April 26, 2005

The next Einstein

USATODAY.com - Scientists debate wait on the next Einstein. Live life, learn philosophy, play and create music. Then do science. The science will be better by it.

Perhaps the best examples are the five scientific papers Einstein wrote in his "miracle year" of 1905. These "thought experiments" were pages of calculations signed and submitted to the prestigious journal Annalen der Physik by a virtual unknown. There were no footnotes or citations.

What might happen to such a submission today?

"We all get papers like those in the mail," Green said, "We put them in the crank file."

Posted by johnvu at 03:01 PM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2005

Amazon's A9 search engine

Amazon’s New OpenSearch Enables Search Syndication

Amazon describes OpenSearch as an example of “vertical search.� At the conference, Bezos demonstrated searching for “Vioxx� in a conventional search engine. Most of the results in a linear hit list will present the most popular Web pages containing that term. But if you use Amazon’s A9 as your search engine, you can select PubMed as one of your trusted “columns.� Then search A9 for Vioxx and you’ll see scientific and clinical results from PubMed in addition to the traditional Web results.

Posted by johnvu at 09:20 AM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2005

pstoedit is our friend

pstoedit.net. When it comes to producing publication quality graphs, I've found the following combination hard to beat: 1) GraphPad Prism, 2) pstoedit, and 3) xfig. You can print from GraphPad Prism to a postscript file. Use pstoedit to convert it to a vector graphics file that xfig can understand (e.g. pstoedit -f xfig inputpsfile.ps outputfigfile.fig). Run xfig and edit the figure to your liking. Finally, to produce the appropriate graphics file, you can export as a an EPS that will most likely pass the Rapid Inspector digital art reviewing program. Rapid Inspector is a program that many journals are now implementing to certify digital art for publication before the authors upload the graphics files to the journal:

Users download a simple application and drag-and-drop image files into Rapid Inspector. Files are tested locally on the user's computer and results are received in seconds.

Last time I checked, the program was a java application, which probably means it not only runs in Windows XP or Mac OS X, but perhaps also in Linux.

Instead of producing an xfig file, you can also produce SVG files that inkscape will open, although my attempt to do this led to inkscape crashing repeatedly with my graphics file. It may be that my file was too big. YMMV.

Posted by johnvu at 09:58 PM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2005

Siemens SX66

If you have a Siemens SX66 PDA phone and you're trying to use the wireless connection, but find that pages still load up too slowly, try turning off your bluetooth momentarily. It's a shame that wifi does not work as well with bluetooth enabled. Perhaps the new firmware will fix it. Overall, this device is very impressive, even though it only runs Windows Mobile 2003. It's nice to have PuttyMobile to ssh into a *nix box while I'm out and about -- that way I can touchup some of my LaTeX docs with emacs on the fly if I needed.

Posted by johnvu at 10:48 PM | Comments (0)