University of Toronto computational biology professor Gary Bader has created an interactive data visualization that allows users to identify complementary wine and cheese pairings based on different factors, including a wine’s country of origin and a cheese’s moisture level. The visualization uses software called Cytoscape that Bader and other researchers initially developed for complex genetic and molecular analysis, such as mapping the relationship between different genes and autism or cancer. Users can search for approximately 1,000 ideal pairings between 100 different red and white wines and 270 cheeses. READ: Pairing Wine and Cheese with Data Sciencw | Center for Data Innovation
Alexandra Elbakyan is a highbrow pirate in hiding. The 27-year-old graduate student from Kazakhstan is operating a searchable online database of nearly 50 million stolen scholarly journal articles, shattering the $10 billion-per-year paywall of academic publishers. READ MORE: This student put 50 million stolen research articles online. And they’re free. | The Washington Post
To anyone who was paying attention to video games in the mid-’90s, the term “FMV game” probably still inspires snorts of derision. The handful of titles that shoehorned simple gameplay on top of highly compressed full-motion video (FMV) usually suffered from low-quality sound and images, poor production values, limited interaction options, and ponderous repetition of a few short video clips through multiple plays. The results ranged from mediocre at the high end to some of the worst games ever made at the low end. By the end of the ’90s, filmed, live-action video clips gave way to polygons and animated, pre-rendered sprites as the gameplay and story-telling engine of choice.
But just as failed ’90s experiments in virtual reality are leading to a resurgence in the form today, the FMV gaming failures of decades past are finally being explored with the technology and game-design advancements of today. Her Story is proof that FMV games don’t have to be awful and that filming actors on a set could be a criminally underexplored form for interactive storytelling. READ MORE: Her Story is a compelling new type of interactive storytelling | Ars Technica.
The B.C. Court of Appeal has released its decision in Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack, a closely watched case involving a court order requiring Google to remove websites from its global index. As I noted in a post on the lower court decision, rather than ordering the company to remove certain links from the search results available through Google.ca, the order intentionally targets the entire database, requiring the company to ensure that no one, anywhere in the world, can see the search results.
SQL, the popular programming language used to manage data in a relational database, is used in a ton of apps. Khan Academy’s introductory course to SQL will get you started writing SQL in an interactive editor.
If youre a regular user of Photoshop, Illustrator, or do general web development, you probably find yourself drowning in a flood of keyboard shortcuts. Cheetyr helps make sense of them with a searchable database of keyboard shortcuts for several common apps and services. Currently, Cheetyr contains shortcuts for Photoshop, Illustrator, CSS, Git, and Vim. The site is accepting submissions and assistance, so the database is likely to grow over time. You can search for any function in the search box for each product to find the shortcut youre looking for.
Reddit users have created a machine-readable data set of over 200,000 Jeopardy questions. The data, which the dataset’s creators scraped from fan-created question repository J!-Archive, contains each question’s answer, along with category, dollar value, air date, and other data.
If you’ve been thinking about getting started on the rocket project that’s been on your mind for ages, now is a good time to get serious. Next week, NASA will release a massive software catalog with over 1,000 projects. It’s not the first time the space agency’s released code, but it is the first time they’ve made it so easy.
The breadth and variety of the software projects that NASA’s about to give away are difficult to express. It’s not just a bunch of algorithms and star-finding software, though stuff like that is in there. The crazy geniuses that land rovers on Mars are actually releasing code for ultra high-tech NASA stuff like rocket guidance systems and robotics control software. There’s even some artificial intelligence.
And did I mention it’s all free? Read more: NASA’s About To Release a Mother Lode of Free Software | Gizmodo.
See also: NASA Technology Transfer Portal
A tool developed by researchers at Southampton University has indexed historic maps, photos and historic documents to provide a simple location search tool for the UK.
The Pelagios 3 project takes data from ancient Latin and Greek sources, which formed the basis of two previous Pelagios projects, and builds on it with documents and maps from Arabic sources, medieval European and Chinese maps, and seafaring charts from the 13th century, cross-linking them into one searchable database.
Genie lamps, ancient tomes, swords in stones: Classic tales reveal that certain objects possess magical powers, absorbed through generations of inheritance. With today’s relentless pressure to just buy more and more, it’s easy to forget the power of our own belongings. We’re all hoarders on some level. But most of us have at least one heirloom with a rich history, an item that seems more alive than the rest.
British photographer Joakim Blockstrom wants to hear these particular stories and to document your favorite heirlooms. Blockstrom founded The Heirloom Project, an online bank of images of passed-down objects along with their histories. The intent is to start a discussion about the meaning of inheritance and its relationship to our identities and what we value.