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Biotech

Amateurs Are Trying Genetic Engineering At Home 245

the_kanzure points out this AP story on amateur genetic engineering, excerpting: "The Apple computer was invented in a garage. Same with the Google search engine. Now, tinkerers are working at home with the basic building blocks of life itself. Using homemade lab equipment and the wealth of scientific knowledge available online, these hobbyists are trying to create new life forms through genetic engineering a field long dominated by Ph.D.s toiling in university and corporate laboratories." Reader resistant has a few ideas about how to use this sort of lab: "Personally, I'd like to whip up a reasonably long-lasting and durable paint made with dye based on squid genes that glows brightly enough to allow 'guide lines' to be daubed along hallway baseboards, powered by a very low trickle of electricity. Plus, a harmless glowing yogurt would make for a cool prank."

Comment Re:Windows again (Score 4, Informative) 171

From what I can remember, it was also management issues at the top.

Not to mention that the Amiga was tightly bound to the custom chips they did in-house (Paula/Agnus, etc). Commodore didn't spend (or didn't have?) enough resources on R&D to keep up with the PC, and was also too slow in changing the platform so that it could use PC components instead.

Comment Re:How, indeed. (Score 3, Interesting) 331

But it is really Steve Jobs which, paradoxically, is holding Apple in the position of being the MOST closed company out there.

But is this unhealthy to the commercial result of Apple corp and the satisfaction of most Apple customers? Being closed also means that Apple has vertical control of everything from their online services to operating system to hardware, and Apple has generally been very good at using that control to deliver products that work very well if you stay inside Apple's garden.

I suspect most of us on /. (me included) would be pleased if Apple opened up more, but how much would Apple gain by doing that and risk alienating those that are perfectly happy in Apple's garden?

Comment Re:SMB (Score 1) 517

I cant get it going faster than 10-11MB/sec when copying to/from Windows XP.

It could be something as simple as the network card in the server autoconfiguring to 100Mbps, 11MBps sounds like a saturated 100Mbps link. Check with ethtool on the server and in the management interface on the switch. Bad performance like this can also be caused by mismatched duplex on the server network card and the switch it is connected to.

Comment Re:SMB (Score 1) 517

Wow. I didn't think it was even possible to buy a gigabit hub.

Half Duplex is part of the GigE spec as far as I know, but I've never seen a GigE hub. WJSmythe, could you share the manufacturer and model number on this oddity?

Comment Re:There's throughput and then there's latency (Score 2, Interesting) 231

I seem to recall that some Linux drivers try to handle this automatically (Intel gigabit chips?). They do interrupts when the traffic is below some threshold and switch to polling when things get busy. The main reason, as you say, is to avoid interrupt storms; polling becomes cheaper on CPU time than interrupts when there is a higher than x% chance of there being packets waiting. It is also more resilient to DoS or server overload - if f.ex. an Apache server receives more requests than it can handle, throttling the polling speed makes more CPU available for handling requests instead of wasting it in interrupts receiving packets that the web server is too overloaded to handle anyway.

Image

World of Warcraft, the Restaurant Screenshot-sm 73

An Anonymous Coward writes "China's online gaming themed service industry appears to be booming, riding China's fascination with online gaming all the way to the top is a Chinese restaurateur with his World of Warcraft inspired eatery." I would recommend the Critter Bites and the Haunted Herring, but would warn against the Carrion Surprise.

Comment Re:Hypocrisy in action (Score 1) 409

I hate DRM too, I wish it would die. But that's orthogonal to my point: that IP has value, and the IP creator deserves to be compensated appropriately for that value, somehow. I obviously don't know how given the zero-replication-cost problem.

Is it really zero cost? While the cost is going down, and will go further down in the future with better/faster/larger/cheaper storage devices and transmission networks there is always going to be some cost in maintaining the distribution network, cataloging, indexing, making sure metadata is correct, making sure the content is malware free, updates/fixes. As such, people might find that an all-you-can-eat DRM-free subscription to a music label or software company might be preferable even if the same content is available for free on P2P.

Information goods also don't exist in a vacuum, communities form around many of them. Downloading an album from piratebay does not give the same experience as being a member of a fan club / community and interacting with the rock band. Downloading a software program from P2P is of less value than being part of a community around the author of the software. For information goods where you have a large and/or very faithful fanbase/community, it might be possible for the creator to extract sufficient income from them. (I think I once saw a paper showing that a book author or a band could get a fairly decent living out of a surprisingly small number of faithful fans)

There is also the fact that IP creators are in a rather privileged position compared to other workers. For example, the need for farmers dropped because the work they did were replaced by machines; the same thing has happened time and again, human labor replaced by machines. I don't really see how machines can replace the need for human creativity. Unless we create true AI, we will always need IP creators. We will always want music, books, better medicines, software.. If the market can't find solutions for how to compensate them, government will have to step in.

Comment Re:It's about time (Score 1) 409

From the complaint, it looks like it is only consumer-grade products that they got when they bought Linksys. Even if they included some IOS software in some of the products, the absolute worst case scenario for Cisco would be that they would have to dual-license those particular files as GPL. It would not force Cisco to GPL the entire IOS.

My guess is that Cisco has been dragging their feet because (1) it would be expensive to get into full compliance (they would have to dig up the build environment / source code repositories for old Linksys products, some of which they might not even have anymore) (2) by providing full source to the consumer-grade products, 3rd party firmware for those could be developed that would compete with Cisco's more expensive gear, and (3) they never expected the FSF to sue.

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