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Comments

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Google's Plan To Kill the Corporate Network

toppavak Re:Real Unix makes the difference. (308 comments)

Our entire development team uses Macbooks - and of 12 users, only two of them run OSX. One of them is even geeky enough to paste a Tux logo over the light-up Apple logo.

The last time I visited Google HQ (about 5 years ago) the most common setup I saw was Thinkpads running Linux with Macbooks running Linux in a close second.

about 4 months ago
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What Apple Does and Doesn't Know About You

toppavak Re: It's true. (214 comments)

Not in the slightest. I'm one of (seemingly many) people who seem to believe that the payment Google offers in exchange for access to my personal information is quite fair. Just because you don't doesn't mean that other people are somehow ignorant for not having realized what "the game" is, it just means that they have slightly different ideas of what different types of privacy mean to them, which aspects of their privacy they are willing to put a price on and what that price might be.

about 5 months ago
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Android KitKat Released

toppavak Re:I wonder.. (358 comments)

Apples to oranges comparison here, but this happened to me when I ran the first few alpha builds of CyanogenMod that were built from 4.3, subsequent updates fixed the problem. I never ran stock 4.3 so YMMV

about 6 months ago
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Why Johnny Can't Speak: a Cost of Paywalled Research

toppavak Re:Simple (189 comments)

PLoS is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit and discloses their finances in detail as required by the IRS. There are also links to detailed financial statements for the last 2 fiscal years which are audited by a 3rd party.

about 6 months ago
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Why Johnny Can't Speak: a Cost of Paywalled Research

toppavak Re:Simple (189 comments)

Which is why it's fairly costly to publish in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) with publication fees ranging from $1,350 to $2,900. Fortunately most grants allow you to use those funds to pay the submission fees and many universities (at least in the US) have programs that can help support the cost as well.

about 6 months ago
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Why Johnny Can't Speak: a Cost of Paywalled Research

toppavak Re:Simple (189 comments)

Generally yes, although the specific restrictions may vary. From the link (PMC = PubMed Central):

The PMC Open Access Subset some or all openaccess content is a part of the total collection of articles in PMC. Articles in the PMC Open Access Subset are still protected by copyright, but are made available under a Creative Commons or similar license that generally allows more liberal redistribution and reuse than a traditional copyrighted work. Note, however, that the license terms are not identical for all of the articles in this subset. Please refer to the license statement in each article for specific terms of use. We also provide a search-by-license feature, described below, which enables finding articles with specific reuse rights.

about 6 months ago
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US Government Shutdown Ends

toppavak Re: Ends? (999 comments)

Right, this has nothing to do with the fact that a no strings attached version of the bill had enough Republican votes in the house to pass from the get go but the republican caucus in the house changed the parliamentary rules so only the majority leader could bring the bill to vote, ie boehner, who proceeded to refuse to do so to begin this whole charade of brinkmanship to begin with. Citation: http://touch.baltimoresun.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-77802818/

about 6 months ago
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Mini-Brains Grown In the Lab

toppavak Re:Applications (170 comments)

Exactly, in my lab we work primarily on bone and colon tissue (although generated from adult stem or induced pluripotent stem cells). It would not be exaggerating to call these technologies the next generation of medical research. There are tons of genetic and developmental disorders that are either too rare to study readily in vivo or just impossible to study in-vitro. We're nearing the point where we can start with IPSC's either engineered to carry mutations of interest or derived directly from patients carrying these mutations and turn them into all sorts of tissues: liver, colon, neural, vascular, muscular, etc. In many cases it's not even necessary to get to the stage of organoids, simply having true human tissue with the right pathophysiology will be a tremendous boon to in-vitro drug screening and discovery and far more relevant than animal models.

about 8 months ago
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Indian Gov't Uses Special Powers To Slash Cancer Drug Price By 97%

toppavak Re:Just keep in mind the tradeoff (556 comments)

A valid point, perhaps one mitigating bit of information worth noting is that compulsory licensing does not mean that the generic manufacturer can violate the patent. Under TRIPS (the international treaty governing intellectual property rights) what the Indian government has done is to deem the asking cost of a drug combined with the asking cost or unwillingness of the manufacturer to license the drug to generic manufacturers to be damaging to public health (I forget the precise phrasing used). As a consequence they've issued a "mandatory license" by which the generic manufacturer can pay Bayer a licensing fee established as reasonable by the government exercising its right to compulsory licensing, essentially granting a license to the patent it issued to Bayer to generics manufacturers for domestic production and consumption in order to ensure access to the drug. Hence the 6% licensing fee on revenues (not profit) referenced in the article. Arguably, Bayer stands to make that money for free considering the vast majority of the consumption of that drug will be by patients who could not have afforded the treatment previously.

Certainly there are potential negative consequences of such an action, but the calculus of such a decision would involve weighing these potential future costs of "decreased innovation due to perceived risk of diminished monopoly" against the very immediate human cost of not having access to treatment. In this case it seems that the government of India decided that the immediate cost outweighed the potential future cost.

more than 2 years ago
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Samsung Seeking Ban of iPhone 4S in Europe

toppavak Re:Round 3 (331 comments)

Also, if I'm not mistaken, Samsung's phones/tablets use AMOLED screens that they themselves produce

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Successful Software From Academia?

toppavak Tons (314 comments)

ImageJ
CellProfiler
Open Microscopy Environment
Hugin
Micro-Manager
R

more than 2 years ago
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Re: the debt deal reached Sunday night ...

toppavak Re:Common Sense, anyone? (788 comments)

Many doctors are quitting the profession because of 0bamacare.

Citation please? Most of my doctor friends (I work in a science department at a medical school) are actually staunchly pro-single payer / nationalized health. The data seems to back that up as well.
The original article has some more detailed information.

more than 2 years ago
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After a Decade, Mac Sales Again Top 10%

toppavak Re:Clueless (410 comments)

In most of these situations, it isn't your device but often company property and therefore allowed only to run approved applications because it will have access to sensitive company networks. Mac vs windows vs linux security / usability arguments aside, I can see why companies would want to standardize the tools they buy for their employees / have some degree of control over them.

more than 2 years ago
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JPMorgan Rolls Out FPGA Supercomputer

toppavak The best and brightest (194 comments)

A friend in the industry once remarked that some of the best and brightest in software engineering have been going into the financial industry as of late. It's hard not to wonder what they might have achieved in more productive areas of work...

more than 2 years ago
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Spanish Surgeon Performs First Synthetic Organ Transplant

toppavak Re:Not the first by 5 years (91 comments)

Actually it is possible to produce highly vascularized tissue. The trick is to use the decellularized collagen matrix from a donor organ (either taken from an animal or from a cadaver) which can then be re-seeded with the patient's own cells and implanted. Atala's group has done this with livers (although not re-implanted yet) and has made proof-of-concepts with kidneys (by using a stack of 2d tissues rather than attempting to engineer the complete 3d structure)

more than 2 years ago
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Spanish Surgeon Performs First Synthetic Organ Transplant

toppavak Not the first by 5 years (91 comments)

Anthony Atala's group, now at Wake Forest University, have grown implanted bladders grown in the same fashion. In fact, it was Atala's group that was one of the leading pioneers of the technique (I believe Robert Langer's group at MIT also had done some seminal work in this area). http://articles.cnn.com/2006-04-03/health/engineered.organs_1_bladder-cells-spina-bifida?_s=PM:HEALTH

more than 2 years ago
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New Approach For Laser Weapons

toppavak Re:No actual information (188 comments)

Which is still extremely useful tech, even if the weapons application turns out to be just a fruitless route to attract free money for the government if they can make smaller, cheaper, more powerful and more efficient lasers, they'll have no shortage of potential customers.

more than 2 years ago
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Skype Execs Purged On Eve of MS Takeover

toppavak Re:Ah, but I wanted to blame Microsoft (300 comments)

Yes, but it would have been possible for them to make a lot more money out of the process if they were fired afterwards. Typically stock paid to execs have to vest over a period for ex. every year 20% of your stock vests over 5 years. If the execs were not fully vested, the acquisition event would have triggered an instant vest clause and they could have cashed out on their entire package. If they were fired before the acquisition, any stock that had not yet vested would simply be lost, reducing the total amount of stock Skype had issued and increasing the value of the stock held by the equity firms. They were stabbed in the back by their own financiers- not an uncommon occurrence. It serves you well to vette the VCs you work with every bit as much as they're going to vette you.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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NY Charter School Tries Hiring Good Teachers

toppavak toppavak writes  |  more than 4 years ago

toppavak (943659) writes "The NY Times reports on a New York Charter School that will be opening this year with a basic philosophy that (unfortunately) will be revolutionary for public schools: hiring competent teachers and paying them well. Teachers will make $125,000 a year and will be eligible for $25,000 bonuses for school-wide performance. Founder Zeke M. Vanderhoek has assembled a team of "master" teachers after a nationwide search including Ivy-league graduates, school teachers and, interestingly enough, the ex-head strength and conditioning coach for the LA Lakers. Mr. Vanderhoek recognizes that its not all in a resume, having visited each candidate in person and observing their teaching:

The eight winning candidates, he said, have some common traits, like a high "engagement factor," as measured by the portion of a given time frame during which students seem so focused that they almost forget they are in class. They were expert at redirecting potential troublemakers, a crucial skill for middle school teachers. And they possessed a contagious enthusiasm — which Rhena Jasey, 30, Harvard Class of 2001, who has been teaching at a school in Maplewood, N.J., conveyed by introducing a math lesson with, "Oh, this is the fun part because I looooooove math!" Says Mr. Vanderhoek: "You couldn't help but get excited." Hired.

The teachers will earn their keep by doubling duty as vice principals, coaches and other staff. I can only hope this school becomes wildly successful and the model spreads quickly."
Link to Original Source

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Design student building supercar out of wood

toppavak toppavak writes  |  about 6 years ago

toppavak (943659) writes "In a modern remix to an old technology, North Carolina State University design student Joe Harmon is designing and building, from the ground up, a supercar made mostly of wood. The car is planned to weigh approximately 2,500lbs and be capable of reaching speeds of 220-240 mph.

The car — dubbed the "Splinter" — will make its debut at the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta on Aug. 20. Until then, Harmon and a team of friends, neighbors and students are working in a garage behind Harmon's Durham home, building the car from the ground up.
It should be interesting to see what a student could accomplish with just his ideas and some good friends."

Link to Original Source
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Indian Court Rejects Novartis Patent

toppavak toppavak writes  |  more than 6 years ago

toppavak (943659) writes "The BBC is running an story about how an Indian court rejected Swiss drug company Novartis' appeal for a patent on an anti-cancer drug. According to the article "The firm's bid to patent anti-cancer drugs Glivec was rejected because it is a new form of an existing substance." The Indian government has long fought against restrictive drug patents and encourages the production of inexpensive generics to keep prices within the reach of the nation's poor. "The Swiss firm said that the ruling, which threw out its appeal, would have long-term negative effects on research into new drugs.""
Link to Original Source

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