By timothy from Slashdot's send-it-to-the-irs department
writes with Fast Company's article about Robert Grass and his team, which is exploring how to use DNA as a data storage mechanism, along with others working on truly long-term storage
. Both commercial interests and academic researchers are interested in protecting data not just for years or decades, but for multi-century stretches, right out into the millions. From the article: The idea of storing information on DNA traces back to a Soviet lab in the 1960s, but the first successful implementation wasn't achieved until 2012, when biologist George Church and his colleagues announced in the journal Science that they had encoded one of Church's books in DNA. More recently, reports the New Yorker, the artist Joe Davis, now in residence at Church's lab, has announced plans to encode bits of Wikipedia into a particularly old strain of apple, so that he can create "a living, literal tree of knowledge.
"Impressive," writes Whiteox, "but I wonder if our future selves can make life from our archived data?"Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's bad-work-if-you-can-get-it department
An anonymous reader points out an investigation from NPR and Propublica into how the Red Cross spent the $500 million in relief funds they gathered
to help Haiti after the country was devastated by an earthquake in 2010. They found "a string of poorly managed projects, questionable spending and dubious claims of success." While the organization claims to have built homes for 130,000 people, investigators only found six permanent homes they could attribute to the charity
. The Red Cross admitted afterward that the 130,000 number included people who had attended a seminar on how to fix their own homes.
"Lacking the expertise to mount its own projects, the Red Cross ended up giving much of the money to other groups to do the work. Those groups took out a piece of every dollar to cover overhead and management. Even on the projects done by others, the Red Cross had its own significant expenses – in one case, adding up to a third of the project’s budget." The Red Cross raised far more money for Haiti than any other charity, but is unwilling to provide details on where the money went. In one case, a brochure that extolled the virtues of one project claimed $24 million had been spent on a particular area — but residents of that area haven't seen any improvement in living conditions, and are unable to get information from the Red Cross. The former director of the Red Cross's shelter program said charity officials had no idea how to spend the money they'd accumulated.Read Replies (0)
By Roblimo from Slashdot's yes-we-know-it's-really-gnu/linux department
Linux World Domination Creates Shortage of Linux-Skilled Workers (2 Videos)
Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin
doesn't use the phrase 'world domination' in these videos, but he could. He lists enough computing niches where GNU/Linux is the major player -- from supercomputers to the next generation of automotive systems -- that with or without world domination, Linux has obviously become an extremely important, widely used operating system that has grown amazingly since Linus Torvalds first shared his humble kernel with the world
in 1991. With great popularity has come a great need for people who know how to administer and otherwise work with Linux, so the Linux Foundation is developing new courses
in tandem with massive open online course (MOOC) provider edX
. Unlike some of the Linux Foundation's previous course offerings
, their edX ones are free to audit, and the cost for certification (if you want a cred, not just knowledge) is lower than many IT certification tests and certificates.
These videos (both visible today) were made remotely, with Timothy Lord at one end in Austin, TX, and Jim Zemlin at the other end in Tokyo, Japan. Their sound quality suffers from the distance involved, but they are generally intelligible -- and, of course, you can always choose to read the transcript instead of watching the videos.Read Replies (0)