Backwards Archive

Via @mattleiffer,

In part is a parody of to highlight Cornell University’s unacceptable censorship policy. It is also an experiment to see what kind of scientific work is being excluded by the arXiv. But most of all it is a serious and permanent e-print archive for scientific work. Unlike tt [sic] is truly open to scientists from all walks of life.

Maybe I should submit one of my papers with all of the text reversed (yeah, yeah, it would still be incomprehensible.)

Can You Have Open Science in the Dark?

The arXiv is a game changer for how large portions of physics (and increasingly other fields) are done. Paul Ginsparg won a MacArthur award for his vision and stewardship of the arXiv (something other institutions might want to note when they decide that someone trying to change how science is done isn’t really doing work that will impact them.) So…Given: The arXiv is great. But there is something that’s always bothered me a bit about the arXiv: transparency.
(Note: those of you who wish to complain about the fact that you can’t get endorsed on the arXiv, this article is not for you. Here is a place where that discussion will probably flourish)
Continue reading “Can You Have Open Science in the Dark?” Hacked?

Has the arXiv been hacked or is it offline? When I connect to it shoots me to mirror sites which haven’t been updated since Oct 08. Via @MartinQuantum. Also nanoscale views reports the arXiv down.
Since this is a blog we can easily spread rumors by including a link to an article today about cyberattacks going on right now possibly originating from North Korea.
Update 9:03 am PST: At you can now get papers greater than October 2008 by searching, but the “recents” and “new” isn’t working. Also the RSS feed seems to only have yesterdays posts. A comment on Secret Blogging Seminar got a response back on the problem: “technical difficulties”.
Update 8:31 pm PST: Full day of meetings, but before they started the arXiv got at least yesterday’s posts up (and I could run scirates scripts to download the day.) Anyone know if you can submit papers?

Online Weekly Colloquia?

Recently I’ve been thinking it might be fun to set up some sort online weekly colloquia in quantum computing. Fun? Well, okay maybe that’s not quite the right word. But it would be an interesting experiment. So I went out looking for good live webinar/videoconferencing software and well…I was a bit disappointed. Sure there are a lot of videoconference companies out there…which almost all have limited version for use for free. But these limited versions almost all seem to restrict to only a few participants. Anyone know of some software which might be appropriate for attempting to setup an online colloquium? Has anyone seen a setup where this has worked before? Oh, and is there any interest in such an online colloquium?

Comments?…I Don't Have to Show You Any Stinkin' Comments!

One of the more interesting “problems” in Science 2.0 is the lack of commenting on online articles. In particular some journals now allow one to post comments about papers published in the journal. As this friendfeed conversation asks:

Why people do not comment online articles? What is wrong with the online commenting system[s]? I think this is one of the central issues in Science 2.0.

Or as Carl Zimmer commented on comments appearing at PLOS One a few years back:

What I find striking, however, is how quiet it is over at PLOS One. Check out a few for yourself. My search turned up a lot of papers with no discussion attached. Many others had a few comments such as, “This is a neat paper.” There’s nothing like the tough criticism coming out about the new flagellum paper to be found at PLOS One.

Continue reading “Comments?…I Don't Have to Show You Any Stinkin' Comments!”

Moore Calculation

If only there had been open access, maybe it wouldn’t be called Moore’s law:

I didn’t go to Midland after all, but went instead to the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University, which has roughly the same relationship to Johns Hopkins that JPL has to Caltech, and where I could continue to do basic research in areas related to what I had done before. But I found myself calculating the cost per word in the articles we published and wondering if the taxpayers were really getting their money’s worth at $5 per word. Just as I was starting to worry about the taxpayers, the group I was working in was, for various reasons, breaking apart. So I decided to look for something that had a bit more of a practical bent, and at the same time see if I could get myself back to California.

From Gordon Moore’s The Accidental Entrepreneur.


Martin Plenio writes in with a link to a new site he created with Daniel Burgarth Videoabstracts (Joe got an email too):

I am writing to you to bring to your attention some new tool that we (Daniel Burgarth and myself) have developed that has the aim of making science papers just a little more accessible. Its called Videoabstracts and consists of ‘homemade’ videos in which an author of the paper explains the key point of the paper in front of a whiteboard. The videos should not be longer than 5 minutes to force people to get to the point efficiently. We feel that these 5 minutes clarify the content and relevance of a paper much better than any abstract can do.
We have produced several examples that you may see on We did not strive for perfection as we feel that anybody should just be able to do these with a webcam and then upload them on QUANTIKI. The videos will then be stored on YouTube and at the same time a link will be created on the arXiv.

Cool. We need to do one about our latest paper arXiv/0905.0901.