This is my dumping ground for quotes and other stuff relating to the wonderful world of digital & communications.
If access to your research is restricted by a paywall it hasn’t really been ‘published’ at all
Cancer Research UK has launched an online interactive database of cancerous cell samples and is inviting the public to help lab researchers investigate the two million images… Each sample in the database has been stained to highlight the differences between ordinary cells, such as white blood cells, and irregular, cancerous cells
Kristina Killgrove, an anthropologist at the University of West Florida, has already raised over $12,000 on RocketHub to examine the DNA of Roman skeletons. And on another crowdfunding site, Petridish, the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) offered to name any new species of ant discovered during a conservation project in Madagascar after those who donate more than $5,000 to the enterprise. Although the crowdfunding of science is not raising the sorts of sums sometimes attracted by those with ideas for things like video games, it has already spawned a couple of specialised platforms of its own. Petridish is one. Another is called Microryza
pharmaceutical companies are saving money by renting only the computing power they need, and paying for it by the hour.
“We have customers that are running very large-scale drug discovery pipelines,” Wood says.
One customer, for example, wanted to run a virtual screening of 21 million chemical compounds.
“So you can imagine 50,000 laptops running this experiment. They didn’t have to buy or provision or manage or cool or power any of those laptops, or set them up….
The entire experiment took about three hours, and the cost was less than $15,000. In contrast, Wood says, if the company had tried to do this in-house, it would have had to spend millions on computers, and the job might have taken years to complete.
The concept of scientific taste may be explained in another way by saying that the person who possesses the flair for choosing profitable lines of investigation is able to see further whither the work is leading than are other people, because he has the habit of using his imagination to look far ahead instead of restricting his thinking to established knowledge and the immediate problem. He may not be able to state explicitly his reasons or envisage any particular hypothesis, for he may see only vague hints that it leads towards one or another of several crucial questions
ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World reconstructs the time cost and financial expense associated with a wide range of different types of travel in antiquity. The model is based on a simplified version of the giant network of cities, roads, rivers and sea lanes that framed movement across the Roman Empire. It broadly reflects conditions around 200 CE but also covers a few sites and roads created in late antiquity.
The model consists of 751 sites, most of them urban settlements but also including important promontories and mountain passes, and covers close to 10 million square kilometers (~4 million square miles) of terrestrial and maritime space. 268 sites serve as sea ports. The road network encompasses 84,631 kilometers (52,587 miles) of road or desert tracks, complemented by 28,272 kilometers (17,567 miles) of navigable rivers and canals
In 5-10 years’ time, the way scientists will communicate will be unrecognizable from the way that they have been communicating for the last 400 years, when the first academic journal was founded. The first change will be instant distribution for all scientific ideas. Some sites, such as arXiv, Academia.edu, Mendeley, and ResearchGate have brought instant distribution to certain sub-fields of science recently, and this trend is going to continue to all fields of science. In a few years, scientists will look back and will struggle to believe that they used to exist in a world where it took 12 months to circulate a scientific idea around the world… Bringing instant distribution to science will have a similarly transformative effect on scientific progress.
The future of science: rich media
Historically scientists have written their papers as native desktop content. They have saved their papers as PDFs, and uploaded the files to the web.
Over the next few years, scientific content will increasingly become native web content, and be written natively for the web. Scientific content will be created with the full interactivity, and richness, of the web in mind… Scientists will share content in whatever format makes sense for the piece of content in question. They will share ideas in the form of data sets, videos, 3-d models, software programs, graphs, blog posts, status updates, and comments on all these rich media.
The ways that these content formats will connect with each other will be via the hyperlink, and not via the citation. The citation will look like an ancient concept in a few years.
Commonplace books (or commonplaces) were a way to compile knowledge, usually by writing information into books. They became significant in Early Modern Europe… Such books were essentially scrapbooks filled with items of every kind: medical recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulas. Commonplaces were used by readers, writers, students, and scholars as an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts they had learned
That’s when Microsoft Research committed resources to support 25 researchers – including eight current and former UC Berkeley students – in an intense, six-month project to create an entirely new piece of software, also called ChronoZoom, that makes it easy to update the cosmic timeline with more specialized timelines, videos, images and even research papers. ChronoZoom 2.0 is based on Microsoft Azure, a platform that lets developers create applications that manipulate data across a “cloud” of datacenters, and HTML5, the newest — though still evolving — language for displaying content on the Web.
the 1 millionth user of our application and the 100 millionth research document upload to our open research catalog. (Mendeley stats as of end July 2011)
The Polymath Project, which started with a simple blog post by a mathematician at Cambridge University who wanted to see if he could get help with a problem. Within a matter of hours, comments had poured in from mathematicians, a high-school math teacher and others around the world, and within six weeks the problem had been solved.
David Weinberger, a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for the Internet and Society and co-author of a number of books including “The Cluetrain Manifesto,” has his own take on networked knowledge in a new book called “Too Big to Know,” which is to be published later this year. Weinberger argues that the way we structure and achieve knowledge itself is being changed by digital networks, and that much of the existing ways in which knowledge is written down and maintained — from journals and peer review to libraries and copyright — is driven by the needs of a world based on paper:
If your medium doesn’t easily allow you to correct mistakes, knowledge will tend to be carefully vetted. If it’s expensive to publish, then you will create mechanisms that winnow out contenders. If you’re publishing on paper, you will create centralized locations where you amass books… Traditional knowledge has been an accident of paper.