Low productivity + good news 

I've done almost nothing on my PhD since the first year of coursework, haven't even tried to pass comps yet at 2.5 years in, but a week or so ago won an award for "best practitioner paper" at the CAIS 2020 conference for a paper I co-authored, so I guess I'm not all bad

Dan Scott boosted

Zoom, huhhhh wtf 

Janet Napolitano, former head of Department of Homeland Security and University of California chancellor, just joined Zoom's board of directors

what the fuuuuck

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Adobe Acrobat, user-hostile processes 

On the bright side, I can now uninstall the 450MB Creative Cloud and 2.5GB (!!!!) Acrobat DC.

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Adobe Acrobat, user-hostile processes 

Looks like I'll be purchasing a license to PDF X-Change Editor Plus ($54 USD) to make this thing work. That's the software my supervisor had to use to get his signature on it.

This process is *garbage*.

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Adobe Acrobat, user-hostile processes 

So now I've signed up for an Acrobat Pro DC trial account and downloaded the whole damned Creative Cloud to try and fix the fillable fields so that I can check off the required boxes and add my own digital signature.

And it doesn't work. Won't let me edit the document because there are already digital signatures on it (makes sense but now I have to ask the committee to start over?)

I mean, can't this be a simple web app using university authentication?

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Adobe Acrobat, user-hostile processes 

So as a grad student my committee and I all need to sign a progress report every 12 months. The problem is that it is a PDF form, and while the free-as-in-beer Acrobat Reader theoretically works if all of the boxes are checked off and all the text is filled out before everyone digitally signs off in sequence, inevitably someone signs it by editing the PDF to include an image and that breaks all the fillable fields. 1/2

university, web hosting, performance (lack thereof) 

Wow. One of our uni's research centres maintains a website hosted on Wix that takes 25 seconds to load a single page, and which gets a Lighthouse audit performance score of 5/100.

I understand they prefer the freedom of 3rd party hosting vs. the uni's web constraints, but WTH?

Zoom security, policies 

University IT: Zoom meetings can and should be scheduled with a password to avoid Zoombombing

University president's office, two days later: schedules an all-hands Zoom meeting sans password

Data analysis software 

Trying to convince a colleague who has been blocked for weeks by not having access to SPSS (due to social distancing measures) to try out Python + Pandas or R.

I'm pointing to software-carpentry.org/lessons as a set of reasonable lessons for someone new to programming.

Hoping they will give it a shot!

PhD timelines, family, COVID-19 

I started my doctoral program in 2018-2019.

No, family, my convocation ceremony has not been cancelled due to COVID-19. Could you at least give me four years before you start asking me about convocation?


Dan Scott boosted

While we're all focused on the Corona crisis the US government is quietly pushing an internet #surveillance bill that is aimed at abolishing message encryption:

We should probably pay attention to this and spread awareness even if we are not American: eff.org/deeplinks/2020/03/earn

emerald.com outage, paywalls 

Love trying to access a paper behind a paywall, only to get a Cloudfront 504 error.

What was that value that proprietary publishers add, again?

Data analysis tools 

Having gone through the process of learning pandas (I'm a long-time Pythonista) enough to merge, clean, and recode some survey results, I would feel more comfortable loading the data into PostgreSQL and munging the hell out of it there with CTEs, GROUP BYs, and aggregate functions, etc.

But... having a perfectly replicable, automated process from start to finish is nothing to sneeze at.

Basic data analysis (!) 

For the last two weeks our research team has been trying to agree on one number: how many people completed our survey.

I think I've finally convinced them that the number I've given, implemented in Python pandas, is the most correct.

This does not bode well for the real data analysis to follow :/

Data analysis 

So just descriptive stats for now. I haven't even started plotting data yet, but I'm looking forward to that.

So much better than fumbling around in a spreadsheet!

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Data analysis 

I am really liking Python's pandas for cleaning up and analyzing these survey results. I was facing two sets of results for the same survey with responses that were coded differently in each set (due to translation reordering).

So I'm working with the text value of the responses and using pandas.pydata.org/pandas-docs/ to get everything into a single language, then doing a first pass of analysis with pandas.pydata.org/pandas-docs/ . So far so good! And REPLICABLE!

For context, I discussing this with a research team and was surprised they wanted to keep the partial data. Given the preamble, keeping the data seems unethical.

They have since changed their mind. \o/

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Consent preamble on a survey that you're taking said "You can choose to withdraw at any time by closing your browser or navigating away."

After you complete about half of the survey, you decide that you don't want to finish it and close the browser.

What do you expect the researchers to do with the partial data you submitted?

Bilingual survey; data cleanup 

I helped design a bilingual survey, but didn't implement it. The PI entered it all into Qualtrics, twice: once for each language.

Now that we have the results, the codes don't match up between languages (of course), so I have to do a ton of cleanup before I can start analysing the data.

But first I have to stop staring at qualtrics.com/support/survey-p wondering why the PI didn't just use that?

See p.8 of doi.org/10.5860/lrts.63n2.119 for my current example. (It's paywalled--stupid ALA--but Google Scholar will find a perfect copy for you at academia.edu)

If I zoom in on-screen, I can barely make out the blurry label text.

Worse, even when printed at 600dpi--theoretically the whole reason for the weird layout--fig. 3 is unreadable.

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