X-Flash #19

October 15, 2012


Xmobile is on the way. Xmobile (Xm) Xm is the latest advance from Xlab: a smart phone-based platform for conducting experiments and surveys "in the wild"-i.e., at the point of decision outside the lab. Xlab Director Shachar Kariv and Prof. Raja Sengupta (Computer Science) have already field-tested Xm on a small-scale experiment, and will be conducting a large-scale field test this semester. Our intent is to make Xm freely available to all UCB investigators. Stay tuned for more on Xmobile!

Portable Xlab (Xp): Portable Xlab (Xp): Now that Xlab has replaced its array of laptops, the lab has a supply of aging, but still serviceable, laptop computers. We are now offering to lend these laptops in small batches to investigators who want to conduct experiments outside the Xlab. Contact our SysAdmin, Rowilma Balza del Castillo (Rowie) for details on the Xp option.

Online Surveys and Experiments: Xlab now offers the possibility of conducting on-line surveys/experiments and making variable fee payments to subjects, done electronically through new program joint with Citibank codes. The PayCard program creates a virtual Visa debit card account, into which Xlab/Citi put whatever money a subject has earned. That money can be spent anywhere on-line that accepts Visa. We pilot-tested this program on behalf of the entire UC system during the past year, and ran a large-scale experiment payout with Prof. Don Moore this summer. It's ready to go.

There is, of course, a charge for using PayCard. Citibank charges a $2 fee per transaction. For a limited time, Xlab will subsidize half of that cost, up to $200. There is also an option whereby subjects can be issued a plastic Visa card (for a nominal extra fee). Contact Miho Tanaka for more information about the PayCard option for paying subjects.

Human Subjects: The Office for the Protection of Human Subjects now uses "eProtocol" for managing all aspects of New, Continuation/Renewal, and Amendment applications for research that fits within the scope of the Xlab Master Protocol. For NEW applications, be sure to contact Miho Tanaka BEFORE submitting your protocol to OPHS; she will make sure that your experiment is one that Xlab can support. Please see the Xlab website step-by-step instructions on how to submit an application through eProtocol.

Grants: Xlab continues its policy of making small grants available to faculty and graduate student researchers. See the Xlab website at http://xlab.berkeley.edu/researchers/grantsforresearchers.shtml

Comments? Send suggestions or comments to faculty director Shachar Kariv or manager Bob Barde.