December 1999 Archives

Whew! After spending a couple of days toiling in the GeneHack HTML smithy, I’ve emerged with the all new, all green, GeneHack. Per usual, complaints and compliments to jacobs@genehack.org. (I’m aware that the navigation in the Linux section leaves something to be desired; I accidentally saved over the file that provides that and haven’t recreated it yet.)

Guam is serving as a Y2K guinea pig for the rest of the US.

I don’t know about you, but I see the phrase 200-pound tumor, and I’ve gotta click. (It was taken out of a 120 pound person, which makes it all the more bizarre/interesting, I think. I’m not sure why…)

I found the Foresight Exchange via a Robot Wisdom link. It looks interesting, but I can’t find a link that explains how it works, or what the point is.

AfterY2K seems to be building towards some kind of climax. Maybe today…

Cringely takes on 2000. I was gratified to read that:

Wall Street’s attention will begin to shift from high tech to biotech as human genome research begins to show startling potential benefits (and profits). See here a potential Time 2000 Person of the Year. But remember that while it looks like biology, without computers it doesn’t happen.

Yeehaw! Hold the market, I’ma comin’…

psftp is a command line interface to allow FTP over SSH1. Might be useful for some of you out there — I haven’t tried to built it yet, but it’s something that I probably should be using.

While I’m on software, I’m trying to decide if Mac on Linux is something that I’d like to mess with. I’ve got some more disk on the way (gotta love the Ebay), and this might be something to put on it. It would be nice to be able to play with some of my Mac side stuff without having to reboot…

Interesting bio sketch of J. C. R. Licklider. If you don’t recognize “Lick” by name, you should probably go have a look.

It’s ironic that as we get ready to make the Big Switchover that so many people are so nervous about, the Time FAQ at the USNO appears to be offline.

Some of you Perl slingin’ text mungin’ HTML parsin’ gear heads out there (yes, Dan, I’m thinking of you 8^) might be interested in WebAwk, which is, unsurprisingly, Awk for the Web. (If you’re going “Awk?”, you’re not among the gear heads I speak of.)

Rafe rc3.org Colburn mentioned yesterday’s Sawmill item. For any WindowMaker fans who might be wavering, here’s another shot showing how much Sawmill can look like your current fave — that’s actually Sawmill in the shot. (I think I mentioned it before, but I dig the new rc3.org look.)

My end of the year thoughts, for your perusal. Short version: Thanks for reading GeneHack!

When^H^H^H^HIf the world doesn’t end, I’ll be back on Monday. Everybody be safe out there, ‘kay?

Still waiting for DNS records to update as I write this. If you click here and don’t end up back at azstarnet.com, drop me a line. Network Solutions said the update was made, but… Later: Well, I can see the new address from both the domains I can check from. I guess genehack.org is really open for business! Now to whip up a set of redirect pages for the old azstarnet.com site…

Let’s see, first up: I told Lynette “Medley” Millet that I’d scream about her December 27th entry, but when I re-read it, there’s not that much there to scream about. It is interesting that we participate in basically the same ‘blogger community, and I actually wish there was more discussion of tools, and how what people are using, especially the ‘roll-your-own’ crowd. <shrug>

While I’m navel gazing, Dan’s Gratitudes and Reflections piece yesterday was great — except that I’ve had much the same idea chasing around the back of my head for the past few days, and haven’t acted on it (yet!)

This is just wrong: Searching Google for Scary Devil Monastary hits one of my archive pages as the top result. I’m not worthy!

I’m only down …1200 SDM messages at the moment. If I don’t catch up soon, I’m going to have to mark some read. sigh

Drinking large amounts of Sunny Delight can turn you yellow. The really scary thing in this story was this little tidbit:

Carotene is also the coloring agent in marigolds, which the U.S. producer Perdue Farms feeds to chickens to give the meat a yellow color.

Yuck.

Clayton Moore, the actor who played the Lone Ranger in the old black-and-white TV series, died yesterday. One of the first shows I can remember watching regularly.

Steven Levy says that Peter is right, the book-sniffing wierdos are wrong, and the 20th Century will go down as the Last Century of the Book

Science News has a long wrap-up of some of the years top science stories.

SpyOnIt should be a very useful tool for any bloggers kit. Unfortunately, fine-tuning the spies so that dynamic content doesn’t cause false alarms may be too much for Joe Surfer.

Genomes 2000, April 11-15, 2000. Paris. Abstracts are due the 10th of January, so get cracking!

One of Debra’s recent diary updates was pretty funny. I want reason number one printed on the tee shirts at the first annual ‘bloggers convention and weenie roast. (Usual warnings apply; following that link might result in exposure to bad words and graphic descriptions of things that are illegal in Alabama. Probably should click if you’re prudish, or under age.)

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been messing with the software installed on my computer for the past couple days, which is one of the reasons things have been so quiet around here. (The non-geeks can probably stop reading now; the rest of this is probably going to be boring and/or incomprehensible.) I’ve been running WindowMaker, alone and with the KDE file manager, and I’ve been pretty happy with that. However, it’s been three or four months since I really swapped stuff around, so I was looking to make a change.

I was also wanting to strech my Lisp skills a little bit, which I had figured would entail messing around with XEmacs — but then I remembered Sawmill. Sawmill is a very lightweight, Gnome-complient window manager that uses Emacs Lisp for all it’s configuration. Exactly what the doctor ordered. So, I ripped all the KDE software off my drive, downloaded the latest Gnome tarballs, built them, built Sawmill, and am now in the process of getting everything “Just Right”.

This far, I’m impressed. Sawmill looks as good or better than WindowMaker (in fact, it can look just like WindowMakre, with the right theme), and it’s actually faster (an impressive feat!). It’s also possible to get it to evaluate Lisp forms and do run-time modification of pretty much anything, which is pretty wild.

You can see a screenshot of my current desktop here. (Yes, that’s the new GeneHack design; that’s the other thing I’ve been working on.)

Genehack is in the process of moving! Hopefully, by the time most people are reading this, the DNS records will be sorted out, and genehack.org will point to DreamHost. I know NSI has made the change, it just has to propagate. Now if DreamHost would just get their act together, we’d be in business…

I’ve spent the last couple of days totally changing around my software setup (among other things). I’ll have some things to talk about there, as well as a few links, but not right now. I’m horribly behind on mail and such, so I’m going to be cranking on that tonight and tomorrow during the day. I’ll be back tomorrow night with a real update, hopefully from GeneHack’s new home..

Looks like my intentions of updating have fallen by the wayside. Sorry ‘bout that…

Hope everyone is having an appropriate response to the season (or not, as appropriate), and I’ll probably be back on Monday (maybe a little earlier)…Take care, and go easy on the ‘nog.

I’m taking the night off, but I’ll definitely be updating tomorrow, and then continuing to update over the break.

Short update today; I spent most of the day shopping and wasn’t on the ‘net as much as normal, so I’m a little out of it. I did get some cool stuff for The Wife, however, so I’m pretty happy.

One thing I picked up for myself was the dead tree version of In the Beginning…Was the Command Line by Neal Stephenson. Most of you probably recall that this made a big splash this summer when it was released online at Cryptonomicon. I was intrigued that it was available; from reading about the first half it’s the exact same text as was posted, and I’m sure >99% of the target market already read it — it would be really interesting to see demographics on who’s buying this, and for who.

This is also probably the closest GeneHack has ventured to the PeterMe book-sniffing weirdo thread, for those of you playing the home version.

If I’m lucky, I won’t be around to see it, but apparently the Arizona Democratic Primary may be the first Internet election.

A small note for all you exercise buffs out there: Stretching out doesn’t help prevent injuries. I’ve got to start getting more exercise — wait, strike that, I’ve got to start getting some exercise. Maybe I’ll hook a treadmill or a exer-cycle up to my monitor as a power supply — that would work.

This is one of the cooler science things I seen: one of the experiments left behind by the Apollo 11 mission is still returning data.

If thoughts of the potential of a planet-buster asteroid impact aren’t keeping you up nights, it’s possible that the potential for gamma-ray bursts of doom might do the trick.

In the ‘how bad can it get/Y2K reporting sweepstakes’, guerrilla insurgency groups are announcing their Y2K readiness. Sigh. According to my Y2K dockapp, there are 9 days, and just under 22 hours to go as I write this. Soon, the madness will end…

The story is still unfolding, apparently, but five high schoolers in Kansas have been charged with conspiring to stage a Columbine-style attack at their school. The story reports that 39 ‘weapons’ have been seized, but fails to note that this isn’t all that unusual a distribution in a small Kansas town, where firearm ownership isn’t that uncommon.

At some point, I’m going to slow down and maybe even take a day or two off. I’m not exactly sure when that is, but I’ll keep you posted.

*blush*

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Medley Medals '99

Lynette “Medley” Millett has released the 1999 Medley Medals, and I’m grateful that GeneHack was noted. Thanks Lynette! I think I’m a regular reader of all the other sites that she’s mentioned, and I also recommend them highly. Now onward with the sharp topical commentary you all know and love…

My parents have been talking about buying a computer, and I was going to get them a book on PC selection and/or getting on the Internet for Christmas. However, the thought of Mom spam makes me hesitate just a little bit — I’ve already got a couple of ‘those people’ already; I’m not sure if I can take another.

This web site featuring all kinds of Microarray Resources is just getting started. Check it out and drop the maintainers some feedback, eh?

Also, you bioinfo hacker types looking for work might want to check out this lab. If I didn’t have something lined up, my CV would already be on its way to them.

So, let’s get this straight: Gengineered poplar trees are scary, but gengineered grass is a suburbanite’s dream come true. It’s good to see a rational response to new technology…

Via more ‘bloggers than you can shake a stick at: Vermont Supreme Court backs same sex marriage. Good on them.

Also noted quite a few other places: Oral health may contribute to other disease. It certainly seems to make sense, but I have to ask: how carefully were other factors controlled for? It seems like people who don’t take good care of their teeth would be more likely to be poor or to neglect other aspects of their health care, and vice versa. I don’t work in the field, but it seems like controlling for that influence would rapidly become what we simple molecular biologists sometimes call a ‘bitch kitty’. Anybody out there who can shed some light on the methodology of the study?

Control Freak looks like an interesting little piece of work, for those of you running Linux and missing your floating palette launcher type apps.

Salon’s running a somewhat-interesting interview with Gary Larson. Like many geeks and scientists, I’m a big Gary Larson fan, although I agree that the quality was beginning to slip towards the end. Far Side, Bloom County, and Calvin & Hobbes — those were the days! (If you’re not catching the Calvin & Hobbes reruns, you’re missing out.)

Pedantic word usage comment the first: The whole time I was reading this otherwise wonderful rant about Dilbert-ism among college students, I was muttering to myself “Wally, not Dilbert, dammit”. As a complete aside, I will provide the data point that The Wife no longer questions me about episodes like this, or even looks at me curiously. Make of this what you will.

Pedantic word usage comment the second: Found linked from CamWorld, Seth Grodin’s rant on competence was not otherwise wonderful. In addition to applying a heavy semantic load to the word “competence”, which just isn’t justified — competence is an entirely different thing than mediocrity — Grodin also confuses issues of results (i.e., competence) with issues of process (i.e., being open to newer, different, and/or better ways of doing things). The further and further into the essay I read, the more difficult it became for me to make any sense of Grodin’s thesis, simply because of the overwhelmingly wrong way he talks about competence — let alone when he begins to trumpet the virtues of being incompetent. Suggested holiday gift for Mr. Grodin: dictionary.

Science, one of the leading journals, picked the top ten scientific advances of 1999. Genomics was the first runner-up, behind human stem cell research.

Pursuant to last week’s ( $thewife == $speedracer ) entry, when The Wife went to use the state’s web-based form to sign up for traffic school, she discovered that the form to transmit the sign-up info isn’t secure. This is an issue because in Arizona, as most other places, your driver’s license number is typically your Social Security number.

A small music note: I recently picked up Galaxie 500’s live album Copenhagen (because it was only $0.99 from my tape club). It’s very good; especially the guitar solo in Fourth of July.

I don’t link directly to Dave’s stuff all that often, but A Millennium Vignette is worth reading:

I don’t know this for sure, but it’s probably a tough time for almost everyone. There’s a lot of stress floating around now. Here’s a request. Let’s cut everyone else some slack for the next few weeks. When you think someone’s trying to do something to you, give it a moment’s pause and a deep breath and consider that we’re all going thru this together.

It’s like a graduation, but on a global scale. There’s never been anything like it. It’s never happened before, and in our lives it will never happen again. If you screw it up you won’t get another chance. So play it safe and assume everyone means well, and let it go at that.

*Navel gaze the first: * rc3.org, one of my daily stops, got a nice makeover late last week.

*Navel gaze the second: * First Jorn, now Wes. Whenever I see a picture of a ‘blogger that I regularly read, they never look like I imagined — but I can’t figure out what I expected them to look like, either.

*Navel gaze the third: * Somebody actually did a Google search on genehack yesterday (and clicked through, which is how I know about it). Interesting that there are over 300 hits returned, too. Next time it gets slow at work, I might browse through that list in backwards order and see if anything interesting comes of it.

fresh out

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I had a good title for today, but I didn’t jot it down when it occurred to me and now it is lost.

The Y2K silliness meme begins its spread…

Over at the weblogs eGroup, Jorn (of Robot Wisdom) has put quite a bit of time into a calendar of periodicals, noting when fresh content gets added to a variety of sources.

A couple of different web-based bookmark utility sites contacted me after the Clip2 vs. Blink review ran. Like I said in the review, I’m happy with Clip2, so I won’t be reviewing them, but people might want to check out Hubat and/or ULinkit.

(An aside to those people wondering about getting a site linked by a ‘blogger: The people from those two sites did exactly the right thing: mails offering information extending something they’d seen on this site. Not a lot of obnoxious salesmanship, just a “thought you might also be interested” mail.)

The Scifaiku manifesto

Over on the Medley discussion board, Lynette asked about weblog writing length (or as she put it, Pith or Pontification?). The link above is the perfect example of something that needs no further explanation, IMHO.

Some navel gazing: weblog ads on larkfarm and on Userland’s WeblogMonitor. When I get the time to figure out where to put them, I’m going to try running some ads for some of the sites I dig. And while I’m thinking of it, thanks to Dave for the linkage.

I caught some TermiteTV on public access this weekend. I liked it.

I found this RMS interview Friday. /. linked this weekend, so it’s probably redundant, but I’m just trying to clear out my bookmark archive.

Tomorrow at work, I’m going to print out several copies of today’s Tom Tomorrow and stick them up here and there.

Anybody got bad stories about Dreamhost.com? (Yes, I’m still looking for hosting…)

Ask Jeeves: What’s a Fresnel lens?. (Wow — Ask Jeeves how long their URLs need to be!)

Today’s update should be nice and long, to take you into the weekend, and to make up for yesterday’s period of slack.

ALE clone is an open source version of Warcraft II — but you have to provide the data files from the original game. Before I spend much time messing with it, does anyone happen to know if the Mac data files will work? (Or if it will build under LinuxPPC at all?)

In other gaming news, it’s the nethack-cow patch. This puts cows into Nethack, along with the rare group form, the cowhive. (If you don’t get this, don’t worry; it’s in that obscure corner where geek humor starts to boil over into nerd-dom.)

Ever wanted to play with the Oop! software from Microserfs? This looks pretty close. Hella cool idea, by the way.

Some miscellaneous Linux bits: the Grey Lady takes on What is Linux? The PPC port has made the big time, apparently; congrats to them. Also, K-Tel (yes, the cheesy music compilation people) is apparently more valuable when their servers run Red Hat. (Curiously, the story doesn’t mention what they’re shifting from…and I can’t get any info from Netcraft, as they’ve apparently already switched. Finally, ESR got a write up in the Irish Times a couple of weeks ago.

The FDA approved irradiation of most meat (chicken was already approved; now the list includes beef, pork, and lamb). I think the name is going to be a big stumbling block to consumer acceptable, which is really too bad.

I really like some of Jon Katz’s writing, and the Hellmouth stuff he’s been doing over at /. is great. Planet Gattaca, on the other hand, shows that he’s not really up to the challenge of writing about biotechnology in a responsible way.

In other biotech news, Monsanto’s getting sued by a coalition lead by Jeremy Rifkin. It’s good to see that Rifkin’s still managing to avoid honest work…

I’ll also note that the sucessful and lauded lawsuits aganist the tobacco industry seem to have made this type of politically motivated lawsuit more and more popular. The gun industry is apparently next on the chopping block, and Dan is considering purchasing a firearm as a form of protest (he hasn’t said the two events are related; I’m reading between the lines a bit, and I’m sure I’ll hear about it if I’m wrong). Maybe I’ll pick up some Monsanto stock as a similar kind of thing…

Dan also had a rant up about digital movie projection, which is apparently nifty — except Roger Ebert says thumbs down. (Personally, I trust Dan.)

While I’m engaging in ‘blog naval gazing, I’ll point out the Medley had a ass-kickin’-name-takin’ update today. Also, my dog wants to be on the radio mentions the version of Sugar High from Empire Records featuring a female part (Renee Zellenger?) during the guitar bits. I picked up the movie soundtrack just for that song, and was also quite disappointed that that’s not the version it contains. I’d also dig a pointer to an mp3, if anybody has one.

And a little bit of ‘blog cross-over (transbloging?): Sexual fantasies increase pain tolerance. I’m really curious to see what Debra makes of this article, especially the theory about pain and emotional stimulus. (And sorry if I’m steppin’ on your toes and all…)

One more ‘adult’ item: JuicyMango is looking for the Geek next door:

Attention female engineers, programmers, administrative assistants, and other women working for high tech companies in Silicon Valley:

You’ve heard of “the girl next door.” I’m on the lookout for Silicon Valley’s Geeks Next Door! If you’re a smart, sophisticated, attractive women working at a high tech company in Silicon Valley — and you’ve dreamed of showing off nude or in lingerie on the Internet — let’s talk!

Not quite sure what to make of that, so I’ll just leave it be.

And I’ll finish up with a link I swipped from Jorn: A long but fascinating Seattle/WTO diary. This is probably in the top five of the many, many personal accounts I’ve read:

I can’t extend enough praise to the National Lawyer’s Guild, which sent dozens of legal observers to Seattle to record incidents of police brutality and advise demonstrators on how to act after being arrested. On Denny Street that morning I met Marge Buckley, a lawyer from Los Angeles. She was wearing a white t-shirt with “NLG Legal Observer” printed across the front and was furiously writing notes on a pad. Buckley said she had filled several notepads on Tuesday with tales of unwarranted shootings, gassings and beatings.

“Look!” Buckley said, as we trotted down the sidewalk to catch up with the marchers who had abandoned Denny Street, seeking another entry point into city center. “How weird. The people are obeying traffic signals on their way to a civil disobedience action.” A few moments later I lost track of Buckley, when the police, including a group mounted on horses, encircled the marchers at Rainier Square. I slipped through the line just as the Seattle police sergeant yelled, “Gas!” Someone later said she had been arrested.

I’m surprised about the organization of the direct action groups (or at least how the organization is described). They’re much more centralized than I would have predicted. I mean, haven’t these people read their Heinlein?

Anybody have anything to say about freeservers.com? The Foopster says they look okay; I’m considering moving Genehack there, but I still haven’t made up my mind about the ad requirement.

Well, you knew it was coming: very, very preliminary evidence linking coffee consumption and cancer. Oh well, there’s still Penguin Mints, right?

On the heels of the human chromosome 22 sequence comes the sequences of Arabidopsis chrosomes 2 and 4. (Arabidopsis is a commonly used model organism used to study plants.)

Finally, a couple items of personal note. First, I think (assuming it all went well) I have an ICQ number: 57685922. If anybody out there uses the service, feel free to add me. I don’t know how heavily I’ll be using it, but I’m more likely to stick with it if there are other people I ‘know’ already there.

Second: The Wife got a speeding ticket on the way home from work tonight. This was the exchange that ensued after she got in the door, when we found out she’d been written up for 11 mph over the limit — which bumped her out of the 1-10 mph over limit/$60 bracket and into the 11-20 mph over limit/$100 bracket:

The Wife: Next time I get pulled over for speeding, I’m asking to see the radar. Of course, I said that last time, too.
Me: The optiminal solution would seem to be not needing to ask to see the radar.
The Wife: Go to hell.

Taking a day (well, a night) off. Probably be back tomorrow.

A ways back, I promised a review comparing Clip2.com and Blink, two Web-based bookmark services. People keep asking about it, and I’m finally getting off my butt to do it. As soon as this update is done, I’ll be starting the in-depth analysis 8^)= that will lead to the review. Watch this space.

Later: Okay, the review is done. Comments to jacobs@genehack.org.

Keith Knight on cats at Christmas. Made The Wife bust a gut, and you know that’s a good sign.

.au considers banning caching proxies. Because they violate copyright. Boggle

Hacktivism gets ugly, as RTMark threatens to destroy etoys.com. Etoys.com is clearly in the wrong here, but I wonder if this isn’t a (2 * $wrongs != $right) situation. I’ve also developed a curiosity about how the transition from ‘home-grown’ style justice to more organized systems happened in the American west.

Interesting piece on how phone phreaks are being ignored, because their crimes don’t specifically involve the web.

In the transcript of one 1995 conversation, Bosanac hears a strange noise on the line.
“What the hell happened?” he asked.
“That was the FBI tapping in,” Cantrell joked.
“You know how ironic that’s going to be when they play those tapes in court?” [Bosanac] said.

Dru Jay joins the crowd trying to send a wake-up call to the browser barons.

Wow — I wish this grad program in Computational Molecular Biology had been around six or seven years ago. Of course, I wouldn’t have known I wanted to be in it, but…

Geheimnis: A PGP shell for KDE

The Brits are taking up the astrobiology burden in the wake of the recent US Mars missions. (I’m purposely avoiding calling them ‘failures’ or ‘disappointments’; I think NASA has a decent overall success rate, and it’s sad to see a few highly public failures being interpreted as “‘smaller faster cheaper’ doesn’t work”.)

A researcher at UMass may have come up with an explanation for Bill Clinton’s re-election. (Cheap shot, I know.)

A US District Court judge in Utah is trying to destroy the web. Can’t we get some kind of foundation together to educate government officials so that this doesn’t happen every other week?

Defining the minimal gene set required to support life. The reductionist in me is thrilled with the idea behind this experiment. It’s quite exciting that only 250 to 350 genes are required; it’s even more exciting that 100 of them have unknown functions. However, the holist (is that the right word?) in me wants to point out that there are lots and lots of interesting interactions that are probably not, strictly speaking, required for life.

New evidence supports an open universe. No Big Crunch! Whew! One less thing to worry about.

Congress is scheduled to hold hearings next year on whether the NSA is over-reaching it’s mandate. Go git ‘em!

Here’s a review of Studs Terkel’s new book. Also, I think I’ve linked to reviews of The Code Book before, but here’s another.

A long but wonderful essay on GM foods and anti-scientific sentiment:

Now, it seems, Greenpeace is starting on the road followed by animal rights activists whose bigotry has led them to abandon all concern for the law, life or property. It wants to stop all experiments which are designed to establish what impact GM crops will have on the environment. By their actions they imply that they already know the outcome. As John Beringer, former government adviser on GM foods, has observed: that is the logic of those who burned witches.

This is good for a grin: Linux among the masses.

Vote for your favorite scripting language at Linux.com. PHP is kicking big booty. I wonder if someone stuffed the ballot box, or if PHP is really that popular? Might be time to pick up another scripting language…

Brig gets interviewed on WebWord, and is kind enough to name-check GeneHack. Thanks!

Anybody playing with Mercator?

Forgot to mention yesterday: I tweaked the site templates, and changed around the Start pages. Some removals, some additions, and a rather late ‘good luck’ to jjg, as he moves to the ‘zzzzzz’ section.

(My cats are going nuts; I think we got some bad catnip or something.)

Well, I should be back to a more normal schedule. I’ve put the personal blather part of today’s update at the end, if anyone’s curious as to what I’ve been doing.

I was very excited by this CNN story, until I realized they were talking about ice from very near Lake Vostok, not samples from within the lake. Still, it’s an encouraging sign. (If you don’t remember what Lake Vostok is, or why you should be excited about it, the story covers that too — trust me, it’s pretty cool.)

SEPFH: search engine page from Hell.

For those of you who just can’t get enough Emacs: the Emacs Shell. Combined with Perlmacs, this could start to get really, really scary…

The Seattle Times has a WTO in Seattle photo gallery up. I found this shot and this other one the most compelling. This probably means I’m a sucker for ironic juxtaposition.

For those of you who missed it (it was on several other ‘blogs), Mother Jones has an article on what the WTO is.

Late last week, a judge ruled that the Taq polymerase patent was invalid. Taq is one of a class of enzymes that are important for the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which is the procedure commonly referred to as the ‘DNA test’. It’s good to see a bit of rationality in the IP realm, however small. (Also note the ‘PRC’ typo in the story — at least they were consistent…)

As a complete aside, at a holiday party this weekend I had two distinct conversations about IP issues as they relate to software and biotech; this was odd because the other people both brought the topic up independently, and they’re weren’t involved in either field. People might be getting Clued in that there’s an issue here…

One of the people from the party (above) was Nimbus, of Tucson’s Nimbus Brewing Company. I’ve enjoyed his beer, and was glad to meet him. Might have to check out the actual brew pub one of these days.

Well, as I said, I had a job interview last week. It was at the NCBI, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in Bethesda, MD, which is right outside Washington, DC. I’ve accepted a position there, and I’m quite excited about getting to work. It’s arguably the best place in the country for bioinformatics research, with lots of smart people and lots and lots of nice kit. Now I just have to finish up that pesky thesis…

I spent most of the weekend getting caught up on ‘blogs and mail, and I also started coding up the first bit of my forthcoming bookmark tool/mail archive/address book/’blog tool thing. Currently, it can store URLs (with keywords to describe them), search on URL, name, and/or keyword(s), and open based on the same set of criteria. It’s just command-line options given to a Perl script that talks to a MySQL backend at the moment, but I think the next step is going to be a web-based interface, so that I can have a slimed down version of Clip2.com on my local box. Given a bit of JavaShite, that should make the addition part much less grotty. After that, the PerlTk interface, and then the other functions. If anybody wants to have a look at what I’ve got so far, drop me a line. Warning: It’s functional, for the small set of functions it has, but it ain’t pretty. Experienced Perl/MySQL/coder types only, for the moment.

Greetings all. I’m back from the East Coast trip, which went well. I’m now up to my neck in mail and this and that, so no real update for the day — sorry. I will be back on Monday.

Genehack will be going on hiatus for about a week, as I get get ready for a postdoc interview at the NCBI in Washington. I’ll be back in about a week with all kinds of fun stuff. In the meantime, wish me luck. I’m not sure what commitments I’ve got with regards to the interview, but if any DC-area bloggers want to contact me about getting together for a coffee or a drink, please feel free. The rest of you be good while I’m gone.