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What Happens When Nobody Proofreads an Academic Paper

geogob Re:Error: They did not use LaTeX (170 comments)

Inline comments are awkward in latex. It's one of the biggest flaw of tex IMO. A commenting method that comments out everything to the next line break will inherently break the text flow in the source file. This make production difficult and authors often fall back to non-commented notes in-line -- with the consequences seen here.

This also the reason I will never to text iterations with co-authors (especially in the later production phases) on the tex files, but always and only with pdf files.

about two weeks ago
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What Happens When Nobody Proofreads an Academic Paper

geogob Re:Error: They did not use LaTeX (170 comments)

The nature of the file format (binary/text-based, open/closed/proprietary) has nothing at all to do with the quality of the commenting system. For example, the commenting system associated with docx or pdf are excellent. Latex commenting system fails lamentably... its actually not a system at all.

And I am not a fan of Microsoft nor of Adobe and I do most of my work (unless forced to by project specifications) with Latex.

about two weeks ago
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What Happens When Nobody Proofreads an Academic Paper

geogob Re:What Happens When /. Headlines... (170 comments)

Going through a proofread process doesn't necessarily mean it was actually proofread.

about two weeks ago
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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

geogob Re:Financial gains over safety (398 comments)

Case 2: would be shouted from the rooftops (from both the local authority and the company running the scheme)

Unless safety was not the goal aimed for at all.

about a month ago
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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

geogob Financial gains over safety (398 comments)

Anyone considering the use of speed cameras for anything else than safety in high-risk areas is doing something wrong in my opinion. Just as much is it wrong to review their use by any other criterion.

In this case, both the review (based on financial gains) and the expectation of revenue show me that they are doing all this for the wrong reason. And I find that really sad. How wrong can that morally be, to install speed camera based on expected revenue... that's quite a low. I'd rather have a totally uneconomical speed camera in a high-risk zone like a school zone than where its going to be economical.

There is of course another side to this. It's quite possible that those who planned the installation of the cameras did it with the right idea in mind, but had to prepare those analysis for the twisted and lost management minds. Than it shows us another interesting thing... Either they totally overestimated the speeding issue, or they underestimated the dissuasive effect of those cameras (which means they work actually pretty well... assuming they are correctly placed).

about a month ago
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Facebook To DEA: Stop Using Phony Profiles To Nab Criminals

geogob Good times... (239 comments)

Facebook teaching ethics and rules to the DEA. That's a good one.
Good luck with that anyway, Facebook! If there is any response at all from the DEA side, it will most likely a strong judicial mumbo jumbo meaning "STFU, or... " along a unilateral NDA (you know, because of "or ...")

Maybe the best way to proceed if they do not comply would be to automatically put in parenthesis beside the account name a warning (This account may have been tempered with by authorities).

about a month ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

geogob Re:He tried patenting it... (986 comments)

That a sustained 2 kW, which is nothing. Not even 10 A on a normal power line... it could even be "smuggled in" through lines disguised as measurement lines. Heck, you could even get that power in through clever use of shields and grounds... it would most likely remain undetected without good forensic work.

about a month and a half ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

geogob Re:He tried patenting it... (986 comments)

Unless he did the elefant trick on the tested material. His stage; his show.

Testing his device is worth nothing. The experiment must be recreated from 0 in an independent environment with independent engineers and scientist.

about a month and a half ago
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NASA Finds a Delaware-Sized Methane "Hot Spot" In the Southwest

geogob Re:Relative sizes (213 comments)

I'm lost. How many Olympic swimming pools is that?

about a month and a half ago
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NASA Finds a Delaware-Sized Methane "Hot Spot" In the Southwest

geogob Re:yes, let's "zoom out" (213 comments)

(oups. I replied within the quote... sorry. Here now correcly)

Says who? The Fracking industry lobbing bureau? Or, if you prefer, [citation needed].

about a month and a half ago
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NASA Finds a Delaware-Sized Methane "Hot Spot" In the Southwest

geogob Re:yes, let's "zoom out" (213 comments)

Fracking has been responsible for a big decline in US greenhouse gas emissions.

Says who? The Fracking industry lobbing bureau? Or, if you prefer, [citation needed].

about a month and a half ago
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Ebola Has Made It To the United States

geogob Re:Completely Contained? (475 comments)

I can understand why some mods rated this informative. I'd personally would have at best rated it interesting; because I strongly hope no one will follow the informative expert medical advice from this or any other /. comment.

Furthermore, most of your advice is based on pure fantasy. You CAN get Ebola from asymptomatic patients, especially once the symptoms subside after recovery. You can also very well get Ebola from very short term contact. And, although Ebola is not airborne, if an Ebola patient sneezes in the same room you are in, you are likely to get infected from this patient through other transmission pathways.

about 2 months ago
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Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

geogob Re:It's the bank's car (907 comments)

Buy a piggybank for $1
Put $389 in the first month
Set aside $389 in the second month
Break piggy bank
Combine two sums
Buy 8-year old car

How is that for a payment plan?

about 2 months ago
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Why India's Mars Probe Was So Cheap

geogob Re:All is vanity? (200 comments)

Maybe it was so cheap because it doesn't seem to do much

Although I do not share your view on this mission and on why its payload is limited, I believe you correctly identified the trick to limit costs: Keep and simple.

Management costs are not linear with mission complexity. As the payload and complexity increase, so does the risk of something going wrong, leading to increased costs in planing and designing the whole thing. Because the costs are higher, the pressure for success increases and the need to cross-check every detail arises, implicating even more costs. You fall in a upward spiral for costs. Interfacing/integration costs are of course also higher with more complex mission, but they are not as non-linear as management costs.

In keeping a mission simple, you may limit the management cost explosion. In a sense it is sad because it means you are so cheap, no one cares if you fail (other than you). As soon as the financial sources start to care, you get into NASA/ESA budget regions. So maybe it is the best way to proceed, making multiple smaller mission.

The Canadian ACE/SCISAT mission also achieved something similar. Its a very simple science satellite, with only two instruments. The costs were ridiculous and the time from planing to launch was extreme short. Considering it flew totally new and revolutionary instrument designs, I find that quite amazing. The mission as now significantly outlived its initial planning and is one of the most successful scientific earth observing mission. So much for those who think it has something to do with the costs of engineering in India. I doubt the Canadians engineers are much cheaper than the American ones. The key to success was to keep and small.

about 2 months ago
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Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

geogob Re:His articles on PubPeer (167 comments)

Police may investigate under cover, but once the facts are there and clear, you get before the justice in an open system, where you confront your accuser and defend your position. A unbiased judge then makes a decision based on the facts. True peer review also follows a similar principle, or at least aims to. (I am the first to say that it doesn't work well and needs to be reviewed - I already said that - but the idea is nevertheless one if impartial review of scientific work).

What you are suggesting has nothing to do with policing, justice or peer reviewing. It's pure street justice and I'll have none of that with my science. Thank you.

about 2 months ago
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Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

geogob Re:His articles on PubPeer (167 comments)

Statement of fact, although correct, can very well have an editorial nature depending on the context in which they are made.

As for the evidence, look closer and a bit more. you'll see the pattern.

about 2 months ago
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Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

geogob Re:Anonymous public peer review (167 comments)

I wasn't commenting this specific case, but my comment was rather to read in a more broader context.

about 2 months ago
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Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

geogob Re:Anonymous public peer review (167 comments)

I do not use double negatives when I am not certain I use them correctly. In other words, I am convinced that someone will abuse the system at some point.

about 2 months ago
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Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

geogob Re:Anonymous public peer review (167 comments)

Sorry, but I won't hesitate to openly criticize a bigwig if I believe I have the basis to do so. I won't sell my integrity for a tenured position. But I will not do it on A platform like PubPeer.

Not sure if to "wash dirty linen" exactly convey what I meant, but regardless I did not suggest this was the case or that is done. I said it is an open door to such action. As I am not a user of the PubPeer platform, I cannot judge if comments meant to attack the reputation of an other due to private disputes commonly occur. Furthermore, such attacks with other motive as pure improvement of scientific publication quality are difficult to spot, because this is what anonymous commenting enables to do.

Tenure track are extremely competitive, especially in fields like biomedical research. Knowing the human nature and with some of the dirty stuff I saw in my career, I can't imaging nobody would abuse this system to wrongfully block someone's progress at some point.

about 2 months ago
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Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

geogob Re:His articles on PubPeer (167 comments)

Even if some comments are clearly justified, from many comments one can discern a pattern of an active campaign against the other. For example, one commenter posts :

This brings the total number of paper with problems for Dr. Sarkar, at Wayne State Unversity, to what? 50, 60 papers commented on PubPeer??!!

Most of the image reviews have also been made by the same person, indicating an active campaign against the author.

As well as this may be justified, this is not the proper way to address critical review of already published papers. Assuming that the issues are that important (I can't judge as it is quite far from my field of expertise), letters should be sent to the editors highlighting the issues. Also, review or comment paper could be submitted to the journals.

about 2 months ago

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