DNA as Information Storage

A New Approach to Information Storage | August 2013 | Communications of the ACM:

In Church’s case, a team of researchers used sequencing technology to format his 54,000-word book (with words, images, and a JavaScript program, it came down to 5.27 megabits, or 658.75 bytes) at a density of 5.5 petabytes per cubic millimeter. While the physical volume of 70 billion physical copies of his book would fill nearly 3,500 New York City Public Libraries (including all branches), and a digital version would require somewhere in the neighborhood of 46 storage devices with 1TB drives, all those copies of Church’s book fit on a piece of DNA no larger than a speck of dust. What’s more, the copies will last hundreds of thousands of years—perhaps even a million years—and do not require any special handling or temperature conditions.

[snip -ed]

For perspective, all the data humans produce in a year could fit into about four grams of DNA. “There is an opportunity to create storage systems that are a million to a billion times more compact than existing technology and provide a level of longevity that is unheard of today,” Church points out.

[Crazy awesome. Don’t tell the NSA…]

Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures, Forced To Settle Frivolous Lawsuit Against One-Man Business After Law Firm Donates Nearly $200,000 Worth Of Defense

→ Shell Company Related To Cowardly Patent Troll, Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures, Forced To Settle Frivolous Lawsuit Against One-Man Business After Law Firm Donates Nearly $200,000 Worth Of Defense:

We’re all losers — except patent trolls like Intellectual Ventures and Nathan Myhrvold, who continue to steal time, money, and willpower from thousands of hard-working people and make the world a worse place, with no repercussions for themselves. Hell, the culinary world thinks Myhrvold’s some sort of genius hero.

I don’t know how anyone in this racket sleeps at night.


Source: Marco.org

The value of an apple a day.

11 Trillion Reasons – NYTimes.com:

About 750,000 United States deaths annually — a third of the total — result from cardiovascular disease, at a medical cost of about $94 billion. The report (and video based on it) maintains that if we upped our average intake of fruits and vegetables by a single serving daily — an apple a day, essentially — more than 30,000 of those lives would be saved (at an overall “value,” according to the report, of $2.7 trillion). Each additional serving of fruit or vegetable would reduce mortality from cardiovascular disease by about 5 percent, to the point where if we all ate the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, we’d save more than 100,000 lives and something like $17 billion in health care costs.

[Even if you argue the outcome, it’s clear that the policies don’t align with the objectives.]

I once added it up too…

You Wonder Why We Don’t Have Nice Things | semi-rad.com:

Do you ever notice that you try hard to keep your new car pristine as long as you can, but if you buy a mountain bike, you hurry to get some dirt on it so it doesn’t look so new anymore? Or talking yourself into spending $100+ on a pair of alpine climbing pants, but wincing at a $100 price tag on a pair of jeans? Wearing $100 jeans to help your buddy move a couch is not OK, but wearing $150 soft shell pants to bushwhack through a forest of thorny bushes is OK. Walking through mud in $400 Italian leather loafers: absurd. Walking through mud in $400 mountaineering boots: expected.

Give me the warmest, best-designed down jacket, so I can spill coffee on it and watch embers from a campfire put tiny holes in it. Which I will then patch with Seam Grip, duct tape or Krazy glue. Please make it a bright, fashionable color that will highlight the stains I will put on it by brushing against dusty cars, spilling food on it, and coiling ropes.

[I once foolishly added up the outfit I was wearing while cycling. Worse it was the autumn, so there were a couple of layers and jacket… I immediately composed the outdoor clothing teetotalers pledge: “I agree to abstain from ever summing the cost of the clothing and gear I ride, wear, and abuse in pursuit of my outdoor activities. So help me Muir.” I’m not sure I’ll ever recover from that first time… and look.. REI is having a sale. Oooh, shiny…]

Maui Yellow Caturra Coffee from Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Company

My friend Evan and his family started a coffee shop, the wonderfully engaging Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Company, a couple of years ago. They aimed high and decided early on that they to roast their own coffee. They transparently source single origin green coffee beans from around the world, roast them, brew them and serve them as “single origin brews” so that you can taste the different regions and how they compare to one another. And it is from him that Lisa procures her daily dose.

A recent trip by the folks at Roast brought Maui Yellow Caturra to our home. Grown in a hot, dry climate on the island of Maui, these coffee beans produce high yields of coffee cherries all with a bright shade of yellow when ripe. Enriched by the nutrient-rich, volcanic soil from a farm located in the West Maui Mountains and grown under the guidance of owner Kimo Falconer, this coffee is grown overlooking the famous western coast of Maui. Mild and clean with a spicy character.

I’m a tea guy, not a coffee guy, and not a particularly crazed one at that, but there’s some kinda magic in good coffee, and Evan & Co. goes to great lengths to produce the magic. At this point Roast is quiet resource from Long Island and I know first hand the lengths that were traveled to procure an appropriate roaster, get it tuned and producing excellent coffee. I’ve also had the chance to taste the roasted beans of many batches and have learned quite a bit about the varying tastes and flavors. Right now, the Maui Yellow Caturra is the one Lisa tosses in the grinder and the smell is so wondrous it makes me wonder why I don’t drink the brew. Go get yourself some before it’s gone.


Law of the jungle

Law of the jungle:

Think about motorcycles. Most cagers who don’t ride think motorcyclists are batshit crazy sucides. But it doesn’t make them want to kill the guy on the Ducati in flip-flops and a t-shirt and an eggshell brain bucket who’s splitting lanes on the 405 at 70 when the traffic’s at a standstill.

At worst it makes you think “That dude’s gonna die soon and I’m not gonna feel sorry for him one bit.” It never makes you intentionally hit him. By the same token, seeing some old fart on a Goldwing with his wife, dog, and three kids on the back doesn’t make you love motorcyclists or change your opinion that this is their death wish.

[snip -ed.]

You have a right to be in the road on your bicycle. The only way you can keep that right is to exercise it. You won’t change the hearts and minds of the hater cagers by being a Boy Scout, although you may thereby avoid becoming a statistic. The only thing that will really change the way people think is making bicycles a permanent part of the traffic landscape.

Until then, the best thing you can do to change attitudes is to … ride your bike. Simply existing will piss off certain cagers, no matter how you ride.

[The term “cager” struck as particularly apt this morning.]

Source: Cycling in the South Bay

So Heralded

So Heralded:

My friends—my riding friends—they all always have some mission, some dream, some ride that for them is crazy and maybe impossible and which the world will never care about. Some aim to do a single loop of 2-5-10 without walking. Some want to ride across the country, win national titles, world championships, just keep up for once dammit, or figure out a good route to work. And we all understand it all. We know as fully and purely as we did back in those summer days that something vital to life and truth is at stake every day. We have each other’s respect—though not, anymore, because we saved the world but, I think, because we’re still at play.

[Noah teaches me this every day. So do my riding friends who always have some mission or other. Bill’s on fire lately.]

Source: The Selection

This weeked (we celebrated Oma’s 100’th birthday)


Bill writes:

On my bike, when I am aware, which is almost always, I am aware of being me, or, more rare, of simply being, or, more often, aware of the riding, and sometimes of how my bicycle and I relate or of something I hope to put into words. If those words ever feel at all to anyone anything like a ride, or if in them riders recognize themselves, I have done my part, whatever my part is.

[Well that ain’t gonna happen with this description… but the rides are beginning to feel good. Joyous and overflowing with beauty. It was cool outside this morning so I pulled on arm warmers until I hit the climbs. The gnats that have been bit of a plague on the climbs were MIA. Two woman flying down a decent left an odiforous wake of sunscreen mixed with detergent(?) that nearly gagged a pair of hikers kitting up on the side of the road. The riders were also talking so loudly a deafness warning zone should have been established around them, so now I have some potential new additions for the Velominati rules. As it was a fleeting encounter, we collectively shook our heads, smiled and moved on. The little cottage (rectory?) of the Church in the Woods is being rebuilt and is coming along quite nicely. And as you can again see from the above, the anglers stayed home.

By the time I rolled home Noah had saved the world at least twice (evil ninja’s, storm troopers, who knows from what else) and was headed out the door to get some summer reading books and to meet his friend at the book store.

Below, you can see my Oma making her entrance to the celebration of her 100th birthday. 61 (not counting babies) of her immediate family, their spouses, nieces, nephews, and including grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren were able to attend. Those who were not able to make it were missed. Beneath that is some of the food that was served and why the scale yelled at me this morning. But what is one supposed to do? We waited 100 years to have this celebration. I doubt I’ll be at the next one… Allez!]

Source: True BS

IMG 2588

le bad food

It’s 2013. Why are we still in login hell?

It’s 2013. Why are we still in login hell?:

The sites are the servers, and our browsers are the clients, suckling the servers’ teats for the milk of “content” and cookies to keep track of us.

This blows.

It has blown for eighteen years.

[snip -ed.]

But why should we need logins and passwords at all? If you and a site or service truly know each other, why put both of you through the rigamarole of logging in all the time? There are a zillion good security answers to that question, but I believe they are all coming from inside the same box we’ve been in for the duration.

It’s time to think and work outside that box.

[It’s a mess no doubt. I know why the company I work for has a login ( and then some ) but I wonder about others all the time. ]

Source: Doc Searls Weblog