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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 

@Greg Yeah, I've used Docusign for other processes and it has worked. Just for signing though; I don't know if it gives you the option of also checking things off & adding text.

In the past you could print & have everyone sign the form with ink, but in the era of COVID-19 I imagine there is a lot of frustration given that the digital process at my (very large) university is mandatory for every graduate student.

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

@bgcarlisle Excellent idea. There's already a rebranding underway for varsity sports. Why not just extend that process and do the right thing for the whole institution!

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?

@davidak I always refer to it as "the command line" (albeit all of my documentation is in the Linux space).

Zoom security, policies 

@Greg Would you like to join the meeting? :)

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 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: 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 :/

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