Taxonomies

From his very first experiments, he could see that these animals were unrelated to jellyfish. In fact, they were profoundly different from any other animal on Earth.

Moroz reached this conclusion by testing the nerve cells of ctenophores for the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and nitric oxide, chemical messengers considered the universal neural language of all animals. But try as he might, he could not find these molecules. The implications were profound.

Read “Aliens in our midst” at Aeon.

Just about anything a database might store about a person can change. People’s birthdays change (often because they’re incorrectly reported or recorded). People’s gender can change. One thing I thought didn’t change was blood type, but David Molnar pointed out to me that I’m wrong: Donors for allogeneic stem-cell transplantation are selected based on their…

Read More Another personal data invariant that varies

The CVE Web site now contains 30,000 unique information security issues with publicly known names. CVE, which began in 1999 with just 321 common names on the CVE List, is considered the international standard for public software vulnerability names. Information security professionals and product vendors from around the world use CVE Identifiers (CVE-IDs) as a…

Read More Congratulations to the CVE team!

The periodic table is under-appreciated as a design masterpiece, and as an iconic representation of science. The table works as a taxonomy, showing someone who knows how to read it a great deal of information about the elements based on their arrangement in space. So it’s pretty audacious to come out with a re-design: The…

Read More Periodic Spiral

Over at the OSVDB blog, blogauthor writes: On September 29, Stefan Esser posted an advisory in which he said “While searching for applications that are vulnerable to a new class of vulnerabilities inside PHP applications we took a quick look…“. This lead me to remember an article last year titled Microsoft unveils details of software…

Read More Do Kings Play Chess on Folding Glass Stools?

A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but it would certainly be confusing to order online. Consistent naming is useful, but requires much effort to get right. In identity management, which I hadn’t thought of as closely related to taxonomies, Zooko has argued that names can be “secure, decentralized or human memorable…

Read More What’s in a Name?