Saturday, March 03, 2018

Authors of academic papers are poor, but publishers do rake in profits!

It is well known that scientists and researchers who publish academic papers are not making much money in general. Occasionally, we may have a famous scientist able to publish a book and make it to the New York Times best seller. But that does not apply to most people in academia, who are publishing their papers in academic journals instead of writing books. These papers do not make much money for the authors, but cumulatively they are making profit for the publishers.

In recent years, various news media have reported the top 5 for-profit companies control the majority of academic publishing and their profit margins are even better then Google.

Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?


As one of the Guardian interviewees mentioned: Article 27 of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, asserted the right “to share in scientific advancement and its benefits”. How can we all share it? 😃

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Greatest Paranoid in Silicon Valley

Andy Grove, former CEO and Chairman of Intel, passed away yesterday, March 21st, 2016. Born in Hungary and later immigrated to the United States, he joined Intel on the day of its incorporation and he was instrumental in transforming Intel from a memory chip vendor to the greatest semiconductor vendor. His accomplishment will always be cherished in silicon valley.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

It's Daylight Savings Time again

For decades, some countries have been switching between daylight savings time in the summer and standard time in the winter. In the good old days when the main energy consumption comes from lighting at night in the summer, such a strategy may be able to reduce the use of incandescent lighting to some extent. Nowadays, the mere savings of lighting is far shadowed by the negative impact of the time adjustment, or the chaos that follows. Farming does not benefit from the time adjustment because the crops still follow their biological clocks. Animals, pets and small children also need a lot of training to cater to such a change, twice a year. Furthermore, in the globalized world of today, many of us need to collaborate with people in other countries, and other time zones. The scheduling of meetings tend to cause chaos as many countries do not use daylight savings time. Even for those countries who do follow daylight savings time, their dates of switching between standard time and daylight savings time tend to be different from the dates in the U.S. This is turning out more like an unnecessary complexity introduced by human to work against the nature.

There are several political movements to abolish daylight savings time:
Website dedicated to standard time:

Petition to Congress: End Daylight Savings Time

Petition to White House

Change.Org to Stop Daylight Savings Time

From a popular science point of view, here is the suggestion from National Geographic:

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Interview on Hugo Barra

Hugo Barra was formerly head of product management at Google's Android mobile unit. He joined Xiaomi last year. Here is an recent interview for him on Youtube.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

U.S. west coast is now severely hit by radiation from Japan earthquake

Remember the 2011 earthquake in Japan?

The radiation from that earthquake has been dumped into the sea and has now hit the U.S. west coast, including the San Francisco Bay Area.

Notice that background radiation is only 30 CPM, near the ocean is 150 CPM. Any level above 100 CPM can cause cancer.

In addition, millions of starfish has turned up dead off the pacific west coast.