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DIY Biologists To Open Source Research 147

destinyland writes "Falling costs and garage tinkering are creating a grass roots movement of amateur biologists whose research is more transparent than that of academia. They are building lab equipment using common household items and even synthesizing new organisms, and their transparency also allows the social pressure which creates more ethical research. DIY fosters lab co-ops for large equipment and provokes important discussions. (Would it be ethical to release a homegrown symbiote that cures scurvy in hundreds of thousands of people?) This movement could someday lead to bottom-up remedies for disease, fuel-generating microbes, or even a social-networked disease-tracking epidemiology. 'In much the same way that homebrew computer science built the world we live in today, garage biology can affect the future we make for ourselves,' argues h+ magazine, which featured the article in their summer issue."
The Internet

New ICANN TLDs May Cause Internet Land Rush 443

wiryd writes "A new ICANN proposal would allow applications for almost any TLD. From the article: 'Tourists might find information about the Liberty Bell, for example, at a site ending in .philly. A rapper might apply for a Web address ending in .hiphop. "Whatever is open to the imagination can be applied for," says Paul Levins, ICANN's vice president of corporate affairs. "It could translate into one of the largest marketing and branding opportunities in history."'"

Political and Technical Implications of GitTorrent 208

lkcl writes "The GitTorrent Protocol (GTP) is a protocol for collaborative git repository distribution across the Internet. Git promises to be a distributed software management tool, where a repository can be distributed. Yet, the mechanisms used to date to actually 'distribute,' such as ssh, are very much still centralized. GitTorrent makes Git truly distributed. The initial plans are for reducing mirror loading, however the full plans include totally distributed development: no central mirrors whatsoever. PGP signing (an existing feature of git) and other web-of-trust-based mechanisms will take over from protocols on ports (e.g. ssh) as the access control 'clearing house.' The implications of a truly distributed revision control system are truly staggering: unrestricted software freedom. The playing field is leveled in so many ways, as 'The Web Site' no longer becomes the central choke-point of control. Coming just in time for that all-encompassing Free Software revolution hinted at by The Rebellion Against Vista, this article will explain more fully some of the implications that make this quiet and technically brilliant project, GitTorrent, so important to Software Freedom, from both technical and political perspectives."

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