Friday entertainment

By Grant Jacobs 11/06/2010 2


Rattling sabres at the publishers If you’re looking for controversy, complete with tit-for-tat statements on-line, you can’t go past University of California’s rather public stand-off against Nature Publishing Group raising its fees four-fold. There’s UC’s initial public letter (PDF file), followed by NPG’s response. Round one has also covered at ArsTechnica. More recently UC has fired back (PDF file). For more gossip try this informative blog conversation over at Nature Network. On the other side of the pond (Atlantic pond in this case, not the Tasman), DrugMonkey has chimed in. (Update: Some UC librarians offer polite rage.)


My browser is fastest… Those who swear their web browser is the fastest can compare notes at ArsTechnica using the long list of benchmarks shown. I note that the Opera browser appears to be the most consistent performer: while it’s not always the top, it is consistently in the top two or so. I’m biased, of course…


The high and low of things on this planet, including ’that’ oil well This very tall infographic shows the heights and depths of things on this planet. Note how deep the Deepwater Horizon oil well is. That’s the one that is spilling all the oil near Florida. That is one deep well. On a more personal note I can remember talking with a Ph.D. student colleague when I was a student, whose project involved studying the ocean depths. I was very envious of her chance to explore the unknown. (HT: PZ Myers.)


Other lighter articles on Code for life:

Distinguishing scams (cartoon)

Professors, lost souls with great oratory power?

Wet security attack

Scientists’ other lives

University of Otago to limit entrants – your thoughts


2 Responses to “Friday entertainment”

  • The Nature vs. UC story is great news. The size and contribution of the UC system really allows UC to take a collective stance against NPG. I don’t think smaller institutions would have much of a chance going up against them.

    I’m a firm believer that market forces should not play a part in the publishing of scientific content. I hope that in years to come the ‘open source’ model used by the likes of PLoS wins out. It is a public good in my opinion.

    And as others have pointed out, where is the increased cost in scaling the distribution? Sure extra bandwidth is required but other than that, it does not matter if 100 or 100,000 people download an article.

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