Monthly Archives: September 2013

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in Scientific Writing

Want to get better and more effective at writing scientific manuscripts? Stanford is hosting a free MOOC course on the topic. The content look very interesting:

Week 1 : Introduction; principles of effective writing (cutting unnecessary clutter)
Week 2 : Principles of effective writing (verbs)
Week 3 : Crafting better sentences and paragraphs
Week 4 : Organization; and streamlining the writing process
Week 5 : The format of an original manuscript
Week 6 : Reviews, commentaries, and opinion pieces; and the publication process
Week 7 : Issues in scientific writing (plagiarism, authorship, ghostwriting, reproducible research)
Week 8 : How to do a peer review; and how to communicate with the lay public

LINK:  Writing in the Sciences | Coursera.

Papers 3 for Mac and iOS now available

I will post more once I get to try them but version 3 for both Mac OS and iOS of Papers are available for download. There are paying upgrades.

A new lifetime project!

As of yesterday, we have undertaken a new project that will last a lifetime. This is the third of such project for us. Since a picture is worth a 1000 words, here it is:


As with any project like this one, it will required time, patience and, most importantly, unwavering love. And as with any project I like to undertake, it will be fun 😉

Apple A7 chip and iOS 7 thorough reviews available…

For those of you following the tech world, in particular computers, the announcement of the A7 64 bits SoC probably got a WOW out of you. It did for me. To me screen size, phone shape and the same has nothing to do with innovation. The issue of 4″ vs. 4.5″ vs. 5″ screens is like preferring a 13″ vs. 15″ vs. 17″ notebook or a 50″ vs. 65″ TV set. However, screen technology providing rendering image, resolution, contrast, color delivery (gamma, …), lower power consumption and the combination of all of them and more that is innovation. The same for custom, optimized and powerful SoC chips that drive these micro-computer… errr smartphone.

Quite frankly looking back at computing since the Z80, TRS-80 and commodore when I started on my first computers, the power packed in commercially available device of such as small format as the iPhone 5S, fitting in one’s pocket and working for hours before recharge, is absolutely amazing. In addition it delivered to the general public a 64 bits platform along with the OS and numerous apps (all of Apple apps on the iPhone 5S have been recompile in 64 bits). It might not register as a big deal to most phone users but it is from a technological standpoint. Also interesting that ARM was joint venture between Apple and two other companies in part to produce power efficient chips for the Newton, such a long time ago it seems.

A very interesting review, with benchmarks, can be accessed at AnandTech. We will certainly know more when someone actually get a layout of the chip (from high-res X-ray), but still very interesting. The review also look at the integrated camera and fingerprint system. Another interesting read is Daring Fireball takes on 5S new technologies.

Today was also the public release day for iOS 7 (like it or not!). Ars Technica published an in-depth-review.

Good reading 😉

Voyager 1 has left our solar system!

To boldly go where no one [human at least!] has gone before

Star Trek

Interesting piece in the NYTimes: In a Breathtaking First, NASA Craft Exits the Solar System.

Are you at an exciting phase of your thesis project?

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?

– Albert Einstein

How do you know for sure that you are at a particularly interesting stage of your thesis project?

When the excitement spread to your supervisor, fellow students and the extended team (collaborators and others). When you present at a meeting and peoples come talk to you with that look in their eyes. When you are asked by scientists or other students unrelated to your project if you have published/submitted your results.

The flip side of that coin is that the pressure is on you (and your supervisor) to convert in a timely fashion to peer-reviewed publications 😉

No more secrets!

Remember the movie Sneakers with Robert Redford? There was this special hardware that could decode any kind of encryption schemes. Lending the famous phrase no more secrets. We are certainly living in a digital world and an increasing fraction of our life is included in it. Well the NYTimes is running an excellent piece basically telling us that as far as the digital space is concerns, there is very little secrets left for the NSA: N.S.A. Foils Much Internet Encryption –

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