27 April 2007

hacking your body's bacteria

from this article:
" 'The microbes that live in the human body are quite ancient,' says a pioneer in gut microbe research. 'They've been selected (through evolution) because they help us.'

And it now appears that our daily antibacterial regimens are disrupting a balance that once protected humans from health problems, especially allergies and malfunctioning immune responses." (Vindication!)

"Microbial exposures early in life, scientists believe, cause mild inflammation that calibrates the body's responses to other pathogens and contaminants later in life. Without exposure as infants, researchers say, people can end up with unbalanced immune systems."

also from the article: "To hack the gut bacteria more precisely, Blaser calls for a Gut Genome Project, modeled after the Human Genome Project. It's a daunting task: The human genome, mapped to great fanfare but still dimly understood, contains a tenth of the genes believed to be in our gut bacteria."

oh yes, and they mention that: "Consumer probiotics don't always contain medically recognized bacterial strains, he said, and often the bacteria they contain are dead."

23 April 2007

ubuntu's feisty fawn

so, ubuntu 7.04 feisty fawn has been released, and on both my machines for the last few days. not that different from 6.10, but mainly i'm liking.

things like one click to enable compositing desktop effects, and that it auto installs proprietary drivers and codecs when you need them - much better for the new linux user.

still need to try out the new (now stable) ntfs read/write access using ntfs-3G

UPDATE- ntfs read/write works well - see this ubuntuforum post describing ntfs-3g installation in detail, or the ntfs-3g section of this article covering useful installs on feisty

17 April 2007

imagining OpenGovernment

some scribbles from fevered vision

taking government from the cathedral to the bazaar. or, at least, adding a bazaar to the cathedral of current governance.

creating collaborative open communities -an OpenGovernment space- with access to all documentation including all government processes, policies, decisions - those being in the public domain - using open content and discussion systems like wikis and forums for comments, discussion and debate. the space managed by the meritocracy based community of all participants. with access filtering, all the way to public redrafting, and beyond?. starting as a sort of a shadow government entirely in the public domain.

and people getting involved in these communities on large scales. awake to the necessity and possibilities of participation. trained in the hierarchies, groups and forum-rules of the these communities at all schools, and as part of ubiquitous computer/net-community studies. This learning and participation becoming an aspect of widely deployed community internet facilities , and an aspect of social life itself.

using rules for handling debate, discussion, flaming, vandals, and misinformation that are emerging from wiki communities and the larger opensource communal space

patterns similar to those noted in opensource communities concentrating participation from the people with the most in stake, the most interested and the most able contributers - from an enormous pool of potential contributers - using our vast numbers more to our advantage. the knots of complex problem spaces untangling under the weight of a multitude of eyeballs.

05 April 2007

another two pieces of social software

LastFm is social-networking for music. You grow networks of people that listen to similar music, based on your ongoing listening and tagging, and then listen to their playlists as streamed (tag radio) stations..
my lastfm userpage - early days but growing.

AllPeers is a group based filesharing extension for firefox using bit-torrent transfers.

UPDATE: uninstalled the AllPeers extension without testing - mainly because couldnt find anyone who wanted to try it out - probably will look at it when next i actually need to transfer large files with a friend. LastFM on the other hand is mostly all good.