eLife Innovation Sprint - appstract.pub

Last week the eLife innovation sprint happened in Cambridge. It was done in collaboration with the Mozilla global sprint. I was able to participate for some of the event, and I’ll write up a bit more about the project I worked on later. There is a slide deck that summarises all of the projects from the two days: Slides of outputs from the sprint: eLifeSprint2018_introductions_people&projects - Google Slides. Briefly, this was hands down one of the most productive two-day sprints that I’ve ever been involved in. ... (more)

A new new way to make biological data more easily citable

Working under Force11 the California digital library and the EBI have made progress on making identifiers to data held in biological data repositories more easily resolvable. The have done this by setting up infrastructure and standards to support creating globally unique prefixes for the data repositories involved. You can see some examples in this table: Table 2: Examples of persistent, citable URLs for a single accession (NCBI Taxon 9606), with default and specified providers. ... (more)

Is caution justified when thinking about docker?

I’ve been fascinated by docker for the past few years, and there is clearly a “rush to dockerise” I’ve been Neville’s by how easy it is to get complex systems up and running locally, so perhaps it’s time to read with some caution some of the potential downsides. http://www.smashcompany.com/technology/docker-is-a-dangerous-gamble-which-we-will-regret Argues about those. He article highlights exactly why I like docker: Me: “I can write a bash script. Or “make”. Or any other kind of installer, of which there are dozens. ... (more)

US phone companies are selling your real time location data.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/us-cell-carriers-selling-access-to-real-time-location-data/ File this one under “you do it to yourself” Of course the key thing here is that directly selling this data to law enforcement is illegal, but indirectly selling it is not. The market is acting as an evolutionary force to find ways to extract money by moving around laws that are out in place to protect citizens. In this case the economy can move at a faster pace with business innovation that the law can to protect citizens. ... (more)

Hunting for structure in nested JSON with python just got a whole lot easier

A very common python task that I find myself stumbling over repeatedly is trying to get the syntax right to address or retrieve a specific value to a key in a dented JSON document, in particular if that key is some way down the tree. I’ve just found the library https://github.com/mahmoud/glom which is written up really nicely here: https://sedimental.org/glom_restructured_data.html Before looking at this modele in detail I had thought that I could pass a reference to a key to glom without specifying its location fully in the structure of the input file, but after looking at this for a moment it became clear that this is not what it does, but rather is good at helping to remap nested data structures into new structures, and accessing the data you want via path like queries. ... (more)

Some initial thoughts on the Google Duplex demo

The Verge also covered this well: www.theverge.com/2018/5/9/17334658/google-ai-phone-call-assistant-duplex-ethical-social-implications and they have a quote from Joanna Bryson, who talked at SAGE just before Christmas. Her quote is finished out with the following. There are no obvious answers to these questions, but as Bryson points out, Google is at least doing the world a service by bringing attention to this technology. It’s not the only company developing these services, and it certainly won’t be the only one to use them. ... (more)

choice magazine podcast Questions

This week I was interviewed for the ALA choice podcast, a podcast that the that is a weekly program featuring in-depth conversations about contemporary trends, best practices, and case studies important to academic librarians. Hosted by Bill Mickey, the Editorial Director at Choice The topic was about trends in big data and the role of the library, and it was really fun to participate in, and the panel I was on included Caroline Muglia from the University of Southern California Libraries as well as Andy Rutkowski and Eimmy Karina Solis from USC libraries. ... (more)