Four short links: 19 September 2011

The Changing Internet, Python Data Analysis, Society of Mind, and Gaming Proteins

  1. 1996 vs 2011 Infographic from Online University (Evolving Newsroom) — “AOL and Yahoo! may be the butt of jokes for young people, but both are stronger than ever in the Internet’s Top 10″. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
  2. Pandas — open source Python package for data analysis, fast and powerful. (via Joshua Schachter)
  3. The Society of Mind — MIT open courseware for the classic Marvin Minsky theory that explains the mind as a collection of simpler processes. The subject treats such aspects of thinking as vision, language, learning, reasoning, memory, consciousness, ideals, emotions, and personality. Ideas incorporate psychology, artificial intelligence, and computer science to resolve theoretical issues such as whole vs. parts, structural vs. functional descriptions, declarative vs. procedural representations, symbolic vs. connectionist models, and logical vs. common-sense theories of learning. (via Maria Popover)
  4. Gamers Solve Problem in AIDS Research That Puzzled Scientists for Years (Ed Yong) — researchers put a key protein from an HIV-related virus onto the Foldit game. If we knew where the halves joined together, we could create drugs that prevented them from uniting. But until now, scientists have only been able to discern the structure of the two halves together. They have spent more than ten years trying to solve structure of a single isolated half, without any success. The Foldit players had no such problems. They came up with several answers, one of which was almost close to perfect. In a few days, Khatib had refined their solution to deduce the protein’s final structure, and he has already spotted features that could make attractive targets for new drugs. Foldit is a game where players compete to find the best shape for a protein, but it’s capable of being played by anyone–barely an eighth of players work in science.
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