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Biotech

Scientists To Breed the Auroch From Extinction 277

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-by-popular-demand dept.
ImNotARealPerson writes "Scientists in Italy are hoping to breed back from extinction the mighty auroch, a bovine species which has been extinct since 1627. The auroch weighed 2,200 pounds (1000kg) and its shoulders stood at 6'6". The beasts once roamed most of Asia and northern Africa. The animal was depicted in cave paintings and Julius Caesar described it as being a little less in size than an elephant. A member of the Consortium for Experimental Biotechnology suggests that 99% of the auroch's DNA can be recreated from genetic material found in surviving bone material. Wikipedia mentions that researchers in Poland are working on the same problem."

Comment: Re:Because? (Score 1) 587

by Deskpoet (#30418172) Attached to: GNOME Developer Suggests Split From GNU Project

I love F/OSS, but the Stallmans of the world are simply living in a wishywashy black and white fantasy land.

Any legitimacy you might have had, poof! Gone in one sentence so internally contradictory is sounds as if it was spewed by the Palintroid.

There's NOTHING "wishy-washy" about Richard Stallman. It seems on some dim level you already know this as you ratchet the words "black and white fantasy land" immediately, if obliviously, after the words that preceded them. Here's a clue: when trying to be cute, cut down on the doublethink unless irony and sarcasm is OBVIOUS.

Your knob-polishing of GNOME (Miguel's Microsoft project) has buried your reason so deeply under the ideology of convenience that it appears you'll love just about anything. Your pronouncement of love doesn't sound like a passion for F/OSS, or even a remotely basic understanding of what it actually *is*; it comes comes across as an overture to work in Redmond with Miguel.

Be about it, then; as others have noted, GNOME has sucked for a long time, and derivatives of Silverlight won't lift it out of Suckville in any case. Go your own way; just don't pretend the result will truly be FOSS because we certainly won't.

Comment: Re:Bye bye marvel... (Score 1) 423

by Deskpoet (#29265567) Attached to: Disney Buys Marvel

Whoa. Marvel is not, nor has it *ever* been, a source of "alternative media". If you want "alternate" comics, find some Slow Death, Love and Rockets, hell, even Cerebus (or perhaps The Boys, if you're into superhero meta-commentary/farce.)

I don't know what is more depressing: that you seem to think Marvel produces "alternative" comics or that they are alternative "media". Marvel is NEITHER; they are about PRODUCT, as is Disney. The two corporation were made for each other.

That being said, I'm dropping any Marvel titles I might have been following--I truly loathe Disney, and won't have any part of their "Disneyification" of culture. That's not a great loss, though: since Garth Ennis left Punisher, what does Marvel have to offer, anyway?

Comment: Re:"cops , IQ" (Score 1) 1079

by Deskpoet (#27577139) Attached to: College Police Think Using Linux Is Suspicious Behavior

I believe the majority of what you say is bullshit. You're thinking of the department of Homeland Security, specifically the ICE. But modern cops do tend to be clueless about electronic crime.

Umm, are you even remotely aware of A Clockwork Orange? The idea explicated there, and seemingly jumping from the page into our little gravity well every moment, is nearly fifty years old now, so the original poster's contention that many stupid thugs find their way into law enforcement is not even a new or original observation of emerging social trends. If anything, ACO didn't go far enough in its speculation of how near-term "law enforcement" might look. It's a sad thing when fictional near-future-dystopias are outstripped by "reality".

But, more to the point, how many smart, or even reasonable intelligent cops have you ran across? If you've enough experience with Johnny Law to state how "clueless" they are when concerned with computer crime, surely you have some experiential anecdote that would validate that view, as well as invalidate the contention that street cops are one step removed from knuckle-dragging stormtroopers? And, sorry, articles posted on /. don't count.

Privacy

+ - House approves warrantless wiretapping.

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "The House of Representatives voted 227-183 to update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to allow warrantless wiretapping of telephone and electronic communications. The vote extends the FISA amendment for six months. The final vote results are available here."
GNU is Not Unix

+ - iD and Valve violating GPL

Submitted by frooge
frooge (1006611) writes "With the recent release of iD's catalog on Steam, it appears DOSBox is being used to run the old DOS games for greater compatibility. According to a post on the Halflife2.net forums, however, this distribution does not contain a copy of the GPL license that DOSBox is distributed under, which violates the license. According to the DOSBox developers, they were not notified that it was being used for this release."
Networking

+ - Bloggers vs. Journalists - Access denied!

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "ADC over at the Application Delivery Networking blog had an interesting take on bloggers vs. journalists and why bloggers shouldn't complain when they don't get access from vendors. Her post was a response to a complaint on Mark Evans' blog about why Nortel wouldn't give him access, despite the fact that he's the only blogger that focuses solely on Nortel.

Among other things, ADC says:
"You probably aren't aware of the hierarchy out there amidst the media community. Access to information from vendors is based on your status within the hierarchy. The information a member of the press gets from a vendor is different from what's given to an analyst and is different than what a blogger is going to receive. Bloggers are not journalists and most are certainly not analysts. They can be a channel through which information is disseminated, making them invaluable to the folks in the trenches, true, but they can also be dangerous because they aren't bound by any rules. And that's what you're missing because you've not been a member of the press — you don't "get" the hierarchy and how information is disseminated through the ranks. And guess where bloggers fall? Yup. Stand up straight, there, private!"

It's an interesting take on the role of the blogosphere and their relationships with vendors. As a tech PR guy, I can tell you that ADC hits the nail right on the head about vendors' tenuous relationship with bloggers.

Here's the URL: http://www.theapplicationdeliverynetwork.com/?p=25 "
Security

Mind How You Walk - Someone is Watching 256

Posted by Zonk
from the they-can-seee-yooo dept.
mrbluze writes "The Telegraph has an opinion article about the future of the extensive CCTV network in the United Kingdom. Automated analysis of how and where people are walking or otherwise moving, and what objects they carry or leave behind, flags the attention of security staff. This is meant to preempt a crime and make suspects identifiable even by gait. The technology is of questionable public benefit since street crime has not decreased despite the presence of CCTV. 'An airport camera can be programmed to know what a departure hall should look like, with thousands of separate movements. A single suitcase left for any length of time would trigger an alarm. This technology was developed for use in hotels to alert staff to a breakfast tray left outside a room. Soon, it will be coming to a street near you. Why not go the whole hog and have microphones attached to cameras or embedded in street lights?'"
The Internet

+ - R.E.M. and Net Neutrality

Submitted by cheezitmike
cheezitmike (537630) writes "The Washington Post reports that several bands, including R.E.M., are joining up to raise public awareness in support of Net Neutrality:

The Future of Music Coalition — an advocacy group of musicians that fought radio consolidation — is assembling a lineup of name bands, such as R.E.M. and Death Cab for Cutie, to join the fight to keep the net neutral. The group will join net neutrality advocate Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) for a teleconference today to kick off the campaign, which is called "Rock the Net ." The campaign will include a petition and a series of concerts. The coalition fears that if companies are allowed to charge for faster access to the Internet, it will hurt the ability of musicians to get their music out to their fans, especially small, indie bands.
"
Networking

+ - Nagios: System and Network Monitoring

Submitted by
David Martinjak
David Martinjak writes "Nagios is an open source application for monitoring hosts, services, and conditions over a network. Availability of daemons and services can be tested, and specific statistics can be checked by Nagios to provide system and network administrators with vital information to help sustain uptime and prevent outages. Nagios: System and Network Monitoring is for everyone who has a network to run.

The book is authored by Wolfgang Barth and published by No Starch Press. The publisher hosts a Web page which contains an online copy of the table of contents, portions of reviews, links to purchase the electronic and print versions of the book, and a sample chapter ("Chapter 7: Testing Local Resources") in PDF format.

An amusing note to begin: this is one of the only books I have read where the introduction was actually worth reading closely. Many books seem to talk about background or history of the subject without providing much pertinent information, if any at all. In Nagios: System and Network Monitoring, Wolfgang Barth begins with a hypothetical anecdote to illustrate the usefulness of Nagios. The most important section in the introduction, however, is the explanation of states in Nagios. While monitoring a resource, Nagios will return of one of four states. OK indicates nominal status, WARNING shows a potentially problematic circumstance, CRITICAL signifies an emergency situation, and UNKNOWN usually means there is an operating error with Nagios or the corresponding plugin. The definitions for each of these states are determined by the person or team who administers Nagios so that relevant thresholds can be set for the WARNING and CRITICAL status levels.

The first chapter walks the reader through installing Nagios to the filesystem. All steps are shown, which proves to be very helpful if you are unfamiliar with unpacking archives or compiling from source. Users who are either new to Linux, or cannot install Nagios through a package manager, will appreciate the verbosity offered here. Fortunately, the level of detail is consistent through the book.

Chapter 2 explains the configuration structure of Nagios to the reader. This chapter may contain the most important material in the book as understanding the layout of Nagios is essential to a successful deployment in any environment. The book moves right into enumerating the uses and purposes of the config files, objects, groupings, and templates. All of this information is valuable and presented in a descriptive manner to help the reader set up a properly configured installation of Nagios. My biggest stumbling block in using Nagios was wrapping my brain around the relationships of the config files and objects. This chapter clears up all of the ambiguities I remember having to work out for myself. If only this book had been around a few years ago!

The sixth chapter dives into the details of plugins that are available for monitoring network services. This chapter explains using the check_icmp plugin to ping both a host and a specific service for verifying reachability. Additional examples include monitoring mail servers, LDAP, web servers, and DNS among others. There is even a section for testing TCP and UDP ports.

Next, the book covers checking the status of local resources on systems. At work, we have a system in production that could have been partitioned better. Unfortunately, /var is a bit smaller than it should be, and tends to fill up relatively frequently. Thankfully, Nagios can trigger a warning when there is a low amount of free space left on the partition. From there, we have Nagios execute a script that cleans out certain items in /var so we don't have to bother with it. We can also receive notification if the situation does not improve, and requires further attention. In addition to monitoring hard drive usage, the book includes examples for checking swap utilization, system load, number of logged-in users, and even Nagios itself.

Chapter 12 discusses the notification system in Nagios. You provide who, what, when, where, and how in the configs, and Nagios does the rest. The book does a fantastic job of explaining what exactly triggers a notification, and how to efficiently configure Nagios to ensure the proper parties are being informed of relevant issues at reasonable intervals. For example, the server team might be interested to know that /var is 90% full on one of the LDAP servers; however they don't need to be notified of this every thirty seconds. This chapter also covers an important aspect of Nagios known as flapping. Flapping occurs when a monitored resource quickly alternates between states. Nagios can be configured for a certain tolerance against rapid alternating changes in states. This means Nagios won't sound the alarm if the problem will resolve itself in a short period of time. Usually flapping is caused by an external factor temporarily influencing the results of the test from Nagios; and therefore has no long-term impact.

The last major chapter to mention here deals with essentially anything and everything about the Nagios Web interface. The main point of interaction between the administrator and Nagios is the fully featured Web interface. This chapter covers recognizing and working on problems, planning downtimes, making configuration changes, and more. I especially like that the book gives an overview of each of the individual CGI programs that the Web interface is composed of; as these files are important for UI customization.

The only aspect of this book that I did not care for was that the book reads like a reference manual at times. The first several chapters start out more conversational in tone with great explanations of the procedures and files; but later it sometimes feels like I am repeatedly reading an iterated piece-by-piece structure, filled in with the content for that chapter. That is not necessarily bad all together as it does provide consistency in the presentation of the information. Additionally, the level of detail is outstanding throughout the book. The explanations are never too short or too long. This is definitely a valuable book for administrators at all levels with fantastic breadth and depth of material. Administrators who are interested in proactive management of their systems and networks should be pleased with Nagios: System and Network Monitoring.

Nagios is licensed under the GNU General Public License Version 2, and can be downloaded from http://nagios.org.

David Martinjak is a programmer, GNU/Linux addict, and the director of 2600 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He can be reached at david.martinjak@gmail.com."
Technology (Apple)

+ - Already A Community ready to hack the iPhone

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Less than a week after the iPhone was released, there is already a website that wants to hack it. As it says on the site "Our Goal is to foster a community of Apple iPhone users and developers dedicated to getting the most out of the iPhone. We're on a mission to better the iPhone experience." They also mention that they want to unlock the iPhone so that it can be used on networks other than Cingular, and get to the point where 3rd party applications that are unapproved by Apple can run on the iPhone. I think we've found our "Bad Guys" and only time will tell if they are successful. iFoneResource.com"
Security

+ - Yahoo! doesn't take phishing seriously

Submitted by
Hans Kwint
Hans Kwint writes "Even when trying to report a phishing mail to Yahoo! several times by means of e-mail and calling them several times, the people at Yahoo! don't seem to react, and the mails bounce. Yahoo! doesn't block phishing mails, even though they are technically capable of doing so. Therefore, Yahoo! is guilty of being complicit in case of a successful phishing attempt.

Full story by LXer-member DarenR114"

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