The Royal Society has issued a call for restricting access to scientific publishing. They claim that free journals, such as the ground-breaking, field-leading Public Library of Science will undermine the ability of nonprofit societies to publish their own journals.
The Public Library of Science and other open access journals have proven a new model for science publishing, one that is both commercially sustainable and that delivers more science to more researchers who do better science as a result.
Arguing the need to sustain the Royal Society's now-outmoded publishing model despite its inferiority at advancing science relative to PLOS and others (like BioMed Central) is an embarrassment to the Royal Society.
The five-hundred-year Dark Ages were a period when alchemists labored in secret. Every alchemist jealously guarded his research outcomes, so whenever an alchemist discovered the hard way that drinking mercury was poison, that knowledge died with him (literally). The Enlightenment accomplished real alchemy: converting research into knowledge through the application of full disclosure. Once alchemists began to share their research outcomes, they became true scientists, and the hundred years that followed made more progress than the half-millennium that preceded it. Read the rest
The programme treks deep in to the wonders of the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, where every evening, hundreds of thousands of bats emerge from deep in the caves to forage for insects over the surrounding countryside. This awesome sight was the inspiration for Dr Adam's project. Adams happened to be a friend of President Franklin Roosevelt's wife Eleanor. Adams wrote to the President suggesting that bringing the war with Japan to an early halt was exactly what bats had been created to do. Intrigued, Roosevelt sent him a letter which became the passport to getting the military to support the amazing plan. "This man is not a nut" wrote the President, and so Project X-Ray started rolling.Link Read the rest
Target officials contacted police after noticing the same pattern at their stores in the five western states. A Target security guard stopped Swanberg at a Portland-area store November 17, after he bought 10 boxes of the Star Wars Millennium Falcon set. In his parked car, detectives found 56 of the Star Wars sets, valued at $99 each, as well as 27 other Lego sets. In a laptop found inside Swanberg's car, investigators also found the addresses of numerous Target stores in the Portland area, their locations carefully plotted on a mapping software.Link (thanks, Shawn!) Read the rest
Records of the Lego collector's Web site, Bricklink.Com, show that Swanberg has sold nearly $600,000 worth of Legos since 2002, said Dolyniuk.
Oh, and one more which has nothing to do with video, but which we couldn't resist: an MP3 player built in the shape of a Pez dispenser (Link).
Archived audio (in Windows and Real) is here.
Photographer and geek Jake Appelbaum is carrying one of these things around with him on the road: a power strip with lots of different electrical plugs for different parts of the world. And, the port of love (upper left). We don't know much else about it, other than the fact that it's made in China, and comes by way of Iraq. Link
Update: Jake tells Boing Boing,
These things are super popular in Iraq. My friend in London brought about 7 of them back from Iraq. They're made in China and they've basically every plug outlet in the world on a single strip. It's made by a company called Zhong Sheng, AFAIK. It does variable voltage depending on input and tells what it's getting. So at the moment it's showing 220v and if you plugged it into a US outlet, it'd show 110v and apparently it goes to 300v which I assume is what's used somewhere... Where I have no idea. China perhaps? I think it's like $1 or $2 in Iraq. I'm not totally sure about the price in Iraq though, that's just a fuzzy memory. Online I think you can get them here.Read the rest
And that prompts the question, do you know about alibaba.com? Perhaps you'd like to buy a ship, or a "Sell Vibration Sexy." You may not be able to find that damn power outlet on there but you can get something like it I'm sure.
Update: To clarify -- There's an audience for these things who will pay $3,750 for this. They're cash-rich and time-poor. There's another audience who will never pay $3,750 for one of these, but might happily spend a year putting one together in their basements: time-rich and cash-poor. The time-rich people would likely never avail themselves of a set of plans for this, so a set of open plans would not displace sales of the costumes, but it would encourage a generation of cardboard hackers who'll go on to deliver new and better costumes in years to come -- it's the best of both worlds. Read the rest
Worn on a collar or mounted on a wall, the Dog Bio Security System translates barking into alarms for police or military. Bio-Sense Technologies spent two years capturing the sound waves of woofs and arfs, encoding them to be read by a digital signal processor. All dogs emit the same type of bark when they sense trouble. The device can distinguish this bark from a dog's "Hello." A consumer version costs $100. A high-end version costs tens of thousands of dollars but is still 25% the cost of video surveillance.Link Read the rest
"The woman who is fighting the good fight is named Deborah Davis. She's a 50 year-old mother of four who lives and works in Denver, Colorado. Her kids are all grown-up: her middle son is a soldier fighting in Iraq.
"One morning in late September 2005, Deb was riding the public bus to work. She was minding her own business, reading a book and planning for work, when a security guard got on this public bus and demanded that every passenger show their ID. Deb, having done nothing wrong, declined. The guard called in federal cops, and she was arrested and charged with federal criminal misdemeanors after refusing to show ID on demand.