SourceForge.net: All-Time Top Downloads
Four of the top five, six of the top eleven, and seven of the top twenty downloads of open-source software packages from Sourceforge are peer-to-peer file-sharing applications. (I've highlighted their rank and download tally below in red.)
If LimeWire, another open-source P2P file-sharing application, chose to distribute their application through SourceForge, it would be in one of the top spots, as well. (Download.com reports over 56 million LimeWire downloads.)«» (0) comments
To: firstname.lastname@example.orgTechnorati Tags: nytimes, blogging, plagiarism, corrections, msm, journalism «» (0) comments
Last month, the NYTimes republished, on the web and in print, an illustration I created for this weblog without permission or attribution. The next day, I emailed their corrections page and 'public editor'.
There's been no response or correction. Apparently the NYTimes itself recognizes it has a responsiveness problem...
Editor and Publisher: 'N.Y. Times' Releases Key Internal Report
As for accessibility: 'The Times makes it harder than any other major American newspaper for readers to reach a responsible human being,' the committee's 16-page report said. It also noted that the paper printed 3,200 corrections last year.Perhaps I need to be more direct in my correspondence.«» (0) comments
Newsday.com (AP): Child Population Dwindles in San Francisco«» (0) comments
Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt in Slate: The Search for 100 Million Missing Women - An economics detective story.
Convinced now of the relationship between hepatitis B and birth gender, [Harvard economics graduate student Emily] Oster set out on a vast data mission to determine the magnitude of that relationship. She measured the incidence of hepatitis B in the populations of China, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, and other countries where mothers gave birth to an unnaturally high number of boys. Sure enough, the regions with the most hepatitis B were the regions with the most "missing" women. Except the women weren't really missing at all, for they had never been born.Fascinating article, including the closing anecdote about a particular infant American girl. However, the framing -- "my, don't economics and statistics provide nice tools when used properly?" -- deemphasizes the questions most interesting to me.
Why would Hepatitis B skew birth sex toward males so much? Not the mechanism, but the motivation -- inasmuch as a virus can be said to have motivation, in that it will tend over the generations to do things that ensure its own prevalence or recede from interest. Are boys better vectors of the virus?
And turning back to the other missing Asian women -- the previously hypothesized explanations are all rather bleak. Also from the article:
[Economist Amartya] Sen charged these cultures with gravely mistreating their young girls�perhaps by starving their daughters at the expense of their sons or not taking the girls to doctors when they should have. Although Sen didn't say so, there were other sinister possibilities. Were the missing women a result of selective abortions? Female infanticide? A forced export of prostitutes?If, even after the Hepatitis B effect, 50 million born Asian women have disappeared as victims of treatment ranging from neglect to murder, why would such practices be so ingrained and self-sustaining? What organisms' propagation benefits from such murderous misogyny?
Humans ourselves? (There is no shortage of Asian peoples, despite whatever gender injustices are being practiced.)
But also: cultural values and customs are not unlike viruses. They must transmit themselves from person to person, generation to generation, to even be noticed. They may advance themselves even at the expense of their hosts. Is misogyny itself a far-distant cousin of Hepatitis B, both malign self-replicating organisms on a human substrate, each sharing the same preference for men as better hosts?«» (1) comments
Google offers a personalizable portal homepage.
The drag & drop layout is cool.«» (0) comments
Financial Times: S Korea�s �giant step� in human cell cloning
Scientists have cloned embryos for the first time from patients with serious diseases and injuries. The research at Seoul National University in South Korea demonstrates the principle of �therapeutic cloning� producing stem cells genetically identical to the patient, which could repair any damaged or diseased tissue.Two entries ago, I pointed out that Francis Fukuyama's ideas about limits on third-world pharmaceutical trials, reported in the Washington Post, were largely contradicted by a story running the same day in USA Today.
Now, his prediction that "the number of people who are going to want to take the risk [of human cloning] is going to be awfully small" has been shown as similarly naive by South Korea's enthusiastic progress in therapeutic human cloning.
Events haven't just overtaken Fukuyama, they've completely lapped him.«» (0) comments
Bram's BitTorrent 4.1.0 beta, released a couple of days ago, adds a trackerless torrent option based on a Kademlia-based distributed hash table (DHT). It follows in the footsteps of alternative BitTorrent client Azureus, which earlier this month introduced its own distributed tracker capability also based on Kademlia. Alas, these features appear to have been developed independently and are incompatible with each other.
The original Kademlia paper was published just over two years ago, and it's nearly 2 years to the day after I posted an article to infoAnarchy about the Kademlia-demonstration P2P sharing tool VarVar. Kademlia was the first DHT I could intuitively imagine working well in chaotic real-world P2P nets.
The Azureus implementation also supports the use of hash-based magnet URIs to compactly advertise specific 'torrent' control files which may be available from the peer network. I first proposed magnet URIs as a multi-application standard for website-to-local-app coordination in June 2002.
The inevitable usually takes a little while.«» (0) comments
Washington Post, May 16, 2005: Inventing Our Evolution: We're almost able to build better human beings. But are we ready?
Francis Fukuyama, a member of the President's Council on Bioethics and director of the Human Biotechnology Governance Project, thinks many biological innovations that are possible will be held back by social pressures:
Taboos will play an important role, Fukuyama says. "We could really speed up the whole process of drug improvement if we did not have all the rules on human experimentation. If companies were allowed to use clinical trials in Third World countries, paying a lot of poor people to take risks that you wouldn't take in a developed country, we could speed up technology quickly. But because of the Holocaust -- "USA Today, May 16, 2005: Costs, regulations move more drug tests outside USA
Cost is one factor. Trials in Eastern Europe, Asia and Central and South America might cost 10% to 50% less than trials in the USA and Western Europe, says Ronald Krall, GlaxoSmithKline's head of development.Fukuyama is also quoted in the WP article:
"But not everything that is scientifically possible will actually be technologically implemented and used on a large scale. In the case of human cloning, there's an abstract possibility that people will want to do that, but the number of people who are going to want to take the risk is going to be awfully small."He seems to be implying that human cloning is inherently risky to those considering the procedure. I think he's got it backwards: the first cases for cloning will rather be seen (or marketed) as a risk-reducing tactic. Make a clone to harvest compatible fetal stem cells, perhaps with some genetic patching. Make a clone to harvest compatible organs some time in the future. "Don't be the last of your ultra-wealthy clique to take this prudent life-extending step, now available more cheaply than ever before!"
The risks in such a situation would only be those imposed by society, not inherent to cloning as a process. Based on animal experiments, cloning doesn't appear to need a giant laboratory or infrastructure. So this "possibility" won't stay "small" and "abstract" for very long.«» (0) comments
Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey: Sorry, Fluffy, but I really need an A
An English exam authority has a system where test-takers get adjustments to their scores for recent traumatic events. The bonus for a dead pet is 2%.
But that's neither here nor there. What I like is directly addressing animals in english with subtle threats, as in "Sorry, Fluffy, but I really need an A." Can't get enough of it. I've mined the vein myself, with "Play it stupid, man-mouse, and we might just let you live" and "Hey, you two sheepboys�stop that jibber-jabbin'!" Of course those were manimals to be precise.
But that's neither here nor there, either. The genre reminds me of my favorite skit of The State, "Monkey Torture". I only saw it once, and have been hoping to find it again ever since. I recently found a transcript of its episode here.
For reference in case that site ever goes away, I reproduce the skit's script here. I think it holds up well in text, but maybe that's just because I can still hear Thomas Lennon's unique inflection as I read it. Submitted for your approval, "Monkey Torture", written and acted by Thomas Lennon and Michael Black, from episode 201 of The State:
Barry Lutz ShowI'm the bad guy?«» (1) comments
Chicago Sun-Times: Big screens a growth industry for Motorola
Motorola today will announce it is ready to begin marketing a new technology to "grow" large-screen TVs using atom-sized carbon nano tubes as seeds with the potential to produce superior images at a fraction of the price of today's big screens.Jim O'Connor, vice president of Motorola technology incubation and commercialization, says a 40-inch screen will cost under $400 and that "[t]he technology is ready to deliver now."«» (0) comments
I'm fascinated by chimeras -- organisms made up of cells of varying genetic composition. It happens naturally in humans with odd implications. In one case, initial tests on a woman's son, who was naturally conceived and delivered, indicated he was not genetically her offspring. In fact, the mother was a chimera, and the ovary/egg cells which had contributed to her son were of a different genetic makeup from her blood cells, used for other profiling.
I had always thought this a rare condition. But: NYTimes: Cheating, or an Early Mingling of the Blood?
Dr. Ann Reed, chairwoman of rheumatology research at the Mayo Clinic, who uses sensitive DNA tests to look for chimerism, finds that about 50 to 70 percent of healthy people are chimeras. The more scientists look for chimerism, the more they find it. It seemed not to exist in the past, she said, because no one was explicitly looking for small amounts of foreign cells in people's bodies.Wow.«» (1) comments
Fifteen days later, no response from the New York Times to my email about their uncreditted swipe of my collage work to illustrate a story.
I know that they make corrections when they omit or misattribute published graphics; see for example the April 24th Corrections. It includes three separate picture credit corrections.
Further, by viewing the referenced stories, it's clear that the NYTimes also updates the online versions to include the corrected credits. Yet the story which grabbed my graphic still has no online correction.
Perhaps the NYTimes views the Internet and blogosphere as a giant anonymous hive mind from which creative content can be copied and pasted at will without attribution? That's what it's starting to feel like here.«» (0) comments