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Comments

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Best Alternative Client for Outlook/M$ Cloud Mail

Jim_Austin This is a "me too" post. (2 comments)

I've been using it for 6 months or so. You're right: Search is terrible. Chokes on large inbox volumes. A search can take minutes. I too welcome alternatives.

about 4 months ago
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Estimate: Academic Labs 11 Times More Dangerous Than Industrial Counterparts

Jim_Austin Not factual (153 comments)

Safety is about learning to do things with good technique. Surgeons learn good sterile technique--and many operations are improvisational. Precisely the same thing: If you know what you're doing, you can skillfully and safely handle the unexpected. The idea that safety in industry is about filling out forms is also false. Unfortunately it's a tale that many academic scientists repeatedly tell themselves, and it helps reinforce the (lazy) status quot. (I do not mean that people working in academic labs are lazy; as others have pointed out, they work too much. I'm saying that as a culture, academia is lazy about safety and messages like this reinforce that.) In industry, people learn good technique--just like the surgeon. They view safety considerations as a routine part of what they do. If you're a coder, I assume, you annotate your code, or structure it well. (Sorry, it's been decades since I did any significant coding, or had anything to do with it really.) In the lab you use good technique: sterility, controls, safety. It all fits together into the skill set that defines you as a professional and not some brilliant hack.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 7 Slow?

Jim_Austin Re:Actually faster... (488 comments)

Me too, same thing. Improved performance. Same phone: 4S. Maybe it's a 4S thing. Hey, did you notice improved call quality? Whose your carrier? Jim

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 7 Slow?

Jim_Austin For me, faster (488 comments)

My immediate impression, on my 4S, was that it was much snappier. Also, my voice quality went from unacceptable to great. I realize that's almost certainly a coincidence--something happened on my network at the same time, or something--but that was my experience. As for speed though, no question: My iPhone 4S got faster. Jim

about 10 months ago
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Google Claims User Content In Multiple Products

Jim_Austin Doesn't make business sense (166 comments)

Many of the posters below are missing the point--which is that the greedy terms of service make a potentially useful service--like Google Docs--useless for any serious purpose. For example, I would like to use Google Docs in an international online publishing venture. But I can't, because of the TOS. Specifically, while for Google Docs section 11.1 is amended in a way that makes it (borerline) acceptable), section 11.2 remains: >>11.2 You agree that this licence includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services. (and, yes, they actually misspelled "license" in their terms of service.) I'm sure they have their reasons, but these terms are unacceptable for my professional use. So, with regret, I don't use it. Assuming that Google has produced this service in the interest of making a profit, they've lost my business.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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College Majors and the Jobs They Lead To

Jim_Austin Jim_Austin writes  |  about two weeks ago

Jim_Austin (1073454) writes "Late last week, the U.S. Census Bureau posted an excellent interactive infographic that connects college majors with the occupations people with those majors end up in--and vice versa. For example, it shows--to no one's surprise--that people with majors in computers, mathematics, and statistics end up working as computer workers about half the time, with significant numbers going on to work in math and statistics (and a few in other science fields). More surprising is that nearly half end up doing work unrelated to science, tech, engineering, etc. It works the other way, too; by mousing over the "computer worker" category you see that the largest chunk of computer workers come from computer, math, and statistics majors, with another large chunk coming from engineering. But significant numbers also come from several other majors.

Some of the insights are startling. Only about a fifth (to perhaps a fourth) of physical science majors end up working in any scientific or technical field, and fewer than 10% of physical science majors work in the physical sciences. And only about an eighth of all graduates in the broad category of biological, agricultural, and environmental scientists end up working in fields related to science, engineering, and technology."

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What's Your College Degree Worth?

Jim_Austin Jim_Austin writes  |  about a month ago

Jim_Austin (1073454) writes "A recent study by economist Douglas Webber calculates the lifetime earnings premium of college degrees in various broad areas, accounting for selection bias--that is, for the fact that people who already are likely to do well are also more likely to go to college. These premiums are not small. Science Careers got exclusive access to major-specific data, and published an article that tells how much more you can expect to earn because you got that college degree--for engineering, physics, computer science, chemistry, and biology majors."
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A New Book Debunks the STEM-Shortage Myth

Jim_Austin Jim_Austin writes  |  about 4 months ago

Jim_Austin (1073454) writes "In an authoritative new book, Michael Teitelbaum takes on the current and recurrent myths of science/tech worker shortages, concluding that "the alarms about widespread shortages or shortfalls in the number of U.S. scientists and engineers are quite inconsistent with nearly all available evidence;" that "similar claims of the past were politically successful but resulted in a series of booms and busts that did harm to the U.S. science and engineering enterprise and made careers in these fields increasingly unattractive;" and that "the clear signs of malaise in the U.S. science and engineering workforce are structural in origin and cannot be cured simply by providing additional funding.""
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More on the Disposable Tech Worker

Jim_Austin Jim_Austin writes  |  about 4 months ago

Jim_Austin (1073454) writes "At a press conference this week, in response to a question by a Science Careers reporter, Scott Corley, the Executive Director of immigration-reform group Compete America, argued that retraining workers doesn't make sense for IT companies. For the company, he argued, H-1B guest workers are a much better choice. "It's not easy to retrain people," Corley said. "The further you get away from your education the less knowledge you have of the new technologies, and technology is always moving forward.""
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New Data Suggest a Vigorous Computer Science Job Market (for New Graduates)

Jim_Austin Jim_Austin writes  |  about 4 months ago

Jim_Austin (1073454) writes "The data show a downturn in CS PhD enrollment despite recent growth in bachelor's degrees granted. That's an indication that more graduates are finding satisfactory jobs. What do other science fields look like? In comparison, they look lethargic at best."
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"STEM Shortage" Debate Reveals Fundamental Disagreements, Some Common Ground

Jim_Austin Jim_Austin writes  |  about 4 months ago

Jim_Austin (1073454) writes "Among the usual arguments over whether a shortage (or a glut) exists of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workers, some illuminating statements were made. Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Information Foundation (ITIF), seemed to imply that STEM-shortage claim is at least in part a rhetorical device aimed at encouraging U.S. educational reform. That's an angle I hadn't seen before. There is also a clear tendency on the part of the pro-shortage crowd to lump all fields together, whereas those who don't see a generalized shortage insist on distinguishing among fields."
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Sydney Brenner: How to Discourage Great Discoveries

Jim_Austin Jim_Austin writes  |  about 5 months ago

Jim_Austin (1073454) writes "Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Sydney Brenner equates grad school in the U.S. to slavery, and the postdoc to indentured servitude, and suggests that our system of academic research could hardly be designed more effectively--if the goal is to cripple innovation."
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Chemistry Students and Postdocs Take Safety Into Their Own Hands

Jim_Austin Jim_Austin writes  |  about 5 months ago

Jim_Austin (1073454) writes "It's a scandal: Academic science labs are generally far less safe than labs in industry; one estimate says that people working in academic labs are 11x more likely to die than their industrial counterparts. A group of grad students and postdocs in Minnesota decided to address the issue had-on. With encouragement and funding from DOW, and some leadership from their department chairs, they're in the process of totally remaking their departments' safety cultures."
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The Postdoc: A Special Kind of Hell

Jim_Austin Jim_Austin writes  |  about 8 months ago

Jim_Austin (1073454) writes "In a very funny column, Adam Ruben reviews the disadvantages and, well, the disadvantages of doing a postdoc, noting that "The term "postdoc" refers both to the position and to the person who occupies it. (In this sense, it's much like the term "bar mitzvah.") So you can be a postdoc, but you can also do a postdoc, which unfortunately isn't as sexual as it sounds.""
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Do Cell Phone Companies Improve Your Service at Contract Time?

Jim_Austin Jim_Austin writes  |  about 9 months ago

Jim_Austin (1073454) writes "Has anyone else noticed this? After years of dropped calls and failed connections, suddenly your service improves as the end of your contract approaches. Thinking that your provider--in my case AT&T--has finally gotten their act together, you re-up and get that nice new phone. It works great during your trial period--and then it all falls apart again: dropped calls, failed connections.

Am I paranoid, or do the cell phone companies--or maybe it's just AT&T--get better near decision time?"
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They found the God particle--what now?

Jim_Austin Jim_Austin writes  |  about a year ago

Jim_Austin (1073454) writes "Teams of hundreds of young scientists--including many grad students and postdocs--staffed the Large Hadron Collider and helped make one of the most important scientific discoveries in recent decades. Now they must compete for just a handful of jobs."
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Some "Very Strong Words" on the Immigration Reform Bill

Jim_Austin Jim_Austin writes  |  about a year ago

Jim_Austin (1073454) writes "At Science Careers, we've posted remarks by Norm Matloff on the immigration reform bill that passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday after 8 amendments from Senator Orin Hatch (R-Utah). "I believe that we will be seeing a lot of very angry people, once they realize what has been snuck through," he says."
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What 'Stapling a Green Card' Portends for STEM

Jim_Austin Jim_Austin writes  |  about a year ago

Jim_Austin (1073454) writes "At Science Careers, we've just posted a column by Beryl Benderly on the likely affects of high-skill immigration reform proposals on science, IT, and other "STEM" careers: >>"The incentives are all aligned to create massive downward pressures on the labor market" should "stapling" become a reality, says Hal Salzman of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. "It will lower costs in the labor market and effectively disincentivize people to go into [STEM] fields. It diminishes the quality of the jobs. The good Americans [will] go elsewhere.""
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University of California Postdocs Unionize

Jim_Austin Jim_Austin writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Jim_Austin writes "A postdoc-unionization drive in the University of California system — the largest employer of postdocs in the United States — seems to have succeeded. There's no organized opposition, so now, apparently, determining the drive's success is a mere "clerical procedure" of counting union cards, according to a representative of California's Public Employment Relations Board. Unless something unexpected happens, about 5000 California postdocs will now be represented by the Postdoctoral Researchers Organize/International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, aka PRO/UAW; yes, our future scientists are joining the United Auto Workers union. For the record, the UC administration has, in comparison to other institutions, treated its postdocs quite well in recent years. Indeed, the administration may have unwittingly set the stage for unionization by the simple act of counting their postdocs — something many other universities and university systems haven't managed yet. Knowing how many there are is the first step in determining whether the union has majority support."
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Jim_Austin Jim_Austin writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Jim_Austin writes "Hi folks I've been considering using Google Docs for an editorial effort I'm involved in (not-for-profit but professional) and our preliminary experiences are encouraging. But I'm quite troubled by the terms of use. In particular:

By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Google services which are intended to be available to the members of the public, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, modify, publish and distribute such Content on Google services for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting Google services.
That's not so good, but, since I'm not making anything public maybe I'm okay. However, my publication is international and one of my editors is in Spain. The version of the terms of service she sees (from Spain) does not include the phrase "which are intended to be available to the members of the public." Here's a link to that page: http://www.google.com/google-d-s/intl/en-GB/terms. html And here's the language from that page:

By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.
Finally, note the provision 1.5, which says:

1.5 If there is any contradiction between what the Additional Terms say and what the Universal Terms say, then the Additional Terms shall take precedence in relation to that Service.
So are people who use Google docs signing over the copyright on everything that passes through it? Thanks, Jim Austin"

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