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Hans Reiser's wife missing
Topic: Technology 10:26 pm EDT, Sep 14, 2006

Nina "Nenashga" Reiser, 31, was last seen on Sept. 3 dropping off her children with their father, Hans Reiser, 43. Her abandoned car was found in North Oakland Sept. 9, and authorities this week issued a bulletin describing the mother of two as "at risk" and a possible victim of foul play.

Hans Reiser's wife missing

Captcha Mashup
Topic: Technology 9:16 pm EDT, Aug 13, 2006

"I met my wife on your captcha!!!" -- Steve, from New York

OK, this is funny... Hotornot captcha.

Captcha Mashup

Scientists Say They’ve Found a Code Beyond Genetics in DNA - New York Times
Topic: Science 4:07 pm EDT, Jul 27, 2006

The genetic code specifies all the proteins that a cell makes. The second code, superimposed on the first, sets the placement of the nucleosomes, miniature protein spools around which the DNA is looped. The spools both protect and control access to the DNA itself.

The discovery, if confirmed, could open new insights into the higher order control of the genes, like the critical but still mysterious process by which each type of human cell is allowed to activate the genes it needs but cannot access the genes used by other types of cell.


Knowing the pattern, they were able to predict the placement of about 50 percent of the nucleosomes in other organisms.

The pattern is a combination of sequences that makes it easier for the DNA to bend itself and wrap tightly around a nucleosome. But the pattern requires only some of the sequences to be present in each nucleosome binding site, so it is not obvious. The looseness of its requirements is presumably the reason it does not conflict with the genetic code, which also has a little bit of redundancy or wiggle room built into it.


In the genetic code, sets of three DNA units specify various kinds of amino acid, the units of proteins. A curious feature of the code is that it is redundant, meaning that a given amino acid can be defined by any of several different triplets. Biologists have long speculated that the redundancy may have been designed so as to coexist with some other kind of code, and this, Dr. Segal said, could be the nucleosome code.


Scientists Say They’ve Found a Code Beyond Genetics in DNA - New York Times

Names visualizer (Java)
Topic: Society 10:06 am EDT, Jun 26, 2006

This tracks names by boys and girls based on popularity (birth) - type in any name and see the rise and fall. Using data like this it looks like you could predict someone's age +/- 5 years just based on the popularity of their name. Try it out with the names of people you know.

Very cool, you can't predict my age with it though. My name is Stuart, so judging by the spike you'd guess I was 50 to 60 years old; I'm 24.

Names visualizer (Java)

Congressman that sponsored 10 commandments bill asked to name the 10 commandments
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:31 am EDT, Jun 24, 2006

OMG Steven Colbert is just a screaming genius. lol

This is funny.

Congressman that sponsored 10 commandments bill asked to name the 10 commandments

Third phone numbers station: 678-248-2352 - Homeland Stupidity
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:03 pm EDT, Jun 13, 2006

For those of you following the mystery of two phone numbers stations found from postings on Craigslist, I have interesting news: A third posting, and a third message, have appeared.

The phone numbers stations, when called, play a short message reminiscent of ordinary numbers stations normally heard on shortwave radio. On May 8, someone posted a message to Craigslist with a telephone number which, when called, played such a message, and on May 29, a second message was posted to Craigslist with a different telephone number and a different message.

I find these messages very interesting. I wish I had more time to devote to learning about cryptanalysis. I'm definitely in the camp that thinks there's a message here and that it's discoverable. I doubt it's anything very important (national security), but that doesn't curb my desire to know what it says.

Third phone numbers station: 678-248-2352 - Homeland Stupidity

House panel votes for Net neutrality
Topic: Technology 5:19 pm EDT, May 25, 2006

By a 20-13 vote Thursday that partially followed party lines, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would require broadband providers to abide by strict Net neutrality principles, meaning that their networks must be operated in a "nondiscriminatory" manner.

About time.

House panel votes for Net neutrality

Five Geek Social Fallacies
Topic: Society 9:54 am EDT, May 24, 2006

Within the constellation of allied hobbies and subcultures collectively known as geekdom, one finds many social groups bent under a crushing burden of dysfunction, social drama, and general interpersonal wack-ness. It is my opinion that many of these never-ending crises are sparked off by an assortment of pernicious social fallacies -- ideas about human interaction which spur their holders to do terrible and stupid things to themselves and to each other.

While this is filed under humor at the parent site, I find it deeply insightful (which lends something to the humor).

Five Geek Social Fallacies

FSF - Protesters provide a nasty
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:26 pm EDT, May 23, 2006

An initiative of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), Defective By Design is urging all technologists to get involved at the start of the campaign. "Technologists are very aware of the dangers of DRM," said Peter Brown, Executive Director of the FSF. "We see this as the tip of the iceberg and it is our duty to do something about it." The tech community is uniquely qualified to lead this effort, in Brown's view. "We know about the collusion of Big Media, device manufacturers and proprietary software companies to lock us down," he continued. "Their aim is to put Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) into all our computers and homes".

FSF - Protesters provide a nasty

Wired News: Why We Published the AT&T Docs
Topic: Society 4:35 pm EDT, May 22, 2006

AT&T claims information in the file is proprietary and that it would suffer severe harm if it were released.

Based on what we've seen, Wired News disagrees. In addition, we believe the public's right to know the full facts in this case outweighs AT&T's claims to secrecy.

Wired has now published ALL of the AT&T documents. I agree with Wired that this information doesn't create a competitive problem for AT&T. AT&T is playing the proprietary card for technical reasons. I also don't think that publishing this information harms national security. Basically, yawn, there is nothing here that indicates that this is anything more then a CALEA compliance room. Mind you, the problem with CALEA is that it creates all of the infrastructure needed to allow access to all of the content, and anyone who had access to the content, or possibly anyone who can guess your SNMPv3 password, can pretty much do whatever they want with it so long as they don't get caught. This is why civil libertarians opposed CALEA. However, proving that the intercepts in this case aren't lawful is going to take more evidence than this.

Suggested reading on Prior Restraint:

* New York Times v. United States (403 U.S. 713) - Pentagon Papers case

The only effective restraint upon executive policy and power in the areas of national defense and international affairs may lie in an enlightened citizenry.

Because of the importance of these rights, any prior restraint on publication comes into court under a heavy presumption against its constitutional validity.

* United States v. Progressive (467 F. Supp. 990) - H-Bomb Case

This case is different in several important respects. In the first place, the study involved in the New York Times case contained historical data relating to events that occurred some three to twenty years previously. Secondly, the Supreme Court agreed with the lower court that no cogent reasons were advanced by the government as to why the article affected national security except that publication might cause some embarrassment to the United States.

The Secretary of State states that publication will increase thermonuclear proliferation and that this would "irreparably impair the national security of the United States." The Secretary of Defense says that dissemination of the Morland paper will mean a substantial increase in the risk of thermonuclear proliferation and lead to use or threats that would "adversely affect the national security of the United States."

Defendants have stated that publication of the article will alert the people of this country to the false illusion of security created by the government's futile efforts at secrecy. They believe publication will provide the people with needed information to make informed decisions on an urgent issue of public concern.

The title of this Wired article is a reference to the issue of The Progressive that revealed the Teller-Ulam design. "The H-Bomb Secret: How we got it, why we're telling it"

Wired News: Why We Published the AT&T Docs

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