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Topics - Shoelayceberry the [Unlaced]

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Getting Fat with TZT / Healthy Choices
« on: January 24, 2013, 01:57:42 PM »

Garlic Roasted Squash
Roasted Squash with Garlic
(3-4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

3 medium or 4 small zucchini or yellow summer squash (or use a combination of colors)
10 large cloves garlic, peeled (~3 Tblsp minced)
2-3 T olive oil
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, or sage (or use a slightly smaller amount of the dried herb, slightly crushed)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 F. Wash squash, dry, and cut into diagonal slices about 3/4 inch thick. Cut bigger center slices in half again, so all pieces are approximately the same size. Cut garlic cloves into thin slices lengthwise, cutting each one into about 3 pieces. In plastic bowl, toss squash and garlic with olive oil and the type of herb you are using. Arrange in single layer in glass or metal baking dish. Roast 20 minutes, or until squash is starting to soften and garlic is slightly browned. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve hot.

Roasted Salmon with Balsamic Sauce
Roasted Salmon with Balsamic Sauce
(Makes enough sauce for about 4 pieces of salmon, sauce recipe from Glenna at A Fridge Full of Food)

1 salmon filet per person
1 tsp. olive oil per fish filet
1 tsp. fish rub per fish filet

Balsamic Sauce:
1/3 cup Splenda (for South Beach Diet) or sugar
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar (I like Fini brand)
1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper (or less)

Take salmon out of refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Rub salmon filets on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with fish rub. Preheat oven to 450 F while sauce is cooking down.

Combine balsamic vinegar, Splenda or sugar, and black pepper in small saucepan. Let it come to a very low simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 10-15 minutes.

When salmon is at room temperature, place in glass or ceramic baking dish and roast about 8-10 minutes, or until fish feels firm, but not hard, to the touch. Serve hot with a

(If you don't have fish rub or don't want to buy it, a combination of sweet paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and lemon pepper would be a good combination on the fish.)

Tech Heads / OSX app installer troubleshooting
« on: January 16, 2013, 03:01:30 PM »
Mac installer troubleshooting. Where do I start? OSX 10.8.2

Background: The WebEx Add-on installer works flawlessly on local accounts. On our network accounts (they are administrators and can sudo if necessary), they fail - abruptly - like no error or anything. You click the downloaded DMG, which opens up the Add-on Installer. You click the installer and it even gives you the "this is from the internet" warning. You click open, to bypass, then it asks if you want to install. Clicking "install" immediately kills the process, making the bouncing WebEx icon die in the dock. From activity monitor, you also see the named process die abruptly. I also know it is launched by "launchd" but I doubt that's useful info as I think all processes are spawned from there.

So, where should I start? Which logs are relevant here? I assume this is completely permissions related, since it's profile related. I tried to chown -R the, I also chmod -R as well. No love.

Tech Heads / More things (Corporate) Mac...
« on: January 02, 2013, 08:26:28 PM »
Backups, especially Servers, how do you handle that? OD servers?

migrating/upgrading users - how do you do that?

'Bout to try and get a virtual host server going on an older iMac that has 16GB RAM and 1TB HDD to play with in a test environment. Know of anyone who's had success? Xen or ESXi?

Tech Heads / Break in last night at work
« on: December 19, 2012, 03:12:48 PM »
2 older iMacs and a Thunderbolt Display taken. I now have to find serial numbers. MOTHERFUCKER SHIT DAMN COCK SUCK DIE ASSHOLE DOUCHBAGS.

Thanks to a lot of help here and the FoI boards over the years (Thx Yankimus Nooxor and Cruoris) I am about to start rolling out our first Mac Servers since 2004! I had started a test batch in CA with some machines added to ARD, which would make this immensely more easy to find, except that it was only newer machines added. I hadn't walked the building to ensure changes to Mac Management yet. FUCK.

Now the paper trail and 20 Q's begin with users to figure out exactly which machines were grabbed. God Damn it.

General Discussion / Early Game on West Coast
« on: October 20, 2012, 01:53:04 PM »
#1 fuck getting mentally prepared for a key game at 8am for a 9am game

#2 LSU's O is the worst I have seen in a decade; line and QB wise.

#3 Our D started out bad, but have made a few adjustments here to get it together.

#4 Where the FUCK did A&M get this kid QB. I'd sell a nut to trade out our QBs. He is fucking amazing and a Freshman. Fuck you.

General Discussion / Furnaces. How do they work?
« on: September 16, 2012, 02:33:47 AM »
I'm from the deep south. I've only read about these fucking things. I just moved into a new (rental) house that has a gas one. It kicked off today when it was 90+ outside. The thermostat says off.  WTF. There was also a winter/summer toggle switch on it. WTF does that do?

Tech Heads / Putting my Big Boy Admin pants on tomorrow
« on: August 14, 2012, 06:26:50 PM »
My first Enterprise class upgrade tomorrow. One-way, major version upgrade on the corporate AV management server. Have a drink on me kids.

Thank God for VMware and explicit disaster recovery plans from manufacturer.


Compounds coax HIV out of hiding so it can be eliminated
New compounds easier to make, not toxic, and work at lower concentrations.
by Melissae Fellet - July 19 2012, 1:00pm PDT

Dr. Tom Folks, NIAID Chemists have built molecules that flush out human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) hiding inside immune cells. While these compounds do not cure the virus that causes AIDS, they could be a powerful addition to current treatments, which cannot eradicate these dormant viruses.

Current HIV treatment requires a cocktail of drugs to kill viruses replicating in T cells, and patients must regularly take their medicine to keep the virus at bay. HIV can hibernate in these cells and reemerge to infect patients if they stop treatment.

Another approach to treating HIV aims to reactivate these dormant viruses, thereby allowing the immune system (or the virus itself) to kill the cells where they are hidden. In conjunction with cocktail therapies that keep HIV under control, this approach has the potential to completely purge the virus from a patient.

Once such potential drug, called prostratin, binds to a protein (protein kinase C) that helps reactivate hibernating viruses. Chemist Paul Wender, of Stanford University, first synthesized prostratin in the lab in 2008, and the compound is being considered for clinical trials.

Bryostatin 1, a compound produced by a marine organism, might be a useful HIV treatment, too, because it binds to protein kinase C better than prostratin. But there are several concerns about using it as a potential medicine. Bryostatin is hard to come by, both in nature and in the lab. And, perhaps most worrisome, bryostatin can cause negative side effects in humans.

Now Wender and his colleagues have built seven molecules related to bryostatin, two of which are about 1,000 times more effective at reactivating dormant HIV than prostratin. These molecules appear non-toxic in early cell tests.

These “bryologs” retain chemical groups important to the potency of bryostatin, yet their synthesis is streamlined enough that the scientists can make the bryologs on a large scale. The researchers build and connect molecular fragments to form an entire bryolog. That means they can potentially change reactive groups on the fragments to enhance each compound’s effectiveness while reducing negative side effects.

The scientists treated cells that model a latent HIV infection with each new bryolog. The new compounds reactivated dormant HIV at concentrations 25 to 1000 times less than current preclinical compound, prostratin.

The researchers are currently testing the bryologs in animals. They hope these new compounds could be used as part of a treatment that eliminates all HIV currently in someone's body, whether the virus is active or not. That could be one way to completely eradicate the virus, they add.

Nature Chemistry , 2012. DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM.1395 (About DOIs).

General Discussion / [SCIENCE!] Interesting Autism research
« on: July 06, 2012, 08:39:36 PM »
Man, hope this leads somewhere faster. It's scary thinking about having kids when your older.

The Brain The Troublesome Bloom of Autism

As the autistic brain grows in the womb, it bursts with an overabundance of neurons. That finding could lead to much earlier diagnosis and treatment.

by Carl Zimmer

From the March 2012 issue; published online March 5, 2012

Eric Courchesne managed to find a positive thing about getting polio: It gave him a clear idea of what he would do when he grew up. Courchesne was stricken in 1953, when he was 4. The infection left his legs so wasted that he couldn’t stand or walk. “My mother had to carry me everywhere,” he says. His parents helped him learn how to move his toes again. They took him to a pool to learn to swim. When he was 6, they took him to a doctor who gave him metal braces, and then they helped him learn to hobble around on them. Doctors performed half a dozen surgeries on his legs, grafting muscles to give him more strength.

Courchesne was 11 when the braces finally came off, and his parents patiently helped him practice walking on his own. “Through their encouragement, I went on to have dreams beyond what you’d expect,” he says. He went to college at the University of California, Berkeley. One day he stopped to watch the gymnastics team practicing, and the coach asked him to try out. Before long Courchesne was on the team, where he won the western U.S. championship in still rings.

When Courchesne wasn’t competing at gymnastics, he was studying neuroscience. “I understood a neurological disorder firsthand, and I wanted to help other children,” he says. Fortunately, the polio outbreak that snared him in 1953 was the last major one in the United States; a vaccine largely eliminated the disease in this country. But in the mid-1980s, as a newly minted assistant professor of neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego, Courchesne encountered a 15-year-old with another kind of devastating neurological disorder: autism.

At the time, Courchesne was investigating how children’s brains respond to new pieces of information. “I encountered a clinical psychologist who studied children with autism,” he says. “She told me, ‘Autistic children aren’t interested in novelty. They’re interested in routine.’ ” Yet the young man Courchesne met showed more range. At first he responded to Courchesne’s questions only with short answers, “but when I talked with him further, I discovered he had a tremendous wealth of knowledge,” the neuroscientist recalls. “He had calendar memory. He just wasn’t interested in being sociable.”

Autism had cut the boy off from the social world, Courchesne realized. “I could see his loneliness, and I could see his parents’ heartache,” he says. He could also see that the boy’s parents refused to give up on him, in the same way his parents had refused. “As they say, that was it,” he says. He swung his entire career toward autism.

In the three decades since, autism has gone from obscurity to painful familiarity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 1 in 110 children in the United States are autistic. Yet the disorder remains enigmatic. “Every turn of my research has been about figuring out how this thing began,” Courchesne says. Gradually he built up a picture of the autistic brain from infancy to adulthood, zeroing in on a crucial distinction between those who have autism and those who don’t.

As they develop, autistic brains bloom with an overabundance of neurons, Courchesne finds. It might sound like bad news, implying that autism is rooted in such a fundamental change to the structure of the brain that there’s no hope of undoing it. But Courchesne says his findings could lead to key treatments in years to come.

Back when Courchesne began his work, the notion of a neuroscientist studying autism seemed a bit odd. Many researchers considered the disorder a psychological problem, perhaps the result of bad mothering. “It was a medieval way of thinking,” Courchesne says. As time went on, he became convinced that autism was not only a neurological disorder but more specifically a developmental disease that altered the structure of the nervous system as it matured.

Scientists had done a few anatomical studies on the autistic brain, but the results were ambiguous. Even normal brains can vary enormously in size and structure, so it was hard to see what, if anything, set autistic brains apart. To push past this confusion, Courchesne needed to look at a much larger sample of brains.

In 1988 he sought out parents of autistic children and got their permission to have the children lie in MRI scanners so he could take high-resolution anatomical pictures of their brains. Then he used computers to mark the boundaries of different brain regions and estimate their volume. The subjects spanned a wide range of ages, from adults down to toddlers as young as 2. Courchesne did not scan infants, but he went back through medical records to look at the circumference of the heads of his volunteers since birth.

Courchesne hoped to find something, anything, that set the autistic subjects apart. “We didn’t know what it might be or where it might be found,” he says. “We didn’t know if it would come on in the youngest stages or older. It was wide open.”

Gradually he saw a pattern. At birth, children with autism had normal-size brains. But by the time they were a year old, the brains of most autistic children had grown far beyond average. The average adult human brain weighs 1,375 grams, but Courchesne encountered one 3-year-old autistic boy whose brain weight was estimated at 1,876 grams.

The MRI scans further revealed that only certain parts of the brain became larger. The growth was striking in the prefrontal cortex, the region just behind the eyes that is responsible for language, decisions, and other sophisticated thinking. Courchesne also saw an increase in both the gray matter (consisting of dense clusters of neurons) and the white matter linking different regions of the brain. This explosive neural expansion continued in many autistic children until the age of 5, and then it stopped. Past that age, Courchesne found, the rate of brain growth slowed in autistic children, falling behind that of ordinary children. By the teen years, some brain regions actually started to shrink.

Over the past two decades, Courchesne has replicated these results in three additional sets of brain scans. And he has moved beyond MRI, working with tissue banks at institutions like the National Institutes of Health, which stores donated brains. Working with the brains of six normal children and seven autistic children ages 2 to 16, most of whom died of drowning, Courchesne has studied neurons under the microscope and even counted the number of neural cells in different tissue samples. Last November he reported the first results: On average, autistic brains had many more neurons in some regions than normal brains. In the prefrontal cortex, autistic children had 67 percent more neurons than average.

These results provide insight into the origin of autism. During the second trimester of pregnancy, the precursors to neurons in the brain divide furiously. Then they almost all stop, well before birth. When the brain gets bigger after delivery, all that is happening is that the individual neurons are growing and sprouting branches. The only time autistic children can get their extra neurons, in other words, is while they are in the womb. “We established a time zone,” Courchesne says.

That time zone rules out the old bad-mothering theory of autism, and also the notion that vaccines trigger autism in toddlers. Courchesne suspects that fetal brains become autistic due to a combination of genetic and environmental influences that strike during the second and possibly third trimesters, just as neurons are dividing. It may be no coincidence that many of the genes thought to increase the risk of autism are also involved in the division of cells. It’s possible that an environmental influence—perhaps a virus—can trigger these genes to produce too many neurons.

When autistic children are born, Courchesne’s research suggests, they have an abundance of neurons jammed into an average-size brain. Over the first few years, the neurons get bigger and sprout thousands of branches to join other neurons. The extra neurons in the autistic brain probably send out a vast number of extra connections to other neurons. This overwiring may interfere with normal development of language and social behavior in young children. It would also explain the excess brain size seen in the MRI scans.

For Courchesne, this provocative discovery is just the beginning. His initial results are based on only 13 brains, and he would like to look at more to see if the differences hold up. He also wants to figure out why the early overgrowth in autistic brains is followed by slowed or arrested growth. Perhaps the overgrowth triggers the brain to prune the extra connections, and the pruning becomes just as excessive as the initial burst.

It may take a long time to get those deep answers, but Courchesne’s findings could produce practical benefits much sooner. For one thing, they suggest that the earlier doctors can diagnose autism, the better. Using MRI scans along with blood and behavioral tests, “it might be possible to identify infants at risk at a much younger age, when circuits are just being established,” Courchesne says.

Once children are identified, they could be treated to help their brains develop properly. The treatment might take the form of behavioral therapy or pharmaceuticals that modulate the way the neurons grow. The most targeted drug interventions might not be available for a decade or more. That is quite a while to wait—but Courchesne knows not to give up hope.

General Discussion / Floridaums
« on: June 25, 2012, 01:27:01 PM »
East Coast Surf. Where?

I will be in the West Palm/Jupiter area starting Wednesday. I may not get a chance to paddle out at all, but most likely on Saturday. Will have total n00b/rookie with me. Will need rentals.

I hear it's been hot as fuck, and you are getting shit on by a TS right now. Do y'all have water quality issues (like CA) when this occurs?

Haven't read the whole thing yet, but sounds interesting.

Who's the Boss? There Isn't One


Like many tech companies, Valve Corp., a videogame maker in Bellevue, Wash., boasts high-end espresso, free massages and laundry service at its offices.

One thing it doesn't have: bosses

Valve, whose website says the company has been "boss free" since its founding in 1996, also has no managers or assigned projects. Instead, its 300 employees recruit colleagues to work on projects they think are worthwhile. The company prizes mobility so much that workers' desks are mounted on wheels, allowing them to scoot around to form work areas as they choose.

Welcome to the bossless company, where the hierarchy is flat, pay is often determined by peers, and the workday is directed by employees themselves.

So, how does anyone get things done?

"It absolutely is less-efficient upfront," says Terri Kelly, chief executive of W.L. Gore, the Newark, Del., maker of Gore-Tex and other materials. Her title is one of the few at the company.

"[But] once you have the organization behind it…the buy-in and the execution happen quickly," she adds.

Companies have been flattening out their management hierarchies in recent years, eliminating layers of middle management that can create bottlenecks and slow productivity. The handful that have taken the idea a step further, dispensing with most bosses entirely, say that the setup helps motivate employees and makes them more flexible, even if it means that some tasks, such as decision-making and hiring, can take a while.

At Valve, there are no promotions, only new projects. To help decide pay, employees rank their peers—but not themselves—voting on who they think creates the most value. The company declined to provide information about how much salaries vary.

Any employee can participate in hiring decisions, which are usually made by teams. Firings, while relatively rare, work the same way: teams decide together if someone isn't working out.

As for projects, someone typically emerges as the de facto manager, says Greg Coomer, a 16-year veteran of Valve who works on product design. When no one takes the lead, he adds, it's usually a sign that the project isn't worth doing.

When colleagues disagree on whether to keep or scrap products, the marketplace decides, Mr. Coomer says. "When we honestly can't come to an agreement—that's really very rare—we ship and find out who was right. Over time we've become comfortable with the idea that we might be making a mistake when we do that; our customers know that if we screw up, we'll fix it," he says.

Hiring highly motivated workers is vital to making a boss-free system work. And it isn't for everyone. Most employees take anywhere from six months to a year to adapt, though some leave for more traditional settings, Mr. Coomer says.

The system has its downsides. Without traditional managers, it can be harder to catch poor performers. Even the employee handbook, a packet that explains Valve's philosophy and processes, notes that bad hiring decisions "can sometimes go unchecked for too long."

Recent research on the value of flat organizations has been mixed. One study, by researchers at the University of Iowa and Texas A&M University, found that teams of factory workers who supervised themselves tended to outperform workers in more traditional hierarchies, so long as team members got along well. "The teams take over most of the management function themselves," says co-author Stephen Courtright. "They work with each other, they encourage and support each other, and they coordinate with outside teams.They collectively perform the role of a good manager."

Other studies, however, have found that hierarchies can sometimes boost group effectiveness, and that having a clearly defined role can help people work more efficiently

For years General Electric Co. GE +1.43%has run some aviation-manufacturing facilities with no foremen or shop-floor bosses. The industrial giant says it uses the system to boost productivity in low-volume factories with a relatively small number of employees, each of whom can do several tasks.

One leader, the plant manager, sets production goals and helps resolve problems but doesn't dictate daily workflow. Teams, whose members volunteer to take on various duties, meet before and after each shift to discuss the work to be done and address problems to be solved.

The first of these self-managed teams began nearly two decades ago in a Durham, N.C., plant, but in the past five years they have spread to other GE facilities. The team structure is being expanded to all of GE Aviation's 83 supply-chain sites, which employ 26,000.

Moving up can be hard when there is no corporate ladder. But many employees feel it is easier to grow in their careers without layers of management, says Chris Wanstrath, the CEO of San Francisco collaboration-software company GitHub, who insists his title is nominal. The company, whose products let teams work together to develop software, often without the aid of management, has 89 employees.

At GitHub, a small cadre of top brass handles companywide issues and external communications but doesn't give orders to workers. Teams of employees decide which projects are priorities, and anyone is free to join a project in whatever capacity they choose. "You have the power to be where you are most useful," Mr. Wanstrath says.

Tim Clem, 30, was hired at GitHub last year for a back-end coding job. A few months into the job, he persuaded other colleagues that the company needed to develop a product for users of Microsoft Windows. He spearheaded the project, hiring a team of staffers to help him create the recently released application.

The bossless structure can be chaotic at times, he says, but "you feel like there is total trust and an element of freedom and ownership. It makes you want to do more," says Mr. Clem, who had previously worked at a large tech firm and smaller start-ups.

Since it was founded in 1958, W.L. Gore has operated under what it calls a "lattice" management structure, which relies on teams in place of bosses and traditional chains of command, and which was discussed by Malcolm Gladwell in his 2000 book "The Tipping Point."

Gore's 10,000 employees, who work mainly in engineering and manufacturing, take on leadership roles based on their ability to "gain the respect of peers and to attract followers," says Ms. Kelly, the CEO. Those who choose not to take the lead also are valued, she adds, noting that the company prides itself on staff "followership."

That doesn't mean that its workers are sheep. Frank Shipper, a management professor at Salisbury University, in Salisbury, Md., has been studying Gore for more than two decades and says its flat management structure has helped the company stay innovative, because ideas can come from anyone in the organization, regardless of tenure or position.

Gore's employees, who are called "associates," each have a sponsor to guide their career and orient them to company culture. Jim Grigsby, an electrical engineer who joined Gore 13 years ago after working for more traditional companies, including defense contractors, says his sponsor urged him to spend a few days simply meeting people, even giving him a list of names.

Mr. Grigsby found it jarring at first—"Am I really getting paid just to meet people?" he says he wondered. But, in a few months, he says, "it becomes apparent that you need these people to get project work done."

—Kate Linebaugh contributed to this article.
Write to Rachel Emma Silverman at

A version of this article appeared June 20, 2012, on page B1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Who's the Boss? There Isn't One.

General Discussion / [NERD_ALERT] Must have Firefox AddOn
« on: June 20, 2012, 06:20:48 PM »
TabNavigator 1.1

allows last tab navigation, similar to alt-tab in windows. Awesome for poasting articles.


Uruguay first country in the world to legalize and control marijuana?
Posted on June 20, 2012 by admin   

June 20, 2012

The government of Uruguay announced yesterday that it will submit a proposal for the legalization of the sale of marijuana (possession and use of marijuana is already legal in Uruguay). The proposal was drafted by President José Mujica and his government and requires parliamentary debate before final approval. If adopted, Uruguay would become the first country in the world to establish a controlled marketplace for marijuana. The proposal already generated a vigorous debate on social networks.

The government of Uruguay announces a project of legalization of the sale of marijuanaAccording to the proposal, marijuana will be legally available under government control through a user registry and subject to quality control and traceability. Users will be limited to a maximum of 40 marijuana cigarettes per month. The price will be accessible but taxes will be levied to finance addiction treatment.

The government’s objective is to combat insecurity and violence by separating the markets of marijuana and hard drugs, mainly coca-paste, and avoiding that the marijuana user be exposed to coca paste through his supplier. Located on a transit to Europe via West Africa, Uruguay has – been plagued by an explosion of crime and violence attributed to the trafficking and use of coca paste, considered as a scourge by the authorities.

Coca paste is an inexpensive unrefined precursor of cocaine obtained by macerating the coca leaves in various solvents including paraffin, benzene, ether, and sulfuric acid. It still contains substantial amounts of these highly toxic solvents. Coca paste is smoked mixed with tobacco or marijuana and produces a very intense and short-lived high similar to crack cocaine. Coca paste is extremely addictive and may lead to hallucinations, paranoia, aggressiveness and psychosis. As a result of the establishment of new transiting routes through Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay to Europe via West Africa, the use of coca paste has been raising dramatically in these countries since 2005. The use of coca paste and cocaine may surpass the use of marijuana in Brazil. Coca paste is devastating street-children populations.

Often dubbed the Switzerland of Latin America, Uruguay is a tiny country of 3.3 million inhabitants located on the Atlantic coast on the Southern border of Brazil and separated from Argentina by the estuary of the Río de la Plata.

Uruguay president Jorge Batlle was the first head of state to recommend legalization in 2000 while still in office. Mujica signaled his openness to the legalization debate while on the campaign trial in 2009 and reiterated this position since in office. Uruguay has been debating cultivation of marijuana for personal use since 2011 and its imminent approval has been repeatedly announced, but has evaded legislators so far.

For more information:

Tech Heads / CCNA
« on: June 15, 2012, 07:58:20 PM »
I am one


Tech Heads / OpenLDAP on CentOS
« on: June 11, 2012, 08:29:27 PM »
Where do I start?

We use phpldapadmin to create accounts, as it is all the Unix guys will let us have (probably for good reason with some of the idiots I work with). But, we have to Hand create/modify LDAP accounts to support Mac's. By we, I mean we have to bother the only person that knows how to do it, and who does it by hand every time, and won't fucking script it, and still fucks it up occasionally, and gets pissed when we tell him to double check it; he also happens to be my Boss' boss and head of the Unix/Linux/Solaris group.

BUT, OSX was given to us Windows guys to support because they didn't feel like handling desktop issues. After several layoff rounds, they are so shorthanded now that they couldn't even handle the minimal support even if they wanted to - which they don't.

Since I have been handed Symantec and Altiris administration/migration I really don't have time for this either, but the person we gave it to, to learn, was just going to pull the plug on our remaining OSX 10.4 Server to "See what happens" since he wasn't sure we use it for anything or if it did anything. Meanwhile he knows nothing of LDAP, nothing OD, nothing about the "Golden Triangle," nothing of Workgroup Manager, basically he knows nothing - certainly not enough to even rethink pulling a plug to "just see."

The capper to that, was when the CEO, who decided to become a MacHead last year, was on a conference call at his house and had HomeSync kick off and saturate his upload to his ISP, effectively dropping him from our VPN connection and losing IP Phone, etc, etc. He, and the VP of IT called me to see if I could fix it.

They were less than pleased when I told them that not only did I not know exactly why it kicked off, but noone currently employed knew how to fix it either. I told them, after I figured out Symantec so that we could upgrade to a more useful version to use in our Private cloud, I would dedicate myself to learning it and fixing it.

So, here we are. I went from knowing nothing, to knowing the above in a couple of weeks. I am also pretty sure we extended our LDAP schema to support Apple user accounts alone (no golden triangle), though I am not positive it will support everything in 10.7 because I don't have access to it (and it was done years ago), due to Unix not wanting us touching it. I have to prove to them I have it figured out and should at least be given more access to make these fucking accounts.

Anyway, long story short, what's the best way to learn LDAP?

General Discussion / Has no one seen this yet?
« on: May 31, 2012, 07:59:18 PM »
Link name says it all:

My greatest failing, after my fat ass, is incorrect comma usage. Reading  this article just pisses me off that I suck at it so completely.  :angry:

May 21, 2012, 9:17 pm
The Most Comma Mistakes

As I noted in my earlier article, rules and conventions about when to use and not to use commas are legion. But certain errors keep popping up. Here are a few of them.

Identification Crisis
If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it a thousand times. I’m referring to a student’s writing a sentence like:

I went to see the movie, “Midnight in Paris” with my friend, Jessie.

Comma after “movie,” comma after “friend” and, sometimes, comma after “Paris” as well. None is correct — unless “Midnight in Paris” is the only movie in the world and Jessie is the writer’s only friend. Otherwise, the punctuation should be:

I went to see the movie “Midnight in Paris” with my friend Jessie.

If that seems wrong or weird or anything short of clearly right, bear with me a minute and take a look at another correct sentence:

I went to see Woody Allen’s latest movie, “Midnight in Paris,” with my oldest friend, Jessie.

You need a comma after “movie” because this and only this is Mr. Allen’s newest movie in theaters, and before “Jessie” because she and only she is the writer’s oldest friend.

The syntactical situation I’m talking about is identifier-name. The basic idea is that if the name (in the above example, “Jessie”) is the only thing in the world described by the identifier (“my oldest friend”), use a comma before the name (and after it as well, unless you’ve come to the end of the sentence). If not, don’t use any commas.

Grammatically, there are various ways of describing what’s going on. One helpful set of terms is essential vs. nonessential. When the identifier makes sense in the sentence by itself, then the name is nonessential and you use a comma before it. Otherwise, no comma. That explains an exception to the only-thing-in-the-world rule: when the words “a,” “an” or “some,” or a number, come before the description or identification of a name, use a comma.

A Bronx plumber, Stanley Ianella, bought the winning lottery ticket.

When an identifier describes a unique person or thing and is preceded by “the” or a possessive, use a comma:

Baseball’s home run leader, Barry Bonds, will be eligible for the Hall of Fame next year.

My son, John, is awesome. (If you have just one son.)

But withhold the comma if not unique:

My son John is awesome. (If you have more than one son.)

The artist David Hockney is a master of color.

The celebrated British artist David Hockney is a master of color.

And even

The gay, bespectacled, celebrated British artist David Hockney is a master of color.

(Why are there commas after “gay” and “bespectacled” but not “celebrated”? Because “celebrated” and “British” are different sorts of adjectives. The sentence would not work if “and” were placed between them, or if their order were reversed.)

If nothing comes before the identification, don’t use a comma:

The defense team was led by the attorney Harold Cullen.

No one seems to have a problem with the idea that if the identification comes after the name, it should always be surrounded by commas:

Steve Meyerson, a local merchant, gave the keynote address.

However, my students, at least, often wrongly omit a “the” or an “a” in sentences of this type:

Jill Meyers, sophomore, is president of the sorority.

To keep the commas, it needs to be:

Jill Meyers, a sophomore, is president of the sorority.

The Case of the Missing Comma
A related issue is the epidemic of missing commas after parenthetical phrases or appositives — that is, self-enclosed material that’s within a sentence, but not essential to its meaning. The following sentences all lack a necessary comma. Can you spot where?

My father, who gave new meaning to the expression “hard working” never took a vacation.

He was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1964.

Philip Roth, author of “Portnoy’s Complaint” and many other books is a perennial contender for the Nobel Prize.

If you said “working,” “Iowa” and “books,” give yourself full marks. I’m not sure why this particular mistake is so tempting. It may sometimes be because these phrases are so long that by the time we get to the end of them, we’ve forgotten about the first comma. In any case, a strategy to prevent it is to remember the acronym I.C.E. Whenever you find yourself using a comma before an Identification, Characterization or Explanation, remember that there has to be a comma after the I.C.E. as well.

Splice Girls, and Boys
“Comma splice” is a term used for the linking of two independent clauses — that is, grammatical units that contain a subject and a verb and could stand alone as sentences — with a comma. When I started teaching at the University of Delaware some years ago, I was positively gobsmacked by the multitude of comma splices that confronted me. They have not abated.

Here’s an example:

He used to be a moderate, now he’s a card-carrying Tea Partier.

It’s easy to fix in any number of ways:

He used to be a moderate. Now he’s a card-carrying Tea Partier.

He used to be a moderate; now he’s a card-carrying Tea Partier.

He used to be a moderate, but now he’s a card-carrying Tea Partier.

He used to be a moderate — now he’s a card-carrying Tea Partier.

How to choose among them? By reading aloud — always the best single piece of writing advice — and choosing the version that best suits the context, your style and your ear. I would go with the semicolon. How about you?

Two particular situations seem to bring out a lot of comma splices. The first is in quotations:

“The way they’ve been playing, the team will be lucky to survive the first round,” the coach said, “I’m just hoping someone gets a hot hand.”

The comma after “said” has to be replaced with a period.

The other issue is the word “however,” which more and more people seem to want to use as a conjunction, comparable to “but” or “yet.” So they will write something like:

The weather is great today, however it’s supposed to rain tomorrow.

That may be acceptable someday. Today, however, it’s a comma splice. Correct punctuation could be:

The weather is great today, but it’s supposed to rain tomorrow.


The weather is great today. However, it’s supposed to rain tomorrow.

Comma splices can be O.K. when you’re dealing with short clauses where even a semicolon would slow things down too much:

I talked to John, John talked to Lisa.

Samuel Beckett was the poet laureate of the comma splice. He closed his novel “The Unnamable” with a long sentence that ends:

    … perhaps it’s done already, perhaps they have said me already, perhaps they have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens on my story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, it will be the silence, where I am, I don’t know, I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know, you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on.

Which goes to show, I suppose, that rules are made to be broken.

General Discussion / Nerd-famous
« on: May 21, 2012, 05:35:08 PM »

That's staggering to think about. Keep reading to see stats from China

Strictly speaking, cancer is not contagious. But a fair number of cancers are clearly caused by viral or bacterial infections: lymphomas can be triggered by the Epstein-Barr virus, which also causes mononucleosis. Liver cancers can be caused by Hepatitis B and C. Cervical cancers can be caused by human papillomavirus, the major reason behind the development of a vaccine against it.  For some of these cancers, nearly 100% of the cases have an infectious link—when researchers check to see if a virus or bacterium is working in the tumor or has left signs of its presence in a patient’s blood, the answer is nearly always yes.

A new paper in The Lancet takes a look at the very best data on the prevalence of infection-caused cancers and comes up with some striking numbers. Overall, they estimate that 16% of cancer cases worldwide in 2008 had an infectious cause—2 million out of 12.7 million.

Hepatitis B and C, HPV, and Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that triggers stomach cancer, caused the lion’s share of those cases, about 1.9 million together. Eighty percent of all infection-caused cancers were in less developed regions, where vaccines and treatments for these infections may be harder to come by, and sometimes the numbers are shocking: in China, more than a quarter of cancer cases were infectious in origin. But still, a decent fraction were in the developed world, indicating that the problem hasn’t disappeared with current advances. And because this paper only looked infectious agents that are clearly carcinogenic, avoiding those there isn’t much data on, 2 million cases total is probably something of an underestimate.

How many deaths from cancer are caused by these infections? The researchers didn’t have the data to answer that question rigorously, but they point out that most of the infection-caused cancers are pretty lethal. They make a rough extrapolation from their data and estimate that of the 7.5 million deaths from cancer in 2008, 1.5 million, or about one in five, were caused by an infection.

That’s a lot of deaths from preventable causes. It argues for more work on getting existing vaccines to the populations that need them and continuing research and education on vaccines in places where they’re readily available.


Big Idea Physicists Carve a Niche in Time

Six years ago, physicists hid an object behind an invisibility cloak for the first time. Now they're cloaking actual events.
by Adam Piore

From the April 2012 issue; published online May 7, 2012

Physicists routinely baffle reporters, but for once things went the other way. Alexander Gaeta was sitting in his Cornell University office in the fall of 2010 when a reporter called to ask his opinion of a strange new paper in the Journal of Optics: What did he think about the claim that it might be possible to create a time cloak, a device that would render events undetectable?

Gaeta was caught off guard. He was still grappling with the invisibility cloak, a wild idea that turned into reality in 2006, when physicists demonstrated that a class of synthetic materials could bend light completely around an object. (Think of water in a stream flowing around a rock.) Without light bouncing off the object, it would essentially disappear.

But creating a time cloak—something that could hide not just an object but an event—is even more ambitious. Rather than just rerouting the rays of light striking an object, a time cloak would have to deflect all the light beams influenced by the object as it moves through space. The time cloak would, in essence, create an interval during which all information about what an object is doing disappears.

Although Gaeta had not heard of the time-cloak study until that phone call, he dove into it as soon as the reporter sent it over. The author, theoretical physicist Martin McCall of Imperial College London, proposed splitting a light beam into two segments moving at different speeds. As one fragment built a lead on the other, a gap of complete darkness would open up between them. Anything happening within that gap, McCall reasoned, would be impossible to detect, since there would be no light to scatter. Then, to complete the trick, McCall proposed bringing those two segments back together so that by the time the beam of light reached an observer, there would be no way to detect that the gap ever existed.

McCall left it to his experimentalist colleagues to figure out how to build such a device, which he estimated would require 5 to 10 years to complete. Gaeta immediately knew he could tackle the task much more quickly. Since 2007 he had been developing a device called a time lens, which alters the speed of a beam of light. In a vacuum, the speed of light is constant. But that speed changes when light passes through a material, like glass or water, or when it runs into another light beam. The time lens combined the two techniques: It involved hitting a beam of light with a laser just as it passed through a glass fiber, allowing considerable control over the beam’s speed.

Gaeta envisioned using the time lens to slow down light so he could measure it in fleeting phenomena like controlled explosions, which usually occur too quickly for accurate readings. But after reading McCall’s paper, he realized he could also use his lens to speed up one section of a light beam and slow down another, thus opening and closing the gap of darkness described by McCall.

Over the next three months, Gaeta and his team assembled a jumble of optical fiber resembling a giant bowl of spaghetti, with lasers and time lenses plugged in along the route. Then one day in April 2011, Gaeta sent a beam of light into one end of the fiber and through a time lens, splitting the beam into two parts. As the leading segment of the beam surged ahead, the time gap widened. By the time the fragmented beam had traveled a kilometer, the gap of darkness had reached 15 trillionths of a second. At that point, the team introduced a marker event by shooting a laser across the fiber.

Ordinarily, the laser would noticeably alter the color of the original beam of light. But the cloak worked to perfection: Because the laser passed through the unlit gap, the color of the beam didn’t change. After passing through another time lens that sped up the slower fragment and slowed down the faster one, the reunified beam reached its endpoint, in one piece, with the same properties as when it started. An independent observer would have no way of knowing the laser had ever been fired.

It was an intellectually exhilarating achievement, but the 15-
trillionths-of-a-second gap of darkness was so small that the editors at Nature, the journal where Gaeta submitted his findings for publication, were not sold on his claim. They requested that he create a gap about three times larger so it would be detectable by a sensitive light sensor.

Nature’s request required an equipment upgrade. For the next 48 hours, Gaeta’s team scoured the Cornell physics building for the amplifiers they needed to boost the power of the time lens. “We did it on the weekend so nobody would be mad at us for disturbing their experiments,” says Moti Fridman, the project’s lead researcher. After borrowing equipment from six labs, they finally had the necessary wattage.

After three more weeks of tweaking the apparatus, Gaeta’s team was ready to send another beam into the fiber. This time the souped-up time lens opened a gap as wide as 40 trillionths of a second, and the light sensor confirmed that the laser had been cloaked. Nature promptly approved the team’s paper, which made it to print in January.

Gaeta’s next goal is increasing the gap to billionths of a second, which will require about 20 times more power. Brief as it is, a gap on that timescale could have immediate implications for the tech industry, which relies on streams of data traveling at light speed over fiber-optic cables. For instance, people streaming video on an iPad could potentially use a time cloak to create a fissure in the data stream and download a file without interrupting the video. A time cloak could also allow antiterrorism agents to monitor enemy communications undetected. The agents could slow down the flow of data, record the information, and then speed it back up so that neither the sender nor recipient could possibly know it was intercepted.

Human-scale time cloaks would have far more profound implications. One can’t help but wonder whether bank robbers and terrorists could use the technology to conceal their activities (after all, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency partially funded this project). They’d be able to hide not only what they are doing but that they are doing anything at all.

Gaeta says these nefarious characters will have to wait a bit longer. “This is just the first step. There needs to be another 100,000 steps before you can create a full spatial time cloak that can hide people,” he says. “Then again, when the transistor was invented 50 years ago, I don’t think anybody imagined something like the iPhone. We don’t know where this will take us.”

Invisibility CLOAK timeline

Researchers have just begun developing the technology for concealing events, but the art of masking objects is significantly more advanced. Below, some milestones in the development of the invisibility cloak.

2006  Physicists at Duke University build a small cloak of synthetic metal that steers microwaves around a cylinder, rendering it “invisible” in the microwave spectrum. (Microwaves are far easier to manipulate than beams of light.) It is the first successful cloaking experiment, but it works only in two dimensions—the cylinder is detectable when viewed from above.

2008  Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, create a fabric that bends light in ways impossible with natural materials. While it isn’t an invisibility cloak, the fishnet-like structure demonstrates that light could be bent around an object to hide it from detection by the human eye.

2010  German researchers take a different route to invisibility by constructing a cloak that can hide a small bump on an otherwise flat surface. When infrared light strikes 
the cloak, it bounces back as if the bump were not there.

January 2012  Physicists at the University of Texas at Austin cloak a 7-inch-high cylinder so that it is hidden from microwaves at every angle. Rather than causing waves to bend around the cylinder, the cloak cancels out the microwaves bouncing off it.

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