Upgrading apps to “retina quality”: starting with MolPrime

Top: regular display. Bottom: retina display.

Anyone who reads this blog and owns an iPhone 4 (or iPod equivalent) undoubtedly knows that one of the key differences between this device and its predecessor is the jump from 320×480 screen resolution to 640×960, which is double in both directions. Since the screen is the same physical size as the predecessor, this means that the pixel density is 4 times what it was, which essentially means that the resolution is so high that the user experience no longer needs to be reminded that pixels even exist. Hence the use of the term “retina”.

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The real reason for junk chemical data

There is been a fair bit of chatter on the blogosphere lately about the perennial problem of low quality chemical data, e.g. chemical structures that do not adequately describe the material they claim to represent, messed up names, broken references, mistaken or underspecified accompanying data, etc.

This latest round of discussion seems to have been triggered by the recent publication of the so-called NCGC Pharmaceutical Collection, which not only claims to be definitive, but may in fact be unusually bad, such that even practitioners who have no illusions about the quality of data in general use are noticeably unimpressed (e.g. ChemConnector, In The Pipeline). While I haven’t personally examined the offending dataset, this is as good an occasion as any to weigh in with my long-held opinion on how things have gotten so bad that chemical data wranglers routinely expect between 5 and 20% of their source data to be junk.

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Using YouTube to demo products

From time to time somebody asks whether there is some way to obtain a demo copy of one of my company’s products, in order to find out if it appropriate to their needs. There isn’t, but there is the next best thing: online videos showing the mobile apps in action, organised according to tasks. Some of the newer ones even have voiceovers.

The Mobile Molecular DataSheet for iOS:

Educational apps for iOS:

The Mobile Molecular DataSheet for BlackBerry:

Last and most definitely least: