personal meta >>> Woo boy! Busy weekend, followed by a busy Monday. We picked up a Christmas tree this weekend, and Lor spent most of Sunday trimming it, and putting out the Christmas decoration stuff. I managed to fall into a bookstore on the tree acquiring expedition, emerging with Damian Conway’s Object Oriented Perl (excellent through the first two chapters), Joe Celko’s SQL for Smarties (haven’t really got into it yet) and Allen Steele’s new collection Sex and Violence in Zero-G (finished this on Sunday; choice stuff). Ordered some RAM, too, which means I’ve basically finished my Christmas shopping for myself 8^)=. RAM is ridiculously cheap right now; I paid about $65 for a 128 MB PC100 DIMM, and I didn’t really comparison shop that aggressively, choosing instead to go with the (probably illusionary) safety of Crucial, Micron’s retail arm.

Things are probably going to stay a bit quieter than normal around here as we head into the holidays; I’m trying to push hard on a thing or two at work, and the BOP project is still slowly re-awakening from hibernation now that Magick has started to help out (I hope to have a revised design spec posted to the mailing list this week). Anyway, it could get a bit quiet, as I said, or it might start to resemble an Advogato diary for a while, but that’ll pass.

more celera >>> Reaction about the Celera/Science deal continues. Sean Eddy had some excellent comments over on /. Sean and Ewan Birny, (one of the heads of the Bioperl project) sent out a mailing to the Bio* lists (archived at bioinformatics.org) urging people to contact Science and ask them to reconsider their decision, or at least make it known (politely) how poorly the decision is being received in the community. Genome Web also got in on the fun for that one. (There’s a spot for a rant here about how dead tree publishing has out-lived its useful life span, and how we ought to be doing everything on-line in community-run and reviewed public archives, but I’ll save it for another day.) Finally, the lads over at Nodalpoint have started a thread to discuss the issues associated with the whole thing — get over there and comment.

Oh, and while I’m on the topic, I was reminded at work on Friday that I should really have some sort of disclaimer on this site. I’m too lazy to frob the template right now, but just keep in mind that the opinions and other material on this site are mine, and in no way represent the NCBI, the NIH, the FedGov, or anybody else.

But you already knew that, right?

while we’re on the subject >>> New Scientist had a bit about gene patents last week. Little new info, but summarizes some of the problems, and talks about the current backlog in various European patent offices.

Wait, I know! They can get around that backlog the same way the US PTO has — by just approving every damn thing that comes through the door!

what is the sound of one helix winding? >>> Find out at the Nucleic Acid Database Musical Atlas.

keep an eye on this >>> Ben Lewin, founder and former editor of Cell, has a new start-up called ergito.com. Some of the stuff they’re talking about doing looks cool, but I’m a bit worried about the design of the website — maybe I’m just gunshy, I don’t know.

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