Want to play with biotechnology in the same way that others are playing with programming and 3D printing? More and more people are grappling with this question as DIYbio becomes a household word, but the first project is always the hardest.
Well Cathal Garvey, and yes he’s Cork based, aims to change that, and create a beginner’s kit for biotechnology that not only makes it easier to accomplish, but gives you the scope and fundamental knowledge to take it further at your own pace, learning by making.
To make this happen, he need your help, and your cash. He’s put together an IndieBB campaign (think KickStarter for Indie projects) to get a kit in people’s hands. In return for your commitment (and cash) you can opt to receive the bacteria and DNA that you need to undertake your first experiment in genetic engineering. You can even receive a kit containing equipment and extra goodies that set you on your way to a personal or community biolab! Or just some cool stickers.
Take a look at the project, because I know I’m probably going to try to arrange a visit to the lab, but maybe not resist uncomfortable Dr Frankenfurter jokes to his face.
The EC is looking for feedback — but not much, and pretty sharpish. Go to http://www.copywrongs.eu and answer the questions which are important to you. You do not have to answer all the questions, only the ones that matter to you.
The site is going to go dark for a little while. But don’t worry.
Behind the scenes I’ve changed servers. Everything seemed to have copied over correctly. Nameservers were updated…
Then something went “sproing”. Paths are showing up as corrupted. In short nasty.
So I need to do the equivalent of moving all the furniture out, (in other words, backing everything up), then burn the house down to build a new one.
Part of this is that updating is broken with the move, and while its an annoyance now with hand massaging files, its something that will get worse as more things get out of date. Also I think I have a corrupt path somewhere (looking at the error message I can see where its broken, its still looking for the old server, but not how to fix it).
So a touch drastic. I’ll be back. The “window view” post has it’s photos on stand-by. But you’ll have to humour the site vanishing for a little (hopefully very short) while.
And yes LBC, I know about the topic being “Humor” but this is a little more serious. Hopefully see you more soon.
There are days when a Loose Bloggers Collective topic is fun and bothersome. Shackman came up with “If you could only hear 5 more songs what would they be and why?”, well I can’t pick 5. I have narrowed it down to 6. Or 38 depending on how you count.
This has shown up on the blog before. Its a favourite I discovered by accident when Jemima Kiss and Aleks Krotoski were talking about game music on the Tech podcast. And for those of you who didn’t guess or recognise it, its the opening sequence to the game Civilization IV, and was the first video game theme to win a Grammy award. Its a soaring theme that feels like hope. Its also the “Our Father” in Swahili.
And I just love it. When I find a song I love I tend to play it repeatedly live a seven year old. A lot of YouTube bits passed over my screen.
The next three all have the same source. I used to review music, so when a song stuck, it needed to be good to stick.
SB6 are a Manchester based band I heard nothing about before I heard the track. And I played it silly. Its the kids saying, we may be different, but we will work together despite of what’s put against us. It’s soft of inspiring.
I knew something was wrong about this song, then I realised that “Blue Roses” is a euphemism for bruises. Its the song of the abused still in love with her abuser. And based on an old job which sometimes haunts me, I know there is a lot of truth in those words.
Ladies and gentlemen, I bought the CD behind this. Candi Staton is best know for her classic disco tracks and remixes, but It’s not easy, is an older sound. Its a love song, most of her songs are, but this is, sometimes you have to let go, and the resignation in her voice shows that its a breaking heart singing with a brave face.
And now, the numbers go weird. I got interested in mashups (back when they were called bootlegs. I know, I know, its a really messy term now), and DJ Earworm was a feature since the very beginning. Now this gut has a reputation, so much so that Annie Lennox approved him to do a mashup of her back catalogue in “Backwards, Forwards“.
The track features parts of “Why”, “Walking on Broken Glass”, “Little Bird”, “No More I Love You’s”, “Waiting in Vain”, “Something So Right”, “Dark Road”, “Sing” and “Shining Light”. It ends up being a bit of a retrospective of a great artist.
DJ Earworm has a reputation now. In 2007 he took the Billboard top 25 for the year and ran his magpie brain over them to make a single track. Its become a yearly tradition now. My favourite is from 2011 with “World Goes Boom“.
There are some tracks that just make you want to dance. Isn’t that enough for inclusion (and no I’m not going to list the sources).
The LBC topic this week is online shopping, and this isn't about online shopping, but metamathematical analysis and predications to the London riots and looting which took place in 2011.
Hannah Fry from UCL has a nice video for the analysis. It seems that, yes the riots could be predicted, how the riot would spread, but not the spark to set things off. It turns out that the distribution of rioters travelling to the riots match the distribution of shoppers travelling (or rather retail spending flows).
And as for the five finger discount, or "shopping with violence", matches shopping analysis and also the predator-prey model.
Looking at mobile phone analysis (memo, turn your phone in the airplane mode, or off before rioting), the spread of the "idea to riot" follows the contagion model, and the spark zones matches the recent budget cuts.
Which means I need to look at the new austerity measures a lot more closely…
Given recent headlines, I'm not sure that I can trust +Copy . But I'm going to use them for a while. Copy are, yet another online cloud based file storage service, like +Dropbox and Microsoft's Skydrive. Or rather they are yet another American on-line file storage company. You get 15GB if you sign up and if you use a referal link like https://copy.com?r=F2qATm you (and me) get an additional 5GB of storage space.
The reason's for not trusting? Its hard to say. I mean +Barracuda Networks , the parent of Copy.com make the open source Clam Antivirus product. But back doors were recently discovered in their VPN product. Then again a lot of big multinationals trust them for their backups.
The other thing is that its yet another American storage database for perusal by certain three lettered groups.
Then again, it is 5GB, and it is a reason for me to start playing with encryption.
Trust is a tricky thing, it takes years to build, and its destroyed within a single second. And once doubt exists, its hard to accept. Still I must look in EU and Scandinavian based solutions like Norway's JottaCloud. They are outside the jurisdiction of a lot of folks.
You just need to trust all the steps to the cloud first. Or pre-encrypt. The search of security is not over yet…
These books are part of my childhood, and pretty much sum up the contradiction of pleasure and pain… the pleasure in playing a game, the pain of making the game work.
One of the CoderDojo kids complained that in writing a computer game involved too much writing. And he’s almost right. There is a lot of writing, its called writing code for a reason. Not clicking code, not dragging code; writing. Its a pain in the fingertips, and in the head.
But making these games thought me. I was a bedroom coder. Once I had it working, it would be saved and experimented with. I hacked my own dogfood, well, hacked my own demon dog battles.
I want to see old memories run.
I want to hack old memories in to something else.
I’ve been trying out the three main cloud-based rivals: Feedly, Digg Reader and AOL Reader.
Feedly is the number one, and has a working backend
AOL is good, working well but no back end (yet)
Digg should be buried for now
- This is the front end cloud-based reader I’m commenting on, not the app, not the back end.
- Love it. There are a few niggles, and I’m convinced that some of my feeds didn’t make it over but it synced with Google Reader and kept count/synch with it.
- Keep getting caught out on different keyboard shortcuts, but that’s practice.
- Last out of the gate, and surprisingly good. (Or this is an old project they updated)
- As it pulls out the feeds, but not the state from Reader, you end up seeing old posts again, about 50 items from some feeds.
- Polished. Apart from the newsprint look, its pretty close to Google Reader. I’d be happy to keep this as my alternative. I might actually have to start using the rest of the AOL feature set (which is probably why its doing it).
- Same keyboard settings (instinct kicked in when reading through)
- If you are not app-based, this may be the reader alternative for you.
- Downside, slow to update. 24 hours later its finding new / old feeds to expand things out. I think its servers are getting a little hammered.
- As it pulls out the feeds, but not the state from Reader, you end up seeing old posts again, but not quite as excessive as AOL
- The only way to get Digg reader to see that you’ve read a post is to select the section and “mark all as read”. Which ruins part of the reason for a reader. (Note I am using NoScript, but its not showing any blocked scripts)
- Its something that needs a “lot” of improvement, but given that it looks like Digg wants to use it to feed in to their voting systems, things are going to improve.
Something else might change over the weekend, so pay attention if you mourn the loss of Google Reader.