Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Google Spaces -my take

Engadget wrote the following about google spaces; indeed it seems google spaces fills where wave left, and some legacies of wave can be found in google docs such as real time collaborative editing and stuff. I am quite impressed with Google Spaces and as the article below suggests, would like to see interactive javascripting support in it. There are a couple of potential uses of this with students and colleagues in working in collaborative mind mapping drawing and laying out arguments/designs/planning papers, etc. Quite promising.

Google Spaces
So it's safe to say that Google Wave didn't really make one upon the tech world as a whole, but it certainly was a neat idea. While Wave itself now lives with the Apache Software Foundation, the core concept, easy and direct collaboration with anyone, has new life with Google Shared Spaces. The Wave gadgets have been given a standalone home here, the idea being that you create a Space, invite some people, and then do -- well, whatever it is you need to do. It's basically just a more task-focused version of Wave, and maybe that's all the service really needed. Direction. Right now there are just shy of 50 such gadgets for you to try, but anyone with a little JavaScript know-how can whip up their own in a jiffy, though sadly there's no interactive gadget-creation Space. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

How to watch youtube videos in HTML5

I found out a couple of options to view youtube videos in HTML5: 1. YouTube HTML5 Viewer - NeoSmart Technologies 2. Sign up for the [trial][t] [t]: Don't know of any other option. If you do, please let us know.


YouTube HTML5 Viewer - NeoSmart Technologies

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      Saturday, December 18, 2010

      Google Books Ngram Viewer can usher in a major paradigm shift in research

      This afternoon I played for a while with the google labs books ngrams program. This is still an experimental concept. The idea is to identify specific words and phrases from all books that Google has so far digitized and placed in specific datasets called “1-gram” units representing words.

      Using these datasets it is possible to see how specific words and concepts evolved over time and what people are writing about. It is quite interesting to see how concepts like evidence have grown over the years particularly since the 1960s and how words like eminence that was once popular at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century has nosedived since the seventies. (To see what I mean, type the two words separated by comma in the ngram website and see the graph, quite interesting). This may have some interesting connotations if you start thinking of how societies have evolved in their thinking and practices and concepts over time.

      Quite an interesting project to keep an eye on.

      Can it change the way one conducts research? I think it does and that aspect interests me. In a flash one can pan generations of books and identify key words over time and how these words and concepts and ideas evolved over time and which ones were dominant, which went out of fashion and so on. If past is a window to the present, then a web service such as this is a great way to reivew and in some situations to teach research data analysis and graphics to students.

      Friday, December 17, 2010

      Thursday, December 9, 2010

      1000Memories Now Captures The Lives Of Departed Loved Ones In A Single Glance


      Wikipedia chronicles the lives of plenty of the most important figures to ever walk the Earth. Unfortunately, for those countless people who fail to discover an element or pen a bestselling novel, Wikipedia’s editors are quick to strike down biographies that anyone might try to write about them. And when they die, their stories — which may not be important to the public but are priceless to their family and friends — have a habit of fading with them. 1000memories thinks there’s a better way.

      The site, which launched last July, sets out with one big, important goal: helping family and friends cherish and share the memories of someone that’s passed away. This week, the company has launched some key new features to make this sharing easier and more effective than before.

      Founder Rudy Adler says that one of 1000Memories’s biggest challenges has been to find a way to weave together the memories that its users have shared to that they really capture the lives of the departed. One of the problems before now was that various kinds of content people uploaded — photos, stories, and so on — were broken into different categories, and you had to navigate between them. Now, 1000Memories features a ‘quilt’ view, which compiles this content into a single page, presenting an entire life in a single glance. It sounds like a simple change, but it’s very effective.

      Another new feature is the ability to tag people in photographs. This may sound a bit ‘social networky’, but Adler says that it’s been a top-requested feature. After all, people tend to change in appearance as they age, and you may not recognize that the boy standing next to your grandmother in a 50-year old photograph is in fact your uncle.

      Finally, the site has expanded its biography section. Users can now co-edit a text area that serves as the departed’s life story — the basic facts of where they grew up, where they lived, their important relationships, as well as the key events in their lives. And there’s also a section of ‘quick memories’. These sound silly — you just jot down random habits, favorite foods, and jokes that the deceased used to tell. But it makes it easier for everyone to contribute something, and oftentimes it’s these little things that bring back the best memories.

      1000Memories isn’t talking about user numbers yet, but the company has grown a bit — it’s hired two full time employees, in addition to its three founders.

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      Sent from my iPad

      Monday, December 6, 2010

      Whats revealed is often half the truth

      An interesting review: what’s revealed is half the truth (almost)

      This morning came across a nice review of a cochrane review on the efficacy of ibuprofen alone or in combination with anti emetics for the management of migraine. It turned out that ibuprofen at 400 mg dose is really a useful and quite effective medicine. Indeed with overall estimates of the meta analysis, as the authors wrote,

      ‘ Nine studies (4373 participants, 5223 attacks) compared ibuprofen with placebo or other active comparators; none combined ibuprofen with a self-administered antiemetic. All studies treated attacks with single doses of medication. For ibuprofen 400 mg versus placebo, NNTs for 2-hour pain-free (26% versus 12% with placebo), 2-hour headache relief (57% versus 25%) and 24-hour sustained headache relief (45% versus 19%) were 7.2, 3.2 and 4.0, respectively. For ibuprofen 200 mg versus placebo, NNTs for 2-hour pain-free (20% versus 10%) and 2-hour headache relief (52% versus 37%) were 9.7 and 6.3, respectively. The higher dose was significantly better for 2-hour headache relief than the lower dose. Soluble formulations of ibuprofen 400 mg were better than standard tablets for 1-hour, but not 2-hour headache relief.’

      from the abstract of the study

      Now, if you review the l`abbe plots of the study and the figures in the actual review, you start to see a different story. Take the l`abbe plots for instance (check Figures1-3 in the original report for instance here), and a different story emerges. One gets to see that about 25% of the studies had any form of concealment of allocation, and most of the studies for the two hour relief of pain were concentrated around the centre line of the l abbe plot, and that the largest study in the meta analysis was equivocal and had the results plotted near the centre line.

      I think meta analysis like this presents a very interesting perspective on the choice of treatment. One needs to look at the fine line.