Open Thoughts

March 2012 archive

Open Access is very cheap

March 8, 2012

Stuart Shieber just posted very convincing evidence that publication does not really cost that much, at least in technically savvy fields. Read about it here...

An efficient journal

"Adding it all up, a reasonable imputed estimate for JMLR’s total direct costs other than the volunteered labor (that is, tax accountant, web hosting, domain names, clerical work, etc.) is less than $10,000, covering the almost 1,000 articles the journal has published since its founding — about $10 per article. With regard to whose understanding of JMLR’s financing is better than whose, Yann LeCun I think comes out on top. How do I know all this about JMLR? Because (full disclosure alert) I am [ed. the publisher]."

This shows that Yann LeCun knew what he was talking about in the argument with Kent Anderson in the comments section of the Scholarly Kitchen. does not cost that much either. It was initially hosted by the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory in Tuebingen, and now hosted by the Technical University Berlin. All coding was done by Soeren, Mikio and I during our free time. costed a bit more because we paid a programmer and an intern for a few months at the start, and we also bought a more serious server for the heavier load. Luckily we have a PASCAL2 grant.

The real cost, as with JMLR, is the volunteer time needed. In fact, the mloss/mldata team is stretched pretty thin at the moment, and any help would be most welcome. Please contact us if you have a few free hours!

Did the MathWorks Infringe the Competition Laws?

March 2, 2012

I have just read that the EU commission is investigating whether The MathWorks did infringe the EU competition laws potentially related to its software Matlab and Simulink. An unnamed competitor made an appeal to the EU commission claiming that the MathWorks refused to provide a license for Matlab/Simulink to that certain competitor. This hinders making the competing product interoperable and makes it impossible for the competitor to perform (rightful!) reverse engineering in that case.

The original source is here