Month: March 2006

Open Access publication message

scientific ratWe, scientists, create, provide and judge the science presented to journals. While we are not paid by the publishers, we pay to get access to this science.

Publishers who concentrate more and more journals within a few companies use their oligopoly to charge more and more and earn tremendous amounts of money. They use a snobbism about impact factors and the tyranny this exerts on the career of young scientists.

We can dilute this power in a simple way. Open access is the only answer. Whenever I have to choose one reference out of several, I shall from now on choose a reference to a paper that I and my readers can access freely on the Internet PubMed. If we all do that, we shall push the impact factor of those journals (printed or not) which do not grudge us.

If you agree with this message diffuse it.

(message originally from Pr Jacques E. Dumont, IRIBHM, ULB ; links are from myself)

ISAL will celebrate Holi on 11th March

The Indian Students Association of Leuven (ISAL) will celebrate Holi on the 11th of March 2006, in Leuven (more info soon). Holi is an annual Hindu spring festival, aka. festival of colors (article from Wikipedia). Although it has Hindu roots, Holi is now celebrated by people with all religions (even by people without religion). It will be a good occasion to meet other young Indians (students or not) in Belgium, eat good food 🙂 and maybe play with colors. Of course, you are welcome; just drop a line to the Office Bearers to say you’ll come.

SMC wireless card recognized automatically on a FC4

Since I moved my desk in another room far from the ethernet plugs, I needed a wireless access to the laboratory network (and internet). I tested two PCMCIA card on a laptop with Fedora Core 4.

The first card I found at home was an Acer card without too much information on it (it was sold with my wife’s laptop). When inserted, a lspci tells me that it’s a Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8180L 802.11b MAC (rev 20). But the Fedora Hardware Browser doesn’t recognize it. There is an open project to support this card but it’s still experimental (they are saying it on their own webpage). My lazy nature asked my hand to eject the card. This card is recognized but not working ‘out-of-the-box’.

The second card I tested was a SMC2632W. The strange thing is that a lspci doesn’t give me any information. But the Fedora Hardware Browser recognised the card as a Intersil PRISM2 11Mbps Wireless Adapter.

network cards listed by the Fedora Core hardware browser

The fact that the card is working is further confirmed by iwconfig (it finds wifi0 and wlan0) and cat /proc/net/wireless. But … I don’t have any wireless access point at home (and none of my neighbours seem to have one since I can’t establish a link to any access point). I’ll have to wait till Monday to test and configure it in the lab.

Why bother with denunciations? Just use free software!

I really had a hard day at work, moving my desk from one room to another one and coping with unexpected problems. But I finally found some time to look for a new graphic card for my desktop PC (btw. the OpenGraphics project released the schematic of its first FPGA). While reading an article on Tom’s Hardware, I saw a flash animation for the BSA that explicitely ask for denouncement about software without licence. It was so farcical I captured the animation and added a small message at the end. You can download the AVI file here (.avi, 2Mo).

first frame of the movie

last frame of the movie