The stink emanating from the storm sewers has plagued the area around the Fremont Street pedestrian mall for a decade, and every time the city has thrown time, effort and deodorizer at the problem, the "sewer-type" aroma has just returned.Link
On Wednesday, City Council is to consider a $100,000 US consulting contract aimed at finding the source of the olfactory offence.
A tiny closed-circuit television system would be used to examine the downtown storm drains, smoke would be pumped into the system to identify outlets and dye would be used to follow water flows.
We're looking for several different types of programming. On the Geek side we have "Heavy technical", which includes topics like programming, system administration, and security, and "Light technical", which is about using computers rather than programming them (Digital art, electronic publishing, online communities, Linux on the Desktop, Open source in business, video games, etc). On the Fandom side, our main themes this year include literary topics (for authors, editors, publishers, and readers), Anime (and Manga), gaming, costuming... There are also "crossover" topics (like online comics and computer animation) that appeal to both sides.Link (Thanks, Mark!)
It is past due that Dr. Rosalind Franklin received credit for actually being the scientist who demonstrated the helical nature of DNA. Her crystallography was crucial to the subsequent elucidation of DNA structure and replication. Her research was used without her knowledge or permission.Link
Update: Alex sez: "According to the NY Times there were no hard feelings between her and her colleagues."
One of the problems caused by the book was Dr. Watson's implication that the pair of them had obtained Dr. Franklin's data on DNA surreptitiously and hence had deprived her of due credit for the DNA discovery. Dr. Crick believed he obtained the data fairly since she had presented it at a public lecture, to which he had been invited. Though Dr. Watson had misreported a vital figure from the lecture, a correct version reached Dr. Crick through the Medical Research Council report. If Dr. Franklin felt Dr. Crick had treated her unfairly, she never gave any sign of it. She became friends with both Dr. Crick and Dr. Watson, and spent her last remission from cancer in Dr. Crick's house.
Dr. Franklin likely would have shared the Nobel Prize had she not died from cancer in 1958, the prize was not awarded till 1962. Nobel Prizes are not awarded posthumously.
UPDATE Jeremy sez: The "Syd Mead-like golfing station" is actually a helicopter pad attached to the Burj al Arab, a luxury hotel. Tiger Woods was invited to hit balls into the Gulf as a publicity stunt. It's not the opening shot of the world's most difficult hole. See this Sports Illustrated article for more details.
"Evolution is cleverer than you are." -Francis CrickLink
Update: Crick's groundbreaking 1953 paper on the molecular structure of DNA, co-authored with James Watson, is available here. (Thanks, Christina!)
Update: A number of BB readers who are non-LAT-subscribers have written in to say that the "unclenched" content is "re-clenched," and that they can't access without paid subscription. Others have written in to say that registration, but not paid subscription, is still required. This could be a temporary tech glitch, but I'm still confused, and so are the rest of the LAT's online readers, so AFAIK it's still broken. Why do some publications insist on getting in the way of readers who just want to read basic content like this? I'll be looking for that new Koreatown barbecue/karaoke hotspot on their mercifully reg- and sub-free competitor LA.com.
"Ultrasonic alarm calls might be beneficial because many of the birds-of-prey that catch and eat squirrels cannot hear them. Conveniently, ultrasound also has a shorter range than audible sound.Link (Thanks, Gabe!)
'It may be used to secretly warn others without alerting a more distant predator,' says (researcher David) Wilson.
Microsoft is developing what it calls Bonded Sender, a program that would supposedly separate "legitimate" Internet marketers and bulk mailers from spammers. Working with a California company called IronPort, Microsoft will create a white list of Internet marketers who have paid a fee and demonstrated that they have no record of spamming. Companies participating in the Bonded Sender program will be allowed to send their email ads to HotMail and MSN users.Link
Given Microsoft's investment in the Bonded Sender program, it seems they may soon be in the business of serving as middlemen between emailer marketers and their webmail users. In other words, it sounds like the software megacorp is about to start competing with Richter. Of course, Microsoft could always call off its suit if Richter claims to have been rehabilitated -- and he pays his Bonded Sender fees!
In the spam wars, sometimes it's hard to tell the spammers from the antispammers.
The situation gets even more complicated when you consider the fact that Microsoft will do more than pick and choose winners in the junk email business. Bonded Sender will punish most the people who aren't even sending advertisements -- groups like Internet activists MoveOn.org, who send out millions of emails to alert their members to upcoming political events and issues. If these groups don't pay their Bonded Sender fees, HotMail simply won't deliver their email -- regardless of whether users have specifically opted in to receive it.
I just returned from a trip with two friends to Hat Creek, about five hours northeast of San Francisco. Leading Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) researcher Jack Welch and his former student, astronomer Jim Gibson, were kind enough to give us a tour of the facility.
More about our visit to Hat Creek in my journal at TheFeature. Link
“Sequencing the whole genome has revealed that the bacterium can actively degrade human skin tissue because of the massive presence of these enzymes, and also that there are specific immunogenic proteins which are present in this bacterium which trigger the immune response,” Brüggemann told New Scientist....Link
Severe acne is usually treated with common antibiotics, but many strains are becoming resistant to these. “With the genome sequence it’s now quite easy to generate specific drugs against this bacterium,” says Brüggemann. “That’s the next task.”
Update: Daniel Klein sez, "The picture is of a fixed-head disk, very similar to a Borroughs unit I had the pleasure of disassembling (in 1975) after a catastrophic head crash (I got authorization from Gordon Bell himself to do it). It took me 3 days to whittle it down to nuts and bolts, and the platter weighed 18 pounds. The hub upon which the platter was mounted was phosphor bronze, and weighed an additional 17 pounds. So imagine the inertia of 35 pounds spinning at 3600 RPM. It had electric brakes, because if you just switched off the power, it would spin for a loooong time. There is an (apocryphal) story of movers just hitting the circuit breaker (not the off switch that engaged the brakes), and after waiting the requisite 5 minutes for spindown, loaded the drive into a truck. All the moves and hallways were right angles, of course. Since brakes had not been engaged, it was still spinning at 2000 RPM or so by the time it was loaded. When the truck turned a corner, the drive precessed right out through the side of the truck. It held a few megabytes at most, if I recall correctly (a similar unit was used as a swap disk on the PDP-10, so it would have held 256K or so). "
I'd like to take a moment to recognise Boing Boing's volunteer sysadmin, the incomparable Mr Ken Snider, whose indispensible work is the reason that Boing Boing has such killer availability and uptime.
I'd also like to thank Chris Smith, who runs our submit-a-link form, instituting countermeasures against formspammers and catching the bounces.
Also due for appreciation is Carl Steadman, the long-time host of Boing Boing, whose donated services and connectivity made this all possible.
Finally, my appreciation to the sysadmins at EFF, past and present: Matt Peterson, Chris Palmer, Marc Perkel, Christopher Davis and Dan Brown. Thanks for keeping the Internet working (oh, and lest I forget, the OpenCola sysadmins: Helen, Michael, Karl, and Ken [again!]). Link
If you record a cover version of a song, (meaning your performance of a song that has been released in the U.S. with consent of the copyright owner), you are entitled by law to release your recording commercially, and the owner of the copyright to the song cannot prevent you from doing so.Link (Thanks, John!)
The Copyright Act provides for what is called a "Compulsory License", which means that if you follow the steps set forth by statute, you can distribute your recording of that song on a CD or over the internet.
The following details the procedure for individuals to obtain a compulsory license to digitally distribute cover songs over the Internet to end users in the United States.
The ISART technical program committee is soliciting papers for the 7th annual International Symposium on Advanced Radio Technologies (ISART) to be held in Boulder, Colorado March 1-3, 2005. These papers will discuss new technologies, research and development, innovative ideas, enabling technologies, standards, protocols, business practices and policies, and government regulation for the purpose of forecasting the future development and application of radio frequency technologies into the next decade.Link (Thanks, Sam!)
Today I also had a very unpleasant phone call from a lawyer working with Katie Tarbox, the author of the book. She tried to convince me that I should donate the domain name to them. Somehow this would resolve my problem. OK so not only do I get walked all over, my life invaded by this book, treated badly by the publisher/author who refuse to acknowledge that they've done the wrong thing, but then I get to hand it over to them on a silver plate and I not only have suffered all this aggravation but ultimately have lost the thing that I care about. Exactly HOW does this resolve anything other than give them the thing they want which they have done everything to hijack without any care and consideration for what is right and just?Link
Secondly, she tells me that they're planning on launching some school curriculum thing to teach kids about online safety - and they're calling it Katie.com. Are they insane? No wonder they want me to hand it over.
Download a copy of the hearings for yourself, participate in the democratic process, and in so doing, prove that their conclusions were utterly bogus. Torrent Link
Horst sez, "You published a link to an alternative London Underground Map ("what if the Germans had won WWII?") in German on July 29th. Problem is, as any German native speaker might tell you, many of the names of this map are Mock-German rather than real German and don't really make sense. "A while ago I attempted a real translation of the London Underground map into German, with station names being real, literal or etymological translations of the English placenames into German. Most German readers of my map agree that it's funnier than Myrtle's map (the one that you linked to).
"Incidentally, the translation of the London map into German was part of a project that started with a translation of the underground map of Vienna, Austria into English, which might be of more entertainment value as most of your readers can actually read it. Link (Thanks, Horst!)
Make will have 5-minute tips you can use to improve your gadgets, networks, and computers, as well as much longer projects that might take several days (or weeks) to complete. The first issue is coming out in January. If you're interested, visit the web site and sign up for the newsletter. I'll also be running the Make blog on that page. I hope that a lot of BB readers become Make contributors, too. Please send me your ideas for hacks, tips, tricks, workarounds, neat things to build, useful tools, etc. Link
And if I'm not mistaken, John Kerry's mid-speech invitation to voters moments ago to go online for platform details was the first time in America's history that any presidential candidate plugged a campaign website during his acceptance speech. Snip:
"I've told you about our plans for the economy, for education, for health care, for energy independence. I want you to know more about them. So now I'm going to say something that Franklin Roosevelt could never have said in his acceptance speech: go to johnkerry.com."Link to speech text.
Their usefulness depends on your needs and networking style. LinkedIn, for example allows you to search histories and CVs in your network -- it's great for finding people who work in a particular company, or who have worked with someone you know. It's also an interesting way to find references for people or companies you're getting to know.Link
I think email is broken in a serious way, and SNS is trying to address some of the issues associated with that breakdown. These networks may get it right and really change the way we do business, but we're still at the beginning of the development and evolution curve.