March 31, 2004

Nigerian scam -- still?!?

The Register. I cannot believe there are still people falling for this highly dubious scheme -- the latest happens to be a scammer himself who bilked colleagues for a total of $600K and a scientist. When it sounds too good to be true, guess what? It is.

Posted by johnvu at 12:46 PM | Comments (0)

March 23, 2004

Make it open man

w w w . p r o s p e c t - m a g a z i n e . c o . u k
Azeem Azhar has written a very fine piece about open source -- and it's not only about software. Here's a not so short excerpt:

Open access journals usually charge authors for each published article rather than readers for subscriptions. Charges for BioMed Central, a biosciences open access publisher, are around $500 an article, which covers peer review, editing and distribution costs. The journals themselves are available free online. This is an appropriate model for scientists whose objectives in publishing are to establish reputations, secure funding sources and add to the body of knowledge. A subscription fee is a barrier to at least two of these objectives, while author charges reflect the benefits to researchers of publication.

In December, the British parliament's science and technology committee announced an inquiry into scientific publishing, and in particular the cost of journals and the extent to which open access journals could replace them. This follows a Royal Society report which called for reform of the intellectual property system to achieve greater openness for scientific literature.

Posted by johnvu at 03:42 PM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2004

Densitometry analysis in Unix/DOS

tnimage. I have been using tnimage in Linux for a while now and find it to be very useful for densitometry measurements on western blots. I needed to re-install it recently and have learned that Thomas Nelson (the author) has included a pre-compiled version for Mac OS X for download. Nice work!

Posted by johnvu at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2004

Them words are fightin' words!

Oh there are some rumblings going on a recent post at slashdot. The post was regarding a news article discussing the possibility of a military draft here in the US specifically targeting computer and language specialists. I am particularly interested in a bet that may occur between two individuals with different opinions. One believes the US will call up conscripts by January 1, 2005 and another believes that it won't happen. The latter believes it so strongly that s/he's willing to wager $1000. The former was too yellow to follow suit. But the discussion is very interesting nonetheless, even without money on the line. Personally, I don't think the draft will be re-instated by January 1, 2005, but I'm excited to see if I'm wrong or not.

Posted by johnvu at 11:14 PM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2004

Asian politicians

CNN.com - S. Korea votes to impeach Roh - Mar 11, 2004. I particularly like the picture on the right hand side showing the speaker guarded by security and others to prevent him from being hit -- by what, with what, by whom, I don't know. Are they prone to being hit with rotting produce? Or do people physically try to muscle their way in to trade blows? I have to say that I've seen previous footage where politicians have been pummeled right on the floor of their parliament (e.g. Taiwan, China) or council. It makes me wonder why Asians are so violent? Rather, why is it acceptable that violence is enacted in public places like the parliament in these Asian countries? Asian Americans are portrayed nearly as exact opposites in the US. Imagine the headlines it would make, if say the speaker of the House, Dick Cheney were to be even hit with a cabbage or a ripe tomato -- he'd most likely have a heart attack right then and there and you could end up with a homicide by lethal produce.

Posted by johnvu at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2004

On your permanent record

The Scientist :: Butler gets 2 years in prison.

Holder said afterward that the judge was “sticking his neck out” by dropping the sentence as much as seven years, because US Attorney General John Ashcroft “has pretty much laid down the law that any sentence below the sentencing guideline will be appealed.”

I wonder what John Ashcroft thinks now about medical research and the government's treatment of researchers, after enduring his own medical crisis.

Posted by johnvu at 02:47 PM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2004

Stem cell research

Science News Article | Reuters.com. Scientists at Harvard University announced on Wednesday they had created 17 batches of stem cells from human embryos, in defiance of attempts by President Bush to limit such research. It's about time.

Posted by johnvu at 12:51 PM | Comments (0)

March 01, 2004

Put this in the "Huh?" category

Reuters AlertNet - Police bust up nearly nude protest near Harvard. What pictures go through your head when you see the words, nude, pillow fight, five women and one man, cool temperatures, all in the title and first 2 paragraphs? Yeah, that's what I mean. I wonder if PETA will pay for bail and court costs. I hope so, after all these people went through.

Posted by johnvu at 03:59 PM | Comments (0)