Mitch Altman's Hacker Trip to Poland 2017

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who and when

When it comes to the Hackerspace / Makerspace movement there are few names known as well as Mitch Altman's. He co-founded Noisebridge, one of the oldest, most colorful and vibrant hackerspaces in the US and shared his experiences in Hackerspace Design Patterns talk. As a long-time anarchist and engineer hating television, he invented TV-B-Gone, a remote control capable of turning off any TV.

Mitch keeps traveling the world, visiting hacker- and maker-spaces, creative communities and anarchist squats, holding basic electronic workshops, panels on the hacker movement and overcoming depression. There's probably no other person in the world who inspired creation of as many tech communities as Mitch himself.

This year Mitch was invited as a speaker to CopyCamp, a Warsaw-based conference on copyright and patents that took place from the 28th to the 29th of September. He decided to spend three more weeks in Poland, giving talks and holding workshops in Warsaw …


Radykalne przedłużanie życia - debata

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Skupiwszy się ostatnio na zupełnie innych projektach, nie wspomniałem o swoim udziale w Festiwalu Przemiany organizowanym przez Centrum Nauki Kopernik w Warszawie między 1 a 4 września 2016.

Na panelu "Radykalne przedłużanie życia" dyskutowałem z dr Grażyną Mosieniak z Instytutu Biologii Doświadczalnej imienia M. Nenckiego PAN. Pani doktor przedstawiała punkt widzenia naukowca zajmującego się starzeniem, ja sam zaś transhumanisty, starającego się działać na rzecz medycyny regeneracyjnej poza Akademią.

Razem dość zgodnie proponowaliśmy wprowadzenie w debacie publicznej podziału na długość życia (lifespan) oraz długość zdrowego życia (healthspan) - żadna z których nie powinna być pominięta. Rozmawialiśmy o kierunkach rozwoju nauk o starzeniu się, szczególnie ruchu dr Aubreya de Greya opisanym w książce Ending Aging (EN), organizacjach takich jak SENS i Methuselah Foundation.

Jako osoba związana z ruchami otwartej nauki wielokrotnie podkreślałem, jak krytyczne jest podnoszenie jakości produkowanej wiedzy przez strategie Otwartego Dostępu do publikowanych artykułów i danych. Warto też pamiętać, że gdy już opracujemy odpowiednie technologie, ważne będzie zapewnienie dostępu do nich, unikając wielokrotnego przedłużania patentów medycznych - co jak na razie dzieje się tylko w kilku krajach …


NeuroOn analysis - results and discussion

Also in: [pl]

Updated twice, last on 21 December 2016. Notes below.

tl;dr - So, does it work?!

NeuroOn, the self-proclaimed "world's first smart sleep mask" isn't a medical grade device, but it's much better than a coin toss.

Its total accuracy in detecting sleep stages is 65%.

One of the biggest problems with NeuroOn is that when used as an alarm clock almost every third time (31.6%) it will choose the worst possible moment for waking, assuring lack of energy and grogginess1 after awakening.

Comparing NeuroOn's sleep stage results to a professional polysomnography2 scored by a human expert:

When polysomnography detects a sleep phase suitable for waking up, NeuroOn agrees in 73.8% of the cases. In the rest 26.2% it isn't a big deal, since it will just wait until the next good opportunity to wake you up.

When polysomnography says not to wake the user up, NeuroOn agrees in 68.4%. In the rest 31.6% - nearly a third of all cases - it could try to wake the user, resulting in …


NeuroOn validation poster

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Winding up the long-overdue NeuroOn's signal research together with Ryszard Cetnarski from Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology in Warsaw (github profile) we created a scientific poster summarizing our findings. We presented it at the 6th International Conference "Aspects of Neuroscience" (link) taking place between 25-27th of November in Warsaw, Poland.

Just as the research notebook itself is freely available on Github and licensed under MIT License, our poster is released as completely open, under a little bit more restrictive CC-BY-SA license.

Since our research wasn't criticized beyond data representation methods on the course of several months, it should be safe to assume that it's ready to present to a wider audience. On the course of the following week you may expect a full NeuroOn verification summary blogpost with results explained in simple terms, leaving no ambiguities regarding the device.

The poster is available in PDF, SVG and AI.

Hackers, researchers, biohackers

Note: I am still working on NeuroOn signal analysis. You can expect to see the hypnogram1 comparisons first together with time-synchronized signal files and all the code in an open Jupyter Notebook2

Hackerspaces and biology

As a long time Citizen Science and Open Source supporter I love the idea of Hackerspaces3 - collaboration workspaces allowing individuals to work on their own technical projects, sharing tools and knowledge. I consider them a vital counterpart to Academic research labs, where people are not bound by strict rules and grants. Hackerspaces excel in very disorganized research and development of various IT and electronic projects, producing a lot of open designs and proof of concepts4.

Many researchers point out that it is possible only due to the nature of IT and electronics allowing rapid prototyping and near-instantaneous results - something which couldn't be replicated in more time-consuming experimental sciences such as chemistry and biology. I'd like to disagree with that point. While it is impossible to achieve the same speed of prototyping as in IT or electronics …


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