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  • Broadband speed checks for internet connections

    By Research Cooperative, 2022-10-11

    Various terms refer to similar things: broadband speed, internet speed, internet connection speed, and so on.

    How to check your internet speed (article):


    Ookla Speed Test (International) for download speed, upload speed, jitter, and ping response time:


    Posted in: IT toolkit | 0 comments

    Image Resolution

    By Research Cooperative, 2022-09-25

    Many of the jpg images shown here are low resolution, but for display as a small image online, the resolution may be sufficient.

    The maximum resolution is currently set at 2Mb in order to reduce server storage space consumption.

    A practical demonstration of the Profile Gallery system

    By Research Cooperative, 2022-09-24

    "Galleries" are an profile option that members of the Research Cooperative can use in their own profile pages.

    Here we will explore how the Galleries can be used, and provide images that anyone who is a member of the network can use, under our Creative Commons license for Research Cooperative content.

    The main use considered is for the profile image displayed by a profile owner. This may be useful if the profile owner does not want to use their own photo, and does not like the automatically generated image produced by our system.

    When a photo is downloaded from the Gallery using the official download button, the logo watermark will disappear. If the photo is copied by drag and drop from the screen, the logo will remain. Users can use either method. Usually the download option will give a better quality image.

    What makes taro edible?

    By Research Cooperative, 2022-09-19

    Certain things in the world are considered "food" because we know them as foods. How well we know them is often what determines if they can be harmful or not.

    One goal of the modern food industry is to produce cheap uniform foods that are uniformly safe and easy to swallow. As a result (intended or not) consumers know less-and-less about food and become more-and-more dependent on "safe" foods.... which turn out to be harmful when we become massively addicted to simple variations of salt, sugar and fat. 

    Almost all parts of all varieties of wild and cultivated taro are to some degree poisonous, most obviously because of acridity. But none of these plants are poisonous if we know how to treat them and make them edible. To cook any particular variety of taro well requires accumulated knowledge and experience with that particular variety.

    Knowledge and experience are not the same thing. Some cooks learn and use methods faithfully because they are known to work, not because the need for a certain method has been explained. I have met cooks who have experience of preparing taro as a food but don't know that it can be poisonous.

    Taro is not a product of the modern food industry.... it remains a food that is largely prepared using very old traditions of culinary knowledge. If and how people in different societies view taro as dangerous or difficult, and why, is largely unknown. Talking to people and asking questions about a danger that most people avoid and have not experienced is not easy.

    How do we know what we know about food?

    This is an open question for future fieldwork with taro globally.

    For a related discussion, see:


    (I joined the Guardian Science "Notes & Queries" discussion as "pjm21kyoto"):

    Posted in: Fieldwork | 0 comments

    Mailing lists for academic purposes

    By Research Cooperative, 2022-09-02

    Recently, a small academic society I belong to lost the person who had been looking after member contact details. There was backup copy of the full member list but we now have to rebuild the mailing list based on this. We did not use a properly managed mailing list system: Here I will report systems that other academic groups use:

    This might be one of the best open source and free systems:

    "GNU Mailman -- the world's most popular mailing-list manager -- has been in constant revision for two decades and supports more than 20 languages.

    MailmanLists hosts group mailing-lists -- using GNU Mailman -- on servers around the world, and provides customer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." (Mailman website, 2nd Sept. 2022)


    The University College London (UCL) uses Mailman and gives advice on how set up a list and manage it:


    Posted in: Academic | 0 comments
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