Friday, May 7, 2010

4% Neanderthal, fanfiction, and other links

First of all, the UK election (because I'm, y'know, English): Hung parliament, with all kinds of horse trading going on. all the news you need from the Guardian.

Fanfic wars in f/sf. Again. This time it's Diana Gabaldon throwing a hissy fit, and Charlie Stross saying (I'm paraphrasing--Charlie's far too nice to say this) she's bugfuck crazy. My thoughts on the matter are pretty simple: unless you have a legal relationship (e.g. you've optioned movie rights; you're publishing one of my novels) only I get to make money on my creations. Apart from that, have fun. There again, I've been known to be a bit dim about fanfic.

Over at Sterling, the links this week are mostly advice, from agents and editors and authors, plus one nifty infographic on how books really get made.

Over at the economist's technology blog, Babbage asks if Haystack will make a difference. "Haystack does two things: first, it encrypts all online activity ‑‑ emails, web pages, Twitter, anything. That means anyone conducting surveillance on a particular online connection will see gibberish ‑‑ a code that's very hard to crack.

The second thing that it does is that it hides this encrypted data in what looks like normal traffic. It appears that you're doing all the things that are completely allowed or approved by the government. So we take that encrypted data, and again, like hide it ‑‑ that's the Haystack concept."

Plungo-rama! The stock market plunges about 1,000 points then (mostly) comes back up. Some blame a glitch, some a fat-fingered trade, some the troubles in Greece. Me, I've been sort of expecting a double dip this year and pulled what money we had in stocks out of the market a few weeks ago. I just couldn't stand the stress. You?

Two of the best links for last: self-defence works. (It does. I wrote a whole book about it. I taught it for five years. I wrote a thing in HuffPost a while ago.) More women should study it.

And finally: we could be up to 4% Neanderthal. "'The Neanderthals are not totally extinct. In some of us they live on a little bit,' said Max Planck Institute evolutionary geneticist Svante Pääbo./ It took four years for Pääbo’s team to assemble a working sequence from DNA in the bones of three 38,000-year-old Neanderthal women, found in Croatia’s Vindija Cave. The sequence, published May 6 in Science, covers about 60 percent of the entire genome."

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