Links for 1st July 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Salamander Discovery Could Lead to Human Limb Regeneration

    "Researchers, many of whom hoped their findings could someday be used to heal people, hypothesized that as cells joined blastemas, they “de-differentiated” and became pluripotent — able to become any type of tissue. Embryonic stem cells are also pluripotent, as are cells that have been genetically reprogrammed through a process called induced pluripotency.

    Such cells have raised hopes of replacing lost or diseased tissue. They’re also difficult to control and prone to turning cancerous. These problems may well be the inevitable growing pains of early-stage research, but could also represent more fundamental limits in cellular plasticity.

    If Tanaka’s right that blastema cells don’t become pluripotent, then the findings raise another possibility — not just for salamanders, but for people. Rather than pushing cellular limits, perhaps researchers could work within nature’s parameters."

    Tagged with: medicinegeneticsregenerationsalamanderstem-cellpluripotency

  2. Brain’s response muted when we see other races in pain

    "for Chinese volunteers the sight of another Chinese person in pain prompted more of an increase in ACC activity than the pain of a Caucasian person. Caucasian volunteers, from the US, Europe and Israel, also reacted more strongly to sight of another white person in pain.

    Such automatic neural responses don't necessarily translate into behaviour, cautions Farah. "Just because there is this difference in ACC response it doesn't mean that we are inevitably going to behave less empathically toward the other group."

    Indeed, when Han's team asked volunteers "how painful do you think the model feels?" or "how unpleasant do you feel when observing the video clip?" Chinese and Caucasians volunteers reported that they felt each other's pain about equally."

    Tagged with: neurosciencepsychologyracebiasethnicitypainempathy

  3. Chris Anderson, Malcolm Gladwell And A Look At Free

    "Money, at times, is a transactional lubricant. It helps us make transactions faster than bartering three pigs for two trees, a goat and a bushel of corn. At other times, though, money can be friction. It can limit transactional effectiveness by acting as a kind of crutch. That's where non-monetary benefits can suffice (or do a much better job) in rewarding people for their actions. In those scenarios money gets in the way and actually makes a transaction less efficient.

    A more efficient solution is a good thing. It helps enlarge markets, increase productivity and make the net of society better off. Much of what Chris discusses in the book is that end result. The process may be messy, but economic growth through efficiency is undeniably a good thing — and Gladwell seems to miss that point entirely. "

    Tagged with: longtailbusinesseconomicsfreemiumfreeconomicsChris-AndersonMalcolm-Gladwelltrends

  4. The Intersection of Race and Steampunk: Colonialism’s After-Effects & Other Stories, from a Steampunk of Colour’s Perspective

    "As an emergent subculture, steampunk has its various factions of participants. The steamfashion LiveJournal and Facebook community believe that “the ‘punk’ in steampunk is a cute turn of phrase used because it sounds interesting and exciting, without any deeper meaning than that.” Dr. Dru Pagliassotti asks if steampunk has politics, and if so, what its ideology is. Steampunk Scholar Mark Perschon wrests with the definition of steampunk through his reading. This is the most universal problem for steampunks: trying to define just what steampunk is (without limiting the discussion to what it is not)."

    Tagged with: politicsculturesubculturecolonialismracesteampunk

  5. Freelance Writing Money, Part II

    "How do you get writing work that doesn't involve publication?

    Be the writer in your social circle.

    If you spend a lot of time hanging out with other writers, going to your little writer's group, and not talking to anyone who isn't fascinated with writing, writing, writing, you can stop reading now. Sucker.

    Remember that our goal here is fast money for writing, not a living doing technical, business, or commercial writing, which is great and pays a lot (I have friends who bill $85-$125 an hour for pamphlets and such) because it just takes a long time to break in. And speaking of suckers, people have degrees in this dumb crap sometimes these days. Though, like a lot of computing gigs, business writing is one of the highly paid jobs that one can snag without a degree."

    Tagged with: freelancewritingbusinessnon-fiction

  6. Freelance Writing Money, Part I

    "This isn't about making a living as a freelance writer, which is more difficult right now as ad buys are drying up and content migrating online in some poorly modeled ways, but about getting some money. This is also aimed at people in science fiction, who thanks to the raft of "writer-friendly" submission guidelines and close community ties between periodicals and would-be writers, have been reduced as a labor pool to a bunch of mewling infants unable to bathe themselves without triple-checking LiveJournal and begging advice from their Clarion teachers and Twittering about how hard everything is.

    So, look for it. What you are looking for, specifically, are opportunities in non-fiction as there are a lot more of those, and they pay better."

    Tagged with: freelancewritingbusinessnon-fiction

  7. Book Marketing 101:

    "If you're not in the business, you probably don't know — or care — much about co-op, and you have no reason to. Co-Op is short for "Co-Operative," as in advertising. The supposed purpose of co-op is for the retailer and the manufacturer to share the costs of advertising — and it does work that way, some of the time — but it's mostly used to refer to in-store placements of books, which (as you might guess) costs the retailer nothing but lost opportunity and can cost the manufacturer quite a lot."

    Tagged with: bookmarketingamazonpublishing

  8. The Humphrey Winterton Collection of East African Photographs: 1860-1960


    Tagged with: Africacolonialismphotographyimageshistory

  9. Oil and the Iraq “withdrawal”

    "It is fitting that today’s deadline for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq’s cities coincides with a meeting in Baghdad to auction off some of the country’s largest oil fields to companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and British Petroleum. It is a reminder of the real motives for the 2003 invasion and in whose interests over one million Iraqis and 4,634 American and other Western troops have been killed. The Iraq war was, and continues to be, an imperialist war waged by the American ruling elite for control of oil and geo-strategic advantage." Mission accomplished at last, huh? Heckuva job, Bushie.

    Tagged with: IraqpoliticsimperialismUSoilenergyinvasioneconomicsnation-states

  10. How to Crack a Wi-Fi Network’s WEP Password with BackTrack – wep

    "Today we're going to run down, step-by-step, how to crack a Wi-Fi network with WEP security turned on. But first, a word: Knowledge is power, but power doesn't mean you should be a jerk, or do anything illegal. Knowing how to pick a lock doesn't make you a thief. Consider this post educational, or a proof-of-concept intellectual exercise." Also consider it a warning. Security is a procedure, not a product.

    Tagged with: computersecurityhackingtutorialwepwi-ficrackingwirelesswardriving

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