Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Same as above, mac (Score 1) 385

Im a physics staff scientist doing mixed language (c, c++ and fortran mostly) development work. While its for massively parallel implementations actually coding on HPC systems is ridiculous so I always use my macbook pro. I have tried various platforms and have so far come back to this one every time. As your daughter is starting its probably best to find out what they use on site and get something compatible. Learning a new platform and science and code is a bit much for one starting out.

Comment Re:peer review is a low bar (Score 1) 35

Peer review filters out the stuff that is obvious crap, stuff that doesn't even fit the form of a proper scientific article. The purpose is not to say that articles are true, but rather to get rid of articles that are obviously wrong. If the scientists are lying about their data, it's hard for peer review to catch that. That's why reproducibility is important. If it's a result you care about, you can reproduce it.

However in this case, the reviewers at science did indeed complain about aspects of the paper that ended up being part of the faked results

For the Cell submission, there were concerns about methodology and the lack of supporting evidence for the extraordinary claims, says [stem cell scientist Hans] Schöler, who reviewed the paper and, as is standard practice at Cell, saw the comments of other reviewers for the journal. At Science, according to the 8 May RIKEN investigative committee’s report, one reviewer spotted the problem with lanes being improperly spliced into gel images. “This figure has been reconstructed,” the RIKEN report quotes from the feedback provided by a Science reviewer. The committee writes that the “lane 3” mentioned by the Science reviewer is probably the lane 3 shown in Figure 1i in the Nature article. The investigative committee report says [co-author Haruko] Obokata told the committee that she did not carefully consider the comments of the Science reviewer.

and even the nature reviewers complained

All three Nature reviewers concluded that the data presented in the submitted manuscripts were not enough to support such radical claims. “I would recommend the authors to be extremely cautious in their claims . The authors should look into the actual effect that the treatment elicits in the genome and they should assess genomic instability,” one writes. “There are several issues that I consider should be clarified beyond doubt because of the potential revolutionary nature of the observations,” writes another.

So in the end the editors seemed to just want the sensational paper published and let the community sort it out later. Retraction watch has a nice compilation about it all


BitCoin Gets a Futures Market 467

fireballrus writes "There is one more way to use your BitCoins rather than buying weed or socks. Recently, a Bitcoin Exchange called ICBIT quietly introduced a futures market, obviously using Bitcoins as its main currency. Gold futures trade roughly at 137 BTC/tr.oz and Sweet Crude Oil at 7.3 BTC/bbl. This may play a positive role in the Bitcoin economy which needs more ways to actually use coins instead of mining them." While this sounds intriguing, I'd like to hear a good case for why BitCoin makes sense in this context.

Comment Re:It's like this. (Score 1) 878

So to you the perception of competency out weights actual ability? There are plenty of people who can dot every i and perform various feats of grammatical gymnastics but would be unable to perform any task requiring skill. While others who are skilled and able to perform might miss a few syntax errors.

Comment Similar work exists (Score 2) 25

This sounds just like the former teragrid and open science grid projects. Both of which saw reasonable useage from the scientific community. These things worked well for two reasons, one it is easy to get time on them for small research groups. Second, they allowed cluster owners to offer up idle cpu time to the project. A net win for every one.

Submission + - Miami Heat owner sues Google, blogger over 'unflattering' photo (

Ian Lamont writes: "Ranaan Katz, a minority owner of the Miami Heat, has filed a copyright suit against Google and a blogger using Google's Blogspot service after the blogger posted an unflattering picture of Katz. The photo was taken at a basketball game, but the blog post that contains the picture alleges a "fraudulent scheme" involving Katz's commercial real estate operations. According to PaidContent, "This is the second time that Katz has sued the blogger. Last summer, Miami news outlets reported that Katz filed a defamation lawsuit against “John Doe” over critical blog posts. That lawsuit appears to have failed, likely on the grounds that Katz is a public figure and that US law is reluctant to chill free speech. The copyright lawsuit, therefore, appears to be a backdoor for Katz to go after the blogger all the same.""

Submission + - Hotspot of accelerated sea-level rise on the Atlantic coast of North America (

__aaqpaq9254 writes: Nature just published this study of sea-level rise (SLR) and how global warming does not force SLR to rise everywhere at the same rate. Interesting stuff about what, exactly, contributes to this uneven rise, and how the East Coast of the US, which used to have a relatively low sea level, is now a hotspot in that sea level there is rising faster than elsewhere.

Comment Re:Open Access and Old Business Models (Score 1) 220

The problem here is not all research groups are equivalent. In theoretical physics, $1500 is allot of money, half a summer salary for a graduate student in fact in many places. It would bring the publication count down quickly if this was indeed the norm, and bring the length of articles up as people would shoe horn two or three letters into a full article. One could argue one way or another on this fact.

Comment Re:Data retention policies (Score 1) 253

That law sounds like a real waist of government resources to me. Any reasonable scientist will keep records of his data and how he analyized the data for as long as possible anyway. The point of that being, if your asked for more information or wish to further that idea in later work, then you will need it available! Also I fail to see how (a law) keeping data forever helps in the prevention of dishonest science? You have a question of an author, you send an email asking it. The making public part would perhapse be helpful when the author in question is obstinant, but think about it. Having just the raw data is not going to be that helpful if your trying to see if someone fabricated the data to start with!

Slashdot Top Deals

The IBM purchase of ROLM gives new meaning to the term "twisted pair". -- Howard Anderson, "Yankee Group"