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Archive for March, 2008


News Alert

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay Indicted


Wikipedia Questions Paths to More Money

 
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, answers a question during an interview with the Associated Press in St. Petersburg, Fla. in this June 29, 2007 file photo. With 2 million articles in English alone, Wikipedia, the Internet encyclopedia “anyone can edit,” stormed the Web’s top ranks through the work of unpaid volunteers and the assistance of donors. But that means Wikipedia has far less financial clout than its Web peers, and doing almost anything to improve that situation invites scrutiny from the same community that proudly generates the content. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, file) (Chris O’meara – AP)

 

By BRIAN BERGSTEIN

The Associated Press
Friday, March 21, 2008; 5:22 AM

— Scroll the list of the 10 most popular Web sites in the U.S., and you’ll encounter the Internet’s richest corporate players _ names like Yahoo, Amazon.com, News Corp., Microsoft and Google.
Except for No. 7: Wikipedia. And there lies a delicate situation.With 2 million articles in English alone, the Internet encyclopedia “anyone can edit” stormed the Web’s top ranks through the work of unpaid volunteers and the assistance of donors. But that gives Wikipedia far less financial clout than its Web peers, and doing almost anything to improve that situation invites scrutiny from the same community that proudly generates the content.And so, much as how its base of editors and bureaucrats endlessly debate touchy articles and other changes to the site, Wikipedia’s community churns with questions over how the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, which oversees the project, should get and spend its money.

Should it proceed on its present course, soliciting donations largely to keep its servers running? Or should it expand other sources of revenue _ with ads, perhaps, or something like a Wikipedia game show _ to fulfill grand visions of sending DVDs or printed books to people who lack computers? Is it helpful _ or counter to the project’s charitable, free-information mission _ to have the Wikimedia Foundation tight with a prominent venture capital firm?

These would be tough questions for any organization, let alone one in which hundreds of participants can expect to have a say.

The system “has strengths and weaknesses,” says Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia’s co-founder and “chairman emeritus.” “The strength is, we don’t do anything randomly, without lots and lots of lots of discussion. The downside is we don’t get anything done unless we actually come to a conclusion.”

Even the foundation’s leaders aren’t unified. Florence Devouard, a French plant scientist who chairs the board, said she and other Europeans involved with the project are more skeptical than Americans such as Wales about moneymaking side projects with for-profit entities.

The project’s financial situation is not exactly dire. Although the group does not have an endowment fund with interest fueling operations, cash contributions jumped to $2.2 million last year, from $1.3 million in the prior year. With big gifts recently, the foundation’s budget is $4.6 million this year.

In the past year, the foundation has tried to become less of an ad hoc outfit, expanding staff from less than 10 people to roughly 15 and moving to San Francisco from St. Petersburg, Fla. It has a new executive director, Sue Gardner, formerly head of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s Web operations, who expects to add professional fund-raisers and improve ties with Wikimedia patrons.

“Two years ago, if you donated $10,000, you might not even get a phone call or a thank-you letter,” Wales said. “That’s just not acceptable.”

Gardner appears to favor an incremental strategy, stretching the staff to 25 people by 2010, with the budget increasing toward $6 million. Even such relatively simple changes, she said, would keep the foundation from missing out on business partnerships and other opportunities.

For example, project leaders would like to hold “Wikipedia Academies” in developing countries, to encourage new cadres of contributors in other languages. Wales also wants to implement software that makes it less technically daunting for newcomers to edit Wikipedia articles _ an idea that has been discussed for at least two years.

It might seem surprising that such a low-key agenda could prove contentious, given that Wikimedia and Wales have also encountered complaints of being incautious with donors’ money. But some Wikipedians want the foundation to be spending more.”Why should they have to be wise spending such a little amount of money when they could have so much more?” said Nathan Awrich, a Wikipedia contributor from Vermont who advocates limited ads on the site, to help pay for technical improvements, better outreach and even a legal-defense fund. “This is not a foundation that needs to last one more year. This is a foundation that needs to be planning for a longer term, and it doesn’t seem like they’re doing it.”Gardner said she opposes advertising unless it came down to a choice between “shutting down the servers and putting ads on the site. I don’t think we’re ever going to get to that point, so I don’t see advertising as an issue.”

Wales sounds political on the matter. On one hand, he said he believes “advertising is really a nonstarter” because of the potential harm to Wikipedia’s noncommercial image. However, he also said the subject requires more research, so Wikipedians truly understand how much money the project is leaving on the table by rejecting ads.

“I think it’s a fallacy to say learning about something implies you want to do it,” he said. “I would like to learn about it because I suspect it’s not worth it.”

Another subject getting carefully parsed is the foundation’s relationship with Elevation Partners, the venture firm co-founded by Roger McNamee and U2’s Bono. Elevation owns stakes in Forbes magazine and Palm Inc., among other companies.

McNamee has donated at least $300,000 to the Foundation, according to Danny Wool, a former Wikimedia employee who processed the transactions. More recently, the foundation said, McNamee introduced the group to people who made separate $500,000 gifts. Their identities have not been disclosed.

Officially, Gardner and McNamee say he is a merely a fan of Wikimedia’s free-information project, separate from Elevation’s profit-making interests. “He has been clear _ when he talks to me, he’s talking as a private individual,” Gardner said.

Yet the relationship runs deeper than that would suggest.

Another Elevation partner, Marc Bodnick, has met with Wales multiple times and went to a 2007 Wikimedia board meeting in the Netherlands. (Wales described that as a “get to know you session” and said Elevation, among many other venture firms, quickly learned that the foundation was not interested in changing its core, nonprofit mission.)

Bodnick and Bono had also been with Wales in 2006 in Mexico City, where U2 was touring. On a hotel rooftop, Bono suggested that Wikipedia use its volunteer-written articles as a starting point, then augment that with professionals who would polish and publish the content, according to two people who were present. Bono compared it to Bob Dylan going electric _ a jarring move that people came to love.

McNamee and Bodnick declined to comment.

Although Wales says no business with Elevation is planned, that hasn’t quelled that element ever-present in Wikipedia: questions.

In the recent interview, Devouard, the board chair, said she believed Elevation was interested in being more than just friends, though she wasn’t sure just what the firm hoped to get out of the nonprofit project.

“It is easy to see which interest WE have in getting their interest,” she wrote to Wales that day on an internal board mailing list, in an exchange obtained by The Associated Press. “The contrary is not obvious at all: Can you explain to me why EP (Elevation Partners) are interested in us?”

___

On the Net:

http://www.wikimedia.org

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News Alert

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay Indicted


FBI Opens Probe of China-Based Hackers

Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, March 21, 2008; Page A02

The FBI has opened a preliminary investigation of a report that China-based hackers have penetrated the e-mail accounts of leaders and members of the Save Darfur Coalition, a national advocacy group pushing to end the six-year-old conflict in Sudan.

The accounts of 10 members were hacked into between early February and last week, and the intruders also gained access to the group’s Web server and viewed pages from the inside, the group said yesterday.The intruders, said coalition spokesman M. Allyn Brooks-LaSure, “seemed intent on subversively monitoring, probing and disrupting coalition activities.” He said Web site logs and e-mails showed Internet protocol addresses that were traced to China.

The allegation fits a near decade-old pattern of cyber-espionage and cyber-intimidation by the Chinese government against critics of its human rights practices, experts said. It comes as calls for a boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics have been mounting since China’s crackdown on Tibetan protesters last week.

The coalition, headquartered in Washington, has been a vocal critic of China’s support for the Sudanese government and its refusal to allow anyone to pressure Khartoum to end the conflict. The group has urged China — Sudan’s chief diplomatic sponsor, major weapons provider and largest foreign investor and trade partner — to use its position as a member of the U.N. Security Council to bring peace to the region.

“Someone in Beijing is clearly trying to send us a message,” coalition President Jerry Fowler said. “But they’re mistaken if they think these attacks will end efforts to bring peace to Darfur.”

A senior Chinese official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the allegation is false.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Is venture capital’s love affair with Web 2.0 over? | Tech news blog – CNET News.com

“Silicon Valley remains the hotbed of Web 2.0 activity, but the hipness of start-ups with goofy names is starting to cool in the face of economic reality.
Dow Jones VentureSource on Tuesday released numbers of venture capital activity in Web 2.0 companies and declared that the ‘investment boom may be peaking.’
Venture capitalists put $1.34 billion into 178 deals in 2007, an 88 percent jump over 2006. But once you strip out the $300 million that Facebook raised from Microsoft and others, the numbers don’t look as bullish.
The pace of deal flow, or the number of fundings, has slowed, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area. Deal flow in 2007 went up 25 percent to 178 deals, but nearly all of those occurred outside the Bay Area, where the number of deals slipped downward.
‘Web 2.0 deals in the Bay Area actually dropped from 74 deals in 2006 to 69 last year and investments were down 3 percent from the $431 million invested in 2006. It’s clear that the real growth in the Web 2.0 sector is happening outside of the Bay Area,’ Jessica Canning, director of global research at Dow Jones VentureSource, said in a statement.”

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How Can Air Travel Be Free?

Tech Biz  :  IT   RSS

How Can Air Travel Be Free?

By Chris Anderson Email 02.25.08 | 12:00 AM

Chart: Steven Leckart; Chart design: Nicholas Felton; Sources: Inviseomedia, Ryanair

Every year, about 1.3 million passengers fly from London to Barcelona. A ticket on Dublin-based low-cost airline Ryanair is just $20 (10 pounds). Other routes are similarly cheap, and Ryanair’s CEO has said he hopes to one day offer all seats on his flights for free (perhaps offset by in-air gambling, turning his planes into flying casinos). How can a flight across the English Channel be cheaper than the cab ride to your hotel?

A) Cut costs: Ryanair boards and disembarks passengers from the tarmac to trim gate fees. The airline also negotiates lower access fees from less-popular airports eager for traffic. B) Ramp up the ancillary fees: Ryanair charges for in-flight food and beverages; assesses extra fees for preboarding, checked baggage, and flying with an infant; collects a share of car rentals and hotel reservations booked through the Web site; charges marketers for in-flight advertising; and levies a credit-card handling fee for all ticket purchases. C) Offset losses with higher fares: On popular travel days, the same flight can cost more than $100.

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Science 2.0: Great New Tool, or Great Risk?

Wikis, blogs and other collaborative web technologies could usher in a new era of science. Or not.

By M. Mitchell Waldrop

  Back



Welcome to a Scientific American experiment in “networked journalism,” in which readers—you—get to collaborate with the author to give a story its final form.

The article, below, is a particularly apt candidate for such an experiment: it’s my feature story on “Science 2.0,” which describes how researchers are beginning to harness wikis, blogs and other Web 2.0 technologies as a potentially transformative way of doing science. The draft article appears here, several months in advance of its print publication, and we are inviting you to comment on it. Your inputs will influence the article’s content, reporting, perhaps even its point of view.

So consider yourself invited. Please share your thoughts about the promise and peril of Science 2.0.—just post your inputs in the Comment section below. To help get you started, here are some questions to mull over:

  • What do you think of the article itself? Are there errors? Oversimplifications? Gaps?
  • What do you think of the notion of “Science 2.0?” Will Web 2.0 tools really make science much more productive? Will wikis, blogs and the like be transformative, or will they be just a minor convenience?
  • Science 2.0 is one aspect of a broader Open Science movement, which also includes Open-Access scientific publishing and Open Data practices. How do you think this bigger movement will evolve?
  • Looking at your own scientific field, how real is the suspicion and mistrust mentioned in the article? How much do you and your colleagues worry about getting “scooped”? Do you have first-hand knowledge of a case in which that has actually happened?
  • When young scientists speak out on an open blog or wiki, do they risk hurting their careers?
  • Is “open notebook” science always a good idea? Are there certain aspects of a project that researchers should keep quite, at least until the paper is published?

–M. Mitchell Waldrop

The explosively growing World Wide Web has rapidly transformed retailing, publishing, personal communication and much more. Innovations such as e-commerce, blogging, downloading and open-source software have forced old-line institutions to adopt whole new ways of thinking, working and doing business.

Science could be next. A small but growing number of researchers–and not just the younger ones–have begun to carry out their work via the wide-open blogs, wikis and social networks of Web 2.0. And although their efforts are still too scattered to be called a movement–yet–their experiences to date suggest that this kind of Web-based “Science 2.0” is not only more collegial than the traditional variety, but considerably more productive.

“Science happens not just because of people doing experiments, but because they’re discussing those experiments,” explains Christopher Surridge, editor of the Web-based journal, Public Library of Science On-Line Edition (PLoS ONE). Critiquing, suggesting, sharing ideas and data–communication is the heart of science, the most powerful tool ever invented for correcting mistakes, building on colleagues’ work and creating new knowledge. And not just communication in peer-reviewed papers; as important as those papers are, says Surridge, who publishes a lot of them, “they’re effectively just snapshots of what the authors have done and thought at this moment in time. They are not collaborative beyond that, except for rudimentary mechanisms such as citations and letters to the editor.”

The technologies of Web 2.0 open up a much richer dialog, says Bill Hooker, a postdoctoral cancer researcher at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Portland, Ore., and the author of a three-part survey of open-science efforts in the group blog, 3 Quarks Daily. “To me, opening up my lab notebook means giving people a window into what I’m doing every day. That’s an immense leap forward in clarity. In a paper, I can see what you’ve done. But I don’t know how many things you tried that didn’t work. It’s those little details that become clear with open notebook, but are obscured by every other communication mechanism we have. It makes science more efficient.” That jump in efficiency, in turn, could have huge payoffs for society, in everything from faster drug development to greater national competitiveness.

Of course, many scientists remain highly skeptical of such openness–especially in the hyper-competitive biomedical fields, where patents, promotion and tenure can hinge on being the first to publish a new discovery. From that perspective, Science 2.0 seems dangerous: using blogs and social networks for your serious work feels like an open invitation to have your online lab notebooks vandalized–or worse, have your best ideas stolen and published by a rival.

To Science 2.0 advocates, however, that atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust is an ally. “When you do your work online, out in the open,” Hooker says, “you quickly find that you’re not competing with other scientists anymore, but cooperating with them.”

Rousing Success
In principle, says PLoS ONE’s Surridge, scientists should find the transition to Web 2.0 perfectly natural. After all, since the time of Galileo and Newton, scientists have built up their knowledge about the world by “crowd-sourcing” the contributions of many researchers and then refining that knowledge through open debate. “Web 2.0 fits so perfectly with the way science works, it’s not whether the transition will happen but how fast,” he says.

The OpenWetWare project at MIT is an early success. Launched in the spring of 2005 by graduate students working for MIT biological engineers Drew Endy and Thomas Knight, who collaborate on synthetic biology, the project was originally seen as just a better way to keep the two labs’ Web sites up to date. OpenWetWare is a wiki–a collaborative Web site that can be edited by anyone who has access to it; it even uses the same software that underlies the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. Students happily started posting pages introducing themselves and their research, without having to wait for a Webmaster to do it for them.

But then, users discovered that the wiki was also a convenient place to post what they were learning about lab techniques: manipulating and analyzing DNA, getting cell cultures to grow. “A lot of the ‘how-to’ gets passed around as lore in biology labs, and never makes it into the protocol manuals,” says Jason Kelly, a graduate student of Endy’s who now sits on the OpenWetWare steering committee. “But we didn’t have that.” Most of the students came from a background in engineering; theirs was a young lab with almost no mentors. So whenever a student or postdoc managed to stumble through a new protocol, he or she would write it all down on a wiki page before the lessons were forgotten. Others would then add whatever new tricks they had learned. This was not altruism, notes steering-committee member Reshma Shetty. “The information was actually useful to me.” But by helping herself, she adds, “that information also became available around the world.”

Indeed, Kelly points out, “Most of our new users came to us because they’d been searching Google for information on a protocol, found it posted on our site, and said ‘Hey!’ As more and more labs got on, it became pretty apparent that there were lots of other interesting things they could do.”

Classes, for example. Instead of making do with a static Web page posted by a professor, users began to create dynamically evolving class sites where they could post lab results, ask questions, discuss the answers and even write collaborative essays. “And all stayed on the site, where it made the class better for next year,” says Shetty, who has created an OpenWetWare template for creating such class sites.

Laboratory management benefited too. “I didn’t even know what a wiki was,” recalls Maureen Hoatlin of the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, where she runs a lab studying the genetic disorder Fanconi anemia. But she did know that the frenetic pace of research in her field was making it harder to keep up with what her own team members were doing, much less Fanconi researchers elsewhere. “I was looking for a tool that would help me organize all that information,” Hoatlin says. “I wanted it to be Web-based, because I travel a lot and needed to access it from wherever I was. And I wanted something my collaborators and group members could add to dynamically, so that whatever I saw on that Web page would be the most recently updated version.”

OpenWetWare, which Hoatlin saw in the spring of 2006, fit the bill perfectly. “The transparency turned out to be very powerful,” she says. “I came to love the interaction, the fact that people in other labs could comment on what we do and vice versa. When I see how fast that is, and its power to move science forward–there is nothing like it.”

Numerous others now work through OpenWetWare to coordinate research. SyntheticBiology.org, one of the site’s most active interest groups, currently comprises six laboratories in three states, and includes postings about jobs, meetings, discussions of ethics, and much more.

In short, OpenWetWare has quickly grown into a social network catering to a wide cross-section of biologists and biological engineers. It currently encompasses laboratories on five continents, dozens of courses and interest groups, and hundreds of protocol discussions–more than 6100 Web pages edited by 3,000 registered users. A May 2007 grant from the National Science Foundation launched the OpenWetWare team on a five-year effort to transform OpenWetWare to a self-sustaining community independent of its current base at MIT. The grant will also support development of many new practical tools, such as ways to interface biological databases with the wiki, as well as creation of a generic version of OpenWetWare that can be used by other research communities such as neuroscience, as well as by individual investigators.

Skepticism Persists
For all the participants’ enthusiasm, however, this wide-open approach to science still faces intense skepticism. Even Hoatlin found the openness unnerving at first. “Now I’m converted to open wikis for everything possible,” she says. “But when I originally joined I wanted to keep everything private”–not least to keep her lab pages from getting trashed by some random hacker. She did not relax until she began to understand the system’s built-in safeguards.

First and foremost, says MIT’s Kelly, “you can’t hide behind anonymity.” By default, OpenWetWare pages are visible to anyone (although researchers have the option to make pages private.) But unlike the oft-defaced Wikipedia, the system will let users make changes only after they have registered and established that they belong to a legitimate research organization. “We’ve never yet had a case of vandalism,” Kelly says. Even if they did, the wiki automatically maintains a copy of every version of every page posted: “You could always just roll back the damage with a click of your mouse.”

Unfortunately, this kind of technical safeguard does little to address a second concern: Getting scooped and losing the credit. “That’s the first argument people bring to the table,” says Drexel University chemist Jean-Claude Bradley, who created his independent laboratory wiki, UsefulChem, in December 2005. Even if incidents are rare in reality, Bradley says, everyone has heard a story, which is enough to keep most scientists from even discussing their unpublished work too freely, much less posting it on the Internet.

However, the Web provides better protection that the traditional journal system, Bradley maintains. Every change on a wiki gets a time-stamp, he notes, “so if someone actually did try to scoop you, it would be very easy to prove your priority–and to embarrass them. I think that’s really what is going to drive open science: the fear factor. If you wait for the journals, your work won’t appear for another six to nine months. But with open science, your claim to priority is out there right away.”

Under Bradley’s radically transparent “open notebook” approach, as he calls it, everything goes online: experimental protocols, successful outcomes, failed attempts, even discussions of papers being prepared for publication. “A simple wiki makes an almost perfect lab notebook,” he declares. The time-stamps on every entry not only establish priority, but allow anyone to track the contributions of every person, even in a large collaboration.

Bradley concedes that there are sometimes legitimate reasons for researchers to think twice about being so open. If work involves patients or other human subjects, for example, privacy is obviously a concern. And if you think your work might lead to a patent, it is still not clear that the patent office will accept a wiki posting as proof of your priority. Until that is sorted out, he says, “the typical legal advice is: do not disclose your ideas before you file.”

Still, Bradley says the more open scientists are, the better. When he started UsefulChem, for example, his lab was investigating the synthesis of drugs to fight diseases such as malaria. But because search engines could index what his team was doing without needing a bunch of passwords, “we suddenly found people discovering us on Google and wanting to work together. The National Cancer Institute contacted me wanting to test our compounds as anti-tumor agents. Rajarshi Guha at Indiana University offered to help us do calculations about docking–figuring out which molecules will be reactive. And there were others. So now we’re not just one lab doing research, but a network of labs collaborating.”

Blogophobia
Although wikis are gaining, scientists have been strikingly slow to embrace one of the most popular Web 2.0 applications: Web logging, or blogging.

“It’s so antithetical to the way scientists are trained,” Duke University geneticist Huntington F. Willard said at the April 2007 North Carolina Science Blogging Conference, one of the first national gatherings devoted to this topic. The whole point of blogging is spontaneity–getting your ideas out there quickly, even at the risk of being wrong or incomplete. “But to a scientist, that’s a tough jump to make,” says Willard, head of Duke’s Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy. “When we publish things, by and large, we’ve gone through a very long process of drafting a paper and getting it peer reviewed. Every word is carefully chosen, because it’s going to stay there for all time. No one wants to read, ‘Contrary to the result of Willard and his colleagues…’.”

Still, Willard favors blogging. As a frequent author of newspaper op-ed pieces, he feels that scientists should make their voices heard in every responsible way possible. Blogging is slowly beginning to catch on; because most blogs allow outsiders to comment on the individual posts, they have proved to be a good medium for brainstorming and discussions of all kinds. Bradley’s UsefulChem blog is an example. Paul Bracher’s Chembark is another. “Chembark has morphed into the water cooler of chemistry,” says Bracher, who is pursuing his Ph.D. in that field at Harvard University. “The conversations are: What should the research agencies be funding? What is the proper way to manage a lab? What types of behavior do you admire in a boss? But instead of having five people around a single water cooler you have hundreds of people around the world.”

Of course, for many members of Bracher’s primary audience–young scientists still struggling to get tenure–those discussions can look like a minefield. A fair number of the participants use pseudonyms, out of fear that a comment might offend some professor’s sensibilities, hurting a student’s chances of getting a job later. Other potential participants never get involved because they feel that time spent with the online community is time not spent on cranking out that next publication. “The peer-reviewed paper is the cornerstone of jobs and promotion,” says PLoS ONE’s Surridge. “Scientists don’t blog because they get no credit.”

The credit-assignment problem is one of the biggest barriers to the widespread adoption of blogging or any other aspect of Science 2.0, agrees Timo Hannay, head of Web publishing at the Nature Publishing Group in London. (That group’s parent company, Macmillan, also owns Scientific American.) Once again, however, the technology itself may help. “Nobody believes that a scientist’s only contribution is from the papers he or she publishes,” Hannay says. “People understand that a good scientist also gives talks at conferences, shares ideas, takes a leadership role in the community. It’s just that publications were always the one thing you could measure. Now, however, as more of this informal communication goes on line, that will get easier to measure too.”

Collaboration the Payoff
The acceptance of any such measure would require a big change in the culture of academic science. But for Science 2.0 advocates, the real significance of Web technologies is their potential to move researchers away from an obsessive focus on priority and publication, toward the kind of openness and community that were supposed to be the hallmark of science in the first place. “I don’t see the disappearance of the formal research paper anytime soon,” Surridge says. “But I do see the growth of lots more collaborative activity building up to publication.” And afterwards as well: PLoS ONE not only allows users to annotate and comment on the papers it publishes online, but to rate the papers’ quality on a scale of 1 to 5.

Meanwhile, Hannay has been taking the Nature group into the Web 2.0 world aggressively. “Our real mission isn’t to publish journals, but to facilitate scientific communication,” he says. “We’ve recognized that the Web can completely change the way that communication happens.” Among the efforts are Nature Network, a social network designed for scientists; Connotea, a social bookmarking site patterned on the popular site del.icio.us, but optimized for the management of research references; and even an experiment in open peer review, with pre-publication manuscripts made available for public comment.

Indeed, says Bora Zivkovic, a circadian rhythm expert who writes at Blog Around the Clock, and who is the Online Community Manager for PLoS ONE, the various experiments in Science 2.0 are now proliferating so rapidly that it is almost impossible to keep track of them. “It’s a Darwinian process,” he says. “About 99 percent of these ideas are going to die. But some will emerge and spread.”

“I wouldn’t like to predict where all this is going to go,” Hooker adds. “But I’d be happy to bet that we’re going to like it when we get there.”

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Yahoo!/Microsoft Execs Meet For Round Two

Posted by Zonk on Sunday March 16, @03:21PM
from the ready-steady-fight dept.
psychosmyth writes “Microsoft’s deal to Yahoo! is apparently back on the table. Yahoo execs met again with Microsoft early this past week to re-discuss the deal that fell through earlier. ‘The gathering, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, gave Microsoft its first chance to sell Yahoo on the rationale for the proposed marriage since the software maker unveiled its plans six weeks ago. Since then, Yang has been exploring different ways to ward off Microsoft. The alternatives have included possible alliances with Internet search and advertising leader Google Inc., News Corp.’s MySpace.com and Time Warner Inc.’s AOL.’ Microsoft is apparently still keeping all of its options open; a hostile take-over is not out of the question.”

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Yahoo Sets Bullish Financial Targets

By Shira Ovide
Word Count: 526  |  Companies Featured in This Article: Yahoo, Microsoft, Google
Yahoo Inc. sought to paint a rosy picture of its financial future as the Internet company pitches its rationale for turning down a takeover offer from Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft in February lobbed a hostile bid to buy Yahoo, a deal now worth about $42 billion. Yahoo turned away the offer as too low. In materials made public Tuesday, Yahoo offered its clearest outline yet of how the company expects to grow on its own. (Read Yahoo’s presentation.)

Yahoo plans to use the presentation as it begins about a week of meetings with its largest shareholders. The discussions essentially act as …

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