There’s Not an App for That
I was inspired by the NIH Research Festival committee’s efforts to create smartphone-friendly Web sites, documents, and applications (a.k.a. “apps”). You know the saying: There’s an app for that. But actually, many apps we could use at NIH haven’t been created. Here are my top five ideas:
5. Boring warning: I need an app to give me personalized warnings about whether the lecture or meeting I’m about to attend will bore me to tears. An e-notification of whether my PI is in attendance would be key, too.
4. Partner alert: No one seems to wear rings anymore, and no one seems to share last names. An app alerting me to who’s married to whom at the NIH would avoid embarrassing situations.
3. Reception food alert: I need a map, updated hourly, of free food around campus so I can plan my mooching accordingly. Otherwise, finding food is totally up to chance for now.
2. E-mail filter: I need a real e-mail filter, not something that merely filters spam but rather something that informs the sender to leave me alone because I have left the planet Earth. My attempt to create one by blocking any e-mail address with the “@” symbol unfortunately stopped the approximately 1.8 percent of e-mail I actually do need to read. So some tweaking is necessary.
1. Building 10 map: I write these words via an iPhone on the ninth floor of Building 10 in the north–facing south wing in the A corridor adjacent to the J wing, and I have just four words to say: Get me outta here.
Editor’s Note: Have a late-night laboratory confession? We might print it if it is indecent enough.
This page was last updated on Monday, May 2, 2022