Updated: 5/16/2006; 10:01:09 AM.

Ken Novak's Weblog
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daily link  Tuesday, January 22, 2002


Goats as molecular assemblers: Spider silk is a water-soluble protein which spiders force through a tiny hole in their bodies to spin as thread. It is five times stronger than steel by weight. Scientists at a company called Nexia put spider genes in mammal cells and now have two genetically modified goats that produce the protein in their milk. An enlarged herd may soon make commercial quantities, expected to be useful for military body armour, medical sutures and biodegradable fishing lines.  11:57:50 PM  permalink  

Good interview of Brewster Kahle about the Wayback Machine internet archive, large databases, massively parallel clusters, data mining and more. "The folks at the Archive have turned clusters of PCs into a single parallel computer running the biggest database in existence -- and wrote their own operating system, P2, which allows programmers with no expertise in parallel systems to program the system" (in perl, no less).  11:36:21 PM  permalink  

A P2P network for molecular analysis to fight anthrax is being sponsored by Intel and others. It's modelled on a similar effort against leukemia which has harnessed 1.6 million PCs worldwide. "Scientists have discovered that the anthrax toxin is made up of three proteins that are not toxic on their own but become toxic after binding together. The Oxford scientists want to scan 3.5 billion molecular compounds to see if any can block the process and keep the toxin from reproducing... If the project attracts more than 160,000 participants, it can give researchers more computational power than the world's 10 best supercomputers combined."  11:27:53 PM  permalink  

3D user interfaces reviewed with thumbnails.  11:19:50 PM  permalink  

Linux makes headway in Asia: In China, the Beijing municipal government awarded contracts to six local software vendors, including Linux OS developer Red Flag and rejecting Microsoft. Reasons cited include avoiding dependency on Microsoft, furthering the goal of developing China's own software industry, and cost. In Korea, the government is to buy 120,000 copies of Hancom Linux Deluxe this year, enough to switch 23 percent of its installed Microsoft user base to Open Source equivalents. Meanwhile, a speaker at a World Bank InfoDev event reported on the growth of free software foundations in India. Overall, Gartner estimates that about 13 percent of companies in Asia were Linux users, compared to about only 6 percent to 7 percent one year ago.  10:52:07 PM  permalink  

Decoy net attracts hackers: A 6-computer trial network open to the internet for 11-months, and "statistics gathered by the network show that computers are scanned for weaknesses up to 14 times per day and that, on average, an attempt will be made to break into a net-connected computer every three days... The report found a strong link between the type of scanning or probing a network would suffer and the subsequent attacks that would be launched upon it. Using these data, companies might be able to work out the vulnerabilities of their networks and take action before the hackers come to visit. "  10:32:02 PM  permalink  

 

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Last update: 5/16/2006; 10:01:09 AM.