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Biweekly links for 11/23/2009

by Michael Nielsen on November 23, 2009
  • Local Bookstores, Social Hubs, and Mutualization « Clay Shirky
    • Shirky on the future of bookstores.
  • Charlie Stross on reading and the book business
    • A very short, interesting tidbit from Stross.
  • bit-player
    • Brian Hayes’ excellent blog on computing and mathematics
  • An Unstoppable Force Meets…: INTERNETPOKERS: Poker Blog
    • Great upheavals in the world of high-stakes online poker.
  • Corrupted Blood incident – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    • “The Corrupted Blood incident was a widely reported virtual plague outbreak and video game glitch found in the … game World of Warcraft… The plague began on September 13, 2005, when an area was introduced in a new update. One boss could cast a spell called Corrupted Blood, which would deal a certain amount of damage over a period of time, and which could be transferred from character to character. It was intended to be exclusive to this area, but players discovered ways to take it out, causing an epidemic across several servers. During the epidemic, some players would help combat the disease by volunteering healing services, while select others would maliciously spread the disease. These people have been compared to real-world disease spreaders, including early AIDS patient Gaëtan Dugas and Typhoid patient Mary Mallon… [World of Warcraft creator] Blizzard [was forced] to do a hard reset of all of its servers for the game.”
  • Access denied? : Article : Nature
    • “Every weekday, thousands of researchers around the world access the Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR), which contains the most reliable and up-to-date genomic information available on the most widely used model organism in the plant kingdom. But now, to those users’ horror, TAIR faces collapse: the US National Science Foundation (NSF) is phasing out funding after 10 years as the data resource’s sole supporter (see page 258).

      TAIR’s plight is emblematic of a broader crisis facing many of the world’s biological databases and repositories. Research funding agencies recognize that such infrastructures are crucial to the ongoing conduct of science, yet few are willing to finance them indefinitely. Such agencies tend to support these resources during the development phase, but then expect them to find sustainable funding elsewhere.”

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