In lieu of a ‘proper’ post (forgive me, dear readers, the vicious task-masters at my proper job have been wielding the whip with particular alacrity recently) I’m putting together a list of links to cool things that I’ve come across lately.
So, in no particular order:
Tal Yarkoni’s outstanding Neurosynth website has now gone modular and open-source, meaning you can embed the code for the brain-image viewer into any website, and use it to present your own data – this is seriously cool. Check out his blog-post for the details.
An interesting little comment on “Why Google isn’t good enough for academic search”. Google scholar tends to be my first port of call these days, but the points made in this discussion are pretty much bang-on.
A fantastic PNAS paper by Kosinski et al. (2013; PDF) that demonstrates that personal attributes such as sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious and political views, some aspects of personality, intelligence and many others, can be automatically and accurately (to a fairly startling degree, actually) predicted merely from analysis of Facebook ‘Likes’. A fantastic result, that really demonstrates the value of doing research using online data.
Next up is Google Refine – an interesting little idea from Google intended to assist with cleaning up and re-formatting messy data. Looks like it could be promisingly useful.
A really seriously great website on the stats language R, designed to make the transition for SPSS and SAS users as easy as possible – very clear, very nicely explained. Beautiful stuff.
Another cool website called citethisforme.com; you fill in fields (author, title, etc.) for sources you wish to cite, and it creates a perfectly formatted bibliography for you in the style (APA, Harvard etc.) you choose. A cool idea, but in practice, filling out the fields would be incredibly tedious for anything more than a few sources. Good place to learn about how to format things for different types of reference though.
I’ve previously written about the use of U-HID boards for building USB response devices; I’ve just been made aware of a similar product called Labjack, which looks even more powerful and flexible. A Labjack package is included in the standard distribution of PsychoPy too, which is cool. I’m becoming more and more a fan of PsychoPy by the way – I’m now using it on a couple of projects, and it’s working very well indeed for me.
Now a trio of mobile apps to check out. Reference ME is available for both iOS and Android, and creates a citation in a specific style (Harvard, APA, etc.) when you scan the barcode of a book – very handy! The citations can then be emailed to you for pasting into essays or whatever.
The Great Brain Experiment is a free app from the Wellcome Trust (download links for both iOS and Android here) created in collaboration with UCL. The aim is to crowdsource a massive database on memory, impulsivity, risk-taking and other things. Give it a whirl – it’s free!
Lastly Codea is a very cool-looking iPad-only app that uses the Lua programming language to enable the (relatively) easy development and deployment of ‘proper’ code, entirely on the iPad. Very cool – Wired called it ‘the Garage Band of coding’, and while it’s probably not quite that easy to use, it’s definitely worth checking out if you want to use your iPad as a serious development tool.
If you’re still hungry for more internet goodies, I encourage you most heartily to check out my Links page, which is currently in an ongoing phase of rolling development (meaning, whenever I find something cool, I put it up there).