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Networking

Submission + - Terrorists are like Starfish (?) (washingtontimes.com)

Mark D. Drapeau writes: "Could biological metaphors about networking and systems shed light on one of the most difficult issues of our time — terrorism? According to a new op-ed in the 31 July 2007 Washington Times, and a new book entitled The Starfish and the Spider, the answer is a resounding "Yes". An excerpt from the op-ed reads: *** Most large institutions are organized hierarchically with centralized leadership. Corporations have CEOs, armies have generals, countries have presidents. When competing against centralized organizations, promoting diffusion and disrupting cohesion are considered progressive. However, al Qaeda has a constantly mutating, horizontal structure composed of an inspirational catalyst in the form of Osama bin Laden and other central figures joined with numerous small groups brought together not by orders but ideology. Here, lack of structure is a strength. Little thought is given, however, to how such a decentralized terrorist network structure affects the strategy for combating it. "The Starfish and the Spider," a new book about corporate strategy written for a business audience, has a wider application — combating terrorism — and sheds light on this issue.*** Read more here: http://washingtontimes.com/article/20070731/COMMEN TARY/107310009/1012 And here: http://www.starfishandspider.com/"
Biotech

Submission + - Plastic artificial bone (rutgers.edu)

pnosker writes: "Researchers at Rutgers University have found a way to create artificial bone using a blend of usually immiscible plastics, both bio-compatible, where one plastic is dissolved and excreted creating an empty sponge-like region for natural bone to grow and a lattice of PMMA plastic for the growth to occur. The new material is undergoing further study and testing."
AMD

Submission + - AMD 690 Chipset Updated, Performance Boost (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "Earlier this year, AMD launched its 690 series motherboard chipset and it was relatively well accepted for its affordability, power efficiency, and performance versus competitive chipsets. AMD has since taken the 690 series chipset and optimized it further through BIOS and software level enhancements that result in marked performance gains in a number of situations and also introduces new features. This article showcases a motherboard from Gigabyte that features the latest updates and compares its performance to the unaltered board from when the chipset was first introduced, to see just how much the platform's performance has matured. The majority of the performance enhancements were targeted toward better HD DVD and Blu-ray playback at 1080p."
Programming

Submission + - Moonfall: Lua + CSS (moonfalll.org)

An anonymous reader writes: CSS Purist might hate this: Simple to use CSS with variables, combining LUA and CSS. A simple LUA domain specific language that generates CSS dynamically as a cgi script or statically for maximum performance.
The Internet

Submission + - Xerox Debuts Semantic Search Engine (xerox.com)

Television

NBC Believes They Own Political Discourse 259

PoliSciASU writes "MSNBC has established draconian rules regarding the use of the Presidential Primary Debates on the internet. Some examples: '5. No excerpts may be aired after 8:30 pm on Saturday, May 26th. Excerpts may not be archived. Any further use of excerpts is by express permission of MSNBC only. 6. All debate excerpts must be taped directly from MSNBC's cablecast or obtained directly from MSNBC and may not be obtained from other sources, such as satellite or other forms of transmission. No portions of the live event not aired by MSNBC may be used.' Kevin Bondelli talks about why this is 'shameful and wrong'. Voters are missing out on the ability to actually have an engaged conversation about the candidates and their debate performances because of NBC's greed." Alexander Wolfe at InformationWeek and Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine share similar sentiments, and discuss the matter in different ways.
Media

Submission + - Neuros Solicits help from AppleTV Hackers

JoeBorn writes: "Highlighting the fact that Neuros officially encourages contributions to its open source device (GPL), it has published an open letter soliciting the help of AppleTV hackers. "the transition to IPTV creates a golden opportunity to ensure that the gateway to the TV set becomes open to all." Neuros draws a connection between open source and free media, and attempts to articulate why an open box can extend the freedom of the internet to the TV set."
Biotech

Submission + - Bacteria to protect against quakes

Roland Piquepaille writes: "If you live near the sea, chances are high that your home is built over sandy soil. And if an earthquake strikes, deep and sandy soils can turn to liquid, with some disastrous consequences for the buildings sitting on them. But now, U.S. researchers have found a way to use bacteria to steady buildings against earthquakes by turning these sandy soils into rocks. Today, it is possible to inject chemicals in the ground to reinforce it, but this can have toxic effects on soil and water. On the contrary, this use of common bacteria to 'cement' sands has no harmful effects on the environment. But so far, this method is limited to labs and the researchers are working on scaling their technique. Here are more references and a picture showing how unstable ground can aggravate the consequences of an earthquake."

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