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(New Jersey 101.5)   Desperate doctoral student offers laptop thief $1,000 for return of thesis folder containing five years worth of research   (nj1015.com) divider line 267
    More: Sad, Rutgers University, students  
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9846 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Apr 2013 at 7:38 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-24 09:24:23 PM  

The One True TheDavid: FizixJunkee: Albert911emt:

Use a USB drive....they're cheap and easy to carry.

Quick question: Is there a source for a USB drive that's not made in China?

Why "not made in China?" Are you someone I should buddy up to and slip a roofie so I can record your pill talk and sell it to China for enough money to keep both myself and Madonna's brother drunk for the next 20 years?

Seriously, are those drives hacked before you open the damn package? Or what?


Maybe he would rather not purchase goods made in a country with only a passing familiarity with human rights?

Maybe in his experience, stuff made in China is cheaply made and thus unreliable?

Maybe he's worried about lead poisoning?

Maybe he's worried that once he gets one, he'll want another one half an hour later?
 
2013-04-24 09:24:51 PM  

texdent: Wasn't this the plot of a movie awhile back?


With Honors. Joe Pesci and Brendan Fraser
 
2013-04-24 09:25:20 PM  
Amos Quito:

I post backup copies of all my important stuff under Red-Lit threads on Fark.

Only costs $5 bucks a month.

/Thanks, Drew!


HA. I do that for FREE.

I'm surprised today's stab in the dark got green-lit.
 
2013-04-24 09:25:53 PM  
Educated people can be so dumb. I once worked for a university. One professor had his entire 20+ something years of research on his laptop.  He knocked his laptop off of a podium during a lecture after tripping over the power cord.

He had never once backed up his data.

/saved about 93% of it...but still...
 
2013-04-24 09:28:23 PM  
I don't have a Doctorate, but I am a writer. I have about 12 TB of hard drive space available to me, as well as a Blu-ray Disc burner that handles CD and DVD burning, and at least two cloud services to back up off-site. I have a backup of my projects stored in a fireproof safe, too. Anybody whose computer data is essential to their work spends the time and money to find ways to back up everything they'll need to get back to work after tragedy strikes.

The guy doesn't deserve a Doctorate. He seems to be a dim-bulb who just had the money to buy himself his degrees.
 
2013-04-24 09:29:07 PM  
I wonder if he's really that stupid or if this is just an excuse for not being prepared / ploy for more time. I'm not saying it's likely, but it's a possibility. Maybe things weren't shaping up like he had hoped and is just desperate and stalling?

Meh.

If your life can be farked in the ass by the loss of some files there is no excuse for not having everything backed up in at least two other independent locations. Ideally you should back things up multiple times a day, but, at the very least, you should do it daily.
 
2013-04-24 09:29:21 PM  
StopLurkListen: What people like is the seamlessness of sharing on multiple machines, not just the backing up.

Dropbox is a sync tool, not a backup tool.

Someone is going to learn that the hard way.

1) Delete from one machine and dropbox will (by default) happily delete it from the remaining machines.

2) Dropbox does keep deleted files, but keep in mind that files could also become corrupted (the data equivalent of cancer), and dropbox will (by default) happily copy that corrupted file to the remaining machines.
 
2013-04-24 09:30:47 PM  
I lost all my porn accidentally several years ago. Ouch.
 
2013-04-24 09:31:11 PM  
I have a friend that worked IT for a company about a decade ago.  He told me he got a call from a panicked guy in the UK who was in charge of his company back ups.  I don't recall what the exact problem was, but the upshot was that he'd not only managed to hose their servers and all of their active data, but he hadn't been keeping backups for years.  He begged my friend to help him, saying that he was going to get fired when his boss found out.

My friend thought about it a second and just told him, "Yeah, sounds about right."

/Trying to find a good cloud service for medical files.
//Anyone know one that has good encryption?
 
2013-04-24 09:31:51 PM  
Slackfumasta back to me:

Why "not made in China?"

Maybe he would rather not purchase goods made in a country with only a passing familiarity with human rights?


So would I, but I usually can't afford to buy anything that also China makes.


Maybe in his experience, stuff made in China is cheaply made and thus unreliable?

Well yeah, but... See above.


Maybe he's worried about lead poisoning?

He's not going to eat the USB drive, is he?


Maybe he's worried that once he gets one, he'll want another one half an hour later?

i0.kym-cdn.com
 
2013-04-24 09:32:50 PM  
meyerkev:
/Or my personal favorite, A local git repo contained in a dropbox.  Perfect backup across multiple machines coupled with local revision history so you can blow away 6 hours of fail in 3 seconds.

Nice! I like that one. I'm currently using rdiff-backup with unlimited versions on the home server. On the rare occasions when I program anymore I edit the crontab so it runs every 4 minutes instead of every 4 hours. :)

Terribly primitive compared to your solution, but my programming habits developed in the '80s. Version control systems like git were card-image based and a royal pain to use, so I never got used to them.

// In fact, I don't even use an integrated editor.
/// I mostly use joe, because it tickles my nostalgia to still use commands I learned on WordStar 1.0.
 
2013-04-24 09:33:02 PM  
google drive...dropbox...

anything that is important (docs, etc) goes to the cloud, immediately.  Not only does it make one safe from stolen laptops (well, data-loss-wise, at least), it also means that if I just happen to be at a friend's, at a library, using a touchpad, at a client's using a workstation, where ever, when ever, if the file is on google drive...I'm there in seconds.

How can one be smart enough to pursue a PhD in chem, yet too dumb to make a backup at least, say, once a year?!?  (if not month...week...day...)
 
2013-04-24 09:34:35 PM  

JungleBoogie: RAIDs are designed to stay on all the time. Learn the different flavors of RAIDs (mirroring versus data striping across multiple disks). I didn't want a device that was designed to stay on all the time for personal use. YMMV. Here's a list of RAIDs that could hold all your data in one device.

Here's the lowdown on the NAS.


and the next lesson is RAIDs except for 0 (which is the worst idea for backup ever) require a sacrifice of total capacity depending on which flavour.  In the link you provided not a single one of those could actually hold 10TB after even just raid5's 1 disk worth of parity was factored.  Well the first one would squeeze in there since its 6x2TB drives but that's kind of sketchy.  Btw there is nothing about raids that require them to be 'always on', its just a set of disks combined to a greater purpose, nothing more nothing less.

Next word to the wise:  If you want to buy a proper little NAS at least buy the empty version and stick the drives in yourself.  The markup on those guys is hilarious otherwise, I'm not even talking trying to get by with those horrible little green edition drives either.  For instance, if you bought say the Drobo 5 bay NAS off new egg for a quarter of the price ($599) vs that over priced site you could then turn around and fill it with 3TB drives for ~$120 each, total price for 15TB of drives or 12TB of effective raid5 storage:  $1200.  All you gotta do is actually slide the drives in, those companies are charging a $1000 premium to slide in some drives.  Word to the wise.
 
2013-04-24 09:34:58 PM  
My close call was a .WAV file, only ~5MB, of a last audio recording I did with my grandfather where he talked about being a POW in WWII. He passed soon after and when my dad wanted a copy of it for posterity I had realized I lost it in a HD crash. Fortunately a friend dug up an old email from me with it as an attachment. What a dumbfark.
 
2013-04-24 09:38:37 PM  

eighthourlunch: Not exactly PhD material.

/Sadly, a lot of PhDs aren't.
//Says the snarky physics student.


A lot of degree-holders have I.Q.s south of average.

It pisses me off.
 
2013-04-24 09:39:07 PM  

skinink: He didn't have a backup of his five year thesis? I have backup of all my files, including the porn.


This!

I have copies of almost everything I've done digitally since the early '90's.

Even had an old hard drive for a Mac Plus and a bunch of floppies and ZiP disks until I got tired of hauling them around.
 
2013-04-24 09:40:57 PM  

lordargent: StopLurkListen: What people like is the seamlessness of sharing on multiple machines, not just the backing up.

Dropbox is a sync tool, not a backup tool.

Someone is going to learn that the hard way.

1) Delete from one machine and dropbox will (by default) happily delete it from the remaining machines.

2) Dropbox does keep deleted files, but keep in mind that files could also become corrupted (the data equivalent of cancer), and dropbox will (by default) happily copy that corrupted file to the remaining machines.


Truth.
 
2013-04-24 09:42:10 PM  

nmrsnr: Well, now every future employer knows how well he plans for future contingencies.


Stopped by to make this comment, knowing full well I may have been beaten to it. *salute*
 
2013-04-24 09:42:15 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: always back up your research!!

Watched a guy try to fight his way into a burning building to try to save his research.


Jesus, I even back up my Nickelback collection.

No, I don't actually listen to Nickelback but you get the point - even if it seems stupid, back it up. Let alone your farking thesis.

I have everything ghosted using the surprisingly decent program baked into Win7, plus an extra backup of just the data kept at a friend's house in case my place burns down. Seriously, you can't be too paranoid with years of hard work, or just all the porn you meticulously searched out (this is why I do it, because I dropped out of grad school). While ghosting might be intimidating for your grandmother, keeping all your data in a folder, right-clicking it, hitting "copy," navigating to another drive and hitting "paste" isn't. It's almost as easy as turning the damn thing on, yet so many people don't do it and then cry when the drive fails or the computer is stolen.

Cloud is good, too, unless you're a media hoarder like me and it takes 40 years to upload or retrieve. But this person's thesis could have been saved to dropbox or any other free service. I think The Bible is like 9 KB (no, not really, but the free version of Dropbox is 2 GB). Once set up, it's even automated for fark's sake, thus skipping even the very simple step mentioned above.
 
2013-04-24 09:44:37 PM  
$12 for a USB drive backup? Sorry. You don't deserve to supervise students.
 
2013-04-24 09:45:50 PM  

lordargent: StopLurkListen: What people like is the seamlessness of sharing on multiple machines, not just the backing up.

Dropbox is a sync tool, not a backup tool.

Someone is going to learn that the hard way.

1) Delete from one machine and dropbox will (by default) happily delete it from the remaining machines.

2) Dropbox does keep deleted files, but keep in mind that files could also become corrupted (the data equivalent of cancer), and dropbox will (by default) happily copy that corrupted file to the remaining machines.


This is why my Dropbox folder gets backed up at each end of the sync. I have a full backup from every month for the past few years, plus full backups from each week for the last month, plus daily incremental backups.

Dropbox does keep the last 3 versions of a file. So if a file does become corrupt and synced it isn't necessarily doomed. But, as you said, it's not a replacement for a proper backup and shouldn't be relied upon as one.
 
2013-04-24 09:46:31 PM  

netcentric: A dullard who isn't smart enough to back up their hard drive.

Dumbfark.

You can't fix stupid


But apparently you can give it an advanced degree if it pays enough to a university.

This guy, dumb as he is, will be making more than many of us in ten years' time. And that's why the educational system in America is broken.

/You all do realize his ad also functions as solicitation for someone to write his thesis for $1000 or a "negotiable" fee, don't you?
//Maybe he didn't write one at all, and this was his subtle way of having someone sell him one.
 
2013-04-24 09:47:32 PM  

ladyfortuna: lordargent: MaxxLarge:
// this guy is lucky it just got stolen, vs getting dropped on train tracks and run over by a train or something. There's at least some small inkling of a chance that he could get the data back from the thief ... BUT you can't bribe a train!

Friend of mine works for Kroll (the data recovery people, there's more than one). Apparently they were the company that recovered data from the Columbia space shuttle. I don't know the particulars but it's pretty cool that that's even possible.



Yeah, most of the bits were all over the place!
 
2013-04-24 09:48:00 PM  
Wow.

I *still* have backups of papers I wrote in college... in the early 1990s.
 
2013-04-24 09:48:05 PM  
Since it's a Lenovo can't he just call the Chinese Army and get a copy of his data?

(Supposedly, The U S Government stopped buying Lenovo systems because of 'mystery hardware')
 
2013-04-24 09:49:33 PM  

Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: When I worked tech support for a computer company, every 'finals' season I would get at least one call, always from a young woman, whose hard drive had crashed and they lost their critical docs.  Every bloody time, they had zero backups.  Going forward, every time I talked to a parent who mentioned buying the computer for their college bound child, or to a kid in college, I told them to go out, buy a thumb drive, put it on their key chain, and keep backups of their important stuff on it.

When I actually did work at a college, most of the students I worked with had thumb drives.  The smart ones also emailed themselves their really critical docs so they'd be stored on-line.

And of course, now there's Dropbox and other cloud services.

/but wait, what if I really want to put everything important to me on one small box that can be easily stolen or destroyed?


I email myself stuff all the time. Plus backup to an external hard drive.
 
2013-04-24 09:53:33 PM  

JungleBoogie: Coastalgrl


Thanks for the low down. I had considered a RAID but know that they do need maintenance. I will have to read up on them. The cost of the RAID is minimal compared to the cost of the data. Most of which is not recoverable or expensive to reproduce.

Due to a building rehab (deadly mold spores = gutting down to the foundation), the entire office has been spread around for over a year so. My own personal office has moved 3-4 times suddenly so my files are all over the place. Once we are all back into one place, I intend on spending a month on data organization.

I have no clue where anything is other than my own current research. Drives me nuts.
 
2013-04-24 09:54:02 PM  
164 post in and no one has chastised this guy for not backing up his data. Fark, I am disappoint.
 
2013-04-24 09:54:43 PM  
If it's important, you back that shiat up. It just might save us from the dark seekers.

img195.imageshack.us

/six redundant drives
 
2013-04-24 09:59:24 PM  
I'd flunk him just for not backing it up.

(on a frigging laptop for crying out loud)
 
2013-04-24 10:00:11 PM  
I guess he wont graduate with honors, unless he helps out a dying hobo

www.joshhamiltonactor.com
 
2013-04-24 10:00:20 PM  
louiedog: Dropbox does keep the last 3 versions of a file. So if a file does become corrupt and synced it isn't necessarily doomed.

So it's 3 steps away from the cliff vs being one step away from the cliff.

For files that aren't accessed that often, how long would it take before someone noticed that the file was bad?

// then again, the same applies to regular backups as well. Backing up alone isn't enough, every once in a while you have to check to see what the hell you're actually backing up.

// for me, dropbox is just a transient, I mostly use it to get files from my phone or tablet onto the desktop computer where they can be backed up. I also use it to get scans (of passports, itineraries, visas, confirmation slips, etc) onto my phone and tablet when I travel. It's also awesome for getting configuration files from one machine to another (EX: if I change my adblock settings, I export the config to dropbox, then load it on the other computers at some point).
 
2013-04-24 10:04:23 PM  

meyerkev: Coastalgrl


Since its grant money, its inconsistent funding so internal developments are always last which is not the way to run things long term.

This is actually a reasonable solution. I didn't realize the boxes were that cheap. In theory, I could purchase a couple drives at a time and move things from the 5 hard drives (4 portable, 1 internal) to the RAID. In order to interface with the RAID, I would need a separate OS or does it come with some minimal interface program and just access it like a giant HD?

Right now I have one large back up drive (2 TB), a 2 TB portable, 500 GB internal HD and 2 smaller portable ones. The rest of the data is housed offsite till I find a better solution. I have some very nice friends with RAIDS but several states away.
 
2013-04-24 10:05:08 PM  
Ok... Since we are talking about cloud storage: does anyone have informed opinions about a Pogoplug device (not the cloud storgae) vs. just using Dropbox?

Is the Pogoplug basically just your own cloud storage drive?
 
2013-04-24 10:11:15 PM  

Coastalgrl: meyerkev: Coastalgrl

Since its grant money, its inconsistent funding so internal developments are always last which is not the way to run things long term.

This is actually a reasonable solution. I didn't realize the boxes were that cheap. In theory, I could purchase a couple drives at a time and move things from the 5 hard drives (4 portable, 1 internal) to the RAID. In order to interface with the RAID, I would need a separate OS or does it come with some minimal interface program and just access it like a giant HD?

Right now I have one large back up drive (2 TB), a 2 TB portable, 500 GB internal HD and 2 smaller portable ones. The rest of the data is housed offsite till I find a better solution. I have some very nice friends with RAIDS but several states away.


There may be reason to step one notch higher as well then those pre-built NAS boxes, you can use an operating system called FreeNAS (Free as in beer) to transform any computer into a NAS and then the limit is only the amount of drives you can reasonably connect to the thing (both internal and external) and its super-extendable (again just a matter of the physical connection limits).  I recently bought a rack-mount server case with 15 internal drive bays for $130, stuffed in an older motherboard, CPU & other guts and then maxed out the motherboard's sata ports with drives (8 total).  When I need more space I can very cheaply buy a PCIE based raid controller card for under $200 and that'll net you another set of ports to max out the rest of the drive bays.  Then if you're still hungry for more storage you can also get some eSata enclosures and keep going up and up.  FreeNAS supports ZFS expansions (adding more drives to your pool(s)) and again it itself is free.

Its not exactly an easy project to tackle without some experience but it may be the forward way to go short of going for a full-out rack-mount style NAS from one of the OEMs but you're looking at 10K+ in cost for those and overkill for performance needs.
 
2013-04-24 10:11:31 PM  

StopLurkListen: lordargent: StopLurkListen: What people like is the seamlessness of sharing on multiple machines, not just the backing up.

Dropbox is a sync tool, not a backup tool.

Someone is going to learn that the hard way.

1) Delete from one machine and dropbox will (by default) happily delete it from the remaining machines.

2) Dropbox does keep deleted files, but keep in mind that files could also become corrupted (the data equivalent of cancer), and dropbox will (by default) happily copy that corrupted file to the remaining machines.

Truth.


I use SpiderOak. It's a so-called zero-knowledge encrypted back up and sync service that keeps historical versions of all your files. I have numerous other backup systems, as that's kind of my job, but if you only have one back up, I recommend SpiderOak.
 
2013-04-24 10:13:02 PM  
neofonz: I *still* have backups of papers I wrote in college... in the early 1990s.

The oldest file on my system is from 1997, it's a text file listing of social security number prefixes vs the geographic area from the SSA.

Modified date: 05/11/1997

// IIRC, I had a pentium 100, 33.6 dialup and either a 1GB or 3GB hard disk then.

// I probably have a ton of documents that I no longer need, but ain't nobody got time to do a data purge.

// scratch that, I just found a journal from 1995 :P

Sept 24/1995: Television Rant
If the television is a reflection of our general society. Then our society is generally filled with idiots. Most of the shows today are humor based, even shows which are modeled after people's lives. I see this degradation of quality not only in television programming, but also in recent movies, comic books, it is even creeping it's way into music. SO I have greatly reduced my intake of said "entertainment" which does not do the job it was intended to do.


I was 18, and reality TV hadn't even hit its stride yet and I was working part time for a small time comic book publisher (so I was mostly talking about writing). I didn't even OWN a computer then (this shiat was on 3&1/2"s and I was doing the work in computer labs).
 
2013-04-24 10:13:35 PM  

dahmers love zombie: It's called Dropbox.  It's free.  Look into it.

/I lost twenty pages of my master's thesis in 1990.  Even THEN I felt stupid that it wasn't on multiple floppies.


When I was writing my dissertation in 2008/2009 I made backups of backups of backups to more devices than I care to remember.  Got myself so confused I started losing track of which one I was working on.  I saw a guy once who had EVERYTHING on his thumb drive when they were a new fangled thing.  The device failed and he went all Darth Vader in Episode III.  Then he started shaking and just sort of had a complete mental breakdown for a few days.
 
2013-04-24 10:16:29 PM  

ideamaster: God smiled all-knowingly, "Jesus saves."


That was so awful I actually lol'd! Pleasantly silly after an evening of dick jokes and the politics tab.
 
2013-04-24 10:16:33 PM  

OregonVet: Holy crap google is getting bad. There is a classic out there if a guy on the phone with tech support about his research. Used to find it in a few searchable words, all ads now.


Stephen Thrasher. IIRC it's on Ebaum's World.
 
2013-04-24 10:24:44 PM  
E-mail yourself copies, or buy a web hosting package for cheap who do ftp and backups everyday. Failing that, Dropbox!
 
2013-04-24 10:26:21 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: always back up your research!!


What was it The Stealth Hippopotamus used to tell me about my research?

always back up your research
always
always
always
back up your research
back up your research
back up
never back up your research
 
2013-04-24 10:26:23 PM  

lordargent: // scratch that, I just found a journal from 1995 :P


Not trying to one-up you, but I recently found some files from '94 on a floppy, from college. It was an old P3 or something some guy had in working condition and I couldn't pass it up. Yes, the disk still worked after having been stored in my grandmother's house lo those years.

The papers were OK. Like many 20 year-olds I wasn't always making the most cogent arguments (still don't), but they were enough to somehow graduate - which I accomplished in spare time not spent drinking.

However, there were also love letters and tomes of fiction so awful that decorum prohibits me from mentioning them here. I can't even quote any of it for your amusement without wanting to stab my left eye with a fork.
 
2013-04-24 10:27:53 PM  
Not sure if to believe. When I wrote the thesis for my Masters in Chemistry I had copies everywhere. To this day I find versions of my thesis on thumbdrives, emails, other computers, not to mention the copies my advisor got. On the data end, the computers it was acquired on have copies, there are printed copies and the pdfs and huge gifs of cropped sample spectra that I shuffled around with my thesis copies. There hasn't been paper only data since the early 90s. It actually awesome to open up the pdfs in photoshop to crop and edit instead of the usual scanned data, the data in my printed thesis looks amazingly crisp. Procedures and yields and all that jazz always ended up with my advisor as well as on presentation posters, heck the posters were the easiest place to get yields and procedures for the thesis because it was in nicely formatted tables and was of the best procedures and yields. Like I said before if he was close to defense his thesis advisor would have copies so the turd could get polished before it goes  to the thesis committee. But then again I may be wrong, there were some real dummies with no common sense or talent getting their thesis too, I could have counted the competent grad students with one hand. Also from that time I learned China and India are diploma mills, not one of the people in the Masters program that came from those countries was competent but they sure liked to act like they were hot shiat.
 
2013-04-24 10:35:24 PM  

MadSkillz: FriarReb98: nmrsnr: Well, now every future employer knows how well he plans for future contingencies.

That too.  I see "20-year lab tech" in this person's future.  Maybe even "person who pours the chemicals in the vat at the plant" if they fail that hard.

Shhh I was a 20 year old lab tech. Once. Haaaaated it. Scientists are the most farked up people. Everyone just sat around getting drunk friday afternoons because they were all farked up and depressed.


Re-read the earlier post, "20-year lab tech" /= "20 year old lab tech", it means working as a lab tech for 20 years, otherwise known as inability to get off the post-doc merry-go-round.
 
2013-04-24 10:37:03 PM  
If he/she was a sociology student I would call BS and guess that this was part of the thesis, an examination of what kind of forgeries people might bring in order to try to claim the $1000. But a chemistry degree? Nope, just someone with no common sense.
 
2013-04-24 10:38:01 PM  
My PhD adviser told the story of one of his former students, probably 20 years ago. The guy spends 4 years or so doing his PhD and gives the rough draft of his dissertation (hardcopy) to his adviser. Then his computer crashes and apparently he loses everything. Instead of just retyping his dissertation (or has someone do it for him), he gets a job and never completes his PhD.

When I was writing my dissertation, I kept copies on the university's server, my school computer, USB thumb drive, DVD-R and home computer. I also kept saving as new files when I made any substantial changes or every week when I was heavily writing. Also, each chapter was its own file (or series of files of older versions) because I was afraid of the files getting corrupted. Plus Office 2007 is a terribly slow and crash prone suite. That was the most frustrating part dealing with horrible Office 2007.
 
2013-04-24 10:38:45 PM  
dickfreckle: However, there were also love letters and tomes of fiction so awful that decorum prohibits me from mentioning them here. I can't even quote any of it for your amusement without wanting to stab my left eye with a fork.

this is utter horseshiat! Make with the embarrassing stuff or I will find you and go completely Liam Neeson.
 
2013-04-24 10:39:32 PM  

born_yesterday: Copy on laptop, copy on flash drive, copy on desktop at work, save & send copies of drafts sent to work email.

I do really feel bad for her, though.  The good news is she gets to be a graduate student for a little bit longer.  Party on.


Where does it say is is a she?
 
2013-04-24 10:42:31 PM  
Hard to believe the student didn't have copies of the thesis elsewhere.  Losing research sucks, though.  I've lost all my data in hard-drive failures for work that was in the process of being reviewed for publication.   Twice.  So if I'm a coauthor on your paper, prepare for the data to be lost once the paper is in review.
 
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