Microsoft tries to patent study of evolution

Seriously. It was recently discovered that, two years ago, Microsoft filed a patent for clustering phylogenetics methods, which have existed for years, and are currently in use by just about anyone who does evolutionary biology. The filing has been compared to attempting to patent multiplication tables, and has the phylogenetics community on edge.

This may seem like it falls well outside the range of Microsoft’s typical interests, but the company appears to be taking an interest in bioinformatics. In June, Microsoft bought assets of Rosetta Biosoftware from Merck. Microsoft intended to integrate Rosetta’s software with its own Amalga Life Sciences platform, which is used for research at drug companies and universities.

Hopefully, a patent with this much prior art will not be approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office because the methods it details are so common—and, in fact, a reader noted that it has received a “nonfinal rejection” from the USPTO. That still allows the patent to be resubmitted in a modified form, however, so the biomedical community may want to follow it carefully.


Posted 3348 days ago in Geek


Lemonade, a new film about the 70,000+ advertising professionals who have lost their jobs in “The Great Recession” so far, explores what happens when people who once made a living as “creatives” in advertising are forced to make a life creatively.

Posted 3350 days ago in Geek

recorded & pressed on the spot

Yuri Suzuki was recently part of jerszy seymour’s ‘coalition of amatuers’ exhibition at mudam, luxembourg.

For the show Suzuki collaborated with Luxembourg punk groups Tvesla, TakeMeUnderground and Yegussa, proposing an ‘amateur music production system’. This involved recording sessions and pressing the vinyls all in one evening, which were later on sale at the mudam boutique.


Posted 3352 days ago in Audio, Visual

northeast zombie bar

Stand Up Frank’s is dead – Long live Donny Dirk’s Zombie Den

Leslie Bock (owner of Saint Sabrina’s) has reinvented the notorious Northeast bar (Broadway and Washington Avenue North) and made it a zombie bar – complete with insane decor, zombie staff and some cool-as-hell specialty drinks.

We’ll be heading there ASAP…

Posted 3353 days ago in Geek

Buy $20 Tee – Plant 20 Trees

“Does your t-shirt help lower your carbon footprint, improve air quality and reduce your utility bill? Ours do! This shirt is part of the Holiday Matinee Artist Series, which means we donate 100% of proceeds from every t-shirt sold to Plant-It 2020. That means every time you buy a shirt you plant, maintain, and protect twenty trees. It’s that simple, plus all shirts are tag-free and 100% organic.

About the artist: Nikki Farquharson is a left-handed designer living in London, England. She’s obsessed with letters, lines, patterns, shapes and colors.”

Buy the t-shirt here
[submitted to picocool]

Posted 3354 days ago in Geek

fuck street art – give up

i’m guessing Give Up is not on twitter.

i was lucky enough to catch his work live at the dirty hands show a few months back – it really makes an impression, up close and personal.

but what’s REALLY interesting >> read his profile in the sidebar here..
and then go read THIS version (tip: on this page is much further down on the sidebar) .. and you’ll see where i got the title ;)

hope he has another show in minneapolis soon

Posted 3357 days ago in Visual


Everybody loves a little mystery. When you were a kid, you didn’t give up your quarter to the gumball machine for the gum, you really did it because of the surprise: what color would it be this time?

Squad 19 is offering a little mystery of its own – This coming Monday we’re releasing a new Mystery Tube. What’s a Mystery Tube? It’s a tube packed with posters from the Squad 19 vault, each poster connected to one another by a theme. Become a fan on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get clues as to what the theme is, then come back on Monday for the big reveal.

Bottom line? Plonk down your $25 – send via paypal to info[at]squad19[dot]com – and get a tube with no fewer than 5 gems from the Squad 19 vault
[submitted to picocool]

Posted 3358 days ago in Visual

Siftables: the coolest things ever.

Posted 3359 days ago in Geek

crazy-cool graffiti animation

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Posted 3360 days ago in Visual

The social media revolution

absolutely shocking stats in this ..

Posted 3361 days ago in Geek

Engineers: Three Fact Fader

If you haven’t heard Engineers yet..

They’re a UK band that released their first effort (a mini-album) Folly in 2004, their first full-length (self-titled) in 2005 and their latest album, Three Fact Fader, this year.

I recently become obsessed with their wall-of-sound single, Clean Coloured Wire [listen to the serious music-lover's extended version here] and then got the new album – highly recommend it :)

Listen to tracks from Three Fact Fader (Myspace)
Download Three Fact Fader (iTunes)
Buy a physical copy (with Bonus singles)

Posted 3363 days ago in Audio

google voice / skype on iphone

Apple’s app approval policy has been under fire – even drawing some attention from the FCC – just google Apple and you’ll find a long list of articles complaining about it (many of them written in last couple weeks, since the Google Voice and Wiki app censorship incidents).

there is an option to bypass Apple’s Microsoft-like app approval policies and get all the apps you want – you can jailbreak your iPhone (in fact, you can also unlock it and use it and skip AT&T as well)

More on that:
6 Reasons to Jailbreak Your iPhone [WIRED]
Rejected By Apple, iPhone Developers Go Underground [GADGET LAB]
Cydia Opens Unauthorized iPhone App Store [MAC WORLD]

Posted 3364 days ago in Geek

Them Crooked Vultures

FINALLY! The collaboration between Josh Homme (QOTSA/EODM/Kyuss/Etc), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) has been named, recorded and booked.

Them Crooked Vultures will be performing on Sunday, August 9, at Chicago’s Metro (one of the best venues in the world) at midnight. The show is, of course, sold out.

UPDATE from ANTIQUIET: “The promo poster and YouTube clip we presented yesterday are fake; both seem to be part of an elaborate hoax.. So the release date is not necessarily October 23rd. The album title is not Never Deserved The Future.”

Posted 3365 days ago in Audio

Benefit for Dean Magraw

Our long time friend Dean is suffering from cancer. A benefit to raise money for his medical / living expenses will be held on Sunday, August 30th, 2009 at The Celtic Junction in St. Paul.

If you have never experienced Dean live, you’ve really missed something…

There is a suggested donation of $15, but any support is appreciated. If you cannot make the show but still would like to make a donation, please email helpdeanmagraw@yahoo.com.

Sunday, August 30, 2009
12:00pm – 11:00pm
@ The Celtic Junction

12:00—12:30 DAKOTA DAVE HULL
12:30—1:00 EASTSIDE
2:00—2:30 ERIC JAHN TRIO
2:45—3:15 AXIS MUNDI
5:00—5:30 MARCUS WISE/Nirmala Rajesakar
9:30—10:00 BOILED IN LEAD

Please spread the word.

Posted 3366 days ago in Audio

conservative street art (?)

yesterday i ran across a post on iteeth that offered this image and then suggested “.. this feels like the work of a rightwing advocacy group rather than a bona fide conservative street-artist.”

the post had an immediate / bizarre effect on me – i felt physically repulsed by the image. it upset me. but right on the heels of that feeling was a balking at the sentence under it. Why would it be assumed that the work was not from a “bona fide conservative street-artist”? and what makes a street artist “bona fide” anyway?

a quick google search revealed that the image had upset a lot of people and pretty much no one accepted it as “bona fide” street art.

as much as i hate this image (yes, i’m an avid Obama supporter) – i can’t help but think – would the the same image, if liberal (insert Bush or Cheney portrait), result in us questioning it’s right to be considered legitimate street art / political protest?

in my opinion, regardless of who creates it – and whether they have a street artist “certificate/degree” (?) or not – political protest through artwork is extremely important. i would hate to think that we liberals are guilty of the same crap the conservatives have been spewing: Protest that we don’t agree with = Terrorism.

Posted 3367 days ago in Visual

rip vinyl on the fly

super cool design concept – tiny record player arm with USB fits in your pocket and lets you pick up any record and rip it..

surely this (or something like it) will be a reality soon enough – too bad i already sold my record collection years ago :(

SOURCE: http://www.pyottdesign.com/linos/

Posted 3368 days ago in Geek

pay with paper

Crazy guy shows us how to pay for anything with a blank piece of paper.. pretty entertaining

Posted 3369 days ago in Geek

Typography Portraits

really amazing work here – well worth a look

“A great design trend of seen appearing more and more often around the web is using typography to create portraits. This post I’ve compiled an amazing list of 25 beautiful typography portraits which are perfect for inspiration and are simply mind blowing designs…” – Creative Nerds

[submitted to picocool]

Posted 3374 days ago in Geek, Visual

arctic monkey

i know i’m late to the game but i just fell in love with arctic monkey..

catch them performing tracks from their forthcoming 3rd album, ‘Humbug’ in a Web Transmission on Thursday 30th July 2009 at 4pm ET (3pm local) or catch them live at First Avenue on Friday, September 25th (18+) – tickets ($25) here

Posted 3375 days ago in Audio

web v print – what about fair use?

The title of the New York Times article is, A.P. Cracks Down on Unpaid Use of Articles on Web – and, if the AP were to get it’s way, I wouldn’t be able to write that here without paying someone.

Of course, I could quote that title in a book on this subject (and sell it!) without paying anyone, because that falls under the fair use – but the AP is proposing that I shouldn’t be able to put it in a post (or tweet it, etc) and link it to the source without paying. Read this paragraph again and then tell me that these people aren’t insane.

I’m not a writer and I’m not going to go into all the details of the AP’s stupidity here, but if you’re interested in learning more, you can read: A.P. goes nuclear on fair use / What Would Fair Use Look Like in an Online Era? / How Reuters Should Be Responding To The AP’s Suicide.

If you’re interested in the topic in general, some good folks to follow (twitter) are Chanders and Mathewi.

UPDATE: Read – AP: “We’re Done” Answering Questions About Fair Use & Our Rights System – by Danny Sullivan (July 28)

I’m not a fan of what the music industry is trying to do either – but that’s another rant – Suffice to say that I think these folks are fighting a war that can only aspire to be half as successful as America’s War on Drugs.

Posted 3377 days ago in Geek

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