by swiemann @ EELLSS
Thu Nov 05 07:29:23 PST 2015
International Year of the Soils (IYS) in 2015 Aiming to make soil science an attractive topic in European schools both for teachers and for the students and interlink natural sciences with the soil as a living lab.
by Papa Gyeke-Lartey @ The Gateway
Sun Sep 10 17:31:54 PDT 2017
University of Alberta alum Melina Laboucan-Massimo is one of three recipients of the $50,000 David Suzuki Fellowship to study climate change solutions. In the past, she’s worked with Greenpeace Canada on climate and energy issues in indigenous communities, and the Installation of the Piitapan Solar Project in Little Buffalo, Alberta. Born in Peace River, Laboucan-Massimo …
by Clare Scallon @ Microsoft Research
Tue Aug 22 10:51:34 PDT 2017
By Alekh Agarwal and John Langford, Microsoft Research New York Clicks on Microsoft’s news website MSN.com increased 26 percent when a machine-learning system based on contextual-bandit algorithms was deployed in January 2016 to personalize news articles for individual users. The same real world interactive learning technology is now available as a Microsoft Cognitive Service called […]
The post Real world interactive learning at cusp of enabling new class of applications appeared first on Microsoft Research.
PubMed Central (PMC)
Neurexin and neuroligin are transmembrane adhesion proteins that play an important role in organizing the neuronal synaptic cleft. Our lab previously reported a method for imaging the trans-synaptic binding of neurexin and neuroligin called BLINC (Biotin ...
by Tashina Combs @ Logical Harmony
Thu Sep 21 08:03:53 PDT 2017
Are there cruelty-free brands at Dermstore? You may be surprised! This online retailer is starting to carry a lot more cruelty-free brands. Even some of the most popular cruelty-free brands found at Sephora, Ulta, or Nordstrom. For many consumers, big online shops like Dermstore are one of the main places where they purchase cosmetics, skin care, and hair care. It is so helpful to see them carrying more and more cruelty-free brands. Being aware of the cruelty-free brands at Dermstore can be a challenge because there are so many brands available. This list will help make it easier for you! This is the most recent update of a post I originally published on February 8, 2016. All of the cruelty-free brands included here are sold at Dermstore. They are completely cruelty-free and do not take part in any kind of animal testing. Just as with the Cruelty-Free Brand List, it is noted next to a brand if they are owned by a company who tests on animals. It is also noted if they are a 100% vegan brand. The Cruelty-Free Brands at Dermstore are: 100% Pure 21 Drops – 100% vegan Anastasia Beverly Hills Aquis bareMinerals – It should be noted that they are cruelty-free, but […]
Buy Blinc Mascara Purple online at SkinStore! We have a great range of
by Ben Ryon @ Microsoft Research
Thu Jul 27 06:00:39 PDT 2017
By Gang Hua, Principal Researcher, Research Manager Recent advances in the branch of artificial intelligence (AI) known as machine learning are helping everyone, including artistically challenged people such as myself, transform images and videos into creative and shareable works of art. AI-powered computer vision techniques pioneered by researchers from Microsoft’s Redmond and Beijing research labs, […]
The post AI with creative eyes amplifies the artistic sense of everyone appeared first on Microsoft Research.
by Alison McCook @ Retraction Watch
Tue Sep 19 08:00:00 PDT 2017
It’s been a rough year for Brian Wansink. Last year, the prominent food researcher posted a blog praising a student for her productivity in his lab. But when Wansink described his methods, readers became concerned that the lab was using improper research techniques to generate more publications. Earlier this year, researchers posted an analysis of […]
The post Another retraction hits high-profile food researcher under fire appeared first on Retraction Watch.
A rising star at MIT has retracted a paper after an investigation found that her former postdoc had “falsified or fabricated figures.” Alice Ting, winner of an NIH Directors Pioneer Award and named one of Technology Review’s “Innovators Under 35,” published the paper, “Imaging Activity-Dependent Regulation of Neurexin-Neuroligin Interactions Using trans-Synaptic Enzymatic Biotinylation,” in Cell in …
Development on the HANDi Hand began in the summer of 2014 as the need for an inexpensive and sensorized multi-articulated hand became apparent in the BLINC Lab. Originally conceived as a hand to us…
At the Bionic Limbs for Improved Natural Control (BLINC) Lab we have developed an anthropometric robotic arm and a multi-articulated hand called the Bento Arm and HANDi-Hand respectively. Our robots are 3D printable, inexpensive, and sensorized.
Stillwater News Press
Oklahoma State University’s new ENDEAVOR undergraduate laboratory facility for the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology will feature two prominent enhancements thanks to the generosity of Valero Energy Corporation. The
NCECA :: National Council On Education For The Ceramic Arts
DEADLINE: September 21, 2016 (11:59pm MDTFor technical assistance contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com 828-2811 or 866 266-2322The goal of blinc20:20 is to provide a fresh format of concise presentations. First presented in 2016, the blinc20:20 format is inspired by the image-driven PechaKucha (puh-CHAH-kuh-chah), with 20 slides
In the latest instalment of 1050, we take a photographic look at the University of Alberta’s Bionic Limbs for Improved Natural Control (BLINC) Lab in the Department of Medicine.
National Education Policy Center
Susan Notes: As I read the almost-daily messages from Retraction Watch, detailing falsification and fabrication in scientific research, I always wonder, Where are the retractions in education research? by Susan Ohanian The latest retraction of scientific research comes from MIT. For the Broad Foundation connection, read on. One thing I find interesting as well as profoundly disturbing is that the miscreant is now listed as a technology specialist at Clark + Elbing, a patent law firm in Boston. Of course any "discovery," involving autism, would be big news--and big profits. Amar Thyagarajan, who has been accused of fabrication but who refused to sign the retraction notice, was a post-doc fellow at Autism Speaks, founded by Bob and Suzanne Wright (former executive at General Electric and then CEO of NBC). Their board of directors is interesting, but that's another story. Just last month Autism Speaks awarded $4.8 million for new research projects. To date, Autism Speaks has committed more than $195 million for research projects. Just to pound home the point that Technology Rules!, from the Autism Speaks website: Technology is a focus in this round of funding with research to develop a simple video-based method that parents can use to assess ASD risk in infants and toddlers, and innovative small business grants to develop and test a web-based education tool to help students with autism succeed in college and an internet-based "telehealth" system to improve medication management for individuals with autism. Here's a description of the accused miscreant Amar Thyagarajan's $95,000 post-doc work for Autism Speaks. The retracted paper comes from Ting Lab at MIT. Alice Ting is an associate member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. For the conspiracy-minded, the Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation made a founding gift of $100 million for a Harvard-MIT collaboration and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard was formally launched in May 2004. In November 2005, the Broads announced an additional $100 million gift to the Institute and in 2008 announced an endowment of $400 million to make the Broad Institute a permanent establishment. The donation is managed by Harvard's investment unit. The Broad Institute trumpeted their pride in the Ting-Thyagarajan paper. The Broad Creative Director Bang Wong even illustrated the paper on the cover of Cell. Talk about follow the money. Note this Wikipedia citation:According to ScienceWatch, Cell was ranked first overall in the category of highest-impact journals (all fields) over 1995--2005 with an average of 161.2 citations per paper. According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2011 impact factor of 32.403, ranking it 16th out of 8281 indexed journalsBut when Eli Broad wants his guy to provide an illustration. . . .There is currently a fight among people makeing comments at the Retractionwatch site over who's really to blame. Here is the comment that started it off: Here goes one more "postdoc" was solely responsible for all the data. Come on world, get real. Is it possible that one person is responsible for all the mess??? Come on Alice Ting, take some blame.I started out posting the Retraction Notice below because I wanted to ask the question: Why don't we ever see retraction of education research papers? It just seems as though people are given free license to falsify and fabricate. The National Education Policy Center makes a solid, noble attempt to address falsification and fabrication, but I don't know that these attempts have ever led to a retraction--or even to notice in the press that there's disagreement. Or professional outrage (except from a few intrepid bloggers). Professional groups like NCTE would rather bury their executive heads in the sand, and the press would rather continue to call on the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, and Democrats for Education Reform for soundbites. See Who gets to speaks about what schools need? Race to the Top and the Bill Gates Connection Maybe this is because the stakes are so low in ed research, meaning there is so little money backing research. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grants a few people $30,000 each to write book chapters on teacher evaluation, and General Electric and Gates give mega-millions to Student Achievement Partners, aka Achieve the Core for propaganda production. But that hardly qualifies as research."Gene Wilhoit, who helped spearhead the historic state-led [sic] effort to develop the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for K-12 education, has joined Jason Zimba and Susan Pimentel as a partner at the nonprofit Student Achievement Partners (SAP), the organization announced today."--Press Release, Feb. 6, 2013Here is the initial MIT press release for the 2010 paper, which tells us funding for the work came from The National Institutes of Health, the McKnight Foundation, the Sloan Foundation and MIT.Now the paper is disappeared from the MIT site. It never happened.A note about Retraction Watch: Adam Marcus is the managing editor of Anesthesiology News, a monthly magazine for anesthesiologists. Ivan Oransky is the executive editor of Reuters Health and he teaches medical journalism at New York University's Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program.I am in awe of what they manage to do. They don't even accept donations for fear of conflicts of interest. I wish the T-shirts for sale on their website weren't so ugly.by Ivan Oransky at Retraction WatchMIT lab retracts Cell synapse tagging paper for falsification or fabricationAlice Ting rising star at MIT has retracted a paper after an investigation found that her former postdoc had "falsified or fabricated figures."Alice Ting, winner of an NIH Directors Pioneer Award and named one of Technology Review's Innovators Under 35, published the paper, "Imaging Activity-Dependent Regulation of Neurexin-Neuroligin Interactions Using trans-Synaptic Enzymatic Biotinylation," in Cell in 2010 along with Amar Thyagarajan.The notice is refreshingly detailed given the circumstances:This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal.This article has been retracted at the request of the Author.This paper introduced a new methodology, BLINC, for detecting the trans-synaptic binding of neurexin and neuroligin proteins, and applied BLINC to study the interaction dynamics of these proteins in neurons. Since this publication, my laboratory has found that BLINC cannot be reproduced in neurons using the constructs and protocols described in this paper. After I brought forward concerns, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology conducted an independent investigation. Communicating the findings of that investigation in a letter to Cell, Dr. Claude Canizares, Vice President for Research and Associate Provost, stated that: "MIT found that the first author, Dr. Thyagarajan, falsified or fabricated figures in this publication. MIT's investigation also found that Dr. Thyagarajan was solely responsible for the scientific misconduct that resulted in the falsified or fabricated data." I therefore wish to retract this publication. My laboratory has subsequently found that, with modified constructs and protocols, BLINC can be used to detect trans neurexin-neuroligin interactions in neurons. We will report this in a future publication. I deeply apologize to the scientific community for any loss of time or resources caused by this publication.The first author, Amar Thyagarajan, has declined to sign this retraction notice.The paper has been cited 17 times, according to Thomson Scientific's Web of Knowledge. When it was originally published, Autism Speaks, which funded Thyagarajan's postdoc, heralded it:The ability to observe the active development of synapses will undoubtedly factor into future discoveries, paying dividends for some time to come.MIT called it a better way to see molecules at work in living brain cells.Thyagarajan is listed as a technology specialist at Clark + Elbing, a patent law firm in Boston. We've tried reaching him for comment, and will update with anything we learn.— Ivan Oransky, with Ohanian notes Retraction Watch, with notes 2013-02-15 http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/mit-lab-retracts-cell-synapse-tagging-paper-for-falsification-or-fabrication/#more-12397
See figure: '(A) In Biotin Labeling of INtercellular Contacts (BLINC), protein A is...' from publication 'Imaging Trans-Cellular Neurexin-Neuroligin Interactions by Enzymatic Probe Ligation' on ResearchGate, the professional network for scientists.
A workstation design for the Blinc Lab's Myoelectric Training Tool, the Bento Arm. The Bento Arm is designed to help upper arm amputees learn to use Myoelectric prosthetheses. The Workstation is mobile unit that is able to adapt to the many different clinical and research activities that the
by Papa Gyeke-Lartey @ The Gateway
Fri Aug 25 12:22:01 PDT 2017
Potato Rocket Grown Ass Adults Rhodehouse Records http://potatorocket.bandcamp.com/ Poop-your-pants pop punk band Potato Rocket from Calgary is releasing their first full-length album Grown Ass Adults on August 25. Their album will be out on their website and, for those of us who still like keeping music in jewel cases, CDs will be available, according to …
by @ Craig Sherstan
Mon Jan 21 12:19:00 PST 2013
While working on Marriage Pulse (shameless plug), an application for helping married couples have healthy marriages, I came across the need to deploy a demo on Heroku.
When you deploy an application on Heroku a “buildpack” is used to build your app and handle the deployment. Heroku automatically detects that type of application you are deploying and selects the appropriate buildpack.
The default build pack for Grails (https://github.com/heroku/heroku-buildpack-grails) does not allow you to specify the environment to run your app in, but will always use the “production” environment when running “grails war”.
Luckily, Heroku allows us to specify a custom buildpack for our app. So I have created a fork to allow us to specify our own environment. This can be one of the prepackaged ones (test, dev, prod) or a custom one that you have specified.
Here’s the custom buildpack I’ve created: https://github.com/csherstan/heroku-buildpack-grails
To use it you will need to do the following:
- Specify that your app should use the custom buildpack. This can be done either at the time of creation (https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/buildpacks#using-a-custom-buildpack):
$ heroku create --stack cedar --buildpack https://github.com/csherstan/heroku-buildpack-grails.gitor after creation:
$ heroku config:add BUILDPACK_URL=https://github.com/csherstan/heroku-buildpack-grails.git
- Enable Heroku’s custom environment variables to be available at build time (replace “myapp” with your heroku app name) (https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/labs-user-env-compile):
$ heroku labs:enable user-env-compile -a myapp
- Specify the environment you want to deploy in (replace “myenvironment” with the desired environment name, in my case I used “demo”)(https://devcenter.heroku.com/articles/config-vars):
$ heroku config:add GRAILS_ENV=myenvironment
- Do a
$ git push heroku master
The key here is that I have added a variable to the file “compile” called “GRAILS_ENV”, which, if specified, adds the option “-Dgrails.env=myenvironment” to the “grails war” command.
I will issue a pull request and see if this can get included into the main buildpack. I could foresee this being rejected as this solution relies on a heroku labs feature (user-env-compile), which may get removed as they see fit.
by @ Craig Sherstan
Thu Jan 10 09:18:00 PST 2013
Ever since I got my hands on an iPad I wasn’t happy with it - don’t get me wrong, it’s a great product, it just wasn’t what I wanted. What I wanted was a full powered laptop in tablet form. I wanted to be able to surf the net, play stupid games, run a Tomcat server, work on my development projects, and compose music on Ableton live.
When Microsoft announced Windows 8 and particularly Windows Surface Pro I was really excited - finally I would be able to get the device I was looking for.
Where it all went wrong:
There was a significant delay between announcement and release
Windows 8 had been expected for quite some time and the Surface was announced back in the first half of 2012, but the release date wasn’t until October 26. While this meant that consumers, such as myself, might postpone purchasing new devices until then, I think it also really killed excitement.
I don’t like Apple - I admit it, I’m biased, but they do get some things right. One of those is keeping the time between announcement and availability short. When a new Apple product is announced and I’m excited about it (ok, not me, but other people) I am still riding that wave of excitement when it’s released a short time later and I should think that converts to more sales. (I don’t have numbers, just my gut).
Microsoft thought I wanted another iPad
October 26th came around and finally we had Windows 8 released… with Windows Surface RT. Where was the Surface Pro I was so excited about?
Windows put their first foot forward (as far as new hybrid devices) with the RT platform - the scaled down, iOS wannabe.
Really, if I had wanted another iPad I could have just bought one.
They didn’t seem to understand that why I wanted a Windows tablet (and why anyone might want one) wasn’t to replace my iPad - I wanted something completely different to fill that gap that Apple didn’t seem interested in filling. I suspect that other consumers feel the same way.
The hardware vendors weren’t ready
So when October 26th rolled around and Microsoft gave us Windows 8 and the disappointing Surface RT surely there were other manufacturers with devices to take advantage of this new platform. Surely, all of those manufacturers that demoed those awesome hybrid devices back at Computex in the spring would have something out even if the Surface Pro was not available.
Sadly, with a few exceptions (Sony Duo 11 and Dell XPS 12), this was not the case. Not only were the Asus Taichi, Asus TransformerBook, Windows Surface Pro, Lenovo Yoga, etc. not available, there was almost no information available about pricing or release dates available.
In fact, even today, if you go to the Windows Surface Pro website it still has no release date.
I finally gave up in early December and bought a Sony Vaio T Series ultrabook with a touchscreen. It’s a clam shell laptop, not a tablet, or a hybrid and as such it’s only used like a traditional laptop. I don’t use the metro interface, only the desktop and I don’t have any use for the touchscreen in this configuration.
Sadly, I guess I will be waiting for the next generation of devices now.
What do we take away from this?
- Capitalize on excitement, don’t give it time to fizzle out.
- Make sure all your key pieces are in place when you go to release.
- Don’t disappoint. The Surface RT left a bad taste in people’s mouths that will likely affect sales of the Surface Pro.
by @ Craig Sherstan
Wed Feb 18 21:45:00 PST 2015
I am presently working on an MSc in artificial intelligence at the University of Alberta and thinking a lot about automation these days. I’m writing this article in response to the large number of articles about the coming AI dangers that I’ve been seeing lately. Many have talked about the danger of automated killing machines, but the more realistic ones, in my opinion, have been talking about the danger to the workforce.
There are many applications of automation that do not replace humans in any way, simply because humans could never do those jobs in the first place. For example, the group I work with (The Blinc Lab) is looking at assisting amputees by improving the control of prosthetic arms through the use of AI. Additionally, the study of AI allows us to learn about ourselves and how our minds work.
However, if we’re to be truly honest, the end goal of AI is replicate/replace human thought and ability. Once this is accomplished we have to ask what the value of a flesh and blood human really is?
There are several ways that we can interpret that question, but I just want to focus on the economic one. Financially, the one who really benefits from automation - in factories, in driving, in financial trading, etc. - is the boss, not those who are replaced. In our society we need money to live and we typically receive money in exchange for some value that we provide. So what happens when what we can provide as human beings is no longer of value?
A common argument you’ll hear is that employers and governments need to invest in retraining their employees. This is beneficial to some degree, but a good chunk of the population is not going to be helped by this. Frankly, many are just too old to retrain. Plus, it’s a short term solution. Is our whole population going to become scientists, painters, musicians, and Zumba instructors? Probably not realistic.
I’m going to offer two thoughts on how we might address this (without killing off all AI researchers - Yes, I’m looking at you Transcendence).
1. Robots were supposed to make our lives better. Robots were supposed to give us more time for leisure. A common theme in many science fiction movies and books (Star Trek, Culture Series), in which automation has lived up to its promise, is the end of money and the end of the concept of exchanging work for goods. In the case of the Culture, work is performed for various reasons, but the getting of goods is not one of them (I admit they have no scarcity though).
So, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but maybe we need to start seriously thinking about how to move past money and the exchange of work for goods.
The most likely alternative is that more and more of the wealth is controlled by fewer people… wait, aren’t we seeing that shift already?
2. We ourselves must adapt, both physically and mentally. And I don’t mean that it in some sort of pep-talk way. I mean literally; we could change our bodies and our minds. Our technology is moving faster than our own evolution. Instead of creating some thing to replace us, let’s create better versions of us. I don’t want to create a super intellect, I want to become one.
I realize that second point is probably not too palatable for most, so how about I’ll make you a deal - I’ll work on that one, you work out the first.
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by Tashina Combs @ Logical Harmony
Mon Sep 25 13:34:24 PDT 2017
I get a lot of questions about cruelty-free household brands that make soap, cleaning products, and other similar things. For a lot of us, finding cruelty-free makeup and skincare is easy. But when it comes to your home, it can be a different challenge. Grove Collaborative is one of my favorite places to order these products because you can set things up to be delivered on a subscription. In this video, I share what I got in my most recent order. Products mentioned in this Cruelty-Free Cleaning Products Haul from Grove are: Grove Cleaning Caddy Yes to Grapefruit & Basil Hand Soap Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap in Rose Dr. Bronner’s Bar Soap in Rose Bon Ami Cleanser Spruce & Co Screen Cleaning Wipes Clean Mama Bar Mop Towels Small Garbage Bags If You Care Household Gloves Reusable Sandwich Bags Grove Kitchen Towel Grove Cellulose Sponge Cloths Have you tried any of the vegan products featured in this Cruelty-Free Cleaning Products Haul before? Have you tried out Grove Collaborative? If not, use this link and you can get $10 off your first order. With your account, you also get a referral link to share with others. When they use your referral link, […]