April 30, 2019

367 Tools of Resistance in the Battle for Online Attention

What the current landscape of ‘digital self-control tools’ looks like, and the psychology behind it: A summary of our CHI 2019 paper Self-Control in Cyberspace: Applying Dual Systems Theory to a Review of Digital Self-Control Tools.

February 20, 2019

How to Use Pandoc Filters for Advanced Customisation of Your R Markdown Documents

In a package I’m developing, I had a problem around highlighting text in LaTeX and HTML output. The solution I found involved using pandoc filters to take full control over the final document. Here’s a guide to writing such filters when R Markdown ain’t got what you need.

February 3, 2019

How to Create New Chunk Options in R Markdown

What to do when the chunk options you need to get R Markdown to do what you want are missing? You create the ones you need. It is incredibly useful to be able to do so — unfortunately it can be a bit tricky to figure out how. Here’s a quick guide.

November 2, 2018

How to Build Safari App Extensions

Apple is deprecating traditional Safari Extensions in favor of ‘Safari App Extensions’ which have to be built using Xcode. However, I couldn’t find any tutorials walking through a basic example of how to build extensions for Safari in this way, and it was therefore a slow and painful learning process when I wanted to convert a simple extension for Facebook into a Safari App Extension. Here’s a tutorial to help others.

October 29, 2018

R packages for CHI papers with R Markdown

In a previous blog post, I detailed at length the nitty-gritty of how one might take the ACM Master Article LaTeX templates and get them to play nicely with R Markdown. To make it super easy in practice, I created two R packages which supply easy-to-use R Markdown templates in RStudio for CHI Proceedings and CHI Extended Abstracts.

July 18, 2018

How to Write ACM Articles with R Markdown

I love R Markdown, but struggled for hours and hours to get it to play nicely with arbitrary LaTeX templates, especially for submissions to the ACM CHI conference. I cracked it in the end (I think). Here’s a tutorial explaining how to write CHI articles in R Markdown using ACM’s new article template.

July 6, 2017

Ulysses in Cyberspace

Tech companies compete to make devices that do more faster, and with less effort. Yet an entire market has emerged for apps that remove functionality from laptops and smartphones, punish people for using Facebook when they shouldn’t, or provide easy ways to visualise how much they use their devices. Do the new anti-distraction tools actually change behaviour, and what could minimally-distracting design for always-connected devices look like?

February 26, 2017

Making Statistics Make Sense

For students who struggle with learning statistics, or for researchers who aren’t themselves statisticians, our obscure vocabulary makes understanding and remembering concepts unnecessarily difficult. It increases the number of terms to learn and puts a smokescreen over the relationship between tests. Reforming our statistics vocabulary should make statistics quicker to learn, more transparent to understand, and easier to use.

September 26, 2016

Digging Science Out of a Hole: The Reproducibility Index

Science is in trouble. We find ourselves with a mess of publications in which true findings are scattered among false positives. An unacceptably wide range of claims can be made to seem legitimate by cherrypicking the literature. We urgently need a transparent metric for the level of confidence to have in specific findings - we urgently need a ‘Reproducibility Index’.