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When Scientists Give Up

old man moss Re:Huge amount of wasted time (348 comments)

This is spot on. I did a PhD and Post-doc, then took a commercial research job because I didn't think I could stand the endless proposals and churning out incremental publications. After about 10 years away I wondered if I might go back to academia. When I was a student there were many professors who had been out "to industry" and come back. But I was told that these days you have zero chance of an academic position without a continuous publication record... unless you have won a Nobel Prize. So it is a case of "give up once and you are out for ever".

about two weeks ago

UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

old man moss Re:haven't watched it... (391 comments)

If the UK government told you not to jump off a high building...

about 1 month ago

Most Drivers Would Hand Keys Over To Computer If It Meant Lower Insurance Rates

old man moss Re:lower insurance? (449 comments)

That is certainly possible. There is also a flip-side. When there is a mixture of computer-driven and human-driven cars on the road there will be accidents. Most of those will probably be caused by the human drivers. Importantly this will be provable because the computer-driven cars will have telemetry to prove it.

So I think the question is will there be enough wins for computer-driven cars before a major systems failure tips people against them?

about 10 months ago

Mozilla Plan Seeks To Debug Scientific Code

old man moss Re: Wrong objective. (115 comments)

Yes, totally agree. As someone who has tried to reproduce other people's results (in the field of image processing) with mixed success. It can be incredibly time consuming trying to compare techniques which appear to be described accurately in journals, but omit "minor" details of implementation which actually turn out to be critical. I have also had results of my own which seemed odd and were ultimately due to coding errors which inadvertently improved the result. Given the opportunity, I would have published all my academic code.

about a year ago

NSA Surveillance May Have Dealt Major Blow To Global Internet Freedom Efforts

old man moss Re:We will again set an example for the world (327 comments)

I agree. An example is the UK in the late 1980's. At the European Parliamentary elections 15% of the electorate voted Green. They didn't win a single seat, because of the system, but the "main" parties were so shocked at the swing that they immediately set about trying to "green" themselves.

about a year ago

Pushing Back Against Licensing and the Permission Culture

old man moss Re:Wishful thinking does not change the law (320 comments)

"There are effective ways to change the law, but ignoring the law isn't one of them." Maybe, maybe not. For example, in the UK, ripping CDs to MP3 is still technically illegal. People have been openly ignoring the law for years. Eventually the law may be updated to reflect the reality, but that is almost irrelevant.

about a year and a half ago

Google Gives 15,000 Raspberry Pis To UK Schools

old man moss Re:Kudos to Google for their geeky naivete (159 comments)

Maybe you only have experience of bad teachers. At my son's school the teachers are very knowledgeable on technology; and I am often surprised at the detail they go into at even young ages. I'm sure they would love to get their hands on some more equipment and RPis seem like a brilliant tool for learning.

about a year and a half ago

Star Wars Fans Fix Up Luke Skywalker's Home

old man moss Re:Only part of Luke's home (90 comments)

I visited this site in the late 70's as part of a camel ride into the desert. I was only a child, but don't remember seeing the dome part at all. The below ground part was recognisable from the movie - and I remember the guide explaining that the white paint was not a traditional feature - it was added for the movie but the people living there liked it and left it like that afterwards.

more than 2 years ago

New York State Passes DNA Requirement For Almost All Convicted Criminals

old man moss Re:The UK already has this, and worse (260 comments)

When the European Court of Human Rights ruled that this was illegal in 2008 the UK government promised to delete the profiles of innocent people. But they backtracked in 2011 and decided to keep the profiles in "anonymised" form: where "anonymised" means a form that doesn't directly retain the person's name, but does retain the case barcode, so can be linked back to them with some effort.

more than 2 years ago

School District Sued By ACLU Over Student's Free Speech Rights

old man moss Re:What about the parents? (466 comments)

We are doomed? That is insightful? FFS

more than 2 years ago

One Third of UK Kids Under 10 Own a Mobile Phone

old man moss Re:Shoddy journalism and misleading statistics. (184 comments)

Yes, we got our 11 year old a mobile when he started at secondary school. But there is a difference between "has a mobile" and "uses a mobile". His phone stays in his bag, turned off, mostly. In fact, he didn't really want a phone, since he sees his friends all the time anyway. So really it is only there for his parents' peace of mind "in case of emergency".

more than 2 years ago

Borders Books, Dead At 40

old man moss Re:Why libraries are dying too (443 comments)

Doesn't your library have an inter-library loan system? I started using my local library in the UK a lot a couple of years ago when a friend pointed out that they have a large collection of graphic novels that my kids were just getting into. Those "books" cost about 20 quid each to buy but they are only 50p if you have to order them from another library (and free obviously if the local library has them). OK, you might have to wait a week or so for the book. Since then I've been getting most of my books (of all types) from the library.

more than 3 years ago

Reform the PhD System or Close It Down

old man moss Re:Not US-specific (487 comments)

Also, academic research is so focussed on getting out publications that there is no time to actually "make it work properly". Did anyone ever get a publication out of fixing bugs in a previous project's code? I'm a fan of leaving academics to get on with fundamental research and leaving the private sector to solve the final practical problems. It used to be called "technology transfer" but it often fails to work, for various reasons :(

more than 3 years ago

Reform the PhD System or Close It Down

old man moss Re:Missing the point (487 comments)

Exactly. It is all about learning how to organise your own work in a novel subject area. Perhaps more so in the UK where a PhD is not "taught" as such: there are no classes, you just have to get on with it yourself with guidance from a supervisor. A PhD is also a good way to experience what an academic life might be like, with a reasonably prestigious qualification to take away to industry if you decide it is not for you.

more than 3 years ago

Nokia Confirms Symbian Is No Longer Open Source

old man moss Re:Stick a Fork in it, its done! (246 comments)

The code that was released under the EPL by the Symbian Foundation is still available from the legal remains of the Symbian Foundation if you want it. Nokia have simply said that all further developments by them and their partners will not be released under that license.

more than 3 years ago

The Facebook Obsession

old man moss Re:At least facebook has content (265 comments)

Well, twitter has lots of links to content. I used to think twitter was bollocks until I realised a lot of people basically use it as an alternative to RSS. Facebook shows you what people you [may] know are interested in, Twitter shows you what people you [probably] don't know are interested in. I don't know about you, but collectively the people I don't know know more than the people I do know.

more than 3 years ago

Richard Stallman: Cell Phones Are 'Stalin's Dream'

old man moss Re:Open source vs proprietary (792 comments)

I went to a talk by Richard Stallman in London last week where he discussed this issue and others. Whilst you are free to disagree with him, I think it is short-sighted to disregard his arguments as "shit", since they are perfectly rational. As he said in his talk - it is too late to worry about surveillance after your government has gone bad: now is the time to do something about it... assuming you think you are currently free.

more than 3 years ago

Geocentrists Convene To Discuss How Galileo Was Wrong

old man moss Re:Haha you got me (1027 comments)

I wish rational people would stop using the word "believe" when they mean "am convinced by the evidence". Making it clear that faith and evidence are complete opposites would help clarify some of the pointless and long-winded arguments that appear in the popular media.

about 4 years ago

China Is Winning Global Race To Make Clean Energy

old man moss Re:You think so? (346 comments)

Unlimited population growth leading to certain death is not innevitable. The population in many developed countries is actually falling - that is why they are [mostly] happy to welcome large numbers of immigrants. Education, particularly of women, and wealth generally leads to a declining birth rate.

more than 4 years ago

Wednesday Is Pi Day

old man moss Re:I live in Europe (282 comments)

We have to settle for the approximation 22/7

more than 7 years ago


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