scientific papers to be free to all..

Results of research supported by public and public-private funds set to be made freely available to all.

All publicly funded scientific papers published in Europe could be made free to access by 2020 under a ‘life-changing’ reform ordered by the European Union’s science chief, Carlos Moedas.

The Competitiveness Council- a gathering of ministers of science innovation trade and industry agreed on the target following a two-day meeting in Brussels last week.

The move means publications of the results of research supported by public and public-private funds would be freely available to and reusable by anyone.

It could affect the paid-for subscription model used by many scientific journals and undermine the common practice of releasing reports under embargo.

At present the results of some publicly funded research are not accessible to people outside universities and similar institutions without one-off payments – which means that many teachers doctors entrepreneurs and others do not have access to the latest scientific insights.

In the UK funding bodies generally require that researchers publish under open access terms with open access publishing fees paid from the researcher’s grant.

The council said this data must be made accessible unless there were well-founded reasons for not doing so such as intellectual property rights or security or privacy issues.


Source: All scientific papers to be free by 2020 under EU proposals | Science | The Guardian

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the inventor of godwins’ law speaks..

The law should be a reminder that frivolous invocations of Nazis – or the Holocaust – are a kind of forgetting.


Although I’m proud of my career-spanning work on internet rights and freedoms my biggest claim to internet notoriety is my little social experiment – Godwin’s Law – which I crafted back in the days before there was large-scale public access to the internet.

Based on my own early experience of online arguments I had come up with this mock ‘law’ which was meant to have the sound and seeming inevitability of a law of physics or mathematics: ‘As an online discussion continues – the probability of a comparison to Hitler or to Nazis approaches 1’.

I admit to being a bit of a prankster about this — I knew as a writer that if I could say something memorable about internet culture it was entirely possible for the memorable thing to take on a life of its own – propagated by the internet itself.

After a bit of judicious promoting by me in the early internet discussion forums (notably Usenet) – Godwin’s Law took flight on its own in the early 1990s.

Like a smartphone alarm I’ve forgotten to turn off it pops up startlingly from time to time when I least expect it.


Source: I created Godwin’s Law in 1990, but it wasn’t a prediction – it was a warning

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‘the shockingly simple – surprisingly cost-effective way to end homelessness’.. (+op-ed..)

Why aren’t more cities using it?

In the past nine years, Utah has decreased the number of homeless by 72 percent—largely by finding and building apartments where they can live permanently with no strings attached.

It’s a program or more accurately a philosophy called Housing First.

Scott Nowlin

Scott Nowlin, 60, was homeless for 20 years before he was given a home as part of Utah’s Housing First program.
(ed:..this approach that works is also happening just down the road from auckland –
hamilton have pretty much solved their homeless problems – by housing the homeless…(doh..!..)
this is why it does my head in when the cry goes up from politicians/media both local and national: ‘but what can we do?’
(..and that one that has me mashing my forehead into the keyboard..
..usually parroted by a member of the smug elites..that the homeless ‘are homeless because they want to be’..grr..!!..)
and do what hamilton (and utah) is doing/has done is the answer to that question of what to do about the homeless..?..surely..?..)

Source: The Shockingly Simple, Surprisingly Cost-Effective Way to End Homelessness | Mother Jones

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‘massive’ federal-study shows cellphone-radiation causes cancers in rats..

An increased incidence of brain and heart tumors was seen in rats.

It’s the moment we’ve all been dreading.

Initial findings from a massive federal study – released on Thursday – suggest that radio-frequency (RF) radiation – the type emitted by cellphones – can cause cancer.

The findings from a $25 million study – conducted over two and a half years by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) showed that male rats exposed to two types of RF radiation were significantly more likely than unexposed rats to develop a type of brain cancer called a glioma and also had a higher chance of developing the rare malignant form of tumor known as a schwannoma of the heart.

The effect was not seen in females.

The radiation level the rats received was ‘not very different’ from what humans are exposed to.

The radiation level the rats received was ‘not very different’ from what humans are exposed to when they use cellphones said Chris Portier – a former associate director of the NTP who commissioned the study.

As the intensity of the radiation increased so did the incidence of cancer in the rats.


Source: “Game-Changing” Study Links Cellphone Radiation to Cancer | Mother Jones

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the clinton-scandals.. 

Donald Trump is already delivering on threats to resurrect the scandals of Bill Clinton’s presidency against Hillary and they go way beyond Monica Lewinsky.

Donald Trump has promised to resurrect the scandals (and pseudo-scandals) of Bill Clinton’s presidency in his battle with the likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton this year.


Source: Travelgate to Furnituregate: a guide to the Clinton scandals of the 90s | US news | The Guardian

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the democrats are as much to blame for the rise of the neo-fascist trump.. (+ op-ed..)

The patrician essayist blames Trump on ‘hyperdemocracy’ completely oblivious of his own complicity in this tragedy.


It is not too much to say that ‘trade’ agreements are actually our ruling class’s mechanism for hanging on to Pax Americana: they offer allies and satellites privileged access to our domestic market in exchange for those countries’ submitting to Washington’s foreign policydiktats.

If as a consequence Joe Lunchbucket in Fort Wayne Indiana takes it on the chin – it’s a price our Beltway Metternichs are willing nay eager to pay.

But Joe Lunchbucket has gotten a little tired of the charade and he’s told the Republican and Democratic establishments what they can do with their trade agreements.

If he is now following a charlatan like Trump who at least makes noises pretending he is on Joe’s side – is the man entirely at fault?

How about Bill Clinton – or Barack Obama – or Paul Ryan – who never saw a trade bill they didn’t like – or enlightened voices of the Upper West Side like Thomas Friedman at The New York Times who once said he didn’t even have to know what was in a trade bill to be in favor of it?

Don’t they share a little of the responsibility?

Or maybe Andrew Sullivan – another bard of the comfortable classes whose Nietzschean über-heroes Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher gleefully inaugurated the cutthroat Ayn Rand economics that gutted the social position of the working classes and left them prey to mountebanks promising relief?

Sullivan now affects to be horrified by the outcome – what with the blue-collared rabble supporting Trump rather than the Bush dynasty’s latest pretender to the throne.


(ed:..and of course the local (nz) version of this is the new zealand labour party..

..given that labour is equal-guilty for the bind we now find ourselves in..the miseries of/from poverty/inequality/homelessness.. that the labour party along with the tories are the architects/executers of the neoliberal policies that have had this inevitable conclusion/outcome..(from helen clark and  working back..)

..this is why when i hear/see labour party politicians shedding crocodile-tears/handwringing about ‘poverty’ etc etc..i have a physical reaction to those words not a long way away from dry-retching..

..this reaction is only intensified when the person uttering this false-self-piety is also one of those same faces who have done this to new zealand..(we all know who they are..)

..and lest the reader think i am being too harsh – and that that was then and this is now..that this is a new caring/sharing labour party..not the uncaring/flinty-eyed/poor-bashing model of clark etc.

..i call bullshit! on that..

..for the simple reason that the labour party policy at the last election..

..the policy of this new caring/sharing/false-piety uttering/handwringing labour party as recently as then ..

..was to do the same as the bloody tories..(their partners in this crime against new zealand/ers..) only raise the incomes of the poorest by the rate of inflation..

..policy talks and bullshit walks…!…eh..?..

..the new zealand labour party are donkey-doo deep in responsibility for fucking over what once was a stellar example to the world of how to get it right..

..and i am bloody old enough to remember when it was that way… don’t try telling me it can’t be done/repaired/re-made..

..other countries do it…so can we…)

Source: Andrew Sullivan is blind: It’s elitists who helped give rise to America’s neo-fascist movement –

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game review: overwatch..(ed: it gets five stars..)

Blizzard’s take on the team-based shooter is as polished as you’d expect marrying tactical breadth with an emphasis on variety and inclusivity

Let’s address the elephant in the room.

Hello elephant.

You’re looking nice.

Very tall.

Overwatch is a lot like Team Fortress 2 – Valve’s seminal team-based shooter first released in 2007.

Both games are light-hearted multiplayer-only affairs – pitting teams of colourful characters against each other to capture points – escort packages and defend bases.

Both come from companies known for their focus and perfectionism – with an overall development schedule stretching through the years.

And both have an avid community – powered by a desire for cosmetic unlocks and an appreciation for the larger-than-life figures that populate the game.

But is Overwatch standing on the shoulders of giants or just rebuilding what came before?

Blizzard – the game’s developer – is no stranger to skirting the fine line between drawing inspiration and being derivative.


Source: Overwatch review: Fast, fun and a joy throughout | Technology | The Guardian

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