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Comments

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Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?

Jack Malmostoso Tenure-hunting discourages risk (203 comments)

I have been working in research (chemistry) for 10 years, half in academia and half in industry. In my time in academia, it was all about putting together enough results to scrape a paper together, nevermind whether the "promising results" were benchmarked against shitty "state-of-the-art".

In my current industry job, I have been asked to prepare a 5-year plan with high ambitions, and I am free to explore any path to the final goal without (reasonably at least) restrictions.

Unfortunately until non-tenured researchers will need to publish as much as possible without actually delivering important results, this will not change.

In my opinion the peer-review system is not perfect, but it's the best thing we have. I have found many reviewers whose comments have been genuinely beneficial to making my papers stronger. Others barely read the manuscript and rejected it because it encroached on their turf, or didn't cite them enough.

In my opinion the peer-review should be changed to a double-blind system: the reviewer should not see name and affiliation of the authors, and judge the work as it would grade an undergrad paper (i.e. harshly). Like this I believe the signal-to-noise ratio in journals would increase, and only good papers would get published. At that point, I'd be willing to accept impact factor as a measure of worthiness of a publication. Until then, it's just friends judging friends, with nobody wanting to piss off anybody else. Minor revisions, congratulations, you're published.

about two weeks ago
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Endurance Experiment Writes One Petabyte To Six Consumer SSDs

Jack Malmostoso Re:Graceful Failover ? What Graceful Failover? (164 comments)

That was also my question when I RTFA. It says that the Intel drive entered some sort of "read-only" mode, and that at that point the drive was still OK. Then a new write cycle was forced (how?), and the drive committed seppuku and became unreadable.

Which is it? Can I be confident that my SSD will fail to a gracious read-only mode? All my ~ is in RAID1 and backed up so I'm not worried, but it'd be nice to be able to just copy the / from a read-only SSD to a new one when the time comes.

about 3 months ago
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Cybercriminals Ramp Up Activity Ahead of 2014 World Cup

Jack Malmostoso Re:FIFA blew it (90 comments)

Would anyone think selecting any African nation as a site for the world cup is a good idea? Brazil was a bad idea for similar reasons. "Bad Neighborhood."

Did you notice where the previous World Cup was held? That's right, South Africa. Which arguably is even "worse" than Brazil. Yet the World Cup happened, few if any tourists were mugged, raped, quartered and shot. People visited the country without particular hassle.

While I agree that World Cup and Olympics have now transcended their function and are a cesspool of waste and corruption, denying them to poorer countries is not right. These are global events, and they deserve to be hosted globally. If then the local governments make fool of themselves, let them, and let that be a lesson for the future.

about 3 months ago
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Future Airline Safety Instructions Will Be Given By Game Apps

Jack Malmostoso Re:If done well... (64 comments)

Porrasturvat. So much wasted time.

about 5 months ago
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Prototype Volvo Flywheel Tech Uses Car's Wasted Brake Energy

Jack Malmostoso Re:Just like in Formula (262 comments)

That's what most hybrids do already. My Yaris Hybrid has enough juice to run in full EV mode for about 2km at low speed. No more idling either.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Automatically Logging Non-Computerized Equipment Use?

Jack Malmostoso Re:Create a reservation system? (130 comments)

Additionally, it discourages reserving an item "just in case", since the user will be billed whether they use the instrument or not.

about 6 months ago
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Nobel Winner Schekman Boycotts Journals For 'Branding Tyranny'

Jack Malmostoso Publishing in flashy journals is killing quality (106 comments)

In my field (electrochemistry) the last 5/10 years caused a great deal of researchers to move away from the "traditional" journals (Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Solid State Letters, Electrochimica Acta) to the flashier, more general publications (ACS and RSC publications, mostly). These journals are more widely read, so their impact factor is much higher. But most of their content is also mostly irrelevant, and since the public reading them is not a real expert in my field, what is important is to show pretty pictures, more than actually advancing the research.
I am lucky enough to do real research in industry, so that IF are not superimportant, but I feel that most journals have a very low signal/noise ratio and it's increasingly difficult finding relevant papers, after scratching a little under the surface of the claims made in the abstracts.

about 9 months ago
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RF Safe-Stop Shuts Down Car Engines With Radio Pulse

Jack Malmostoso Re:Pros vs Cons (549 comments)

About your point #3, can you make an example of a currently commercially available car without a steering column? I don't think they exist.

about 9 months ago
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Raspberry Pi Hits the 2 Million Mark

Jack Malmostoso Re:Media center (246 comments)

The biggest issue I have with DLNA is that it wildly depends on the receiving device.
Streaming through the PS3 allows for high quality content, while streaming directly from my DLNA enabled TV caused the signal to be strongly degraded, I guess because the TV doesn't have enough horsepower to handle the larger stream.

In any case, good riddance.

about 10 months ago
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Raspberry Pi Hits the 2 Million Mark

Jack Malmostoso Media center (246 comments)

My RPi is loaded with RaspBMC and I use it to watch videos I have stored on my main machine.
It is hooked up directly to the USB port of my TV so it powers up when I turn the TV on, and turns off when I'm done.
It is powerful enough to stream 1080p over SMB/CIFS, and I got a 10EUR IR remote that needed exactly zero configuration (plugged in the USB receiver, counted up to 10, it was ready to go).

Sure, it's not the fastest machine on earth, but for what I use it it's miles better than DLNA or similar crap.

about 10 months ago
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U.S. 5X Battery Research Sets Three Paths For Replacing Lithium

Jack Malmostoso Tough goals, especially in 5 years (172 comments)

I am a battery scientist, and while I think that Argonne is one of the places where great work is done, they have set very ambitious goals for themselves.

1) Replacing Li with Mg is a lovely idea, but currently there is no fully stable electrolyte and as far as I know nobody has good candidates for electrode materials. Don't even get me started on Al.

2) Lithium-air batteries have been debated to death also here on /.. The current status is again that there seems to be no stable electrolyte, no clear idea of what exactly happens, and if we factor in the weight and complexity of adding various components to the battery assembly to make a real device out of it, the great theoretical energy density of Li-O2 is reduced to Li-ion levels, if not even less.

3) The liquid slurry electrode is an interesting concept which at least recycles materials that are available and known to be working. This is more of an engineering problem than a scientific one, and could see quick advancement in 5 years.

I hope the community as a whole will be able to find the breakthrough to finally have people stop cursing batteries.
Batteries: you hate them since 150 years!

about 10 months ago
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Twitter's Fake Followers Watching IPO Closely

Jack Malmostoso What's the point? (120 comments)

Can someone explain to me what is the value for a company to have a bunch of fake followers on their twitter account?
CEO's brag about it at their Sunday golf games?

about 10 months ago
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Motorola's "Project Ara" Will Allow Users To Customize Their Smartphones

Jack Malmostoso Re:Fantastic for corporate users (112 comments)

Excellent question. I guess the fact that all management has been switched to iPhones recently shows that some pigs are more equal than others, and more importantly smartphones are OK.

Let's face it, if you want to steal stuff there are a million ways.

about a year ago
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Motorola's "Project Ara" Will Allow Users To Customize Their Smartphones

Jack Malmostoso Fantastic for corporate users (112 comments)

This is excellent. At my company we are not allowed to have phones with cameras, so now I am juggling my private smartphone and a kick-ass Nokia 101 which I take to my desk.

If I could build a smartphone with a decent touchscreen, no camera, and dual sim capabilities I'd be really happy.

about a year ago
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Owner of Battery Fire Tesla Vehicle: Car 'Performed Very Well, Will Buy Again'

Jack Malmostoso Re:Didn't blow up, would buy again (232 comments)

In fact, it's exactly the same tech. Tesla uses laptop batteries for their vehicles.

about a year ago
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I use a screen protector ...

Jack Malmostoso Privacy screens? (194 comments)

Not sure if it counts as "protection" but at work I installed one of those polarized filters on my screen.

I really hate the idea that anyone walking past my desk can see what I'm working on.

Yeah yeah, "working on".

about a year ago
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Can the Wii U Survive Against the PS4 and Xbox One?

Jack Malmostoso Sega did it (335 comments)

I would be extremely happy of being able to play the next Mario on something else than a Nintendo console. I bought the Wii just for Super Mario Wii, I loved the game, but now I have a white piece of plastic doing nothing underneath my TV.

It's not going to happen, but it would be very nice.

about a year ago
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Will Future Tesla Cars Use Metal-Air Batteries?

Jack Malmostoso Nope. (171 comments)

Short answer, no.

Long answer, not in the foreseeable future, unless someone strikes their best luck.
Metal air batteries (lithium in particular) suffer from a bajillion problem that are not even close to solving in the lab, let alone in a device.
Someone might within 5 years come up with a working lab demonstrator, but something with enough power to move a car (and a "sports" car as a Tesla at that) is way off, considering the current state of research. So considering that the patents will be expired when the technology might be ready, it's just empty internet talk.

about a year ago
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US Government May Not Be Able To Fix Cell Phone Unlocking Problem

Jack Malmostoso So what happened? (203 comments)

The US Government has been out-lobbied by Korean lobbyists? Or is Samsung's plan much bigger than Apple thought?

about a year and a half ago
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I go to trade shows (of any kind) ...

Jack Malmostoso Scientific conferences (105 comments)

I generally attend a couple of conferences a year, and try to present some of my work at least at one event (I'm out of academia so publishing is not a priority).
It's a great way of keeping in touch with the latest bits of research, but mostly it's about the networking.

And the fact that some conferences are organized in beautiful places does not hurt!

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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Swiss goverment finds piracy does not decrease the

Jack Malmostoso Jack Malmostoso writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Jack Malmostoso (899729) writes "The Swiss government finds that while a large percentage of the population downloads media content illegally, the total income used for entertainment remains steady.
Instead of spending the money in CDs and books, the Swiss consumers visit movie theaters and go to concerts more often, thus supporting adequately the industry.
For this reason, there is no need to intervene at the legislative level, concludes the Federal Government.

Story not available in English, google translation from French here:

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.news.admin.ch%2Fmessage%2Findex.html%3Flang%3Dfr%26msg-id%3D42415"

Link to Original Source
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Surviving to Lotus Notes?

Jack Malmostoso Jack Malmostoso writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Jack Malmostoso writes "I am a simple user with no administration skills whatsoever, but I know my way around computers and I am a fairly skilled linux power user. On the corporate side, though, I try to be less of a tinkerer and just adhere to the IT guidelines I receive.
After three years spent in a fully microsoft environment (WindowsXP + Exchange) where at least I had the possibility to install my favourite software on my machine (Firefox, Opera, Openoffice), I now switched to a new company with a draconian environment.
My machine (a Thinkpad T61, my first Thinkpad, definitely nice) used to run Vista, but it has been eradicated in favour of XP (so yes, corporations don't want Vista. Sorry Stevie B). Some of my colleagues run Win2000. I am forced to use Internet Explorer 6. We have the strictest proxy filtering.

But the absolute worse is that I am stuck with Lotus Notes 6.5.4.

It's so bad that I am missing Outlook, and that is something.
I spent the first day trying to wrap my mind around it and understand it. I read the online manual. I read tips and tricks. But there is no way around it. I hate Lotus Notes. Lotus Notes sucks.
It uses a weird language. It's always sideways whenever I try to do something. It has conventions that nobody else uses ("Mark as Read" linked to Insert. WTF?).
It just interrupts the workflow, and when I work with it I do it at snail speed because I am terrified that I will delete a message and never be able to retrieve it again.
Dear fellow slashdotters, is there a way to make it more bearable? Any hacks or patches that can make it behave like a normal email program?
Thank you. My sanity depends on this."
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Jack Malmostoso Jack Malmostoso writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Jack Malmostoso (899729) writes "Eric S. Raymond is pretty pissed at Fedora after "an attempt to upgrade one (1) package pitched me into a four-hour marathon of dependency chasing, at the end of which an attempt to get around a trivial file conflict rendered my system unusable.". So, "After thirteen years as a loyal Red Hat and Fedora user" he decides to switch to Ubuntu, even though he "[is] not expecting Ubuntu to be perfect". Will ESR be missed in the Fedora world? Or more importantly, will he be loved in the Ubuntu community? The letter is published by linux.com: http://www.linux.com/article.pl?sid=07/02/21/13402 37"

Journals

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