Archive for March, 2012
New cultural techniques are emerging in the ever more tightly-knit global networks of digital technologies.
After 25 years a remake / cover of this great piece was almost overdue, aptly done by Florence and the Machine.
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Just a couple of days ago the PDB hit over 80.000 structures – that’s a lot of structural information at the molecular level to go by, especially since the 40k mark was surpassed just 5 years ago. That also means that we get now the same number of new entries every year as were available in total around 1998.
And finally, on the topic of drug-design, there is “the saga of Molly” – Although there is commercial interest behind the blog (no problem there for the critically yet open-minded reader), I like the tale because it is written from an entirely different perspective, and, as you know, I like looking at things from a different angle.
This is the tale of one molecule’s long sojourn from the organic lab through Phase III clinical testing. Be forewarned – it’s written from the understandably limited and skewed perspective of the molecule.
It’s also happens to be Albert Einstein‘s birthday. Plenty of reasons to celebrate – for example by watching the video below and eating some (round) pies. Have fun!
Collusion is a plug-in for FireFox that visualises the sites that track your movements on the web – and then displays the results for you as a directed graph. Each node represents one particular web-site, each edge a “tracking through” relationship. After installation, collusion summarizes the data on the trackers. After a bit of the usual browsing you might be in for a bit of a surprise as you can almost see your digital footprint grow in real-time. No worries, it just displays the data that is gathered by companies on you, so it helps to get a better idea what your rights to electronic self-determination might entail.
It is quite educational to see what the central nodes are – google of course, as you might expect, is one of them. But ever heard of ScoreCardResearch?
See also the collusion blog for more background info and links to the (open source) code – additional references are lifehacker.com: “Collusion for Firefox Shows You Who’s Tracking You on the Web In Real Time” and (german) heise.de: “Add-On für Firefox visualisiert Webseiten-Tracking” (Permalink)
Ben Goldacre, the physician and biostatistician behind the always-excellent Bad Science column in the Guardian, gave a barnburner of a talk at Strata 2012 yesterday, “The Information Architecture of Medicine is Broken“. For anyone not aware of the problems caused by publication bias in clinical trials (for example, ineffective drugs with a wide variety of side-effects coming to market), his talk is a must-watch.
(Shared by İbrahim Mutlay via LinkedIn, see also this blog-entry on the topic)
The line “Everybody should have a cousin who is a better Python programmer than oneself” made my day. Enjoy!