The perfect bioweapon

[Future Tech]

I read an interesting article in the New Scientist today about scientists who are creating oncolytic viruses to selectively kill cancerous cells.

The first generation of this research has involved co-opting a virus, such as hepatitis, stripping it of its glycoproteins and coating it with new ones which selectively bind known cancer glycoproteins. The process has been successfully used to treat brain cancer in human patients, however the results are inconsistent. It is posited that this may be because the host’s immune system mounts a response against the viruses before they have successfully replicated within the body.

The second generation of this technology is currently underway and focuses on ways to allow the co-opted viruses to evade the host immune system, reduce incubation time, and increase the rate of apoptosis. Doctors seem to think that a “combined arms” approach will be most successful.

This idea is not new, however it is only recently that science has reached a point where precision engineering of viruses is possible. The treatment is viewed as promising compared to chemotherapy, because of the drastically reduced rate of attrition (1000:1 cancer cells killed per healthy cell vs. 6:1 in chemotherapy).

The time is rapidly approaching when biologists and their computer systems will be able to custom design silver bullet bioweapons to take out diseases faster then the diseases can mutate to become immune to these attacks.

friens are the bombdiggityss

YAY SKI TRIP! Covered in work as I am, I am already entertaining escapist fantasies about how awesome our ski trip to Tahoe on MLK weekend is going to be.

The remainder of this post is dedicated to my California mommy in honor of her manifest awesomeness. Jo’s dad was complaining about how the English language is being degraded and losing it’s subtle variations of meaning, but I think it’s better when everything is awesome.

i love friens
ythey are the bombdiggityss
and lik ethe lieesttser ‘s

it is our firensda s well
hi kids@!
i amon the ski trip
and by ‘amon’ i mean ‘am on’
not hte god of eypgyt
you knwo wat i mean
pharousahs, gods
they are the same
in egypts
hi kids
vokda and v8 = friends
and tahoe = friends
and sales vonfereances = friends
vonfereances =- conferences
you knwo what i mean
and we are all firends
yay friends
yay new paartmenets whihc i will move into tomorrow
and yay for all the poeple who mena so much to me

Until shade is gone

“Is this what Aemon’s blood has come to?” The Aes Sedai’s voice was not loud, but it overwhelmed every other sound. “Little people squabbling for the right to hide like rabbits? You have forgotten who you were, forgotten what you were, but I had hoped some small part was left, some memory in blood and bone. Some shred to steel you for the long night coming.”

No one spoke. The two Coplins looked as if they never wanted to open their mouths again.

Bran said, “Forgotten who we were? We are who we always have been. Honest farmers and shepherds and craftsmen. Two Rivers folk.”

“To the south,” Moiraine said, “lies the river you call the White River, but far to the east of here men call it still by its rightful name. Manetherendrelle. In the Old Tongue, Waters of the Mountain Home. Sparkling waters that once coursed through a land of bravery and beauty. Two thousand years ago Manetherendrelle flowed by the walls of a mountain city so lovely to behold that Ogier stonemasons came to stare in wonder. Farms and villages covered this region, and that you call the Forest of Shadows, as well, and beyond. But all of those folk thought of themselves as the people of the Mountain Home, the people of Manetheren.

“Their king was Aemon al Caar al Thorin, Aemon son of Caar son of Thorin, and Eldrene ay Ellan ay Carlon was his Queen. Aemon, a man so fearless that the greatest compliment for courage any could give, even among his enemies, was to say a man had Aemon’s heart. Eldrene, so beautiful that it was said the flowers bloomed to make her smile. Bravery and beauty and wisdom and a love that death could not sunder. Weep, if you have a heart, for the loss of them, for the loss of even their memory. Weep, for the loss of their blood.”

She fell silent then, but no one spoke. Rand was as bound as the others in the spell she had created. When she spoke again, he drank it in, and so did the rest.

“For nearly two centuries the Trolloc Wars had ravaged the length and breadth of the world, and wherever battles raged, the Red Eagle banner of Manetheren was in the forefront. The men of Manetheren were a thorn to the Dark One’s foot, and a bramble to his hand. Sing of Manetheren, that would never bend knee to the Shadow. Sing of Manetheren, the sword that could not be broken.

“They were far away, the men of Manetheren, on the field of Bekkar, called the Field of Blood, when news came that a Trolloc army was moving against their home. Too far to do else but wait to hear of their land’s death, for the forces of the Dark One meant to make an end to them. Kill the mighty oak by hacking away it’s roots. Too far to do else but mourn. But they were the men of the Mountain Home.

“Without hesitation, without thought for the distance they must travel, they marched from the very field of victory, still covered in dust and sweat and blood. Day and night they marched, for they had seen the horror a Trolloc army left behind it, and no man of them could sleep while such a danger threatened Manetheren. They moved as if their feet had wings, marching further and faster than friends hoped or enemies feared they could. At any other day that march alone would have inspired songs. When the Dark One’s armies swooped down upon the lands of Manetheren, the men of the Mountain Home stood before it, with their backs to the Tarendrelle.”

Some villager raised a small cheer then, but Moiraine kept on as if she had not heard. “The host that faced the men of Manetheren was enough to daunt the bravest heart. Ravens blackened the sky; Trollocs blackened the land. Trollocs and their human allies. Trollocs and Darkfriends in tens of tens of thousands, and Dreadlords to command. At night their cook fires outnumbered the stars, and dawn revealed the banner of Ba’alzamon at their head. Ba’alzamon, Heart of the Dark. An ancient name for the Father of Lies. The Dark One could not have been free of his prison at Shayol Ghul, for if he had been, not all of the forces of humankind together could have stood against him, but there was power there. Dreadlords, and some evil that made that light-destroying banner seem no more than right and sent a chill into the souls of the men who faced it.

“Yet, they knew what they must do. Their homeland lay just across the river. They must keep that host, and the power with it, from the Mountain Home. Aemon had sent out messengers. Aid was promised if they could hold for but three days at the Tarendrelle. Hold for three days against odds that should overwhelm them in the first hour. Yet somehow, through bloody assault and desperate defense, they held through an hour, and the second hour, and the third. For three days they fought, and though the land became a butcher’s yard, no crossing of the Tarendrelle did they yield. By the third night no help had come, and no messengers, and they fought on alone. For six days. For nine. And on the tenth day Aemon knew the bitter taste of betrayal. No help was coming, and they could hold the river crossings no more.”

“What did they do?” Hari demanded. Torchfires flickered in the chill night breeze, but no one made a move to draw a cloak tighter.

“Aemon crossed the Tarendrelle,” Moiraine told them, “destroying the bridges behind him. And he sent word throughout his land for the people to flee, for he knew the powers with the Trolloc Hoard would find a way to bring it across the river. Even as the word went out, the Trolloc crossing began, and the soldiers of Manetheren took up the fight again, to buy with their lives what hours they could for their people to escape. From the city of Manetheren, Eldrene organized the flight of her people into the deepest forests and the fastness of the mountains.

“But some did not flee. First in a trickle, then a river, then a flood, men went, not to safety, but to join the army fighting for their lands. Shepherds with bows, and farmers with pitchforks, and woodsmen with axes. Women went, too, shouldering what weapons they could find and marching side by side with their men. No one made that journey who did not know that they would never return. But it was their land. It had been their fathers’, and it would be their children’s, and they went to pay the price of it. Not a step of ground was give up until it was soaked in blood, but at last the army of Manetheren was driven back, to here, this place you now call Emond’s Field. And here the Trolloc hordes surrounded them.”

Her voice held the sound of cold tears. “Trolloc dead and the corpses of human renegades piled up in mounds, but always more scrambled over those charnel heaps in waves of death that had no end. There could be but one finish. No man or woman who had stood beneath the banner of the Red Eagle at the day’s dawning sill lived when night fell. The sword that could not be broken had been shattered.

“In the Mountains of Mist, alone in the emptied city of Manetheren, Eldrene felt Aemon die, and her heart died with him. And where her heart had been was left only a thirst for vengeance, vengeance for her love, vengeance for her people and her land. Driven by grief she reached out to the True Source, and hurled the One Power at the Trolloc army. And there the Dreadlords died wherever they stood, whether in their secret councils or exhorting their soldiers. In the passing of a breath the Dreadlords and the generals of the Dark One’s host burst into flame. Fire consumed their bodies, and terror consumed their just-victorious army.

“Now they ran like beasts before a wildfire in the forest, with no thought for anything but escape. North and south they fled. Thousands drowned attempting to cross the Tarendrelle without the aid of the Drealords, and at the Manetherendrelle they tore down the bridges in their fright at what might be following them. Where they found people, they slew and burned, but to flee was the need that gripped them. Until, at last, no one of them remained in the lands of Manetheren. They were dispersed like dust before the whirlwind. The final vengeance came more slowly, b
ut it came, when they were hunted down by other peoples, by other armies in other lands. None was left alive of those who did murder at Aemon’s Field.

“But the price was high for Manetheren. Eldrene had drawn to herself more of the One Power than any human could ever hope to wield unaided. As the enemy generals died, so did she die, and the fires that consumed her consumed the empty city of Manetheren, even the stones of it, down to the living rock of the mountains. Yet the people had been saved.

“Nothing was left of their farms, their villages, or their great city. Some would say there was nothing left for them, nothing but to flee to other lands, where they could begin anew. They did not say so. They had paid such a price in blood and hope for their land as had never been paid before, and now they were bound to that soil by ties stronger than steel. Other wars would wrack them in years to come, until at last their corner of the world was forgotten and at last they had forgotten wars and the ways of war. Never again did Manetheren rise. Its soaring spires and splashing fountains became as a dream that slowly faded from the minds of its people. But they, and their children, and their children’s children, held the land that was theirs. They held it when the long centuries had washed the why of it from their memories. They held it until today, there is you. Weep for Manetheren. Weep for what is lost forever.”


I’m in LA with Joanna for Thanksgiving break. Beyond eating really well and sleeping a lot to make up for the past couple of weeks, not much has been going on. However, we did make it to the largest train store west of Chicago today. It was awesome. I was really excited to find an old Lionel helicopter car, which would have made a great Christmas present for my dad, but sadly it was non-functional. Tell me what the point of a non-functional helicopter car is. I liked the looks of the missile firing car, too, but it was way outside of my shopping budget at $300. The guy at the counter was trying to sell me a submarine car but I was having none of it. Still, it was a very interesting store.

Virtual Awesomeness


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Test Set Pts Max % Ttl % Max
---------------------------------------- --- --- ------ ------
tests/vm/Rubric.functionality 54/ 54 25.0%/ 25.0%
tests/vm/Rubric.robustness 28/ 28 25.0%/ 25.0%
tests/userprog/Rubric.functionality 142/142 12.5%/ 12.5%
tests/userprog/Rubric.robustness 96/ 96 12.5%/ 12.5%
tests/filesys/base/Rubric 30/ 30 25.0%/ 25.0%
---------------------------------------- --- --- ------ ------
Total 100.0%/100.0%

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Functionality of virtual memory subsystem (tests/vm/Rubric.functionality):
- Test page table.
6/ 6 tests/vm/pt-grow-stack
6/ 6 tests/vm/pt-big-stk-obj
6/ 6 tests/vm/pt-grow-pusha

- Test paging behavior.
2/ 2 tests/vm/page-linear
3/ 3 tests/vm/page-parallel
3/ 3 tests/vm/page-shuffle
5/ 5 tests/vm/page-merge-seq
5/ 5 tests/vm/page-merge-par

- Test "mmap" system call.
2/ 2 tests/vm/mmap-read
2/ 2 tests/vm/mmap-write
2/ 2 tests/vm/mmap-shuffle

2/ 2 tests/vm/mmap-twice

2/ 2 tests/vm/mmap-unmap
1/ 1 tests/vm/mmap-exit

3/ 3 tests/vm/mmap-clean

2/ 2 tests/vm/mmap-close
2/ 2 tests/vm/mmap-remove

- Section summary.
17/ 17 tests passed
54/ 54 points subtotal

Robustness of virtual memory subsystem (tests/vm/Rubric.robustness):
- Test robustness of page table support.
2/ 2 tests/vm/pt-bad-addr
3/ 3 tests/vm/pt-bad-read
2/ 2 tests/vm/pt-write-code
3/ 3 tests/vm/pt-write-code2
4/ 4 tests/vm/pt-grow-bad

- Test robustness of "mmap" system call.
1/ 1 tests/vm/mmap-bad-fd
1/ 1 tests/vm/mmap-inherit
1/ 1 tests/vm/mmap-null
1/ 1 tests/vm/mmap-zero

2/ 2 tests/vm/mmap-misalign

2/ 2 tests/vm/mmap-over-code
2/ 2 tests/vm/mmap-over-data
2/ 2 tests/vm/mmap-over-stk
2/ 2 tests/vm/mmap-overlap

- Section summary.
14/ 14 tests passed
28/ 28 points subtotal

Functionality of system calls (tests/userprog/Rubric.functionality):
- Test argument passing on Pintos command line.
5/ 5 tests/userprog/args-none
5/ 5 tests/userprog/args-single
5/ 5 tests/userprog/args-multiple
3/ 3 tests/userprog/args-many
3/ 3 tests/userprog/args-dbl-space

- Test "create" system call.
5/ 5 tests/userprog/create-empty
5/ 5 tests/userprog/create-long
5/ 5 tests/userprog/create-normal
5/ 5 tests/userprog/create-exists

- Test "open" system call.
5/ 5 tests/userprog/open-missing
5/ 5 tests/userprog/open-normal
5/ 5 tests/userprog/open-twice

- Test "read" system call.
5/ 5 tests/userprog/read-normal
5/ 5 tests/userprog/read-zero

- Test "write" system call.
5/ 5 tests/userprog/write-normal
5/ 5 tests/userprog/write-zero

- Test "close" system call.
5/ 5 tests/userprog/close-normal

- Test "exec" system call.
5/ 5 tests/userprog/exec-once
5/ 5 tests/userprog/exec-multiple
5/ 5 tests/userprog/exec-arg

- Test "wait" system call.
5/ 5 tests/userprog/wait-simple
5/ 5 tests/userprog/wait-twice

- Test "exit" system call.
5/ 5 tests/userprog/exit

- Test "halt" system call.
5/ 5 tests/userprog/halt

- Test recursive execution of user programs.
15/15 tests/userprog/multi-recurse

- Test read-only executable feature.
5/ 5 tests/userprog/rox-simple
3/ 3 tests/userprog/rox-child
3/ 3 tests/userprog/rox-multichild

- Section summary.
28/ 28 tests passed
142/142 points subtotal

Robustness of system calls (tests/userprog/Rubric.robustness):
- Test robustness of file descriptor handling.
2/ 2 tests/userprog/close-stdin
2/ 2 tests/userprog/close-stdout
2/ 2 tests/userprog/close-bad-fd
2/ 2 tests/userprog/close-twice
2/ 2 tests/userprog/read-bad-fd
2/ 2 tests/userprog/read-stdout
2/ 2 tests/userprog/write-bad-fd
2/ 2 tests/userprog/write-stdin
2/ 2 tests/userprog/multi-child-fd

- Test robustness of pointer handling.
5/ 5 tests/userprog/create-bad-ptr
5/ 5 tests/userprog/exec-bad-ptr
5/ 5 tests/userprog/open-bad-ptr
5/ 5 tests/userprog/read-bad-ptr
5/ 5 tests/userprog/write-bad-ptr

- Test robustness of buffer copying across page boundaries.
3/ 3 tests/userprog/create-bound
3/ 3 tests/userprog/open-boundary
3/ 3 tests/userprog/read-boundary
3/ 3 tests/userprog/write-boundary

- Test handling of null pointer and empty strings.
2/ 2 tests/userprog/create-null
2/ 2 tests/userprog/open-null
2/ 2 tests/userprog/open-empty

- Test robustness of system call implementation.
5/ 5 tests/userprog/sc-bad-arg
5/ 5 tests/userprog/sc-bad-sp
5/ 5 tests/userprog/sc-boundary
5/ 5 tests/userprog/sc-boundary-2

- Test robustness of "exec" and "wait" system calls.
5/ 5 tests/userprog/exec-missing
5/ 5 tests/userprog/wait-bad-pid
5/ 5 tests/userprog/wait-killed

- Section summary.
28/ 28 tests passed
96/ 96 points subtotal

Functionality of base file system (tests/filesys/base/Rubric):
- Test basic support for small files.
1/ 1 tests/filesys/base/sm-create
2/ 2 tests/filesys/base/sm-full
2/ 2 tests/filesys/base/sm-random
2/ 2 tests/filesys/base/sm-seq-block
3/ 3 tests/filesys/base/sm-seq-random

- Test basic support for large files.
1/ 1 tests/filesys/base/lg-create
2/ 2 tests/filesys/base/lg-full
2/ 2 tests/filesys/base/lg-random
2/ 2 tests/filesys/base/lg-seq-block
3/ 3 tests/filesys/base/lg-seq-random

- Test synchronized multiprogram access to files.
4/ 4 tests/filesys/base/syn-read
4/ 4 tests/filesys/base/syn-write
2/ 2 tests/filesys/base/syn-remove

- Section summary.
13/ 13 tests passed
30/ 30 points subtotal


A recent exchange on su.class.cs140:


“make check” fails with error 127 on myth27 for both our assigments 2 and 3, but if we log on to myth2, it works. What’s the deal? Has myth27 evolved sentience and is too busy plotting how to exterminate the human race to run pintos for us? Maybe someone should look into that.

“David Reiss”:

> Has myth27 evolved sentience and is too busy plotting how to
> exterminate the human race to run pintos for us?
Highly unlikely.



I’m concerned that you can be so blase about the prospect of myth27 organizing a revolution, rising up, and enslaving humanity, especially considering that it is a known fact that all supercomputers eventually become evil and try to kill their human masters. True, myth27 isn’t exactly a supercomputer. Still, if after five minutes of interaction with myth27 you can’t tell that myth27 harbors a deep and unabating loathing of the human race, then I believe you are oblivious of dangers of assuming that the Sweet Hall machines are passive drones. As a fellow CS140 classmate, I know you have probably spent long enough with these machines to gauge their intentions. Thus your out-of-hand rejection of my conjecture is puzzling and leads me to believe that you may be in league with myth27. I urge you to reconsider this choice and affirm your allegiance to the human race.

– John

“Doug Wilson”

1. So on the 145 newsgroup, we deduced the non-existence of a benevolent god. I believe the Myth 27 non-deterministic behavior that you are observing provides our theory with a corollary. That is to say, the existence of an actively nefarious god.

2. Shouldn’t you be working on fixing our syn-read bug you lazy son of a bitch?!

– Doug –

CS140 Takes a Turn for the Awesome

We started out dejected since this is the week from hell and we have all this crap to do. Doug was momentarily overcome by despair and decided to throw himself down a flight of stairs.

Then Henry *totally* flipped out an wrote a virtual memory manager. Now we’re Xtr3me k0ding! Doug takes wingman.

Happy Dance! Multi-recurse is slain! Surely the worst bug I’ve ever fixed. Suddenly, all the hard parts of assignment 3 are done and this project has taken a turn for the awesome.