Mobile Technologies

I’m attending a workshop presented by Deidre Larrier and Emily Hurst at the HAMC library.

  • items of interest  over 5,500 medical apps for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.  The number of physicians using i-Phones doubled in 2009. This might be explained by the advent of the the iPhone2.   You can access these apps by going to the iTunes App Store.
  • provides advice on medically-related apps.
  • of general interest: dictionaires; pronunciation & translation.

Perusing the listings under Education

  • access to: Wikipedia
  • calculators, graphic calculators
  • “Molecules is an application for viewing three-dimensional renderings of molecules and manipulating them using your fingers.”
  • dictionaries and translators

Android apps

Blackberry apps


For free from the National Library of Medicine

On using a wiki: one month’s experience

We’ve used the The Methodological Annex wiki through for six weeks, a total of 22 articles relating to methods used in our weekly Immunology journal club. Here are some preliminary observations:

  • It takes me (as administrator) about 30-45′ each week to set up the wiki structure.  I do this to maintain a certain structure and because I have the categories in mind as I write the questions. (So far I retained administrator control over the “entry” point page that lists all the articles  and their questions.  )
  • Few students have made use of the wiki to write up their answers (which are given orally each week in a seminar following the journal club). Since TMA itself is voluntary, there is no way to require student entries to the wiki and there is so far little incentive to do so.
  • The wiki is straightforward with standard wiki features.  There’s a minor odd feature that if you highlight a text to make a link, the wikia will replace it automatically with other text, so that you have to go back and edit it back to what you want. It should accept the highlighted text as default.
  • The chief impediment to getting students to write to the wiki I think is that it takes additional time to write up and edit a wiki.
  • A second impediment has to do with copyright issues.  Under the doctrine of fair use, it is appropriate to take tables and figures from copyrighted works for display in a one-time teaching seminar, but not for repeated use or in a stable public forum. This means that figures would have to be redrawn. In most cases, students actually use the whiteboard for diagrams- so is is non-trivial to post them to the wiki.
  • One solution to the copyright issue would be to take the wiki private, using the wiki feature of Blackboard, for example.

blogs about network analysis

Blogs about NodeXL

Renato Dulbecco on innovation

For new graduate students: at The Chronicle of Higher Education

Learning/teaching blogs

I thought this use of Prezi was thoughtful and useful.

How to convert Voki to Youtube for Prezi

It turned out this was a bit harder than I thought it would be. The Voki product doesn’t seem to be flash, or at least there was no trace of a flash file in the Firefox cache.

Video capture

I used Jing for a video capture of the Voki video, but this created an swf file which I wasn’t able to convert into anything usable.  This was surprising, because I could play the swf file using Firefox, but there still wasn’t anything in the cache.    I then tried Screenr and this generated a local flv file, which I was able to use.

I converted the flv file to wmv using VLC but the quality was poor; especially the first part of video was garbaged. I then tried converting using  Lumixsoft FLV to WMV converter  This gave a much higher quality conversion.  The wmv file was uploaded into Windows Movie Maker.

Audio capture

Neither Jing nor Screenr picked up the audio.  I was able to capture this using NCH’ Soundtap Streaming Audio Recorder.  This generated a wav file that I could  uploaded into Windows Movie Maker.  The sound was synchronized with the video manually and the product saved as a wmv file, then uploaded to Youtube, then the embed code was pasted here via Vodpod:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

fiona4b, posted with vodpod

There appears to be some loss of both video and audio quality through these manipulations.

Dressing up Xtranormal

I dressed up an Xtranormal video by:

  • extracting the flv from the cache
  • loading it into VideoPad Video Editor.
  • To add  music, I converted  an mp3 file into wav format in WavePad and uploaded the wav file into VideoPad.
  • I created an intro sequence by taking snapshots from the Xtranormal sequence and then added a voice track to the “intro”.
  • Uploaded to Youtube.

Note:In VideoPad you can adjust the volume for each audio track separately.  I couldn’t figure out how to adjust the volume of  mp3 files in VideoPad, but it worked easily for wav files.  Here’s the product: “Lives of the Hunted. Episode 1”:

Lives of the Hunted Episode 1. In this episode, Dr. Capricious 'Cappy' Cumlaude berates her student Sam Sansarif for arriving late to the lab


You can recover flash (Youtube, animoto, etc) files you’ve played in Firefox by finding them in the cache.(In fact, almost any file that is displayed by Firefox can be recovered from your cache). It’s not too hard:

  1. Clear the cache
  2. play the flash file
  3. Find out where your cache is.
  4. Find the file in the cache
  5. Add the proper extension, rename it and move it to where  you want.

First, clear the cache under Tools/Clear Recent History .  Click on “Cache” and clear it.  You do this because usually your cache is so full of junk that you’ll have trouble finding what you want.

Second,  play your flash file.  This will place a new copy of the flash video in your cache.

Third, find the cache. You do this by typing “about:cache” in the URL window of Firefox:

Copy and paste the path to the disk cache device into Explorer (not Internet Explorer!).

Now you need to find the flash video file.  Note that all the entries in your cache end with “d01” and have no extensions.  You’ll recognize the file you want because it will be “large” and recent.

Rename it to add a “.flv” extension (see image on right).

(Note that things will go easier if you have set your folder display to show all extensions).

Your system should recognize it it has a flv player registered.  In my case, I have VLC player registered to play flv, so the icon for VLC shows up.  Double-click to see if it plays the correct thing.  If not, then carefully rename it back to what it was and try a different file.

If it is the correct one, then name it whatever you want and move it to a desired directory.

Stanley Fish on “Plagiarism is not a big moral deal”

need to comment on this opinion piece by Stanley Fish

Stanley Fish

: brought to my attention by Jim Good.

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