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David Erdman II
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Information wants to be free.
 
Let us read what we paid for

Imagine a business like this: you get highly trained experts to give you their research for free... and then you sell it back to them.  Of course these experts need equipment, and they need to earn a living... so you get taxpayers to foot the bill.  

And if the taxpayers want to actually read the papers they paid for?   Then you charge them a big fee!

It's not surprising that with this business model, big publishers are getting rich while libraries go broke.  Reed-Elsevier has a 37% profit margin!

But people are starting to fight back — from governments to energetic students like ‎Alexandra Elbakyan here.

On Friday, the Competitiveness Council —a gathering of European ministers of science, innovation, trade, and industry—said that all publicly funded scientific papers published in Europe should be made free to access by 2020

This will start a big fight, and it may take longer than 2020.   But Alexandra Elbakyan isn't waiting around.

In 2011, as a computer science grad student in Kazakhstan, she got sick of paying big fees to read science papers.  She set up SciHub, a pirate website that steals papers from the publishers and sets them free.

SciHub now has 51,000,000 papers in its database.  In October 2015, Elsevier sued them.  In November, their domain name was shut down.  But they popped up somewhere else.  By February, people were downloading 200,000 papers per day.   Even scientists with paid access to the publisher's databases are starting to use SciHub, because it's easier to use.

Clearly piracy is the not the ultimate solution. Elbakyan now lives in an undisclosed location, to avoid being extradited.  But she gave the world a much-needed kick in the butt.   The old business model of get smart people to work for free and sell the product back to them is on its way out.

For more, read:

John Bohannon, Who's downloading pirated papers? Everyone, Science, 28 April 2016, http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/04/whos-downloading-pirated-papers-everyone

and especially the SciHub Twitter feed:

https://twitter.com/Sci_Hub

Also read this:

Martin Enserink, In dramatic statement, European leaders call for ‘immediate’ open access to all scientific papers by 2020, Science,
27 May 2016, http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/05/dramatic-statement-european-leaders-call-immediate-open-access-all-scientific-papers

The Dutch government is really pushing this!  Congratulations to them!

#openaccess  
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David Erdman II

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14th Century Smartwatch

In 14th Century England, during the reign of Richard II, one of the first technical instruction manuals in local language was written, not like today, by some anonymous person in marketing, who has never even touched the product, but in Middle English, by the poet and founder of English Literature, Geoffrey Chaucer, who knew the many features of this early portable calculating device intimately and the heavens above him.

The astrolabe was like the smartwatch of its time with dozens or perhaps hundreds of apps beyond the basic functions of being able to tell the time, or the latitude (but not longitude. that's another story).

Philip Ball tells the story of Chaucer's Astrolabe and why the famed poet came to write the world's first scientific instruction manual. In the Middle Ages, no self respecting astronomer would be without an Astrolabe, a pocket sized device for working out the movements of the planets and stars. So how did a poet come to write the first user booklet? This story shows Chaucer in a new light: as a pre-eminent astronomer, and offers a new key to unlocking his most famous literary works.

Listen here (~30 mins.): http://goo.gl/jlLpD2
(Stream, download MP3, or podcast)

Tom Wujec (Ted Talk ~10 mins.): https://goo.gl/EyKGTV
Demo of 13th Century astrolabe principles

Astrolabe (Wikip): https://goo.gl/RLi0FC

Chaucer (Wikip): https://goo.gl/O0xUKX

Related posts:
Richard II: https://goo.gl/DxSrG2
Longitude: https://goo.gl/MdepGs

Image: Michele Invernizzi, DensityDesign Research Lab, Milan https://goo.gl/kjpdt1

A 14th Century Astrolabe: http://goo.gl/U3jsz5
But I couldn't be bothered to ask their permission just to post this image.
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Play that George Michael song!
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Set of Octahedra undergoing sinusoidal motion.
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WASHINGTON—Saying they vaguely remembered the presidential candidate making the statement in front of a large rally but that they might be mistaken, citizens across the country were reportedly unable to recall Tuesday if Donald Trump had promised to personally fund abortion clinic bombings or if that just sounded right.
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Or why the miniaturization of farm machinery will help encourage small, diverse farms.
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EXCLUSIVE: Linux kernel 4.6 comes out on Sunday with new security features. It’s important to update your systems, says maintainer Greg Kroah Hartman. Read the interview:
Greg Kroah-Hartman is a superstar in the open source world. He is a Linux Foundation Fellow and the maintainer of the stable branch of the Linux kernel, the staging subsystem, USB, Linux drivers, userspace I/O, TTY layer...the list of his work is quite long. He was also the creator of openSUSE Tumbleweed, a rolling release distribution.
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Are you on the autism spectrum? I am. And it's not as straightforward as some folks think. This is a great comic to help explain the nuances:
I hear alot of people misinterpreting or misusing the term ‘autism spectrum’. So for Autism Acceptance week, I decided to make a comic to help explain the term and how it affects things. Archie is one...
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Some good Trump bashing by Elizabeth Warren. More than that, though, a sense of urgency about how bad a Trump presidency would be.
 
I don't like posting about politics.  I prefer math.  Math is the beautiful game of truth.  Politics is the ugly game of lies. 

But I woke up in the middle of the night and realized that if I didn't say the obvious, I might regret it:

We've got to fight Trump with everything we've got.

The US is dangerously close to electing a buffoon and would-be dictator: our very own Berlusconi, our very own Putin.  Elizabeth Warren explains it clearly, so please reshare this video:

Unfortunately, if you’ve been watching the presidential race, you know that we need to stand up now more than ever. Just yesterday, it came out that Donald Trump had said back in 2007 that he was “excited” for the real estate market to crash because, quote, “I’ve always made more money in bad markets than in good markets.” That’s right. The rest of us were horrified by the 2008 financial crisis, by what happened to the millions of families like Mr. Estrada’s that were forced out of their homes. But Donald Trump was drooling over the idea of a housing meltdown — because it meant he could buy up a bunch more property on the cheap.

What kind of a man does that? Root for people to get thrown out on the street? Root for people to lose their jobs? Root for people to lose their pensions? Root for two little girls in Clark County, Nevada, to end up living in a van? What kind of a man does that? I’ll tell you exactly what kind — a man who cares about no one but himself. A small, insecure moneygrubber who doesn’t care who gets hurt, so long as he makes some money off it. What kind of man does that? A man who will NEVER be President of the United States.

Sometimes Trump claims he is tough on Wall Street – tough on the guys who cheated people like Mr. Estrada. I’m sure you’ve heard him say that. But now he’s singing a very different song. Last week, he said that the new Dodd-Frank financial regulations have, and I’m quoting here, “made it impossible for bankers to function” and he will put out a new plan soon that “will be close to dismantling Dodd-Frank.” Donald Trump is worried about helping poor little Wall Street? Let me find the world’s smallest violin to play a sad, sad song.

Can Donald Trump even name three things that Dodd-Frank does? Seriously, someone ask him. But this much he should know: If he’s so tough on Wall Street, he should be cheering on Dodd-Frank’s capital and leverage requirements that have made big banks less likely to fail. If he’s so tough on Wall Street, he should be cheering on Dodd-Frank’s living wills process, which is helping push big banks to become safer. If he’s so tough on Wall Street, he should be cheering on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has already returned over $11 billion to families who were cheated.

He SHOULD be, but he’s not. Now that he’s sewn up the Republican nomination, Donald Trump is dropping the pretense. Now he’s kissing the fannies of poor, misunderstood Wall Street bankers. But the American people are a whole lot smarter than Donald Trump thinks they are. The American people are NOT looking for a bait and switch. They are NOT looking for a man so desperate for power he will say and do anything to get elected. Take the hint, Donald: the time for letting big banks call all the shots in Washington is coming to an end.

And I want to make just one last point about Donald Trump that won’t fit into a Twitter war. One last point that sums up what Donald Trump is all about – his taxes.

We don’t know what Trump pays in taxes because he is the first Presidential nominee in 40 years to refuse to disclose his tax returns. Maybe he’s just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out that he’s worth a lot less money than he claims.

But we know one thing: the last time his taxes were made public, Donald Trump paid nothing — zero. Zero taxes before, and for all we know he’s paying zero taxes today. And he’s proud of it. Two weeks ago he said he’s more than happy to dodge taxes because he doesn’t want to throw his money “down the drain.”

Trump likes being a billionaire, and doesn’t think the rules that apply to everyone else should apply to him. But let’s be clear: Donald Trump didn’t get rich on his own. His businesses rely on the roads and bridges the rest of us paid for. His businesses rely on workers the rest of us paid to educate and on police-forces and fire fighters who protect all of us and the rest of us pay to support. Donald Trump and his businesses are protected by a world-class military that defends us abroad and keeps us safe at home and that the rest of us pay to support. When anyone builds something terrific, they should get to keep a big hunk of it. But they should also pay a fair share forward so the next kid and the next kid and the next kid who come along gets their chance to build something too. That’s how we build a future that works for everyone.

And that goes double for Donald Trump, because he didn’t even get rich by building something terrific. He inherited a fortune from his father, and kept it going by scamming people, declaring bankruptcy, and skipping out on what he owed.

Nurses, teachers, and dockworkers pay their fair share for all the services that keep Trump’s businesses going. Programmers and engineers and small business owners pay their fair share to support our military who show courage and sacrifice every single day. Donald Trump thinks supporting them is throwing money “down the drain.”

I say we just throw Donald Trump down the drain.

Let’s face it: Donald Trump cares about exactly one thing — Donald Trump. It’s time for some accountability because these statements disqualify Donald Trump from ever becoming President. The free ride is over.

I am going to disable comments because I don't see a need for discussion.  +Elizabeth Hahn gets the last word.
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Who, Bernie? Or is there some other alternative?
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David Erdman II

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The manufacturing is going back to Germany just not the jobs.

#RobotJobpocolypse
Company unveils new factory in Germany that will use machines to make shoes instead of humans in Asia
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According to the South China Morning Post, Foxconn, manufacturer of Apple's iPhone among other electronic equipment, has replaced nearly 60,000 of its fact
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A resurgence of racism? naawwww
 
'He said that Republican animosity toward President Obama had “a heavy racial overtone” and that Donald J. Trump’s surprisingly successful campaign for president had “tapped a waiting reservoir there of inherent racism.”'
Defending President Obama and criticizing Donald J. Trump, Mr. Carter said the presidential race showed how much work needed to be done to heal racial divisions.
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That time is not possible for 1 day. GG.
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A guy that can be found on the internet.
 
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World's dumbest person.
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Computer Things; including but not limited to the difference engine.
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Chicken and waffles is not a thing so much in CA as it is in the South. So its great to see these kinds of dishes accessible here. Go and get the chicken and waffles. You won't regret it.
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