Quinn Norton

Quinn Norton is a writer and photographer whose work has appeared in Wired News, The UK Guardian, Make Magazine, Seed, and more. She covers copyright, robotics, intellectual property, body modification, and other shiny things. She lives in San Francisco with her daughter, and a number of teapots. Quinn is reachable at quinn@quinnnorton.com

Etech Liveblogging: Lessons from China for the World, Rebecca MacKinnon (Global Voices)

Rebecca explains the current viral anti-censorship protest video: The song of the grass mud horse. (In this case an alpaca) It features videos of alpacas while child sing about the grass mud horse, but the difference in tones between "Grass mud horse" and "Fuck your mother" is just a subtle tonal change. Since song tones override speaking tones in Chinese,…

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Etech liveblogging: Mobile Phones Reveal the Behaviors of Places and People (Tony Jebara)

(Tony is from Sense Networks, and also a prof at Columbia University in comp sci) Starting out with what we have now: Online data isn't disconnected documents, but a network, with links between docs and the key information is the links. Folks like Google have obviously exploited that network technology. Online social networks, networks of people, the relationships being the…

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Etech session liveblogging: Mr Hacker Goes to Washington (Greg Elin of Sunlight Foundation)

(Came in a few minutes late) Greg was a firehose, forgive my errors and omissions. DC is like a university with a really massive ROTC program. If the internet is ethernet, congress is token ring. One person speaks at a time, for instance. Once Greg saw more than 10 minutes for a roll call vote–no electronic anything. Congress paper based–so…

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Etech Session Liveblogging: Real Hackers Program DNA (Ginkgo Bioworks)

GB is "Making the process of engineering biology easier." Synth bio is the idea that biology is a technology to engineer novel systems- say drugs, biofuels, other sexy sexy projects. This is to be a flavor of what engineering biology is all about. We will be installing a program into E coli to make it turn red, glow in the…

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Synthetic Biology: The conclusion of the very beginning

Note: This ends Quinn Norton's five-part series on Drew Endy and synthetic biology. The earlier installments are Everything you needed to know about human-created life forms but were afraid to ask, The dummy's guide to engineering genes, Play God for fun and profit (mostly fun), and Managing the unmanagable future. "Biology is a technology for manufacturing," says Drew Endy. Engineered…

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Managing the unimaginable future

Note: This is the fourth of Quinn Norton's five-part series on Drew Endy and synthetic biology. The earlier installments are Everything you needed to know about human-created life forms but were afraid to ask, The dummy's guide to engineering genes, and Play God for fun and profit (mostly fun). Extraordinary opportunities for yet-unknowable creativity nearly always comes with the threat…

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Play God for fun and profit (mostly fun)

Note: This is the third of Quinn Norton's five-part series on Drew Endy and synthetic biology. The earlier installments are Everything you needed to know about human-created life forms but were afraid to ask and The dummy's guide to engineering genes. Three years after Tom Knight invented the first standard for hooking together genetic parts in a living programming language,…

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The dummy's guide to engineering genes

Note: Yesterday we began Quinn Norton's five-part series on Drew Endy and synthetic biology with "Everything you needed to know about human-created life forms but were afraid to ask." Photo courtesy of Mike & Amanda Knowles, via flickr. Dr. Drew Endy's approach to the next generation of bio technology depends on engineers, programmers, hackers, social theorists, lawyers and so forth,…

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Everything you needed to know about human-created life forms but were afraid to ask

One of the great pleasures of being involved with O'Reilly Media is learning from the many fascinating people who get involved with the company on one level or another. They're Friends of O'Reilly, or Foos. We have occasional get-togethers with Foos, our own Nat Torkington has taken the concept to New Zealand, and we have one — on the social…

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