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[News] Research and Literature Increasingly Opting for Collaboration

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Medical Research and Open Source: Competition Trumps Collaboration

,----[ Quote ]
| A combination of confidentiality issues, company policies and old-fashioned 
| competition often keeps medical researchers from collaborating on projects. 
| Some initiatives have sprung up to develop open source software and 
| collaborative databases, but for the most part, secrecy reigns.   


Battling pricy textbooks with open-source texts, social media

,----[ Quote ]
| According to a study by the California Public Interest Research Group in 
| 2004, students had to spend $900 each year on textbooks during the course of 
| earning a four-year college degree, and that figure is only growing with the 
| price of books. Indeed, the Government Accountability Office found that 
| prices of academic textbooks rose by almost 300 percent from 1986 to 2004.    
| A recent LA Times article features an interview with Caltech economics 
| professor R. Preston McAfee, who is bucking the trend by offering his 
| students a free, online, open-source textbook. McAfee is (rightly) outraged 
| by the prices charged to what is in effect a captive market. This isn't the 
| first time that overpriced textbooks have been highlighted in the media 
| either.      


Authors and publishers reportedly bribe professors to recommend their books.
Microsoft too bribes them.


Microsoft Pays $200 for Mentioning Its Tools

,----[ Quote ]
| If you're a professor and you mention Microsoft programming tools in a 
| scholarly presentation -- in fact, even if you just use the tools -- 
| Microsoft will send you a check for $200.  


- From E-mail:


,----[ Quote ]
| As you see, it's in French but it is short and sweet.  It refers to an
| article published in the Swiss newspaper Le Temps on Monday (available for a
| payment of 2.50 Swiss francs.)  But I find the Le Monde article
| sufficient and can offer a translation:
|      1,445: number of students in the world paid by Microsoft to
|      promote favourable speech in their universities
|      "How Microsoft has infiltrated the Swiss universities" was the
|      title of the Monday Le Temps.  The Genevean newspaper pointed to
|      these students charged with "forging links with their peers and
|      the professors" to improve the image of Bill Gates' firm in the
|      universities.  The program "Microsoft Student Partners" is not at
|      all clandestine, it has an official Website at
|      "http://student-partners.com";.  It is no longer at all local: the
|      1,445 students at the service of Microsoft are active in 102
|      countries.  In France, more than 100 students carry the title MSP
|      and correspond with the Microsoft teams during their whole time in
|      school.  These French students have actively participated in the
|      launch of the Vista operating system, organising 87 conferences
|      and stands, leading 17 training sessions and moderating 42 blogs.

Microsoft to set up its First Computer University at Bangalore

,----[ Quote ]
| It's expected to contribute greatly towards building a pipeline of billable 
| tech talent in the country. To start with, the university may train about 
| 1,000 students.   

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