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Biomedical and Electrical Engineer with interests in information theory, evolution, genetics, abstract mathematics, microbiology, big history, and the entertainment industry including: finance, distribution, representation

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OwnYourSwarm is awesome! I love the fact that one can use the fantastically and cleanly engineered mobile UIs of services like Swarm/Foursquare and Instagram, but still also manage to own all of the related data (including GPS) on one's own website. Tools like OwnYourGram and OwnYourSwarm really show the power and value of micropub for the future of the internet.

 

OPML link not working · Issue #898 · PressForward/pressforward https://github.com/PressForward/pressforward/issues/898

## What I tried/expected:
From the page `/wp-admin/admin.php?page=pf-tools` under the `OPML Link` tab, the instructions indicate:
You can share your subscription list as an OPML file by linking people to http://example.com/?pf=opml.

## What happened:
Visiting the indicated link throws the following error:
`Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /htdocs/example/wp-content/plugins/pressforward-4.2.2/includes/opml/object.php on line 48
1`

## Additional information:
I've got a handful of feeds, so I should expect something to appear. Is there a setting I'm missing somewhere? I know that there's a setting for the /feedforward RSS functionality/plugin, is there a similar one for OPML that I'm missing?

Running GitHub version 4.2.2, WordPress 4.7.2

 
 

I'm not seeing the HTML export on the desktop version of Kindle (from 2015) on my work laptop at the moment, but I'm positive it's hiding somewhere on my desktop machine, which is currently out of commission for some quirky problems. When I get it running, I'll try to document the feature as I don't think I've seen it mentioned anywhere else and it was tremendously easy and helpful.

I hadn't tried Bookcision as I'd stumbled across what I supposed was an easy answer, but there are a few edge cases for non-Amazon books in my collection that might benefit from using it as Amazon doesn't always play well with content that doesn't originate from the "mothership".

A while back, I'd bookmarked http://the-digital-reader.com/2015/02/21/how-to-download-your-kindle-notes-and-highlights-and-export-them/ as one of the better articles explaining most of the pathways currently available. If I remember the comments were relatively helpful as well.

For general file conversion you might appreciate Pandoc: http://pandoc.org/

There are also some in the community who have tools (like Kevin Marks' http://www.unmung.com/ ) which can do inter-conversion. I can't recall specifics at the moment, but someone in the chat will likely know of the others, or you can search github to find some of the opensource ones https://github.com/search?q=indieweb&ref=opensearch (it can be an interesting browse in general for things you didn't know you needed/wanted).

Finally, I liked the teleprompter.css hint for marked2, but if you've not come across it, I often read newspaper, magazine articles, and fiction on my mobile using RSVP-related technology (Rapid Serial Visual Presentation) which has been patented (though I'm not so sure it's enforcable) by http://spritzinc.com/get-spritz and for which there are multiple apps floating around for multiple platforms. My favorite thus far is Balto-reader which I think may only be available in the Amazon store, but it's one of the few I've found that can break through Amazon's encryption to allow using Spritz-like technology on my Kindle Fire or Android Phones. I don't recommend using it to read technical documents or passages which require more thought, but it's lovely on mobile and has a nice bookmarklet for reading web-based articles quickly. If it's something you think you'd use, but you can't find something that can access Amazon books, let me know and I can suggest some workarounds that will allow Amazon book access.

 

Scott, I don't think I'd replied to you for some reason, but I think I'm generally in the same boat as you. While I prefer to have one Swiss Army knife-like tool that can do everything, I know that it just isn't going to happen, or at least it certainly isn't quite there yet. I use Twitter and Facebook for different things (primarily audience based), so I suppose I shouldn't expect to have my own site do exactly everything I want it to.

Part of the problem is that I don't have the skills, the time, or maybe even the patience to make my own site do everything I'd like it to (and if I did maintenance can be a bear), so sometimes picking up pieces of things here and there from other developers or even on other platforms seems to be the result. In some sense that's why I'm using both Known and WordPress simultaneously (along with a few other side projects which don't fit into either of those). WordPress does a lot of what I'd like, but the speed, simplicity, and ease-of-use that Known provides just couldn't be overlooked to give me more of what I wanted. Over time, I do find myself moving more and more under the WordPress banner, but I always hear the siren song of other tools calling, so it may never be under one umbrella.

I also find that using other tools lets me test drive UX, UI, and general functionality to see if it's something worth building, maintaining, or having myself. And even then, I like to do "manual until it hurts" to raise the bar a bit further.

 

Replied to a post on github.com :

I think the biggest hurdle to wider adoption is simply the fact that there are so many individual plugins and this takes up far more mental space for the user than it should.

So, another option which I'd like to suggest and advocate for is to **bundle all the plugins into one big single plugin** instead of sub-plugins. You could almost sell it as "the part of WordPress core you always wished you had" and now you can with two clicks: download and activate. (That's got to sound good, even to your mom who's still figuring out how to upload her profile picture.)

From the user's standpoint, this wouldn't require much more than some slightly better UI/descriptions. (And I'm more than happy to write them.) This could consist of a single main settings page with on/off toggles for Post Kinds, Syndication Links, Webactions(?), Micropub, Hum, and IndieAuth. A tabbed interface on this same page with tabs primarily for settings/set up and usage description for all of these (except for maybe Webactions?) would complete the cycle.

Most of the sub plugins don't have many (if any) actual settings other than installation/activation right now which is creating the biggest part of the (mostly mental) hurdle for every day users. I think the average WordPress user probably wouldn't know that they had Webmentions, Semantic Linkbacks, or Webmentions for Threaded Comments installed because they "just work", require no configuration, but are far prettier than any of their predecessors. Why make them carry the mental overhead of what they are and what they do aside from a few subtle lines that they exist? In fact, treating them as if they should have been in WordPress core all along may actually make it more likely to happen.

Additionally things like Micropub which would only have an on/off toggle wouldn't be noticed or used by many unless they had interest in alternate posting interfaces. (And based on the popularity and growth in Twitter interfaces/apps a few years ago, I'm surprised WordPress didn't do this, though perhaps it's part of the reason they're adding a more robust API over the past few years?)

It also means having slightly better or more intuitive explanations of what the individual pieces are (mostly Syndication Links and Post Kinds) near their on/off toggles to better explain what is being activated. Much of this can be taken from the current interface or from the WordPress wiki pages, or added on the individual tabs for the settings for these portions.

I would suggest that doing this would not only make it easier on end users who then wouldn't have to spend the mental space and capacity to keep track of what 10 individual plugins are doing (in addition to the space these take up on the plugin admin page and the fact that, once activated, they disappear from the IndieWeb plugin's list of plugins), but that it would actually dramatically increase the uptake of the single big plugin and its functionality and simultaneously the use of the all the sub plugins individually.

I'd argue that bigger plugins like Yoast SEO or something like PressForward have huge numbers of options and settings and could have been done as separate sub-plugins (the way IndieWeb Plugin is now), but that their value proposition is such that it's well worth spending the handful of minutes reading through the interface to know what the options are, what they mean, and using them to their fullest advantage. I think that Indieweb (and the suite of tools offered on WordPress) is at this tipping point in terms of offering must-have functionality for the future web and that having a simpler integrated set up would help to push it over the edge to broader adoption. (Certainly simpler than the old WP-Social, which users have indicated that they thought was far simpler than Indieweb plugin, though Social actually required more set up.) Additionally all of the seemingly dense text in the "getting started" page could be moved into smaller bit-sized chunks relating to individual portions on a tabbed-interface, for example.

I come to this in part after having spent part of the weekend revamping a bit of the IndieWeb.org documentation on getting started with WordPress and setting up Bridgy with WordPress. A lot of the description is "get this plugin, install, and activate" which takes up a big piece of mental space for the user as well--particularly for the Gen2, 3, 4 users who want a plug and play experience. Far better would be to install one plugin and then modify these handful of settings.

If this is done, then the only remaining (small) hurdle is making sure that the underpinning rel-me data input required of the user is done in a more explicit manner, because this seems to be the lynch-pin holding a lot of it together and making it work. As a result, I'd recommend unbundling the reliance on the User Profile page and put all the rel-me URL fields on their own page in the settings interface for such a single plugin (with all important links just underneath them to encourage users to visit, for example, Twitter's edit profile page to include their website URL in either the website field or in the bio field to enable the bi-directional rel-me.)

Finally a "Tools" tab in the settings page could provide pointer links to additional things like the H-Card Widget or the IndieWeb-PressThis bookmarklets.

When all of this is done, it could also be a simple manner of adding another settings tab to the interface to set up Bridgy with one button links from the plugin to the set up pages for each of the main backfeed services there. Bridgy then automatically checks for the webmention endpoint and checks for rel-me to do it's work, so that part is already automated and relatively user friendly too.

The one caveat I can imagine is that making it all into one big plugin potentially means some small added overhead in development with maintaining some of them as stand alone pieces. I'd recommend keeping them as standalone objects as I honestly believe that pieces like webmentions and micropub are so fundamental to the web, that they should be part of WordPress core and maintaining them separately could help speed this along.

 

@cswordpress @webrocker I'd noticed that WP-Social quit support a while back, but didn't know why; sorry to hear it. I wrote some thoughts here [https://github.com/crowdfavorite/wp-social/issues/213] for those who need alternatives and IndieWeb tech is a great solution in my opinion.

If you go the route of API's you're on the hook for maintenance which can be troublesome at best. If you want a PESOS solution there are a few options listed on https://indieweb.org/WordPress/Plugins. I've tried Ozh's version which is pretty good. I've used DsgnWrks Instagram importer before, but not the Twitter one, so I know his code is pretty solid.

If you have a few minutes, you might find that POSSE is a better/more robust method, in which case you could set up the basic IndieWeb Plugin and use JetPack's Publicize (or SNAP or something similar) to syndicate your status updates to twitter. https://indieweb.org/Getting_Started_on_WordPress

I'd be happy to help you if you have questions. Many of the developers of these plugins spend time in the Indieweb Chat [http://indieweb.org/IRC] and are happy to help with questions, problems, or take feedback to improve the tools.

 

Shelbydorris, Kevin Marks recently wrote some great stuff about websites and contrast. His article and the comments on it have some great tools you could use to help test things out to improve your contrast settings.

Of course, it probably helps to have a link doesn’t it?
https://backchannel.com/how-the-web-became-unreadable-a781ddc711b6

 

@evrenk WordPress.org is DEFINITELY compatible!! If you want to get started take a look at https://wordpress.org/plugins/indieweb/ and https://indieweb.org/WordPress for more details.

While the siren song of Medium seems strong, you don't necessarily own it all and can't control it to the extent you can on your own site. I'd recommend checking out IndieWeb-ifying your WordPress install and leverage the value of your existing social networks like Medium, Twitter, Facebook, et al by syndicating your content from WordPress to those other sites. Medium has a good WordPress plugin [https://wordpress.org/plugins/medium/] for copying (selectively at your discretion) your content from WordPress to Medium quickly and easily. Even better, the IndieWeb portion that covers WebMentions brings the comments and likes from many corporate silos back to the comment section of your posts -- this way you own not only the parts you wrote and put on the silos, but you'll also own the comments too!

I've supercharged my WordPress install with IndieWeb tools and now use it as my primary hub on the internet for writing and responding. I don't spend as much time on Facebook and Twitter as all the comments I want to see on my own material come back directly to me.

If it helps, follow the advice of Dave Winer: Anywhere but Medium [http://scripting.com/liveblog/users/davewiner/2016/01/20/0900.html].

If you need help, don't hesitate to find any of the helpful folks at IndieWeb: https://indieweb.org/discuss

 

Real-time MRI for precise and predictable intra-arterial stem cell delivery to the central nervous system

An MRI shows stem cells labeled with iron oxide nanoparticles being injected into an animal’s brain. Click to view video. (Credit: Piotr Walczak/Johns Hopkins Medicine)

Working with animals, a team of scientists reports it has delivered stem cells to the brain with unprecedented precision by threading a catheter through an artery and infusing the cells under real-time MRI guidance.

In a description of the work, published online Sept. 12 in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, they express hope that the tests in anesthetized dogs and pigs are a step toward human trials of a technique to treat Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and other brain damaging disorders.

“Although stem cell-based therapies seem very promising, we’ve seen many clinical trials fail. In our view, what’s needed are tools to precisely target and deliver stem cells to larger areas of the brain,” says Piotr Walczak, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of radiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Institute for Cell Engineering. The therapeutic promise of human stem cells is derived from their ability to develop into any kind of cell and, in theory, regenerate injured or diseased tissues ranging from the insulin-making islet cells of the pancreas that are lost in type 1 diabetes to the dopamine-producing brain cells that die off in Parkinson’s disease.

Ten years ago, Shinya Yamanaka’s research group in Japan raised hopes further when it developed a technique for “resetting” mature cells, such as skin cells, to become so-called induced pluripotent stem cells. That gave researchers an alternative to embryonic stem cells that could allow the creation of therapeutic stem cells that matched the genetic makeup of each patient, greatly reducing the chances of cell rejection after they were infused or transplanted. But while induced pluripotent stem cells have enabled great strides forward in research, Walczak says they are not yet approved for any treatment, and barriers to success remain.

In a bid to address once such barrier – how to get the cells exactly where needed and no place else – Walczak and his colleague Miroslaw Janowski, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of radiology, sought a way around strategies that require physicians to puncture patients’ skulls or inject them intravenously. The former, Walczak says, is not only unpleasant, but also only allows delivery of stem cells to one limited place in the brain. In contrast, injecting cells intravenously scatters the cells throughout the body, with few likely to land where they’re most needed, says Walczak.

“Our idea was to do something in between,” says Janowski, using intra-arterial injection, which involves threading a catheter, or hollow tube, into a blood vessel, usually in a leg, and guiding it to a vessel in a hard-to-reach spot like the brain. The technique currently is used mainly to repair large vessels in the brain, says Janowski, but the research team hoped it might also be used to get stem cells to the exact place where they were needed. To do that, they would need a way of monitoring the catheter placement and movement of implanted cells in real time.

Walczak and Janowski teamed with colleagues including Monica Pearl, M.D., an associate professor of radiology practicing in the Division of Interventional Neuroradiology, who specializes in intra-arterial procedures. Usually the procedure is performed using an X-ray image as a guide, but that approach ruled out watching injected stem cells’ movements and making adjustments in real time.

In their experiments, after placing the catheter under X-ray guidance, they transferred anesthetized dog and pig subjects to an MRI machine, where images were taken every few seconds throughout the procedure. Once the catheter was in the brain, Pearl pre-injected small amounts of a harmless contrast agent that included iron oxide and could be detected on the MRI. “By using MRI to see in real time where the contrast agent went, we could predict where injected stem cells would go and make adjustments to the catheter placement, if needed,” says Janowski. Adds Jeff Bulte, Ph.D., a professor of radiology who participated in the study, “It’s like having GPS guidance in your car to help you stay on the right route, instead of only finding out you’re lost when you arrive at the wrong place.”

The team then injected both small stem cells (glial progenitor cells from the brain) and large mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow into the animals under MRI, and found that in both cases, the pre-injected contrast agent and MRI allowed them to accurately predict where the cells would end up. They could also tell whether clumps of cells were forming in arteries and, if so, possibly intervene to avoid letting the clumps grow large enough to cut off blood flow and pose a danger. “If further research confirms our progress, we think this procedure could be a big step forward in precision medicine, allowing doctors to deliver stem cells or medications exactly where they’re needed for each patient,” says Walczak. The research team is planning to test the procedure in animals as a treatment for stroke and cancer, delivering both medications and stem cells while the catheter is in place.

Other authors on the paper are Joanna Wojtkiewicz, Aleksandra Habich, Piotr Holak, Zbigniew Adamiak and Wojciech Maksymowicz of the University of Warmia and Mazury in Poland; Adam Nowakowski and Barbara Lukomska of the Mossakowski Medical Research Center in Poland; Jiadi Xu of the Kennedy Krieger Institute; and Moussa Chehade and Philippe Gailloud of the Johns Hopkins University.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (grant numbers NS076573, NS045062, NS081544), the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, the Department of Defense (grant number PT120368), the Polish National Science Centre (grant number NCN 2012/07/B/NZ4/01427), the National Centre for Research and Development, and a Mobility Plus Fellowship from the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

 

Solid

Solid (derived from "social linked data") is a proposed set of conventions and tools for building decentralized social applications based on Linked Data principles. Solid is modular and extensible and it relies as much as possible on existing W3C standards and protocols.

 

Mitch, I also love SNAP! If you didn't see it, they added Medium support in their last update after Medium released their write API. Medium also has their own WordPress plugin which will allow you to broadcast there easily and quickly too.

if you're game, there's a few other tools you might think about adding to your workflow:
First you should know about http://indieweb.org and take a look at their WordPress section at indieweb.org/WordPress. It'll help you more easily suck back likes and replies of your syndicated posts to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, et al. so that you own all the data and comments from them. (This will also make your blog look more "lived in". They've got a cool range of other nifty tools for making/using your WordPress blog -- all of them free.

One particular one that integrates well with SNAP is Syndication Links [https://wordpress.org/plugins/syndication-links/] which pulls in the URLS of the social sites you send your content to with SNAP and displays them under your content so you (and others) have a better idea of where you've sent them in the past.

 
Reposted Karin Lagesen's tweet

Question tweeps: what's your strategy&tools for taking and organizing research notes?

 

@devonzuegel I came across your blog serendipitously and was impressed with some of the nifty tools you've implemented as well as the workflow you seem to have worked out vis-a-vis your website and miscellaneous tools. Thanks for sharing it all!

The idea of Instanote is intriguing to me, though I've been using MS OneNote instead of Evernote, which I've sampled several times. In addition to InstaPaper's API, I've previously used IFTTT.com to port over highlights. I've also been experimenting around with using http://hypothes.is (and their API) lately for notes/highlights as it seems to have a more scholarly bent among the highlight/note tools out there. You might find it interesting.

Given the way you use your website(s) for both identity and knowledge gathering (and owning your own data), I feel compelled to mention a group of hackers working in loose (but very open and very collaborative) concert at http://indieweb.org. You might find some of the tools and ideas over there interesting/useful.

Also given the terrific overlap in books we're reading/read, I might recommend physicist Sean Carroll's relatively new book The Big Picture (particularly part 4 on Complexity) which had some overlap on topics like Schelling's model of segregation as they relate to complexity and spontaneous organization which you may find interesting.

 

As someone who uses my own WordPress site as a research notebook/tool and commonplace book (as well as for owning all of my own data and social posts), I'm already loving this plugin and can see some tremendous potential for improvements on both it and on the hypothes.is platform in the future.

While I've played around with other platforms like Genius.com as well, Hypothes.is seems to have a more focused approach to how I prefer to use annotations, highlights, and marginalia on the web. It also has a growing API and related suite of tools which portend more flexibility and growth for the future.

Still, one must be cognizant for how these sometimes "hidden" tools can be used for abuse and bullying on the web: Webmentions for improving annotation and preventing bullying on the web[http://boffosocko.com/2016/04/07/webmentions-for-improving-annotation-and-preventing-bullying-on-the-web/]