Monday, April 30, 2007

Ten Simple Rules for Making Good Oral Presentations

PLoS Computational Biology's "Ten Simple Rules" series are pretty nice guidelines, including:
  1. Bourne PE (2005) Ten simple rules for getting published. PLoS Comp Biol 1: e57.
  2. Bourne PE, Chalupa LM (2006) Ten simple rules for getting grants. PLoS Comp Biol 2: e12.
  3. Bourne PE, Korngreen A (2006) Ten simple rules for reviewers. PLoS Comp Biol 2: e110.
  4. Bourne PE, Friedberg I (2006) Ten simple rules for selecting a postdoctoral fellowship. PLoS Comp Biol 2: e121.
  5. Vicens Q, Bourne PE (2007) Ten simple rules for a successful collaboration. PLoS Comp Biol 3: e44.

It just published a new set of rules for oral presentations.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

10 most common passwords

I was frustrated with my little Lexmark printer for a while today. First, I can't print to it from my desktop (which I finally fixed it by re-installing the driver). Secondly, I totally forgot the PIN I set for its security. I tried everything I can think of for a 4-digit numeric PIN and realized how creative I must have been when setting it up and how lack of imagination I am now. I don't know whether anyone has done some survey on how many passwords (for different purposes) we were asked in a day, a week or a month. I bet the number won't be small.

Below is the 10 most common passwords published in PC magazine on April 18, 2007. I guess I should just be happy that I am not using any of them.
  1. password
  2. 123456
  3. qwerty (look at your keyboard. and I wonder why there is not a right-hand version)
  4. abc123
  5. letmein
  6. monkey
  7. myspace1
  8. password1
  9. link182
  10. (your first name)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

"hoaxing, forging, trimming and cooking"

These are several ways of misusing data in science according to Charles Babbage, as mentioned in the following article.

"Deception and dishonesty with data:fraud in science" by David Hand
Significance, March 2007, pages 22-25

The part of this article I like most is the part where the author discussed that, despite the idealized image of scientists in the minds of the public, scientists are just human who are under pressure to be productive and to compete in order to survive the academic world. The author also observed that scientific fraud differed from other frauds such as banking frauds in that the perpetrators didn't set out to be dishonest at the beginning. It is also true that some accusation of fraud in science is arguable, especially in the gray area of "trimming" unreliable data.