27 September 2006

26 September 2006

Meet the Life Hackers -- NY Times

Thought this interesting in relation to computer UI design...

Meet the Life Hackers
Published: October 16, 2005
In 2000, Gloria Mark was hired as a professor at the University of California at Irvine. Until then, she was working as a researcher, living a life of comparative peace. She would spend her days in her lab, enjoying the sense of serene focus that comes from immersing yourself for hours at a time in a single project. But when her faculty job began, that all ended. Mark would arrive at her desk in the morning, full of energy and ready to tackle her to-do list - only to suffer an endless stream of interruptions. No sooner had she started one task than a colleague would e-mail her with an urgent request; when she went to work on that, the phone would ring. At the end of the day, she had been so constantly distracted that she would have accomplished only a fraction of what she set out to do. "Madness," she thought. "I'm trying to do 30 things at once."...Lots of people complain that office multitasking drives them nuts. But Mark is a scientist of "human-computer interactions" who studies how high-tech devices affect our behavior, so she was able to do more than complain: she set out to measure precisely how nuts we've all become.
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Hungry Workers, Tied to Desks, Clicking to Get Culinary Delights -- the New York Times

web food

Hungry Workers, Tied to Desks, Clicking to Get Culinary Delights
Published: September 17, 2006
EVERY weekday, when they are hungry, thousands of the most highly paid workers in New York City will log on to the same Web site. Finding food while they work requires just a few clicks of the mouse, and fits neatly into their multitasking, desk-bound work lives. Few of those employees will ever see the bill or pay a tip when their food is delivered. Instead, their orders are processed, and billed to their employers, through a single company: SeamlessWeb.....

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Metal Mouth: What You Should Know About the Mercury in Dental Fillings -- WSJ

I have Hg fillings and have worried about this hidden diet additive as well...

Metal Mouth: What You Should Know About the Mercury in Dental Fillings
Wall Street Journal
September 12, 2006
Whether you have a mouthful of silver teeth or just a few cavities, new questions about the safety of mercury fillings have made many of us nervous about our dental work. Last week, an expert panel for the Food and Drug Administration rejected an agency report that had concluded mercury dental fillings are safe. In a 13-7 vote....

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25 September 2006

Where Do Rivals Draw the Line? - New York Times

New Haven appears to be near the border of Red Sox country...
What is a person who wears a Yankees cap and a Red Sox shirt!

Where Do Rivals Draw the Line? - New York Times
New Britain, Connecticut is where Yankees country ends and Red Sox nation begins...
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Reimagined Math -- NY Times

Thought these were quite pretty from a mathematical perspective

It's hard to imagine that these plaster forms, so starkly beautiful, were originally used to teach advanced students trigonometry. ...Last year, the Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto shot each object, the tallest of which is less than a foot high, from below at close range so that they appear monumental. His series of photographs, ''Mathematical Forms,'' reimagine these scientific models as things of wonder. ...
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22 September 2006


Really liked the photos in the Industrial Landscape book by Brian Hayes. Kind of similar in spirit to those in those in my photostream.

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20 September 2006

Maureen Hillenmeyer

Interesting image morph


10 September 2006

e-mail bankruptcy -- Wired

Perhaps email bankruptcy would be good for me as well....

Call It the Dead E-Mail Office
By Michael Fitzgerald|
02:00 AM Jun, 07, 2004
If you've been waiting for internet legal visionary Lawrence Lessig to reply to your e-mail, forget about it.
In a script-driven note sent out last week, Lessig wrote: "Dear person who sent me a yet-unanswered e-mail, I apologize, but I am declaring e-mail bankruptcy.".....

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08 September 2006

A Letter in response to "Homo Conexus" -- Tech Review

A letter of mine commenting on trust in technology was just published in TR. Thought it was interesting how it was edited.

Published Version of the Letter:
Friday, September 08, 2006 (Sept./Oct. '06 issue)
"Homo Conexus"
I read with interest James Fallows's piece on the new wave of Web-based
applications sometimes called Web 2.0 ("Homo Conexus," July/August 2006). In
using these new programs, he sometimes found that while a new online service was
impressive, he was just too old to enjoy it. Unfortunately, I often feel quite
the same way. I enjoy reading about exciting technological innovations,
but--nose pressed to glass--cannot really participate.

I also liked Fallows's observation that trust, in general, is important to Web
2.0, but would like to add that Web 2.0 demands a specific kind of trust between
a given application's makers and users. Desktop software, such as Microsoft Word
and the Thunderbird e-mail ­client, is the same day-to-day. Not so with Web 2.0.
One can log on to Gmail or Yahoo Mail and find that the interface has radically
changed and that the arrangement and filtering of one's e-mail has been altered.
Mark Gerstein
New Haven, CT

The Original Version of My Letter (which I submitted):
I read with great interest James Fallow's article on Web 2.0. I
empathize with his initial statement about "Dodgeball truth" --
realizing that while a new computational service was impressive, he
had outgrown its potential utility. Unfortunately, I often feel this
way with regards towards many technological innovations. I enjoy
reading about them but -- eyes pressed to glass -- can not really
participate. I also liked Mr. Fallow's emphasis on trust as being
important to Web 2.0. However, I felt he could have elaborated on this
further, discussing the degree to which Web 2.0 requires an explicit
element of trust between users and providers. If one is using a
standard piece of desktop software, such as Microsoft Word or the
Thunderbird email client, one correctly assumes that it is going to be
the same day to day and that the structure of one's creations will
also remain static (unless, of course, we opt to upgrade). Likewise,
when one builds a website in the old Web 1.0 paradigm we can assume
that it will look the same going into the future. This is not the
case with Web 2.0 content. One can suddenly log on to Gmail or Yahoo
Mail and find that the interface has radically changed and that the
arrangement and filtering of one's email has been altered. Likewise,
when one posts content into an online review services, such as Amazon,
one is trusting that the presentation of an opinion will remain the
same going into the future. Of course, the Amazon can easily change
the way its reviews are presented without anyone's consent. Thus,
there really is an additional element of trust in Web 2.0.

Article Commented on:

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Homo Conexus
A veteran technology commentator attempts to live entirely on Web 2.0 for two weeks.
By James Fallows
Sooner or later, we all face the Dodgeball truth. This comes at the moment when you realize that one of life's possibilities -- a product, an adventure, an offer, an idea -- is really meant for people younger than you. This bitter revelation is named for the relatively new Web-based service Dodgeball.com. This is a social networking site, and it represents most of what is supposed to be advanced and exciting about the current wave of "Web 2.0" offerings. Dodgeball's goal is to help you figure out, at any moment of the day or night, whether your friends or people who might be friendly are nearby... Dodgeball is light, mobile, interactive. And for the life of me, I can't imagine when I would use it....
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04 September 2006

How Human Cells Get Their Marching Orders -- NY Times

John Rinn in the News !

How Human Cells Get Their Marching Orders
Published: August 15, 2006

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The references to ppts on PCA

pca-1 - black ---> www.astro.princeton.edu/~gk/A542/PCA.ppt
by Professor Gillian R. Knapp gk@astro.princeton.edu

pca-2 - yellow ---> myweb.dal.ca/~hwhitehe/BIOL4062/pca.ppt
by Hal Whitehead.
This is the class main url http://myweb.dal.ca/~hwhitehe/BIOL4062/handout4062.htm

pca.ppt - what is cov. matrix ----> hebb.mit.edu/courses/9.641/lectures/pca.ppt
by Sebastian Seung. Here is the main page of the course

from BIIS_05lecture7.ppt ----> www.cs.rit.edu/~rsg/BIIS_05lecture7.ppt
by R.S.Gaborski Professor


Gaussian split Ewald: A fast Ewald mesh method for molecular simulation -- J. Chem. Phys.

A new career path: a PhD, then Wall St. millions followed by a return to academia

J. Chem. Phys. 122, 054101 (2005)
Gaussian split Ewald: A fast Ewald mesh method for molecular simulation
Yibing Shan, John L. Klepeis, Michael P. Eastwood, Ron O. Dror, and David E. Shaw
D. E. Shaw Research and Development, New York, New York 10036

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01 September 2006

An RNA gene expressed during cortical development evolved rapidly in humans -- Nature

Interesting article... results of a straightforward computational screen to find conserved elements with accelerated recent evolution and then a detailed focus on the biology of one of the regions found.

An RNA gene expressed during cortical development evolved rapidly in humans
Nature advance online publication 16 August 2006
Katherine S. Pollard.... and David Haussler
The developmental and evolutionary mechanisms behind the emergence of human-specific brain features remain largely unknown. However, the recent ability to compare our genome to that of our closest relative, the chimpanzee, provides new avenues to link genetic and phenotypic changes in the evolution of the human brain. We devised a ranking of regions in the human genome that show significant evolutionary acceleration. Here we report that the most dramatic of these 'human accelerated regions', HAR1, is part of a novel RNA gene (HAR1F) that is expressed specifically in Cajal–Retzius neurons in the developing human neocortex from 7 to 19 gestational weeks......
Using alignments produced by MULTIZ (http://www.bx.psu.edu/miller_lab/), we identified
34,498 conserved regions of the chimpanzee genome that are >100 bp long
and >96% identical with mouse and rat. Each conserved region was evaluated
for acceleration in the human lineage using a likelihood ratio test .....

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New York Law School: Professors Emeriti

Listing for E Donald Shapiro - authority on law and medicine