August 25, 2006
According to this story in Science, a former Hollywood TV executive has been flying around the world on his own coin collecting signatures for a proposed “Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data”, through which genomic sequences of avian influenza are made public. The executive, Peter Bogner, who bears a striking resemblance to Eric Idle, was inspired by the campaign of Italian virologist Ilaria Capua, who had called for the open sharing of H5N1 sequence data earlier this year. Mr Bogner’s motivations are unclear:
Capua says Bogner initially suggested that he was working for U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Bogner says that the U.N. is one of his clients but not on this issue; indeed, he says, he hasn’t been paid a cent for his flu efforts. “In fairness, there are some aspects of this whole story I don’t quite understand,” says Capua. “But we’re getting what we want.”
UPDATE: Here is the letter to Nature referred to in the story above, in which we find that the Global Initiative on Sharing Influenza Data (GISAID) has a website.
August 24, 2006
Google is in big legal trouble in Brazil for withholding information about the users of its social interaction website Orkut, some of whom may be in involved in pornography and crime. An astonishing 66% percent of Orkut members are Brazilians – this is an example of the Brazilian Internet Phenomenon, the causes of which are mysterious and intriguing.
August 21, 2006
Why “memomics”? Memomics is about the totality of memes if you like, or maybe memos, take your pick.