Duurzame opslagcapaciteit voor de hele lange termijn

De opslagcapaciteit van dit glazen schijfje, 360 terabyte, is nog niet eens zo spectaculair. Bij een niet nader te noemen elektronica-gigant koop je externe schijven van 3 TB voor minder dan €200 per stuk. Maar gecombineerd met de afmetingen en vooral ook de duurzaamheid, is dit schijfje toch wel bijzonder. Het is bestand tegen temperaturen tot 1000 graden celcius en kan bij kamertemperatuur naar verwachting 14 miljard jaren mee [1]. Daarmee lijkt deze technologie uitermate geschikt voor het bewaren van belangrijke archieven van bijvoorbeeld musea en bibliotheken. En zou er iemand al zo’n grote dataset hebben? Misschien nu nog niet, maar dat kan in de komende jaren best komen.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights recorded into 5D optical data (Southampton.ac.uk)

Foto: Southampton.ac.uk: Universal Declaration of Human Rights opgeslagen in 5D optische data. Het schijfje is ongeveer zo groot als een twee-euromunt.

Het glas wordt beschreven met een ultra-fast laser. De laser creëert 5D nanostructuren in het glas. We kennen allemaal 3D (de dimensies lengte x breedte x hoogte), de andere dimensies komen van de omvang en richting van de afzonderlijke structuren. Het uitlezen gebeurt met een optische microscoop en polarisatiefilter (denk: Polaroid zonnebril) [2].

Het klinkt eenvoudig, maar dat is het waarschijnlijk niet. Wetenschapper Peter Kazansky van de University of Southampton (UK) is met zijn collega’s al 15 jaar bezig met deze technologie, die nu is bewezen door onder andere de Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, zie foto), Newton’s Opticks en Magna Carta op schijf te zetten. Er wordt gezocht naar partners om de technologie productierijp te maken [2].

Bronnen:
[1] http://www.sciencealert.com/this-new-5d-data-storage-disc-can-store-360tb-of-data-for-14-billion-years
[2] http://www.southampton.ac.uk/news/2016/02/5d-data-storage-update.page

Citizen Science closing knowledge gaps

Washington Post tells us: “Three superplayers of an addictive online puzzle game have done something that Stanford University Medical School believes is unprecedented: They’ve become the first authors on a paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal based on their discoveries in playing the large-scale, online video game EteRNA.”

The Journal of Molecular Biology is a peer-reviewed scientific journal where authors with solid scientific reputation publish their works. The scientific article in question was published last month by the three “citizen scientists” authors, considered amateur scientists. How is this possible?

Who gets to publish scientific articles has to go through the regular channel of working with authorities in the scientific field and then becoming a scientific authority: it’s the thread of trust in the creation of knowledge. This is the traditional way to develop one’s own expertise and get recognised by the scientific community. However, this way changed over the last decades: new educational pathways grew inside the traditional academic environment via the MOOCs but also outside them via citizen science projects.

The MOOCs are educational models that approach a large audience, with a huge impact on the global education, where the knowledge, structured in various subjects is given away: it flows from universities to people.

In the citizen scientist project model, the knowledge flows the other way around. The universities need help, they have huge projects working with big data that ask for too much money and infrastructure or too many people, all in all too much for a university to handle by itself. They need help not only in the form of funding (level 1) and distributed computer processing power (level 2) but also through crowdsourcing human-processing power – fresh, non-biased input – to analyse complex problems, images or samples (level 3) [2]. So the universities created frameworks for people to learn and challenge them to help solve problems with great impact for the whole society.

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Crowdfunding for academia

Every university wants to encourage the entrepreneurship of its students and at the same time, increase its visibility through their output. One new way is via the social supporting models of crowdfunding (financial support from an online community) and the crowdsourcing (support with services, ideas or content from an online community). Both were a hype in 2013 but they stayed around and they were adopted by universities around the world or by non-profit organisations as valuable alternative tools for the benefit of academia.

How does this parallel fund raising track works for universities now?

In USA, the University of Oregon took an active role in hosting a website, DuckFunder, for crowdfunding their students projects. Experiment.com is crowdfunding scientific research with a team behind the scenes that examines and approves an experiment before going public.

In UK there is an non-profit organisation, Hubbub, created for students, hosting a crowdfunding website for academia, colleges and schools. They defined the Sponsors and the Creators. The Creators (at least 16 years old) offer generic small rewards to the Sponsors – the “friends of the university” – to help the process of crowdfunding and get them involved in the projects of their interest. (Learn more)

In the Nederlands, University of Maastricht is busy with offering support to its students who want to find resources to realise their ideas. Both their crowdfunding and crowdsourcing projects can be found on their page on the Pifworld (Pay It Forward World).

University of Groningen supports its researchers and students via two websites made by/with the “social enterprise” Kentaa, who says it’s working with 9 of 13 Dutch universities to help raise funds for academic research projects. There one can find the webpages of Erasmus University Rotterdam, Wageningen UR, Radboud University and Twente University.

At TU Delft, somehow the students managed to (crowd)fund their projects via different and elsewhere available platforms. Among their initiatives, the following got a well deserved attention:

  • the Ocean Cleanup by Bojan Slat completed a fundraiser in 2014 that used the ABN AMRO platform SEEDS.
  • the Leg Bank for Colombia via the 1%Club platform – completed in 2014
  • Nuna 8 closed in the summer of 2015, via Zonnepanelendelen platform, crowdfunding specifically for systems based on sun energy.
    A picture of each sponsor was placed on the Nuna 8 solar car, which ended up winning the World Solar Challenge 2015 in Australia.
  • the EcoRunner – the hydrogen powered vehicle, still fighting to raise money on Indiegogo

What if we, as a library, step in as well to support our own gifted entrepreneur students? We could give them the channel they need for getting help with funds and resources from people who care in exchange for bringing TU Delft in the news with their great ideas.

ReFlex – the future of e-books?

A few weeks ago, The Queens University Media Lab released a prototype of a flexible smartphone called ReFlex, so far… nothing special.
Nowadays, almost weekly somewhere on the globe, some unkown company with exotic name is releasing the latest model smartphone.…but the The ReFlex is different!

What immediately grabbed my attention were the techniques used in this prototype – flexible OLED display, bend sensors and haptic feedback.
Translated into human language that means that when you read e-book on the ReFlex you can flip the pages of the book just by bending the screen and the haptic feedback will give you a sensation like you’re flipping a real book.The more you bend the faster the pages flip and vice-versa.The haptic feedback will also give you more precise “eyes-free navigation”.

The researchers expect that the commercial devices will be available within 5 years or maybe sooner…(1)

I think that, if well developed and widely produced, in the future this techniques can have a huge impact not only on how we interact with our smartphone’s but also with other digital devices like for example e-readers like Kindle, iPad or other tablets.

Is this the innovation that will finaly make the difference between digital and analog reading experience smaller or just another fun prototype?
Only time will tell….

Bron: (1) Engadget

Kahoot! voor een snelle online quiz of toets

Niet nieuw, maar ik kwam het ineens op verschillende plekken tegen, dus dan is het interessant. Kahoot! is een online tool waarmee je snel en gemakkelijk aantrekkelijke online quizes, polls of toetsen kan maken voor gebruik in een interactieve presentatie. Je kan daarbij denken aan een discussie / panel sessie van een symposium, maar ook gewoon in een klassikale les.
Screenshot 2016-02-10 11.27.24
Er zijn heel veel van dergelijke tools, maar Kahoot springt er uit door het gebruiksgemak en een aantrekkelijke presentatie. Je kan meedoen met elk device: smart phone, tablet of laptop, want je hebt alleen een browser nodig (met Internet verbinding).
De deelnemers kunnen zich aanmelden met een pincode en een “nickname” dus als ze dat willen anoniem. Je kan ervoor kiezen voor punten te spelen, dan wordt het een game en worden de meeste deelnemers ineens een stuk fanatieker!
TU Delft heeft een licentie voor “Turning Point”, dat is uitgebreider en kan meer, maar dan kost het je wel wat meer tijd dan de 6 minuten (!) die ik nodig had om te registreren, een Kahoot! te maken en te testen. Bovendien ziet Kahoot er grappig uit, wat de sfeer ten goede kan komen. Ik ben een fan. Ook proberen? http://getkahoot.com

I am the content: how and why instructors discover and share course content

Early January, OCLC held a webinar about a study done by by Temple University Libraries (Philadelphia, US) on practises of instructors selecting, sharing and organising course content. I didn’t have time then, but when we started to discuss what we as a library can do for teachers in the context of Open Education, especially for “Enrich online learning”, I decided to watch part of the webinar and look in to the study to see what we might learn from our colleagues across the ocean.

You can find a presentation as well as the webinar online at OCLC. The study has been conducted by doing a structured interview with ten full time teaching staff at Temple University.  It has had a long run: from preparation in 2011 to presenting the results in 2015. The content in the study can be readings, video, images and other supporting materials other than the course syllabus.

So what are instructors doing and why? Some are creating home video’s and posting them on YouTube or streamed to Blackboard using Ensemblevideo.com. Pdf’s of published articles are shared using Google Sites. Textbooks are carefully selected to be used for the long term, but supporting materials like links, images are on-the-fly selections. Teachers have accumulated this material, sometimes organised using tools like Dropbox, Delicious or EndNote. How do they discover these resources? “Well, that’s my job to know. I’m always aware of things, so if it appears to me, I’m gonna see it.” Also, teachers rely on their network: “…A social network is a little bit less cumbersome than doing a keyword search in [database name].”

Questions from the interview: how they decide what to share

Screenshot taken from the webinar’s presentation.

The take away for libraries is that the teachers said they rarely specifically search or “hunt” for course materials. What works at Temple is to weekly push content as an alert, such as an email with new book lists and/or relevant news from popular newspapers. What is necessary to be relevant is a good understanding of the appropriate level for the different target groups and a focus on quality.

According to Temple, to help teachers it might be more effective to “unbundle content” so instead of sending a link to an article or book, send a paragraph of chapter that is highly relevant. If I had been in the webinar, I would have asked: For all these (hundreds of) courses, how can the library have and maintain the knowledge to evaluate what is relevant and the right level for a specific course? They have library liaisons at the faculties at Temple, but I wonder if that is enough. Hey, let’s just send them an email!

Sources: webinar and pdf (slides).

Technology trend 2016: Big Data gets bigger

Each year there are a lot of predictions in the media about the state of technology [1]. Recently, the use of Big Data analyses has been of great influence in the industry and businesses and therefore Big Data is considered as one of the fastest developing technology trends of 2016. In addition, the correlation of Big Data with AI (Artificial Intelligence), VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) has received significant attention [2][3][4].

photo from enterrasolutions

Big Data makes cities smarter
We really do not have to look into a crystal ball to predict the most important technology trends of this year. We are already dealing with different developments. One of them is a trendy service, made possible by the use of Big Data, the so called smart city. The urbanization and the use of personal technology that increases daily are making the lives of the masses more and more connected to people and devices. This IT development has become a reality in which every city can collect data of the masses’ traffic and personal technology behavior [5]. They can collect all kinds of data received and measured for example through WiFi-spots or through mobile-signals. These can be used to find out new patterns of our lives by measuring the traffic around the most popular facilities, entertainment and merchandising locations [5]. For example, they can use Big Data to predict the locations where cars can be broken down in the city, which could help to prevent or facilitate near these possible locations in order to improve the repair process. These possibilities are increasing through the combination of personal technology with Big Data.

photo from automatedtrader

An Intelligent combination
AI, VR and AR have separately incredible potential power. However, the combination along with Big Data is game changing and of great impact on the industry [2][3][4]. For example, the combination of Machine Learning, which is a part of AI, together with Big Data has already shown how intelligent it can be. Publicity agencies and the financial industry are using Big Data analytics to predict the behavior of individuals [7]. According to Forbes, “their power combined can even become so intelligent to the point where some believe they will be able to accurately predict both market trends and human influences on the commerce”[8]. Imagine if you could use Big Data and Machine Learning (AI) to improve your own business or your life in general. 

Virtual and augmented reality experiences are growing focus in the market and are getting closer to mainstream acceptance. However, if these exciting technologies use more Big Data (youtube examples), the development steps will be bigger.

In general, this year we will see more Big Data providing services on different levels than only smart city. The expectations are high regarding steps in targeting mainstream consumers in 2016. So Big Data are getting bigger and will be widely used.


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Sources:
[1] 10 Big tech trends ,
[2] AI and stock market ,
[3] big data and augmented reality the research agenda ,
[4] making sense of big data with VR ,
[5] Big Data is needed ,
[6] Top 10 big tech trends ,
[7] Big Data and AI need ,
[8] Why Big Data and AI need each other and you need both

Trends 2016: Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

With all the technological developments from the last year IamWIRE says that if 2015 was the year of the sensors (products), 2016 will be the year of user experiences due to the release of high tech devices in the consumer market. They are referring to three of the most important technological developments that will emerge as trends for this year: Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Trends:
  • Looking back at the last year’s developments in Virtual Reality, we saw in 2015 the headsets Gear VR, Oculus VR and Google Jump platform appear, the last one with the 16 GoPro camera’s that can create 360 degrees videos, a new type of content, now already popular on YouTube.

    All of them open new possibilities for Virtual Reality new experiences in gaming, training, and simulations. In the beginning of this year is scheduled the launch of Oculus Rift (already here for a price of $599), Sony’s PlayStation VR and HTC – Vive headset with VR technology. According to TrendForce, the expectations are as far as 43mil. users this year with 14 mil. VR devices to be sold, most of them to be used in gaming. Quirk’s is talking about Virtual Reality as of a democratising technology, but warns that its adoption by the industries and consumers will go far beyond 2016. It predicts that the economical sectors that are mostly based on experience – like tourism and health care – will adopt this technology faster than others.

  • In 2015 the investments in Augmented Reality went up to $700mil. (1). Its timeline didn’t begin with Google Glass (launched in 2013 and stopped in 2015), but it was surely considered well ahead of its time. The next generation, Google Glass 2 is expected in May 2016 (2). What else did Google do in 2015? They backed-up a startup company, Magic Leap, that raised a huge amount of investments for its 3D mapping system integrating real objects with interactive graphical “objects” (3). Let the race begin!

    In the spring of 2016 are announced as well the Microsoft’s HoloLens and ASUS’s AR headset.
    There is no promise yet for the consumer market, but everyone expects a serious name taking a stand in AR: Apple. Its interest in AR became visible through its moves (in acquiring in 2015 three AR companies) that suggest a long term goal. Latest news: Apple just hired beginning 2016 a top tech specialist in AR/VR (4).

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De tech trends van CES 2016

ces

De International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is een grote technologiebeurs die elk jaar in januari wordt gehouden in Las Vegas sinds 1967. Door de jaren heen is CES een goede voorloper van alle technologie trends van het komend jaar geworden.

Dit zijn de grootste trends voor dit jaar:

Veel retro en nostalgie producten zijn zeer populair bij het publiek geworden. Zoals platenspelers (”vinyl is back”) of fotocamera’s die ala Polaroid direct je gemaakte foto kunnen uitprinten of de analoge Kodak Super 8 videocamera die gebruik maak van ouderwetse film (ontwikkelen van de film is in de prijs inbegrepen)

De meest besproken producten van vorig jaar waren: Wearables, 3D printers en drones. Dit jaar zijn de rollen een beetje omgedraaid. Wearables lijken minder populair te zijn maar dat is misschien omdat iedereen er al een heeft. Dezelfde geldt ook voor de 3D printers die nu op elke hoek van de beurs te zien waren. De drones aan de andere kant zijn populairder en veelzijdiger geworden dan vorig jaar. Er was zelfs een drone bij de beurs die 1 persoon kon vervoeren.

Maar de grootste ster van de technologiebeurs is The Internet of Things. Vooral de technologieën die gebruikt worden voor The Internet of Things en de Smart Homes zijn aanzienlijk beter geworden.  Wat ook opmerkelijk is: de subtiele verschuiving tussen het maken van een apparaat en het ontwerpen van diensten hiervoor. The Internet of Things zal de komende tijd meer over diensten gaan dan de apparaten zelf.

Genoeg ontwikkelingen waar we enthousiast van kunnen worden.

 

Een kleine trend voor 2016

Als er één trend is die doorzet is het wel het steeds kleiner en goedkoper worden van computers.
Van kamer- tot bureau- tot tas formaat zijn we nu bij een creditcard formaat.
Meer dan de helft van de jongeren in Nederland heeft een smartphone, ook een computer.
Daarnaast is er, voor een bepaalde groep mensen, een grote vraag naar DIY(1) computers zoals de Arduino(2), de Raspberry Pi en de PINE64. Dit zijn goedkope, veelzijdige computers met ieder toch een eigen plaatsje in de markt van mogelijkheden.

ArduinoScreen Shot 2016-01-18 at 13.08.37Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 13.08.57
        Arduino                             Raspberry Pi                                   PINE64

De Arduino heeft als basis een microcontroller die al het werk doet. Meestal wordt dit type computer gebruikt bij omgevingen waarbij het doen van één taak centraal staat. Dit zie je terug bij eenvoudige 3D printers waar een Arduino alle acties van de sensoren en motoren aanstuurt. Er zijn ook speciale Arduino’s voor wearables en voor het gebruik van Internet of Things (IoT).

De Raspberry Pi en de PINE64, met beide een OS(3) komen meer in de buurt van ‘echte’ computers en kunnen dan ook gebruikt worden voor eenvoudige zaken zoals browsen en/of tekstverwerken.
Beide computertjes hebben aansluitingen voor een beeldscherm en een muis/toetsenbord en geluid en zijn vrij eenvoudig te programmeren met standaard software als Python.

Oorspronkelijk bedoeld als leercomputer, wordt de Raspberry Pi ook ingezet als webbrowser. Als je geen superprestaties verwacht is de Raspberry Pi heel goed te gebruiken als webserver en mediaspeler.

De PINE64 gaat weer een stapje verder dan de Raspberry Pi in die zin dat het gebruikt kan worden als mini PC, met als OS Ubuntu of Android 5.1.
PINE64 er is als Basic- en als Plus versie, de PINE64+.

PINE64 is nog een kickstarter project. Op de website worden veel vragen beantwoordt. Voor de Arduino en de Raspberry Pi bestaat een levendige community waar je met al je vragen terecht kunt.

Voor kleine toepassingen, ook in de Library, zullen we steeds meer dit soort goedkope en energiezuinige creditcard-computers inzetten. Het is niet nodig om overal een klassieke computer voor te gebruiken.

 

(1) Do It Yourself computers geven veel vrijheid. De computer is een goedkope veelzijdige basis van waaruit veel geexperimenteerd wordt en waarmee veel mooie toepassingen worden gemaakt.

(2) Arduino heet buiten de USA Genuino in verband met rechtszaken over de naamseigendom

(3) Operating Systeem is afhankelijk van de onderliggende computer.
Raspberry Pi gebruikt Linux varianten als Debian en Arch Linux.
PINE64 gebruikt Linux varianten als Ubuntu/Lubuntu en kan ook overweg met Android 5.1 (gebruik dan de PINE64+)

Bronnen:
Arduino:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arduino

Raspberry:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_Pi

PINE64:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pine64/pine-a64-first-15-64-bit-single-board-super-comput

 

Beam

Instead of going to a room with a projector you take the projector to wherever you are.

Screw it in a light socket or use the included power cable and start projecting.
Started as a kickstarter project in february 2015 it became a product by december 2015.
With Beam it is easy to project wireless from your mobile device onto any flat surface.
You can show and share your work, projecting it on the wall or table and talk about it. Or use it at home, showing a recipe in the kitchen while cooking or just use it to watch a movie.
It seems all possible with Beam and it consumes less power than traditional projectors.

For more information, visit the Beam website.

Artificial Intelligence at work for website building

Would you like to design a website whiteout having to think to much? The people behind The Grid think that building a website should be as easy as feeding the website with text or photo’s.
The Grid is a website creation and hosting platform that uses AI to learn from you, the website creator. It learns about you, your habits and preferences, it adapts to you and evolves with you. How? Templates are replaced with layout filters, the algorithms pick up your color preferences from your online posts, and crops main figures from your photos for easy design. Just try it!

Elsevier and Snowball Metrics

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This gallery contains 2 photos.

Scopus has recently changed its metrics when displaying an article. Take a look at the extended metrics (fig. 1): you’ll see categories like Citation measurements, Scholarly Activity or Social Activity. The metrics themselves – read Engagement Highlingts – are enriched … Continue reading