Archive for March, 2012

Ars Electronica


(not to be confused with ars technica) … Next time I make it to Austria, I’ll have to visit this exhibition (in Linz), maybe even the festival. Awesome, definitely.

New cultural techniques are emerging in the ever more tightly-knit global networks of digital technologies.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , ,

Leave a comment

Visualizing your Social Network

LinkedIn offers a visualisation of your network connections. While browsing and looking at the persons represented by the nodes and their proximity, directly hypothesis form in the head as to the common context (when and where one met). To me the accuracy of the layout and coloring is amazing! That the different clusters actually delineate different institutes and departments I had the pleasure to work with/at is a nice “proof-of-concept”, albeit a bit terrifying as to how much the network knows about us … if you already are at LinkedIn give it a spin to see “the community” emerging around yourself. Makes you also wonder what the guys running the social networks actually can do with the entirety of network data we dump on them. Anyway, have fun exploring your local network!

, , , , ,

1 Comment

Weekend Music Video

After 25 years a remake / cover of this great piece was almost overdue, aptly done by Florence and the Machine.

Read the rest of this entry »

, ,

Leave a comment

so many Molly-Cules

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.

In this context, I came across this Directory of computer-aided Drug Design tools at the Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics (SIB, see flowchart of the DrugDesign-pipeline below).

I also came across this list of software and resources at the National Center for Dynamic Interactome Research (NCDIR).

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.

, , , ,

Leave a comment

HapPi π-day!


March the 14th (3/14) is Pi Day – a holiday commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi).

There are a number of matching accessories for geeks and nerds around, for example on the official Pi-Day page or in this collection on mashable.com.

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!

, , , , ,

1 Comment

Watching them watching us

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.

Privacy Policy: When you’re using the add-on, we collect sites you visit solely to show you how they’re connected. We don’t keep them and don’t give away the information to anyone except you.

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)

Read the rest of this entry »

, , ,

5 Comments

Making Data Work

Just a couple of days ago the O’Reilly STRATA Conference took place, the youtube-playlist of the presentations can be found here. Among them is this excellent talk by …

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!

, , ,

1 Comment

%d bloggers like this: