May 2009

Deal with upper limits

by Jane May 29, 2009

Often we have datasets in which quantities are not detected.  Those upper limits contain information — the flux was definitely below X.  It turns out, there’s a rich statistical literature on how to consider both detections and upper limits.   Yet often astronomers don’t properly incorporate those upper limits in their analysis. Fortunately, several authors have […]

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Transmit, the Better FTP client, is on Sale

by Kelle May 27, 2009

Transmit is the best FTP client for OS X, hands down. The only drawback is that it usually cost $30. But until May 29, it’s on sale for only $14.50. Transmit is everything you’d expect from an FTP client and much, much more. I like how Mac-centric it looks and how intuitive it feels. Its […]

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Feedback and Contributions Request

by Kelle May 19, 2009

AstroBetter is off to a great start but I’d like to take a moment to solicit some feedback and contributions. Please use the comments section below to suggests some posts and give any other feedback on the blog so far! What would you like to see more of? less of? We need more contributors! Please […]

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Scisoft OSX 2009.5.2 Released

by Jessica Lu May 18, 2009

For those of you who use scisoft, IRAF, PyRAF, Python, etc. there has been an update of the Scisoft package for Macs. This package is a very nice way to install some of the most commonly used astronomy software tools (at least in optical/IR). The Urania blog as a breakdown of some of the updates: […]

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RSS feeds for Astronomers

by Kelle May 18, 2009

One of the major advances in web surfing during the last decade is RSS. Using RSS to consume the web is way more efficient than email subscriptions and traditional browsing since the content comes to you without cluttering up your email inbox. In this post, I point to a couple resources to help you get […]

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Respond Better: Dealing with Criticism

by Kelle May 11, 2009

Zen Habits is a great blog for folks who want to be both insanely productive and ridiculously happy. He has a nice article on how to accept criticism with grace and appreciation that applies really well to fielding questions during presentations and responding to referee reports.

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Better To-Do Lists with Things

by Kelle May 6, 2009

While I take productivity seriously (even though I might not be seriously productive), I think the highly revered Getting Things Done (GTD) system to be overkill for most folks. To me, the goal of any task management system is to keep your tasks organized just enough so you don’t end up wasting time simply deciding […]

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New Laptop: MacBook Air

by Kelle May 6, 2009

I’m going to buy a MacBook Air today. Yes, I have money burning a hole in my pocket and yes, I want a laptop that will fit in my purse. I’m surprised it took me this long to get one. At one point, I thought my iPhone could satisfy my need for an ultra-portable, but […]

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IDL vs. Python

by Kelle May 4, 2009

Here is a really nice listing of the pros and cons of IDL and Python for astronomers. It’s an Appendix of the Python tutorial Using Python for Interactive Data Analysis by Greenfield and Jedrzejewski at STScI. Data and scripts for the examples and exercises in the tutorial are available at scipy.org. Update 28 Jan 2010: […]

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