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歐洲研究機構的資助者推動研究論文的開放存取

在「Radical open-access plan could spell end to journal subscriptions」這邊看到歐洲 11 個研究機構資助者成立了「cOAlition S」,推動研究論文的開放存取。

目標是在 2020 年開始,由這些機構所資助的研究都必須投在符合完全開放條件的平台上:

cOAlition S signals the commitment to implement, by 1 January 2020, the necessary measures to fulfil its main principle: “By 2020 scientific publications that result from research funded by public grants provided by participating national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms.

而現在大約只有 15%:

According to a December 2017 analysis, only around 15% of journals publish work immediately as open access (see ‘Publishing models’) — financed by charging per-article fees to authors or their funders, negotiating general open-publishing contracts with funders, or through other means.

用這種方式降低那些收錢才能下載的平台的影響力...

Elsevier 讓德國的研究機構在還沒有續約的情況下繼續使用

德國的研究機構在 2017 年年底前,也就是與 Elsevier 的合約到期前,還是沒有續約,但 Elsevier 決定還是先繼續提供服務,暫時性的為期一年,繼續談判:

The Dutch publishing giant Elsevier has granted uninterrupted access to its paywalled journals for researchers at around 200 German universities and research institutes that had refused to renew their individual subscriptions at the end of 2017.

The institutions had formed a consortium to negotiate a nationwide licence with the publisher. They sought a collective deal that would give most scientists in Germany full online access to about 2,500 journals at about half the price that individual libraries have paid in the past. But talks broke down and, by the end of 2017, no deal had been agreed. Elsevier now says that it will allow the country’s scientists to access its paywalled journals without a contract until a national agreement is hammered out.

Elsevier 會這樣做主要是要避免讓德國的學術機構發現「沒有 Elsevier 其實也活的很好」。而不少研究人員已經知道這件事情,在大多數的情況下都有 Elsevier 的替代方案,不需要浪費錢簽那麼貴的費用:

Günter Ziegler, a mathematician at the Free University of Berlin and a member of the consortium's negotiating team, says that German researchers have the upper hand in the negotiations. “Most papers are now freely available somewhere on the Internet, or else you might choose to work with preprint versions,” he says. “Clearly our negotiating position is strong. It is not clear that we want or need a paid extension of the old contracts.”

替代方案有幾個方面,像是自由開放下載的 arXiv 愈來愈受到重視,很多研究者都會把投稿的論文在上面放一份 pre-print 版本 (甚至會更新),而且近年來有些知名的證明只放在上面 (像是 Poincaré conjecture)。而且放在人家家裡比放在自己網站來的簡單 (不需要自己維護),這都使得 arXiv 變成學術界新的標準平台。

除了 arXiv 外,其他領域也有自己習慣的平台。像是密碼學這邊的「Cryptology ePrint Archive」也運作很久了。

除了找平台外,放在自家網站上的論文 (通常是學校或是學術機構的個人空間),也因為搜尋引擎的發達,使得大家更容易找到對應檔案可以下載。

而且更直接的攻擊性網站是 Sci-Hub,讓大家從 paywall 下載後丟上去公開讓人搜尋。雖然因為常常被封鎖的原因而常常在換網址,不過透過 Tor Browser (或是自己設定 Tor Proxy) 存取他們的 Hidden Service 就應該沒這個問題。

希望德國可以撐下去,證明其實已經不需要 Elsevier...

Facebook 自己找人研究,Social Media 是否對人類有害 XDDD

之前看到「Hard Questions: Is Spending Time on Social Media Bad for Us?」這篇,一直不知道要怎麼吐槽... 然後看到 Twitter 上的這則 tweet XDDD

既視感太重了,找了一下其他行業對應的資料:

真的不知道怎麼吐槽 XDDD

英文母語的人學習外語所需的時間

這個報導蠻有趣的:「A Map Showing How Much Time It Takes to Learn Foreign Languages: From Easiest to Hardest」。

文章裡分成這幾種:(扣除已經是母語的英語,Category 0)

  • Category I: 23-24 weeks (575-600 hours) Languages closely related to English
  • Category II: 30 weeks (750 hours) Languages similar to English
  • Category III: 36 weeks (900 hours) Languages with linguistic and/or cultural differences from English
  • Category IV: 44 weeks (1100 hours) Languages with significant linguistic and/or cultural differences from English
  • Category V: 88 weeks (2200 hours) Languages which are exceptionally difficult for native English speakers

其中時間最長的這部份引用一下:

Arabic
Cantonese (Chinese)
Mandarin (Chinese)
*Japanese
Korean
* Usually more difficult than other languages in the same category.

IBM 的 50 qubit quantum computer

IBM 在展示他們做到了什麼:「IBM makes 20 qubit quantum computing machine available as a cloud service」。

不過重點應該在目前已經拉出 50 qubit prototype 了:

The company also announced that IBM researchers had successfully built a 50 qubit prototype, which is the next milestone for quantum computing, but it’s unclear when we will see this commercially available.

18 個月從 5 qubit 到 20 qubit:

IBM has been offering quantum computing as a cloud service since last year when it came out with a 5 qubit version of the advanced computers. Today, the company announced that it’s releasing 20-qubit quantum computers, quite a leap in just 18 months. A qubit is a single unit of quantum information.

如果是以這樣的速度成長 (每 18 個月變成原來四倍),五年後就有機會殺 RSA 2048 bits 了?(大約需要 4000 個 qubit)

這比想像中快好多,難怪現在密碼學都在討論抵抗 quantum computer 的演算法...

AlphaGo Zero 的計算量

AlphaGo Zero 論文裡有提到,用同樣的硬體 (4 TPU) 可以用 89:11 碾壓 AlphaGo Master (今年年初與柯潔下的那個版本),主要是得力於更高品質的 neural network 以及更強的選擇能力 (後面這塊應該是將兩個 nerual network 簡化為一後的好處):

This neural network improves the strength of the tree search, resulting in higher quality move selection and stronger self-play in the next iteration.

那麼對應的問題就會冒出來了,究竟 DeepMind 花了多少時間才能訓練出這個新的 nerual network?結果吳毅成教授在 Facebook 上先估算出來了:

這邊的 TPU 對 GPU 的推估應該是基於當時 Google 在說明 TPU 的部份「An in-depth look at Google’s first Tensor Processing Unit (TPU)」:

In short, we found that the TPU delivered 15–30X higher performance and 30–80X higher performance-per-watt than contemporary CPUs and GPUs.

用 GPU 大約是 12K 顆,反推回 TPU 大約也是千顆這個數量左右。而這個數量以目前已經將 TPU 商用化的 Google 來看應該是很輕鬆,只能說有錢真好 XD:

1. 從另外一個角度看, DeepMind 僅40天就可以把 40-block 版本練起來, 換算一下, DeepMind 等於用了約12000顆 1080 Ti.

2011 年的研究,開放辦公室與病假的關聯性

忘記從哪邊冒出來的連結,反正是個 2011 年的研究:「Sickness absence associated with shared and open-plan offices--a national cross sectional questionnaire survey.」。2011 年在丹麥的研究:

METHODS: The analysis was based on a national survey of Danish inhabitants between 18-59 years of age (response rate 62%), and the study population consisted of the 2403 employees that reported working in offices. The different types of offices were characterized according to self-reported number of occupants in the space. The log-linear Poisson model was used to model the number of self-reported sickness absence days depending on the type of office; the analysis was adjusted for age, gender, socioeconomic status, body mass index, alcohol consumption, smoking habits, and physical activity during leisure time.

都是與 cellular office 比較,可以看出大於六個人的開放辦公室病假的量高出許多:

RESULTS: Sickness absence was significantly related to having a greater number of occupants in the office (P<0.001) when adjusting for confounders. Compared to cellular offices, occupants in 2-person offices had 50% more days of sickness absence [rate ratio (RR) 1.50, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.13-1.98], occupants in 3-6-person offices had 36% more days of sickness absence (RR 1.36, 95% CI 1.08-1.73), and occupants in open-plan offices (>6 persons) had 62% more days of sickness absence (RR 1.62, 95% CI 1.30-2.02).

CONCLUSION: Occupants sharing an office and occupants in open-plan offices (>6 occupants) had significantly more days of sickness absence than occupants in cellular offices.

看起來只是拉數字出來分析... 另外信心區間的洞好大 XD

現有語音控制的安全性問題:使用聽不見的高頻下令

雖然相關的理論很早就有了,但上個禮拜放出來的論文完整實做出來,叫做 DolphinAttack,取自於海豚可以聽見人類所聽不到的聲音:「DolphinAtack: Inaudible Voice Commands」(這邊的錯字是作者造成的,submit 到 arXiv 的標題有錯,但論文內描述則是對的)。

無論是 Siri 或是 Google Now,或是其他的控制軟體,都設計成能接受多種不同語調的人,而這個部份目前放的都太寬,造成人類聽不到的區段也可以下令:

也可以看到成功機率很高:

應該會有些調整...

各種職業與離婚率

也是篇研究,講各種職業的離婚率:「Divorce and Occupation」,副標題「Some jobs tend towards higher divorce rates. Some towards lower.」。拿的是 2015 美國的資料分析出來的:

Using data from the 2015 American Community Survey, for each occupation, I calculated the percentage of people who divorced out of those who married at least once.

依照離婚率,由高往低排:

如果是把中位薪拿出來,把邊界的幾個標出來:

原網頁的資料是互動式的形式,游標移上去可以看到每個點是什麼...

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