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Comment Indicative of Broader Problems with Academia (Score 1) 362

Although I don't want to detract from the problem being highlighted, I think this may be a symptom of a broader problem with academia: lack of accountability at the top.

'About 22% of that group felt it would be unsafe to fight back or not give consent when they were sexually assaulted. Victims were overwhelmingly young: More than 90% of women and 70% of men who had been harassed or assaulted were students, postdocs, or employees of lower rank than their assailants. Women were 3.5 times more likely to report sexual harassment than men and significantly more likely to have experienced sexual assault. “This is about power dynamics in a permissive environment,” Clancy says.'

This sounds to me like the person in charge is getting away with behavior that is established as wrong, and the person in power is often inclined to sexual harassment. Better accountability at the top of the research group might make this a bit more difficult to get away with; you could imagine that this kind of person, in addition to sexual harassment, might make other problematic comments, perhaps ridiculing people for lifestyle choices(smoking, being overweight, etc.) or engaging in intolerant language (racist jokes, homophobic comments, etc.)

Comment Wise Move by South Park Creators (Score 1) 138

South Park is long past the glory days when it was the saving grace of Comedy Central. Here's a perfect way to bring further revenue in for new episodes and paywall content from better seasons past.

The creators of South Park are very clever, and they see the writing on the wall - South Park isn't going to last forever.

Comment Hardware Pioneering (Score 1) 559

Arguably Nintendo's most disruptive hardware successes have been the Gameboy and Wii; respectively, these introduced portability and gesture interfacing to the masses. Sega and Sony followed suit on portability and eventually mobile phones caught up in computing power. Likewise, MS and Sony followed suit on gestures, throwing their massive, multi-industry capacity at the problem in a way that Nintendo can't overpower or outdo.

The solution, as I see it, is for Nintendo to continue to be revolutionary in its application of hardware. If they can deliver a pocket-sized device that runs Android or iOS using a combination of gamepad-like keys and a touchscreen, then they can go back to their bread-and-butter: fun games derived from some of the most rock-solid gaming IP that has ever existed. They don't have to invent the assembly line or the automobile, they have to make it accessible. Lots of people would kill for access to their old stuff, and a glorified Galaxy III competitor that cost 60% as much and came with a 6 month Netflix-esque subscription to their legacy library(to get people hooked) seems like it would do wonders for the company where trying to out-muscle Sony and MS in hardware will never win them anything but the kinds of losses both of those companies took on some of their major console launches.

Comment Only the technical barrier is about to be broken (Score 4, Interesting) 246

Let's suppose the perfect software/hardware prototype existed right now for the kinds of functions being discussed and we had a factory set up to mass produce all kinds of nifty, useful automatons. We still need to find and obtain sufficient heavy-metal supplies for all of the circuit boards and devise a way to power all of these devices in a periodic manner that won't wipe out existing energy output infrastructures. How will the companies producing these robots be economically viable? Ideally, a robot will last for a very long time, but that would probably mean they are expensive enough to be less than ubiquitous. On the other hand, a high-turnover economic model could exponentially increase the environmental impact of electronic waste, decreasing the long-term viability of humans in areas where robots are disposed of and in general creating a backlash against the robot revolution. Call me crazy, but I think 3D printing is going to make far more fundamental changes to society than robots will in the near future.

Comment Perhaps No Accident? (Score 1) 279

In the internet age where transferring music and media without destroying the original copy has predominated retail acquisition, 3D Printers have the potential to reduce nearly every object imaginable to information about fabrication, effectively IP. The prospect of being hypothetically capable of 3D printing a gun seems to be almost as frightening to authorities as the finished product itself. Will we see more 'confusion' by authorities who have trouble discriminating between legitimate uses and those that make them paranoid? It does seem like this would have an intimidating effect on people considering a purchase of a 3D printer.

Comment Precipitous Collapse of Microsoft (Score 5, Interesting) 75

The first time I saw a screen-shot of Windows 8, I couldn't help but feel like the tile-oriented format was designed to shoehorn advertisements into the user interface. For a long time Microsoft relied on large-scale OEM business contracts to make money, and now that more price-efficient alternatives are available for office software and operating systems, they're approaching the opposite extreme of monthly subscriptions and integrated advertisement. They built these elements into XBox Live first, correctly assuming that gamers would be willing to put up with it so long as decent titles appeared on MS consoles. Remember when they first announced the original XBox? All of the concerns and criticisms that I had then(too proprietary, not enough 3rd party support, deference to the loyal customer base) have emerged again, but they lack the air-tight PC-gaming community dominance that they possessed circa 2001. For a long time, they had an array of products that was good enough to keep users from leaving; recently, they've made a series of products (Zune, XBox 1, Surface 1/2, Windows 8, Windows Smartphones) that are far enough from what consumers, and more importantly, loyal customers want, that they are approaching a catastrophic lack of interest. As much I would love to relish the downfall of the M$ of yore, I wish they would behave more like a competitor to Apple and start putting out products that just work again; they really had home-runs when it came to Windows XP and Windows 7, and I don't understand why they abandoned what was working so well for them.

Comment Re:Not submitted to proprietary journals? (Score 1) 194

So, you're saying the point of this study was to establish that open access journals aren't 100% fraud-proof? I don't think anybody would have doubted that result. I don't doubt that paywall journals aren't 100% fraud proof either, but I have trouble believing they're more reliable just because some amount of fraud has been demonstrated using this method on only open access journals. Maybe other journals have used different methods to evaluate paywall journal acceptance rates, but isn't the point of a control to do essentially the same thing in case the methodology introduces a systematic aberration in an expected result?

This is apples and oranges - finding out that x out of y apples have parasites tells me something about whether or not an apple will be parasite free, but if I'm hungry and I need a parasite-free fruit, it would be a lot more useful to have the same test applied to the oranges as well.

This is absolutely a control case that would greatly increase the informative value of the results, and no amount of insulting other people will change the fact that you are the one who is wrong. Surely you're trolling, Mr. Lyons.

Comment Re:Useful, but not the first to test it (Score 2) 91

Check out Dr. Takahashi's work at UT-Austin; a good one behind a paywall is Temperature as a Universal Resetting Cue for Mammalian Circadian Oscillators. Among other things, his group has investigated a variety of timing-dependent tissues(liver cells, neurons, stomach cells) and whether or not temperature could serve as a temporal resetting cue(the answer in many cases is yes).

Comment Useful, but not the first to test it (Score 1) 91

From TFA:"Two papers published today present the first evidence for clocks independent of the circadian one:"

Plenty of people have been doing non-circadian clock work for years; I briefly worked in such a lab that had been investigating food- and sex-based timing mechanisms, but the non-circadian clock idea is at least as old as the seventies.[1][2]


Comment Setting or Following a Precedent? (Score 1) 454

I may not be privy to the evidence that the authors of the article have seen themselves, but I've still yet to see the US claims of Assad-affiliates' guilt substantiated. Let's look at the major points they make:

1)Unified response is essential - This won't happen; Russia is quite comfortable profiting from the Assad regime and the fickle states of the world that once belonged to the Iraq-centric Coalition of the Willing remember the last time US evidence inspired "unified" action as an expensive misstep.

2)Future of chemical weapons must be deterred - If the Assad regime is definitely responsible, an attack may serve this purpose. If, as some people have suggested, a rebel faction used the weapons to garner sympathy/international involvement, engaging in any action will in some sense validate the tactic as successful.

3)The international community needs to clearly understand the circumstances about the use of chemical weapons in this case - I think they've hit the nail on the head here; everybody has an agenda and limits to their perspective.

4)International Assistance for Syrian civilians in and around Syria - This is one way that nations can uncontroversially take the problem seriously

5)Prepare for chemical weapon elimination in post-conflict Syria - I hope this can happen; it seems like the best way to make it happen would be to find an expert who is not from "the West" from a Syrian citizen's perspective.

6)Consider long-term legal consequences for regime - Absolutely give the Syrian people their day in court

Some thoughts:

I've noticed the phrase "weapons of mass destruction" has been 100% absent from the discussion about Syria, despite the fact that the kind of weapons that appear to have been used are among the kinds the US claimed and expected to find in Iraq pre-invasion. Unlike Iraq, the question is who used them, not whether they were initially present in the region, but unfortunately our hastiness in prior conflicts has erected a barrier to swift action particularly among former coalition members.

Yet again, unclear circumstances(based on the evidence I have been able to find) are being interpreted into an urgent call for military action by the US, and yet again, the evidence is not up for international scrutiny. I realize the US might actually be right in this case, as chemical weapons do seem to have been used, but the question still remains:

Why should the world believe the US military isn't the world's biggest hammer trying to see Syria as another nail?

Comment Re:Innocent until blogged about (Score 4, Interesting) 666

If you were going to make a court case out of it, posting your evidence to a blog immediately might hurt your case more than help it. It's true that this is a very public accusation without much to substantiate it, but I don't think it's completely unreasonable to want to warn people without hurting your own chances for justice in your particular case. That public shaming requires both an unsubstantiated claim and people who take that as fact.
Electronic Frontier Foundation

DOJ Often Used Cell Tower Impersonating Devices Without Explicit Warrants 146

Via the EFF comes news that, during a case involving the use of a Stingray device, the DOJ revealed that it was standard practice to use the devices without explicitly requesting permission in warrants. "When Rigmaiden filed a motion to suppress the Stingray evidence as a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the government responded that this order was a search warrant that authorized the government to use the Stingray. Together with the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU, we filed an amicus brief in support of Rigmaiden, noting that this 'order' wasn't a search warrant because it was directed towards Verizon, made no mention of an IMSI catcher or Stingray and didn't authorize the government — rather than Verizon — to do anything. Plus to the extent it captured loads of information from other people not suspected of criminal activity it was a 'general warrant,' the precise evil the Fourth Amendment was designed to prevent. ... The emails make clear that U.S. Attorneys in the Northern California were using Stingrays but not informing magistrates of what exactly they were doing. And once the judges got wind of what was actually going on, they were none too pleased:"

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