dumbmatter.com
Online home of Jeremy Scheff

QR codes in academic poster presentations: A case study at ICCAI 2011

It's hard to deal with introversion. Even a scientific approach doesn't offer many solutions. Sure, you can observe extroverts in their native habitats, but it often seems as if much of their power derives from some combination of status and network effects. No status, no network, no effects.

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Jekyll and other static site generators are, currently, harmful to the free, open source software movement

My blog is powered by WordPress. WordPress remains at its core a monstrous amalgamation of PHP spaghetti code. Thus, despite the fact that WordPress is free (beer+speech), easy to use, well supported, well documented, and all that jazz... it still pains my hacker sensibilities to use it. For similar reasons, a lot of hacker types are moving away from WordPress and similar blog software to static site generators like jekyll.

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My previous life as a programmer/entrepreneur - Part 3: First steps into the dirty underworld of search engine optimization

This is part 3 of a series of articles. If you missed the previous articles, you should start at the beginning.

Last time, I wrote about my first failed attempt to make money, and my second somewhat successful attempt to make money. Even though it may sound fancy because it's on the Internet, all of that stuff was very honest, traditional business. Either selling a product for money, or selling a service for money.

But as we've all learned in recent years, only suckers try to make money that way (see: Wall Street). The real money is a level removed from honest business.

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My previous life as a programmer/entrepreneur - Part 2: Software development, business development

This is part 2 of a series of articles. If you missed the previous article, you should start at the beginning.

In the last article, I went from being an 11 year old with no clue about anything to a 15 year old with half a clue when I publicly released my first piece of software. In this article, I talk about acquiring users, getting unexpected contributions through the wonders of open source software, trying (and failing) to make money, and not trying to make money but actually making a little bit.

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My previous life as a programmer/entrepreneur - Part 1: Origins

This is the first in a series of articles about (broadly) my experiences as a web developer. I plan on having the whole series range from my adolescence, where I began building websites and learning how to program, and ending as an undergrad in college when I decided to try to sell as much of my stuff as possible and move on to other things. So, I don't know if anyone will find this series of articles interesting; maybe I'm just writing them to reminisce more than anything.

This being the first article in the series, it starts with my first forays into programming and ends with the seemingly benign beginnings of what would eventually become a fairly profitable enterprise.

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Relationship between Ames Straw Poll and Iowa Caucuses results

In recent weeks, there have been a lot of people decrying the importance of the Ames Straw poll, likely because the mainstream media is worried that Ron Paul will win it. Here's one prominent example, titled "The Ames Straw Poll Has Limited Predictive Value". Of course, if you actually read the article, it doesn't really demonstrate what is claimed in the title. So, I wanted to look at this issue a little more systematically. Unfortunately, I got scooped by that bastard Nate Silver who wrote an article about this exact issue this morning, after I had already almost finished mine. So instead, this will be an exercise in open source journalism.

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Tooltips when hovering over a PyGTK TreeView column header

If you search for information about showing tooltips in a PyGTK TreeView, most of what you find is about tooltips for hovering over rows. Here, I'll explain how to show a tooltip when you hover over a column header in a PyGTK TreeView.

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Progress monitor (or progress bar) within a MATLAB parfor loop

In MATLAB, it is really easy to do parallel processing of trivially parallelizable problems with a parfor loop. I do it all the time. It's great. A problem with this is that, if you need to parallelize something in the first place, it's typically something that takes a really long time to run. Some type of progress monitor is normally easier to make, but because parfor does not iterate in order and the workers cannot communicate with one another, it's a little tricky to do in the parallel case.

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Retrospective bioinformatics: the feasibility overlapping genetic codes

ResearchBlogging.org
This post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.org

In 1957, we knew what DNA was. We were pretty sure that proteins were determined by sequences of DNA. But we didn't know exactly how this happened. In other words, the genetic code was still a mystery back then. This was a particularly perplexing problem, because a very simple question could be stated with no obvious answer: How does a language (DNA sequences) with four letters (the nucleotides A, C, G, and T) get translated into a language (protein sequences) with twenty letters (amino acids)... and furthermore, is there some higher purpose to having these two different alphabets?

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Bitcoin and crypto-anarchist sloths

When I first heard of BitCoin, a decentralized (i.e. not controlled by a government or corporation) digital currency, I immediately thought of Neal Stephenson. Why? Well, I have a total mancrush on Neal Stephenson, so he is never far from my thoughts. But a central theme of several of his novels (and a peripheral theme in others) is currency. For instance, in Cryptonomicon, the protagonists are developing a digital currency which is "anonymous, untraceable, and untaxable", but ultimately there is still some gold sitting in a vault somewhere centralized.

But Stephenson's short story "The Great Simoleon Caper" is even more prescient:

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