipment.

So, perhaps the question should be, Crowdfunding for science - when and where can it be used successfully?

Because, really, the answer to the first question, can it succeed at all for any project, no matter the size, rests on folk like you. But what are its best uses? That's a bigger issue that I'd love to hear more thoughts about, as we're still grappling with it.

(FYI, we'll also be doing a formal analysis of all of the projects and their funding records at the end of the 45 day funding period - #SciFund runs through Dec 15th, so, we have pulled in $40K now, but we still have a month left to get more, if you want to contribute and help us figure out what projects are really capturing people's imagination when it comes to funding.)

Comment Small Money does not mean Small Science (Score 5, Interesting) 153

Not always. Entire projects in, say, Ecology can be done for the cost of one sequence. Theoretical modeling can require little more than a laptop, pen, and paper. Already, many prototype or preliminary research experiments get done on the shoestring budget at the end of a grant. Big Science does not always mean Big Money. And maybe that's the kind of research crowdfunding is suited for.

Comment Re:$40,000? (Score 5, Interesting) 153

Yup, this is indeed small for now. If you total up all of the projects and what we're shooting for, though, it's about $250K, so, not tiny. Although, to give you context, we actually told all of the scientists to start small as this has never been tried on this scale before. It's an experiment, really, to see if it can work at all. Phase 2 is scaling up.

It should be noted, though, that many projects are asking for amounts that are reasonable within their discipline. We have a lot of ecologists whose needs for running and analyzing experiments often fall in the $1-5K range, rather than hundreds of thousands of dollars. For example, I'm seeking ~$7K to fund two days of sampling in kelp forests in the California Channel Islands. It's not huge, but it's what is needed for the kind of data I collect.

Needs vary greatly between disciplines and projects.

Comment Can YOU make it succeed? (Score 5, Informative) 153

As one of the co-founders of #SciFund, I'm curious, after you slashdotters go and look at the projects at http://scifund.rockethub.com and their videos and rewards, would YOU crowdfund these projects? (and if you would, then by all means, do so!) This is the first time we're trying this on any scale, and so have chosen to start with small projects that, if they don't get funded, won't set back anyone's research program. What we're really curious is if the science literate and science interested people like YOU would go over, see what scientists have up, and say "Yeah, I'll fund that."?

And if you want more background, check the articles our scientists are writing about this process.


Submission + - Crowdfunding for Science - Can it Succeed? (rockethub.com)

jearbear writes: "Can crowdfunding work for science? Having raised nearly $40,000 for scientific research in 10 days for projects as diverse as biofuel catalyst design to the study of cellular cilia to deploying seismic sensor networks (that attach to your computer!) to robotic squirrels, the #SciFund Challenge is taking off like a rocket. Might this be a future model for science funding in the U.S. and abroad? What would that mean?"
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Star Trek Online to Become Free to Play (tekgoblin.com)

tekgoblin writes: "Cryptic Studios, the creator of Star Trek Online MMO announced that they are switching to a Free to Play model. Free subscribers to the game will be able to play but will not get the same benefits as paying subscribers still get. Free accounts will be Silver while paid accounts will be called Gold. Silver accounts will be able to pay for features that Gold members will already get as part of their paid subscription. These features include but not limited to respecs and extra character slots."

Submission + - Helium White Dwarfs Bear New Quasiparticle (technologyreview.com)

eldavojohn writes: Helium white dwarf stars are now theorized to produce a new kind of quasiparticle that would explain a known temperature anomaly between helium white dwarfs and vanilla white dwarfs (lumps of charcoal). Since helium can form a Bose-Einstein condensate and there are extra constraints inside such a dense object, a new quasiparticle emerges. Their models claim it 'reduces the specific heat of the white dwarf core by two orders of magnitude compared to a crystalline core.' But even with that figured in, measurements of some nearby ancient helium white dwarfs show that they don't fit the specific temperature curve exactly. So some questions remain with the possible explanation that these stars undergo internal transition late in their age. The heavy reading is available on the prepublication site arxiv.

Submission + - Apple and comic fans fooled by Tintin app comprise (ifc.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Yesterday, an iPad App called "Tintin: The Complete Collection" made the rounds across Twitter, Facebook and maybe even LinkedIn for all we know, as comic book professionals and fans retweeted and shared a link to buy every Tintin book (24 of them!) for the absolutely psychotically low price of $4.99. The price point seemed to good to be true, and as it turned out, that's exactly what the App was.

Submission + - Unique Malware URLs Increased 89 Percent (net-security.org)

Orome1 writes: Websites loaded with malware increased a massive 89 percent in the third quarter compared to Q2 2011. The most impersonated organizations include the FDIC, U.S. Federal Reserve and the IRS. The large increase in malware sites is attributed to the reemergence of the Avalanche phishing gang, which was responsible for two thirds of all the phishing attacks that took place in the second half of 2009. On the other hand, traditional phishing attacks dropped eight percent in the third quarter compared with Q2 2011. Money transfer and e-commerce phishing showed the largest areas of decline while phishing attacks impersonating national banks stayed strong.

Submission + - Why Microsoft Embraced Gaming (technologyreview.com)

wjousts writes: A interesting take on the birth of the Xbox from Technology Review:

When the original Xbox video-game console went on sale in 2001, it wasn't clear why Microsoft, known for staid workplace software, was branching out into fast-paced action games. But Microsoft decided that capitalizing on the popularity of gaming could help the company position itself for the coming wave of home digital entertainment.


Submission + - Five Million New Malware Samples (net-security.org)

Orome1 writes: In the third quarter of 2011 alone, five million new malware samples were created. In addition, Trojans set a record for becoming the preferred category for cybercriminals to carry out their information theft, representing more than 75 percent of all new malware, according to PandaLabs. Trojans, viruses and worms occupied the top three spots with 63.22, 10.11 and 9.74 percent of infections, respectively. In the ranking of the Top 20 countries with the most infections, China once again led this ranking. Taiwan and Turkey occupied the second and third place respectively, followed by Russia and Poland.
Operating Systems

Submission + - Apple to require sandboxing for Mac App Store Apps (tuaw.com)

mario_grgic writes: And so it begins, Apple will require that all Mac apps submitted to the Mac App store stick to strict sandboxing requirements. This means you must ask Apple for read or read/write entitlements for additional folders outside your Application Support folder before your app is approved. There are also restrictions on direct hardware access, communication to processes your app did not start, or even something simple as taking a screenshot.

All that is needed after this to turn your Mac into an appliance is to only allow app installations from App Store.


Submission + - Fracking Likley Cause of Minor Quakes in UK (sciencemag.org)

Stirling Newberry writes: "Non-conventional extraction of hydrocarbons is the next wave of production, including natural gas and oil – at least according to its advocates. One of the most controversial of the technologies being used is hydraulic fracture drilling, or "fracking." Energy companies have been gobbling up google ad words to push the view that the technology is "proven" and "safe," while stories about the damage continue to surface. Adding to the debate are two small tremors in the UK — below 3.0, so very small – that were quite likely the result of fracking there. Because the drilling cracks were shallow, this raises concerns that deeper cracks near more geologically active areas might lead to quakes that could cause serious damage."

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