SciFoo is coming, so I take my flight tomorrow from humid and subtropical New Orleans (running experiment terminated this afternoon, things in liquid nitrogen for downstream processing) to the cold San Francisco. Besides the Googleplex I am visiting Berkeley, Stanford, UCSF and as many of the central places of high tech culture (you know, the cooperating IT and BT interests) as possible. I become a sci-tech tourist for one week. Preparation for SciFoo equals to extending the Google Maps list, inforich contact list and PDFs on the iPhone. It is a constant joy to scan the list of the 200 or so campers (read science foo camp(fire) and meditating on the session suggestions.
In our lab there are seminars almost every day, and I started to use my iPhone’s Notes function to record some information and thoughts I found interesting during the seminars. I am really not experienced in typing the iPhone keyboard yet so here are my first 2 trials first as screenshots and then the texts themselves. Problem: in order to use the Notes texts in a normal text editor you have to send it to yourself as an email attachment.
This slide comes from the presentation of Google Fellow Jeff Dean on Seattle Conference on Scalability, entitled Abstractions for Handling Large Datasets. (The title Google Fellow seems to me as something similar in rank to a full professorship at Stanford.)
I like Google and Apple products, but my expectations are focusing on how these products can help and facilitate me as a scientist, especially as a biomedical research scientist. With the Science on the iPhone test series I’d like to examine in details how proper and user friendly is the iPhone as an ultimate portable, mobile, convergent handheld gadget (or at least the first version of that line) for scientific purposes based on real experience. Briefly: can we use it as a SciPhone?
Amongst others I’ll concentrate on the following: the passive, science consuming opportunities like text reading, photo, presentation and science video watching and the active, science-making issues like writing texts, making photos and giving presentations.
Also I’d like to take a look on how the iPhone fits into the frame of the present scientific web, and how good is for scientific communication. (Photo: my bench this afternoon.) Continue reading →