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Technology To Detect Alzheimer's Takes SXSW Prize

slimak Re:What's the Point? (81 comments)

Looking for treatment and prevention requires a good way to measure if a therapy is working. Using clinical progression to Alzheimer's disease (AD) requires a huge multi-year study to get any real statistical power. Not everyone goes on to develop AD, people die from other stuff, etc. If a treatment doesn't work, you've just wasted lots of $ and time to find that out (e.g., http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18305231). Maybe you had your dose wrong, maybe you had the timing off, ... The search space for a treatment is HUGE, there has a to be an efficient way to quickly (relative here) and accurately determine if a therapy works. Having a way to detect and monitor neurodegenerative diseases would be awesome from a research standpoint. It would allow therapy to be tested using a cross sectional study rather than a longitudinal study.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Pay-as-You-Go Plan For Text and Voice Only?

slimak Simple Mobile (246 comments)

Wife and I recently signed up for Simple Mobile. It works with TMobile or unlocked GSM phones and is $40 for unlimited talk/text/data (ok, data is probably not really unlimited, but enough for my basic needs). I've only had about 10 days but seems fine. I also found that I can buy the plan online (I used a place called pinzoo) and then avoid tax. May not be best for you since you really only want texting.

about a year and a half ago
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Mathematicians Aim To Take Publishers Out of Publishing

slimak Re:Editorial work? (162 comments)

Where do you publish that you do not check galley proofs? I too have had a few articles published and am always forced to approve the galley proofs before they document goes to press. Maybe there are journals that don't require this, but I know many have it mandatory step. If you choose to blindly accept the proof without changes that reflects more on you than the publisher. Not submitting revisions either means you write perfect and no reviewer/editor has any questions/comments (congratulations if this is the case) or that you are able somehow avoid the revisions.

I do agree with you that its tough to see the value added by journals from the journals other than the perceived clout they carry. From a CV standpoint, its "better" to publish in IEEE TMI than slimak's wonderful world of science. But, that is only because of the weight our peers assign the journals and really not a real value (to me).

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are Timed Coding Tests Valuable?

slimak Re:just like speed writing (776 comments)

I agree that relying on spell check is bad, but I don't know a single person that turns off spell/grammar checks. I'm sure they exist, but I don't see anything wrong with spell check. Catching all typos in proofreading is difficult for any moderately long text (I'll probably have at least one in this ultra-short text). Having done technical and scientific writing for many years I still prefer LaTeX over Word with two exceptions: Word does nice enough change tracking for collaborating/revising and spell check saves a bit of time.

about a year and a half ago
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GOG: How an Indie Game Store Took On the Pirates and Won

slimak Re:Dropping DRM is a step in the right direction (397 comments)

I've seen this a few times lately and am curious why this belief is held. Maybe (probably) I'm missing something but I would think that source code would be an asset and potentially valuable in a few cases:

1) A complex system that took significant time to develop. Something like MS Word. While it may not be your favorite it certainly is an assest and has a value. A word processor is easy to think of, but Word is difficult/time consuming to implement (I'm guessing).

2) Software the implements a trade secret. Something like an auto stock trading system or the Google search results ranking algorithm. Again, you may hate these and they are of no value to you, but if your livelihood was on the line would you want to release the source?

I completely agree that the source code to a generic sorting algorithm of your favorite memory copy routine has no value, but even and AC must see there are exceptions. Of course, I could just be stupid.

about a year and a half ago
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Boston Airport Replacing X-ray Body Scanners

slimak Re:That's not the most important problem (119 comments)

In the US virtually all x-ray machines (including medical) are operated by un-certified radiologists. Radiologists interpret the images, they do not (typically) run the imaging devices. Radiographer or radiologic technologist (or just "tech" as they are typically called in the field) run the devices. Fortunately, the techs in medicine are typically well trained and certified. I'm not sure about the TSA team, but probably not so much. So your overall point is probably still accurate.

about 2 years ago
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Brain Scan Can Predict Math Mistakes

slimak Re:Why not just wait? (133 comments)

From what I recall the GRE also does (or did 10 years ago) a similar adaption. Sounds like the CPA exam is similar. As a side benefit of such adaption you can somewhat tell how you are doing. If the test is easy you are doing either very well because you are so super smart, or very poor because you fall in the less-desirable part of the intelligence bell curve!

more than 2 years ago
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Brain Scan Can Predict Math Mistakes

slimak Why not just wait? (133 comments)

Wouldn't it be better to wait and see if they do fail (which can be detected with 100% accuracy without EEG) and adapt the question then? Who could stay engaged when questions are changing while they are working on them?

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Aren't Schools Connected?

slimak Re:Two Words: Lesson Plans (568 comments)

That is BS in general. There are certainly some teachers that this applies to but any parent can request an observation to see exactly what is being done in the classroom. If you to examine you can. A teachers job is to teach the kids, not show the parents what is being taught. If you want to know what they are doing, go and check it out or ask the teacher outright. I am not a teacher, but have always found the district my child attends to be open and helpful.

more than 2 years ago
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Will Touch Screens Kill the Keyboard?

slimak Re:How to defeat a touchscreen fanboi (332 comments)

I agree that writing and typing a good skills today and I really had using touchscreens and the tiny keyboards on mobile devices, but we have to adapt. We used to record history on stone or clay using hieroglyphs, I'm really glad that fad passed. I sincerely hope that a few hundred years from know our descendants will think of us as Neanderthals that had to didn't even had neural implants (or something even more amazing that I am too primitive to even dream of).

more than 3 years ago
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If Everyone Had To Pass A Particular 101 Course, It Should Be About...

slimak Re:Statistics! (1142 comments)

My favorite is still: Most people have more than the average number of legs!

more than 4 years ago
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Favorite type of electical wall socket?

slimak Re:Poll Explained (711 comments)

Don't worry if your house only has NEMA 5-15 plugs with a 20 amp circuit breaker protecting it.

Unless for some odd reason there is only one 15-amp device on the circuit. Then it violates the NEC (and probably local code too).

more than 4 years ago
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Should Copyright of Academic Works Be Abolished?

slimak Re:Bullshit (349 comments)

Most scientific journals that I have experience with to not pay authors in any way. This is certainly the case with all IEEE journals and several other scientific journals. Signing over the copyright is the cost of entry if you want your work published. There are probably exceptions to this, possibly for work that is easily identified as ground breaking. But my experience has always been that there is nothing paid when the copyright is transfered. In fact, most journals still ask for printing charges. This are usually optional (and I opt out) except when color figures are included in the manuscript. If there are journals paying authors I would like to know.

more than 4 years ago
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Wireless Power Demonstrated

slimak Re:Thomas Edison ??? (124 comments)

Edison has gotten far more coverage in the history books (at least US ones), He was probably best at business, although he is known as an inventor. On the other hand, Tesla was, without a doubt, the greatest engineer that has ever lived. He is proof that a formal advanced education is not necessary for scientific greatness. It is too bad that most people don't realize the impact he truly had.

about 5 years ago
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Best Grad Program For a Computer Science Major?

slimak Re:Business or Accounting (372 comments)

If you finish grad school with a GPA of less than 3.5 there is a good chance you were not studying something you were passionate about (particularly for a doctoral degree). The bell curve does not exist in (good) grad programs when it comes to grades. This is because a disproportionate number of students are outstanding making for a lot of top marks. The grad engineering courses I took (possibly excluding "trial by fire courses") typically had an B+/A- average and grades amounted to: A=solid grasp of concepts, B=partial understanding, consider re-taking or serious reading, C=fail (did you even buy the text?). I never new of a single D given out, F was only in extreme cases (student though class was dropped).

Naturally, this may vary by program, department, and university. But I know that it is relatively common in engineering.

That said, even the academically "poor" students were often very gifted when it came to research. Ultimately, publications and products make for placement if you want an academic/research life after grad school. A respectable GPA may be be necessary for corporate jobs, but will probably carry less weight for faculty/post-doc type job searches. Nothing helps you make the short list better than proven research skills demonstrated a few first author publications.

more than 5 years ago
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New Study Finds Low Interest In Blu-ray

slimak Re:line doubling? (895 comments)

A high resolution signal cannot be created from a low resolution signal. Period*. The best you can do is get more sample points of the original low resolution signal. That said, upconverted signals do look better (to me at least) than standard def, but there is no additional information. * If you impose additional constraints on the data during the interpolation, then you may be able to do slightly better. This falls in the realm of sub-Nyquist sampling.

more than 5 years ago

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