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David Gerard writes "It seems the authors of Stuxnet/Duqu/Flame used the LZO library, which is straight-up GPL. And so, someone has asked the U.S. government to release the code under the GPL. (Other code uses various permissive licenses. As works of the U.S. federal government, the rest is of course public domain.) Perhaps the author could enlist the SFLC to send a copyright notice to the U.S. government..."


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alphadogg writes "The cyber-criminal gang that operated the recently disabled Kelihos botnet has already begun building a new botnet with the help of a Facebook worm, according to security researchers from Seculert. Security experts from Kaspersky Lab, CrowdStrike, Dell SecureWorks and the Honeynet Project, announced that they took control of the 110,000 PC-strong Kelihos botnet on Wednesday using a method called sinkholing. That worm has compromised over 70,000 Facebook accounts so far and is currently distributing a new version of the Kelihos Trojan."


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Introduction
“Good morning, self-organizing systems!”
The cheerful speaker smiled with a polished ease and adjusted his tie. "I am indeed very happy to
find the Office of Naval Research joining with the Armour Research Foundation in organizing this
conference on what I personally consider an exceedingly important topic, and at such a well-chosen
time."
It was a spring day in early May, 1959. Four hundred men from an astoundingly diverse group of
scientific backgrounds had gathered in Chicago for what promised to be an electrifying meeting.
Almost every major branch of science was represented: psychology, linguistics, engineering,
embryology, physics, information theory, mathematics, astronomy, and social sciences. No one
could remember a conference before this where so many top scientists in different fields were about
to spend two days talking about one thing. Certainly there had never been a large meeting about this
particular one thing.
It was a topic that only a young country flush with success and confident of its role in the world
would even think about: self-organizing systems — how organization bootstraps itself to life.
Bootstrapping! It was the American dream put into an equation.
"The choice of time is particularly significant in my personal life, too," the speaker continued. "For
the last nine months the Department of Defense of the United States of America has been in the
throes of an organizational effort which shows reasonably clearly that we are still a long way from
understanding what makes a self-organizing system."
Hearty chuckles from the early morning crowd just settling into their seats. At the podium Dr.
Joachim Weyl, Research Director of the Office of Naval Research, beamed. The conference he
hosted was a public rendezvous of scientists who had been convening in smaller meetings since
1942. These intimate, invitation-only gatherings were organized by the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation,
and became known as the Macy Conferences. In the spirit of wartime urgency, the small gatherings
were interdisciplinary, elite, and emphasized thinking big. Among the several dozen visionaries
invited over the nine years of the conference were Gregory Bateson, Norbert Wiener, Margaret
Mead, Lawrence Frank, John von Neumann, Warren McCulloch, and Arturo Rosenblueth. This
stellar congregation later became known as the cybernetic group for the perspective they pioneered
— cybernetics, the art and science of control.

As has been noted by many writers, cybernetics derives from the Greek for "steersman" — a pilot
that steers a ship. In order to steer the ship, the pilot is constantly dependent on constant feedback.
The ship and its sails, the wind and waves affecting it can be seen as a whole, closed self-sustaining
system, of which the pilot is a vital part. Just as the pilot is dependent on the ship, the ship is
dependent on the pilot actively steering to avoid sinking the ship.
In short, cybernetics is the study of the functions and processes of systems which participate in
circular, causal chains that move from action to sensing to comparison with desired goal, and again
to action. As cybernetician Louis Kauffman has defined it, "cybernetics is the study of systems and processes that interact with themselves and produce themselves from themselves."

(CON'T HERE....)

Based on the book, Out of Control

Out of Control is a summary of what we know about self-sustaining systems, both living ones such as a tropical wetland, or an artificial one, such as a computer simulation of our planet. The last chapter of the book, "The Nine Laws of God," is a distillation of the nine common principles that all life-like systems share. The major themes of the book are:

-As we make our machines and institutions more complex, we have to make them more biological in order to manage them.

-The most potent force in technology will be artificial evolution. We are already evolving software and drugs instead of engineering them.

-Organic life is the ultimate technology, and all technology will improve towards biology.

-The main thing computers are good for is creating little worlds so that we can try out the Great Questions. Online communities let us ask the question "what is a democracy; what do you need for it?" by trying to wire a democracy up, and re-wire it if it doesn't work. Virtual reality lets us ask "what is reality?" by trying to synthesize it. And computers give us room to ask "what is life?" by providing a universe in which to create computer viruses and artificial creatures of increasing complexity. Philosophers sitting in academies used to ask the Great Questions; now they are asked by experimentalists creating worlds.

-As we shape technology, it shapes us. We are connecting everything to everything, and so our entire culture is migrating to a "network culture" and a new network economics.

-In order to harvest the power of organic machines, we have to instill in them guidelines and self-governance, and relinquish some of our total control.

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Asger Carlsen is a Danish artist that gnarls the body into vulgar forms. Wavering between human anatomy as sculpture and mutant as model, his work creates a fascinating world of repulsive monsters.

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schwit1 passes on this snippet from Public Intelligence: "A flyer designed by the FBI and the Department of Justice to promote suspicious activity reporting in internet cafes lists basic tools used for online privacy as potential signs of terrorist activity. The document, part of a program called 'Communities Against Terrorism,' lists the use of 'anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address' as a sign that a person could be engaged in or supporting terrorist activity. The use of encryption is also listed as a suspicious activity along with steganography, the practice of using 'software to hide encrypted data in digital photos' or other media. In fact, the flyer recommends that anyone 'overly concerned about privacy' or attempting to 'shield the screen from view of others' should be considered suspicious and potentially engaged in terrorist activities. ... The use of PGP, VPNs, Tor or any of the many other technologies for anonymity and privacy online are directly targeted by the flyer, which is distributed to businesses in an effort to promote the reporting of these activities."


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I am really digging the varied styles of illustrator Pavel Ripley. There is some very nice work on his website that ranges all over the map for an illustrator but in every instance each image is highly realized at an accomplished skill level.

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