May 2000 Archives

Bit of a down day for me. Not sure why; perhaps it was looking through some old things that I was stowing away in the new place, or maybe it’s because Lor’s leaving tomorrow for a half-week business trip, or maybe it’s the continuing assimilation of Boys Don’t Cry (see yesterday). Anyway, today’s update is much lower key than normal; deal.

Saturday’s D.C. area Blog Fest was cool; if you’re in the area, why weren’t you there? No word on when the next one is, but apparently Don the Ratbastard is in charge.

Hey — Bruce Sterling’s The Hacker Crackdown is available on the web, unabridged, for free. If you’re not aware of the Steve Jackson Games incident, you should read at least that section, and then think about what’s on your hard drive, and how it might look to someone else. Encryption is your friend.

Ten commandments for C programmers:

  1. Thou shalt cast all function arguments to the expected type if they are not of that type already, even when thou art convinced that this is unnecessary, lest they take cruel vengeance upon thee when thou least expect it.

(For maximum effect, imagine the above being read by Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction

Why do people try to read too much into trivial things? For example, this article discussing how the way you sleep gives clues about the health of your relationship. Depending on when I wake up, Lor and I could be in any kind of position — our heads are usually pointed roughly in the same direction, but not always. I think the real sign there’s a problem with your relationship is when you start examining everything to see if there’s a problem.

Speaking of beds, Lor and I went out this weekend and spent way too much money on a bed. Actually, if you consider the projected lifespan of the mattress and amortize the cost over that many years, it’s not that much money — but it seems quite the chunk up front. This is fairly momentous, because we haven’t had a bed since we’ve been married — we’ve always slept on a futon. We don’t even have one of those nice pseudo-coach frames — just a pallet-style. Our futon is pretty old, and we need to replace it — especially since Lor’s been having trouble sleeping. I voted futon, Lor voted bed, and in the spirit of picking the fights you can win, we got a bed. 8^)=

Well, I thought I had bookmarked some stuff, but apparently not. It’s probably going to be quiet around here this week — I’m going to be concentrating on some other stuff, like the backend, and the long promised redesign, as well as catching up on my reading, and, oh yes, work — so I’m going to be letting the blog slip. As always, if you want a short email when this site updates, subscribe to the genehack-update list over at eGroups.

Just a short note to let y’all know I’m still around — life got busy (or busier than normal) in the last couple days.

I was planning on updating tonight, but Lor and I watched “Boys Don’t Cry” tonight, and I still haven’t ingested it. Part of the reason I’m struggling is because, with the exception of Brandon Teena, I could recognize everyone in the film as someone I know, someone I grew up with.

You can’t ever go home — it’s not there anymore.

Just a few quick links, before I dash off to work…

Wired had an interesting little article yesterday, about how a scientist in Los Alamos organized an ad hoc computer network to facilitate communication between people during the recent fires. Great idea, but why wait for a disaster? Everything he did would be valuable at pretty much anytime.

All you hypertensives should lay off the salt. As the article points out, this can be rather hard to do if you eat a lot of preprepared food.

Would you like a space vacation? Is that your final answer?

Another Open Source blogger tool is out: Plogger. (Requires PHP.) Anybody using this, or playing with it?

Finally, in somewhat sad news, Larry Wall has apparently decided that Perl is finished.

Today, I found out that the second half of my thesis work was picked to be a talk at RNA 2000, the annual meeting of my (former) segment of the scientific field. This is a pretty decent ego boost; it means that the organizers of the session picked my stuff out of the mass of submissions as being worthy of a talk, instead of just a poster presentation. Unfortunately, I’m not going to the meeting — my thesis advisor will be giving the talk. Oh well, can’t win ‘em all, I guess. If anybody is going to RNA 2000, please get in touch with me; I’d love to hear how the talk goes from an eyewitness.

Does this really come as a surprise to anyone? Local police tend to sidestep state laws in favor of federal statues, because they get a bigger cut of the assets from seizures that way.

Police say they need the money if they are to continue the war on drugs. If they lose forfeiture money, they say, local governments are unlikely to replace it.

And what happens if we just stop the silly war? It’s just not working, kids, and it seems to be having a toxic effect not just on individual rights, but on the relationship between police and citizens.

Boy, does the new Salon layout suck, or is it just me? All you site designers, listen carefully, ‘kay? Fscking multi-column layouts are not the answer to your problems! They’re hard to read, they make me have to scroll back and forth ten times as much, and it’s difficult to figure out where the links are. Ah, crap, it gets worse — all the damn content is two links deep! Looks like I won’t be going there all that much in the future…

(Aside: I do think multi-column layouts have a place, but I don’t think it’s where the main content goes. Sidebars are fine, but a web page isn’t a newspaper, alright?)

Bit of a slow day out there, eh? Here’s a couple of online quiz links for your amusement. First, via Fozbaca, the Wall Street Journal’s Choose Your Best Place to Live. I’m too lazy to reformat my results in table form, but the top ten were Boston, Long Island, Pittsburg, Danbury, Rochester MN, Middlesex NJ, Chicago, Bergen-Passaic NJ, Washington DC, and Stamford-Norwalk CT. Given that I’ve always thought of myself as a Midwestern-type guy, the preponderance of East Coast cities is interesting. Nothing west of the Rockies turned up in the top 50, which doesn’t surprise me one bit.

Second quiz: I yield to Graham’s blatant link slutage, and offer you Does Your Weblog Deserve To Die?. I got a 61%; I’m not sure exactly what that means, but the results are really beside the point — it’s the linkage, baby!

Okay, I’m obviously getting a bit punchy, so it’s probably time to go. See ya back here tomorrow…

Wow — whatta weekend. Friday night was the outstanding Ratbastard “I’ve got a spiff house and you don’t so phhhhbbbttthhh!” party, where I (and The Wife) got to hang out with Fred again, in addition to meeting the decidedly un-bastard-ly host, as well as the newly-married Mike, everybody’s favorite anarchist librarian, Jessamyn, and several other interesting people whose URLs I don’t know. An excellent time was had, if not by all, then at least by me, and hey, that’s really what counts. (Pix are up on Mike’s site.)

Not everybody in the area had such a good weekend — for example, I’m sure some people over at Celera were putting in some extra time after Friday brought two stockholder lawsuits. Life gets more and more like Cryptonomicon every day…

The Washington Post had some morning-after Love Bug analysis, with some biological analogies. I’ll admit that I’m no virus expert, but the biological tie-in seems superficial and a bit forced at times, and if I were just a tad more cynical, I’d wonder how much of it was just an attempt to sell more anti-virus ‘ware, dressed up as ‘digital immunity’.

Well, after the Lisp-based Sawmill^WSawfish, you knew it was just a matter of time: perlwm. I’ll stick with Sawfish for the moment, I think.

RecBC doesn’t unzip one or two bases at a time, but rather 23! It’s does this with an interesting inchworm-like motion. The enzyme functions to separate double-stranded DNA into two separate strands prior to DNA replication, and was thought to take much smaller ‘steps’.

Some of the guys from my old user group are getting some notice for the work they’ve done in outfitting a Tucson primary school computer lab with Linux. Way to go, guys!

What happens when experienced coders try to learn Perl, if their only experience is with COBOL? Well, for starters, the teacher learns some interesting things. I’m still working my way up the C learning curve, making progress, but not at that point where it all opens up yet.

An interesting letter to Nature. Does the Open Source software model map onto genome sequencing? Clearly, Celera is Microsoft, and the Human Genome Project is the FSF, or maybe the Debian team. Who’s Red Hat in this model? Without a Red Hat, why should Celera quit being Microsoft? I mean, ethics aside, it’s all well and good to have a business plan than involves selling support for a free product, but if you can charge for the product at the same time, why not do it? The problem with this analogy is that that Open Source software replaces commercial offerings, but it’s not exactly the same. Celera and the HGP are trying to get the same sequence, so the model doesn’t work. (And yes, I know that Celera’s sequencing an individual while the HGP is doing a mosaic, but that actually works in Celera’s favor, I think.)

(Complete aside: Anybody want to bet whose DNA it is? My money is on Venter.)

To zzxyz: Agreed, defining terms is pretty important. I’ll do ‘socially constructed’, and leave ‘sex’ to you. In the context we’re talking about, ‘socially constructed’ would be any behavior that does not have an analogue in the mating behavior of other vertebrates. Examples: buying a Porsche == peacock tail. The Biblical custom wherein a man marries his brother’s widow == nothing I know of in other species. The first is not a ‘social construct’, it’s a ‘biological imperative’. The second is a ‘social construct’. Back to you.

Wow, nothing like writing an update, sending out an email to the update list, and then forgetting to actually upload it. sigh Make sure to check out yesterday’s entry too, while you’re here and all, and sorry for sending out the bogus mail.

In the “No Shame” category, I present to you the HOTice Stealth Compiler for Perl. Only US$995. It’s an obfuscator, from the sound of it — much like RJ’s Perl Obfuscator, which I’ve mentioned before. Of course, that one’ll cost you about a kilobuck less, but what the hell.

Opps. Turns out some genetically modified oilseed rape plants were accidentally imported into the UK. On one hand, this confirms some concerns about pollen from modified plants spreading modifications to un-modified cultivars. On the other hand, the plants have been growing “in the wild” for two years without causing any perceptible problems.

zzzxzy linked to me in the context of a discussion about the genetics of homosexuality, or more properly, a discussion about the possibility of a genetic component to homosexuality. It’s an interesting topic, and one that I’m not going to even attempt to get into, but I will respond to Ryan’s comment that “I kind of think of sex as something rather artificial.”, just to note that the act isn’t artificial, but some (probably not all) of the social constructs that have been built up around the act are.

“Your tax dollars at work” department : Certain members of Congress are concerned about online genealogy databases:

“There are some commercial ventures now providing information on this subject … oftentimes genealogical information involves a mother’s maiden name, and that is often used by many as a password,” [Rep. Ed Pease (R-Ind.)] said.

Because if Congress won’t protect your Gawd-given right to pick a crappy password, who will?

“Quick fix” department: So ILOVEYOU bitchslapped the FedGov’s mail systems. So, of course:

“Clearly, more needs to be done to enhance the government’s ability to collect, analyze and distribute timely information that can be used by agencies to protect their critical information systems from possible attack,” [Jack Brock, the top GAO information management expert] said.

Deleting fscking MS Outlook off all FedGov computers is apparently too complex and unwieldy a task — plus, it would probably interfere with the rights of the workers, or something. Furrfu.

Newzilla is a site targeted at Mozilla (and Netscape 6) newbies. I’m considering switching to Mozilla, but if I do, I want to totally dump Netscape, because I know otherwise I’ll slip back into using it. Anybody else done this? Having any problems that I should know about? mail me — jacobs@genehack.org.

Here’s a guide to getting started writing Gnome panel applets. I’m working on learning C at work — lots and lots of reading, interspersed with bouts of hacking. I’m really struggling, as I keep wanting to think in Perl idiom, and that just doesn’t work with C. I just need to keep at it, but I’m beginning to understand why some people think learning a high level language first is bad. (I actually came to programming via C, but all my “real”,”serious” coding has been Perl.)

The Dewbie looks like it might be worth checking out, assuming that it grows.

XEmacs/GTK is in beta, according to William Perry, the guy doing the coding. In addition to the coolness of being able to apply GTK themes to XEmacs (and being able to do away with the crufty Athena stuff that’s made building from source a real PITA), this project is interesting because it’s being funded by BeOpen via sourcexchange.com. I built it at work, under Solaris, and it works pretty well. If I get the time, I’ll built it at home this weekend. It sounds decently stable, and William has said he’s actually using it for the development, so it must be pretty solid.

Speaking of XEmacs and weekend projects, BBDBpalm exports your .bbdb to your Palm. Sweet!

Okay, that should be enough to take you into the weekend. Don’t forget to read yesterday’s update as well, since I forgot to upload it and all. Have a good weekend, and I’ll see you Monday. (Except you and you and, oh yes, you, who I will see Friday night.)

Hey all — just enough time to dash off a few quick ones before bed. I spent the majority of my time this evening at the DCLUG/Internet Society panel discussion about UCITA. Roblimo of /. was there, and I’m sure he’ll be doing a better job of writing things up than I could, so I’ll spare you my version. I went in thinking UCITA was bad; I came out knowing it was bad, but I’m still glad I went.

mutantwatch.com: It’s nice that these movie tie in websites are getting more clever, but couldn’t they come up with a way to do it without polluting the domain name space?

Seen several other places, the U. S. surname distribution map is pretty interesting. Anderson, of course, is very widely distributed. I was surprised at how rare Jacobs (my other surname) is.

Prince warns of ‘playing God’. The irony here is so thick I’m not sure where to start.

Who is Diggit Software, and why do they keep showing up in my referrer logs?

Okay, before I ride off into the sunset, a clarification. On the 15th, I called my USB Visor cradle “fragile”. Greg KH, the author of the Linux driver for the USB Visor (who happens to be a reader) contacted me, in order to find out what the problems were. As I went about thinking about the issues I had had (flakiness, and a couple of hard locks), I realized that they could all be explained by my thrashing around trying to get things to work. Once I got past a little confusion about when to hit the HotSync button, things settled down, and have been quite stable. I’m explaining all this because I didn’t want anyone to read the previous entry and then make a purchase based in part on that information, which has turned out to be incorrect. A big “Thanks” to Greg, for reading, for writing the driver in the first place, and for taking the time to follow up with me.

Okay, now bed. Real update tomorrow, kay?

I really should be going to bed instead of blogging, but…

Unlike (apparently) every other ‘blogger in the world, I’m a Brown on the color test:

BROWN is a credible and stable color. Reminiscent of fine wood, rich leather, and wistful melancholy, brown is the color of academia. Most likely, you are a logical and pragmatic individual who is ruled more by your head than your heart. You have an inquisitive mind and an insatiable curiosity. Browns are great problem solvers. They gather all of the facts before coming to a timely and informed decision. You are intrigued easily and always find new ways to challenge your mind. Brown is an impartial and neutral color. Most likely, you know the difference between fact and opinion, and are open to many points of view.

(“Pretty accurate, actually”, he said modestly)

Want a free issue of the Nature with the article on sequencing Chromosome 21? Go here.

Damn! I’d been meaning to blog the Linux Virus thing for a couple of days, but kept forgetting. Flutterby beat me to it.

From Eatonweb, it sounds as if Blogger has been having some issues of late. If you’ve got CGI access on your server, but lack the time or knowledge to roll your own tools, Poor Man’s Blogger might be worth a look.

‘Blogged so it will one day be in my database system: www.e-cell.org, a project to simulate a living cell in silico.

Also for the forthcoming database: the RNA webring, web sites relating to RNA research.

Some interesting and (to me) paradoxical results linking mothers’ eating practices and weight of their female children. In a nutshell, mothers who are trying to diet tend to restrict their daughters’ feeding too, which appears to lead to a lack of self-regulation when presented with an unregulated feeding opportunity, and subsequent “heaviness”. Leaving aside all the societal baggage that this story could raise, I just think it’s fascinating how much our parents shape us, even when they don’t mean to. The older I get, the more I see of my mother and (especially) my father in my mannerisms and reactions. I’m also much less freaked out about that than I would have thought I’d be.

Finally, I’ll pass along something from the DCLUG mailing list, from Brett McCoy, who credits his wife Amy for the following:

Blame Microsoft(to the tune of “Blame Canada”)

Times have changed
Our systems are getting worse
They won’t obey the users
And just make them want to curse

Should we blame the Internet?
Or blame society?
Or should we blame a great big monopoly?

Heck, yes!

Blame Microsoft!
Blame Microsoft!
With the registry we despise
And all their security lies

Blame Microsoft!
Blame Microsoft!
We need to break up the company
For causing agony!

(Enter Bill Gates)

(Begin solo)

Don’t blame me
‘Cuz Windows Sucks
You should have stuck with DOS or Mac or better yet,
Linux!

(End solo)

(Enter Windows user)

(Begin solo)

Well, my Pentium II
Running Windows 98
Is slower than my Amiga from 1988!

(End solo)

Well, blame Microsoft
Blame Microsoft!
It seems that everything’s gone wrong
Ever since Microsoft came along

Blame Microsoft!
Blame Microsoft!
They cannot make a real OS anyway

(Enter Mrs. Gates)

(Begin solo)

My son always said “640K’s enough!”, maybe less
Now I need 75 freaking megs just to run DNS!

(End solo)

Should we blame the hardware?
Should we blame the code?
Or the people who allow it to explode?

Heck, no!

Blame Microsoft!
Blame Microsoft!
With a virus like ILOVEYOU
And that b*tch Melissa, too!

Blame Microsoft!
Shame on Microsoft!

This machine I will shoot
If I have to reboot

A simple breeze
Makes the screen saver freeze

Their help desk cannot help, of course
If only we had gone with open soooooooource!

See y’all tomorrow…

Hey. Not sure what happened towards the end of last week, but I did get some coding done, and some design work. The new look is almost ready to roll. I had hoped to get it done this weekend, but that just didn’t happen.

Well, I officially graduated on Saturday. I’m now a Real Doctor. Woo-hoo! To celebrate, I went out today and bought a Visor. An orange one. Anybody got any pointers for good PalmOS w4r3z? I found AportisDoc, I got my USB cradle working with Linux (although it’s pretty fragile — I need to look into updating my source, I think), now I need some games and stuff.

Okay, onto the ‘bloggin. Here’s one more reason why Windows for kisoks is wrong. Imagine the possibilities of Back Orificing one of those boxes.

Something’s afoot at the Foop Fort.

Okay, I realize this was last week, and I’m really behind, and blah blah blah, but I was really disappointed that McCain endorsed Bush. Talk about selling out everything you were supposed to stand for. Sheesh.

This article ran last week in Wired, bemoaning the current state of academic genomics. I think it’s pretty far off base — not everybody wants to work in a business environment, and those who stay in academentia aren’t necessary going to be any less inventive or daring than those making the industry plunge. People don’t go into academics for money, so trying to understand them by looking solely at that is a good way to be wrong. Consider, for example, that (broadly speaking) industry scientists don’t publish nearly as much as their academic colleagues, and that status (quite important to some) is closely tied to publication record — then you’ll begin to understand what’s going on.

In other genomics news, Wired has a wrap-up of the recent CSHL meeting on the human genome sequencing effort.

Well, I think that about wraps it up — pretty sorry lot for a Monday, eh? I’ll be back tomorrow, hopefully it’ll get better.

Found out today that I can’t get DSL. Well, actually, I might be able to get IDSL, which is basically ISDN over DSL, but it’s only 144 Kb for US$90/month — which I really can’t justify. Sigh. Guess I’m stuck in luser dial-up land for the time being. To quote Amanda: “Sucks…”

A new content aggregation site that’s apparently picked up GeneHack (how? don’t ask me — I set up several syndication feeds a while back, and some of them are apparently still running. shrug.) Anyway, they get a link because they’ve got a semi-cool name: news.is.free.fr.

This is pretty cool — genes can be expressed from multiple basal promoters. Basically, if correct (I haven’t seen the data, so I’ll withhold judgment for the moment), this means that one of the basic assumptions about control of gene expression is invalid at least some of the time. This is important, because changes in gene expression lead to many common health problems, including (but not limited to) cancer, and understanding how gene expression is controlled will be key for fixing those problems.

A new news-source, nicked from Snowdeal: bioinform.com

Is it just me, or was today a bit slow?

Boy, am I a dumb-ass, or what? I had the graphic up here last week, and then I went and forgot about Scarleteen day yesterday. D’oh! Anyway, here’s the graphic, a little bit late:

I support scarleteen.com

I’m supporting Heather because I think information is good, and I think people trying to inform groups like teen-agers, who are typically rather unknowledgeable about sexuality issues, should be encouraged, and defended from the onslaught of chuckleheads that their efforts are often rewarded with.

The Doonesbury series that started yesterday is pretty funny. (I see it in the dead tree paper, so I’m a couple of weeks ahead — neener neener neener! 8^p=)

And now a couple of quick links, before I dash off to work. First, DoubleTwist and Sun made some noise yesterday about the first ‘gene map’ of the human genome. Then it got picked up on /., and more noise was produced as a result. I was in there, shouting with the rest of them, but I think this other comment sums it up pretty well.

And, for all you *nix’ers out there who’ve been feeling smug about the whole ILOVEYOU thing, have a look at these plans. Now, I have no idea whether or not this would work, or could work, or will happen. I do think it’s a bit off-putting that there are people out there seriously thinking about these types of things.

BTW, I’m either a luser with no friends, or all my friends were smart enough to not get infected, because I didn’t get any copies of the Trojan, or any of the varients.

Okay, time to go to work…

Another week-end, another missed attempt at a re-design. At least I know what I want it to look like now — I’ve just got to find the time to make it work.

Oh frabjuous day! Virulent Memes is back! (And while I’m navel gazing, Brig has a awesome re-design up.

Speaking of Aussies, some researchers down there are planning to clone the extinct Tasmanian tiger. They claim that they’re further along than other similar projects.

Hmm, maybe it’s .au-day on GeneHack. Regardless, here are some training materials from Netizen, home of Skud and Thorfinn — names that might be familiar if you’ve spent any time in the Monastery. The Web-enabled databases with Perl and DBI stuff looks especially interesting.

Evolt.org says “You Need a Content Management System”.
Nicked from Cam and blogged so I’ll remember to read it later.

Perl.com has an article up that deconstructs a script written by someone without much Perl experience. Quite useful, if you’d like to see some Other Ways To Do It.

themes.org interviewed garrett last week. He talks about how he got into computer art, and offers some advice for using the Gimp. One of these days I’m going to have to get a book or something, and really learn how to use the Gimp. Anyone got recommendations?

It’s often said that the hardest part of cracking any code is finding out that’s it’s actually possible to break it; the recent French bank card crack might be evidence of this. After the first person to break the code was jailed (on what might be called trumped-up fraud charges), another anonymous code breaker has posted the procedure to break the code on the ‘net.

So I’ll remember to print it out at work: The CVS book. I started reading the version that installs with Debian, but I want a paper copy, so I don’t have to sit in front of my computer to read it.

After being in thesis hell so long, it’s really refreshing to be excited about going to work everyday, to be having fun at work, even to the extent that I’m staying later than I should because I’m having such a good time. Today, for example, I got to attend a class-room style lecture about the statistics of sequence alignments given by one of the people who developed the key algorithm used for aligning sequences — and even though I didn’t get all the math, it was still pretty cool. I mean, if you really think about it.

www.apache.org got 0wn3d today — here’s how it was done. (Not an Apache vulnerability, but rather misconfiguration on services on the server.)

Salon had a two parter over the past two days on the dangers of over-cleanliness. Hey, it’s Friday, it’s spring — take the afternoon off, and go make some mud pies. Your immune system will thank you.

Hey, cool — self-assembling nano-structures you can print on your ink-jet. For the record, I submitted this to /. today, and it didn’t get picked up — although I’m sure it will be in a couple of days. Probably time to actually sign up for a kuro5hin account.

Go, go, 2600! The argument being put forth is that if CNN.com can link the DeCSS code, so can 2600:

“As part of its role as an organ of the media, 2600 took the same actions as other media outlets such as the San Jose Mercury News, CNN.com, Wired (News), and ZDNet, which all at one time also linked directly to DeCSS,” wrote Martin Garbus, a well-known civil liberties attorney at Frankfurt, Garbus, Klein and Selz who is representing 2600.

I’d like to take this opportutity to proclaim GeneHack as an organ of the media. Do I get a t-shirt, or anything?

Sometimes, rarely, unintended conseqences are positive. Turns out that corn gengineered to produce BT (botulin toxin, used as an ‘organic’ pesticide) also contains less potentially cancer-causing mycotoxin. Why? The fungus that makes the toxin gets in via insect bite holes in the kernels — fewer bites, less toxin.

Trying to get DSL? Frustrated? Turns out that the real pain might not start until after the install. (NY Times link; you know the drill.)

Have a good weekend everybody! (No rash promises about CMSes and redesigns this time…)

Well, I’m in a bit of a better mode today, thanks to a couple of nice emails, and a really productive day at work. Still no progress on the CMS front, largely because of #BlogIRC, a/k/a the Wednesday night time sink.

Last week, a company engaged in the worst type of science via press release to announce they had cloned some cows, which didn’t appear to be aging normally. Don’t buy it until they release the data, folks. At least the author of the story took the time to track down some opposing voices…

Kuro5hin covered the Gnu Privacy Guard last week, in case anyone is looking for a GPL’d PGP replacement. So far, I’ve been falling on the side of not signing things because it’s a PITA, and tends to annoy people who don’t know any better, but if I can get Gnus, mailcrypt, and GPG to play together nicely, I might change that.

The Seven Levels of Perl Mastery.

Curious about the various factions behind some of the recent protest activity in Seattle and D.C.? Protests have been happening in England too, and a reporter for the Sunday Times infiltrated some of the organizations to report on them. More than a little weak to cut out before the action, though, Mr. Poseur Reporter.

Steven Pinker says the future won’t be as wierd as you fear, because human nature is unchanging. I’m not sure I agree, but most of us will hopefully be around to decide for ourselves.

Larry Niven talks about the economics of space travel, and name checks D. D. Harriman along the way. An interesting read, but much like Destiny’s Road, I’m not sure what his point is.

Scott McNealy blows more smoke:

He told investors that eventually every device with a digital or electronic heartbeat, including lightbulbs, would be connected to the Web one day, driving enormous growth for Sun servers.

Why are people going to buy Suns when Pentium-class systems running Linux will handle all these varied micro-server needs at a fraction of the cost?

See ya tomorrow…