How to isolate DNA with salad-spinner

R.A. Hettinga rah at
Tue Feb 15 05:43:43 PST 2005


The Register

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How to isolate DNA with salad-spinner
By Jorn Barger (feedback at
Published Monday 14th February 2005 16:25 GMT

CodeCon 2005 For sheer hackerly exuberance, the best-received presentation
at CodeCon 2005 was the closer by Dan Kaminsky of Doxpara
(, showing the progress he's made on his DNS exploit
OzymanDNS since he presented it at Defcon last August.

At that time he offered to archive Knoppix across 35,000 DNS caches by
posting, to each cache, 80 records of 256 bytes each - he's now simplified
that to something more like five records of 4k each. It's still
untraceable, unblockable by firewalls, and allows effectively unlimited
simultaneous downloads, with the download speed limited primarily by how
fast your system can run his Perl script.

He calls this extremely versatile new trick "Fragile Router Protocol" and
warns security mavens they're going to have to start hustling to have any
hope of keeping up.

The flashiest demo of the day was Incoherence, a visualization tool for
helping record producers maximize the subjective separation between
instruments, and to fill the perceived space with a full range of
frequencies. This is available as a fun free download
( for various platforms.

Meredith Patterson of Integrated DNA Technology showed how to isolate DNA
at home using shampoo, meat tenderizer, and a salad-spinner, and assured
the audience that anthrax DNA could indeed theoretically be created using
the web tools offered by her company. And after the very first Sunday
presentation, one audience member claimed he found the new web programming
language Wheat "so beautiful, it's made me cry!"

The most stimulating concept of Day Two was arguably a programming
triviality - in order to raise the level of debate in their online
courseware, H2O, the Berkman Center of Harvard Law School introduced an
artificial delay (call it "positive community latency" perhaps), so that
posts were just as likely to be read if their authors took several days to
craft them, as if they jumped in immediately with something inane.

Slashdot is of course the canonical example of the inverse relation between
speed and seriousness - if a latency of even an hour or two were
introduced, and all posts made during that time displayed at once in order
of karmic reputation, the general level of debate would surely rise

See the CodeCon site for more details
( .

R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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