Author Archives: iainthegreat

About iainthegreat

I am half way between A and B personality. I shot guns, went camping, play consoles. For meeting people and entertainment, I go to the same bar in River Falls for better or worse.

Scientific Linux 7.1 review

I was wise enough to use Scientific Linux 6.6 at home.  I started the SL6x series with 6.2. ]In 2003, I started out with RHEL 3.3.  I don’t like 7.0 and would use it later.  Why would anyone prefer SL 7.0 for daily desktops over SL 6.6 when everything is at stake? It wasn’t wise to use SL 7.0, it actually crashed twice.

Let’s start with the GOOD news:
Scientific Linux 7.1 is vastly improved over the disaster known as
Scientific Linux 7.0. The coders and developers at both Red Hat and
Scientific Linux need to be highly commended for their efforts they
put into 7.1. The BAD news is Scientific Linux 7.1 is UNPOLISHED and
still needs a lot of work.

One of the advantages of having a
pair of mirror image machines is you can spot problems that would
normally have you tearing out your hair trying to solve. I had no
problem this time around doing the initial install of Scientific
Linux 7.1. It was only after I did the install that I started having
troubles. The single biggest problem was in adding the latest version
of kmod-nvidia drivers. I also ran into issues installing VMware
Player 7.1.0 — which installed just fine… but then crashed the
first time I started it up. It was the problem with the Nvidia
drivers that would throw me. I found every hack in the book, but no
matter what I did, the second I rebooted the machine I got a Black
Screen with a blinking cursor. After 5 complete installations I was
set to throw in the towel and live without the Nvidia working.

While I did my install using manual partitioning, my buddy
did his using LVN partitioning, but did not want to lose his Windows
partitions. He got the same results as I did. So we decided he should
try to manually partition his SSD. He never made it past the point
where he could install the OS, which I breezed through. We decided to
check into BIOS. The first thing we noticed is that he had two CD-ROM
drives listed, not one, even though he only had one physical device:
One UEFI and one NON-UEFI. The UEFI was listed first, then came the
NON-UEFI. Just for fun we had him change the order and placed the
NON-UEFI CD-ROM first. He then rebooted and had ZERO problems with
the install. Next he then found an interesting link in regards to
installing kmod-nvidia drivers in Scientific Linux 7.1, and followed
the instructions, and PRESTO he had Nvidia up and

Excited by the news, I jumped on it,
only to end up with a Black screen and a blinking cursor. One other
difference in our install procedures was I installed the whole thing
— 7 GB — which required that I install it from a thumb drive, while
he installed his from a DVD live version. In BIOS the thumb drive
shows up as a UEFI hard drive. Based on my buddy’s experience I went
over to the “Boot” portion of the BIOS and found in there a
NON-UEFI version of the thumb drive. While I could not put this
version in train I could over-ride the boot sequence and boot
directly from this NON-UEFI version. The first thing I did was to
install the LVN version and followed the hack my buddy found… and
like him my system came up with Nvidia. I then went back and
installed a test version via manual partitioning, but first I checked
out to see what partitions were created by the automatic LVN
partitioning scheme. What was created a a /boot, a /home, a /, and
/swap; where as in all my installs there was also a /boot/efi
partition. This time I left out the /boot/efi partition and the
software installed just fine!!! Also the hack worked just fine and
and the kmod-nvidia drives installed just fine as well. For the 8th
time I did a total re-install only this time I booted from the
NON-UEFI drive and left out the
/boot/efi partition during the install.
. It is just a
guess but I suspect that Microsoft with its undue influence over
everything, everything now defaults to UEFI, to include UEFI devices,
motherboards, etc, and these receive priority over non-UEFI items,
thus if you have a recent vintage motherboard, or other devices, they
are set up to comply with the Microsoft UEFI policy, but to be
backwards compatible, there is a list of non-UEFI items. If you are
installing Scientific Linux 7.1 your first trip should be to BIOS, to
ensure that whatever device you are booting from is NOT
. If you are doing Custom Manual Partitioning
DO NOT install a /boot/efi
partition — you do however need a /boot partition. Once you have
done that the rest of the install is rather straight forward.

BIOS hack needs to be published and save everyone from tearing out
their hair in frustration. Were it not for the fact I was working
with a mirrored computer I might not have caught this.

biggest problem with Scientific Linux 7.1 is that it is grossly
unpolished. There is no reason that you should have to jump through a
bunch of hoops just to install kmod-nvidia. A “yum install
kmod-nvidia” should be all that is needed. Other problems come
to the installation of Users and Groups. In Fedora, all you do is go
to Administration –> click on “Users and Groups” and be
on your merry way. Both in Scientific Linux 7.0 1406 and 7.1 1503
there is no easy way to add Users and Groups, as the administrative
icon is missing. If you want to add Users and Groups you need to be
Old School and do it from the CLI. That said I was able to add the
Users and Groups icon back in: You need to 1) enable several repos
including elreo, epel, extras, and nux-dextop. 2) Run yum grouplist
3) Run yum groupinstall “MATE Desktop”, yum groupinstall
“Xfce”, yum groupinstall “Milkymist”, and
groupinstall “Haskell”. It is somewhere in one of those
four groups. When you next click on Applications –>
Administration you will find the familiar “Users and Groups”

What about tunes?!? If you are looking for kscd, forget
it, I’ve looked and still can not find it. The news is slightly
better if you are a fan of Amarok. IF you plan to run amarok do try
to install it before
you add your kmod-nvidia drivers. Before I “fixed” the OS
to run kmod-nvidia, I had no problem installing amarok, and it worked
just fine; after I “fixed” it so I could run kmod-nvidia I
went to install amarok I got the following message:

Multilib version problems found. This often means that the root

is something else and multilib version checking is just

out that there is a problem. Eg.:

1. You have an upgrade for
qtwebkit which is missing some

dependency that another package
requires. Yum is trying to

solve this by installing an older
version of qtwebkit of the

different architecture. If you exclude
the bad architecture

yum will tell you what the root cause is
(which package

requires what). You can try redoing the upgrade

–exclude qtwebkit.otherarch … this should give you an

message showing the root cause of the problem.

2. You
have multiple architectures of qtwebkit installed, but

yum can
only see an upgrade for one of those architectures.

If you don’t
want/need both architectures anymore then you

can remove the one
with the missing update and everything

will work.

3. You
have duplicate versions of qtwebkit installed already.

You can use
“yum check” to get yum show these errors.

…you can
also use –setopt=protected_multilib=false to remove

checking, however this is almost never the correct thing to

do as
something else is very likely to go wrong (often causing

much more

Protected multilib versions:
qtwebkit-2.3.3-3.el7.x86_64 != qtwebkit-2.3.4-3.el7.i686

suspect the problem occurs because when you run the hack that “fixes”
it so you can install kmod-nvidia part of it requires you to install
32 bit libraries. To quote the source:

“When running a
64bit OS, the 32bit Nvidia libraries may also be needed for
compatibility, I always install them. The good thing is that
kmod-nvidia also disables nouveau automatically, so no more manually
tweaking modprobe and grub

install kmod-nvidia nvidia-x11-drv-32bit”

I suspect that
the “!= qtwebkit-2.3.4-3.el7.i686″ is 32 bit and that
conflicts the amarok install. You might try to get around the problem
by installing amarok before you fix the nvidia drivers problem. No
guarantee, but it is worth a shot.

The alternatives included
in Scientific Linux 7.1 are sparce — Rythembox being the ONLY

Another place where Scientific Linux 7.1 falls
down is when it comes to turning ON and turning OFF services. You use
to go to Applications –> Administration and find “Services”,
you go there open it up and then at a glance you could see what was
running, and what was not. You could also choose to STOP and/or
RE-START any given Service. Like “Users and Groups” this
too is missing. There may or may NOT be something similar in
Scientific Linux 7.1: If you go to Favorites –> System Settings
–> find System Administration –> find and open Startup and
Shutdown –> Service Manager you have something that looks sort of
like the old service manager. things such as ntp, etc, are missing.
The *old* version was far better, and for better or worse, it should
be included as an alternate to the “new” version.

place that is a clear improvement is VMware Player. Once I “fixed”
the problem with installing the kmod-nvidia drivers, it also it
seemed to “fix” the problem with the Vmware Player. It now
opens all my Virtual Machines without a problem. One BIG improvement
was that even though during the install the 1 TB SATA is not in the
train (it is listed as being found, just not listed in the boot
sequence)Scientific Linux 7.1 goes out and can see all the
directories on that HD. You just need to select the directory, enter
your secret sauce root password, and BINGO!! you now have access to
the data on your other drive!!!

OTOH if you are looking for
Games — card, or board — SORRY you are out of luck. I’ve gone in
search of these and none can be found.

Unlike Scientific Linux 7.0 1406 which was a Total Disaster,
Scientific Linux 7.1 1503 is very much a usable OS though still
lacking in features. It is clearly NOT designed for a newbie who
would through up their hands in total defeat. It really is a DIY type
of OS — if you are willing to sink a lot of time into it, it really
is a nice OS with some nice features, but there are clearly places
where it can be improved: It still needs a way for people to Add
Users and Groups; kmod-nvidia should be a rather straight forward
install without needing to jumps through hoops; amarok, kscd, should
be part of the multimedia package set as these are two old standards
people know and love; games — totally missing and found on every
distro except Scientific Linux 7.1 (and probably RHEL 7.1) need to be
added; Administrative tools such as the “classic”
“Services” that was found under Application –>
Administration should be reinstalled; and overall the OS needs to be
polished. In short Scientific Linux 7.1 needed far too much hacking
to be made usable. Unless I encounter other problems I can now say I
will be migrating off Fedora 20 and to Scientific Linux 7.1. While it
still needs work — a lot of work — Scientific Linux 7.1 is quite
usable, even if not as polished as Fedora 20, and 21. The Problem
with Fedora, is you are always on the Bleeding Edge — and trust me
you do a LOT of BLEEDING; Scientific Linux by contrast is nice and
stable for the most part, however Scientific Linux 7.x has been quite
a disappointment. With the release of Scientific Linux 7.1 1503 I can
now say it is usable even if it still needs work. For the Newbies out
there I would pass on Scientific Linux 7.1, and wait until Scientific
Linux 7.2 is released when hopefully many of the problems I have
encountered have been fixed; for the more experienced user with a
handful of tricks published above I think you’ll really enjoy this
release, understand this is closer to a Beta or a RC1 release than a
final release since it still needs work.

Nintendo Amiibo not worth purchasing.

Amiibo and Club Nintendo aren’t worth it.  Club Nintendo didn’t have good enough free Virtual Console games and the known accessories are complete junk.

We’re right in the middle of a storm. Nintendo botched it big time when it came to stocking the new Amiibo figures with any sort of sense, with such ridiculous, half-assed explanations it isn’t unreasonable to assume the supplies are scarce on purpose. The moment folks got wind of certain Amiibo figures being hard to get, the scalpers and desperate consumers declared war and dumb things are happening as a result. People are now importing Amiibo, re-selling them for several times the retail price and of course paying several times the retail price. Other people are just unhappy and/or disappointed. Add in children, a huge part of the Nintendo fanbase to the equation, and things just get sad.

When you get caught up in a craze like this, it’s easy to forget what’s important. Like, for example, if the damn things are even worth buying. Maybe you’re a fan of the whole NFC thing as a genre, and know exactly what you’re getting into. Maybe you couldn’t care less about Skylanders or Disney Infinity, but the adorable Nintendo characters are shooting daggers into your heart. Either way, buying into this stuff is a hell of an investment depending on your approach, and it’s absolutely worth discussing how you’re going to justify drop-kicking somebody’s mom to get a hold of Best Buy’s last Little Mac. Here are a few talking points.

Price is definitely a factor for anything, but the scarcity and instability of the secondhand market right now is making these things fluctuate everywhere but the unreliable retail locations. If you can find what you want at Toys R Us though, you can do pretty well. At least for the holidays, you get a slight discount when you buy two Amiibo figures. Normally, they’re $12.99 each. That’s pretty good in terms of NFC figures; Disney Infinity toys are a few dollars more. If you want to import to get the more hard to find Amiibo, you’re probably looking at around 20 bucks and shipping. The secondhand market is nutty, going as far as 50 dollars or more for the rare figures, like Marth. Do not pay more than around 20 dollars for an Amiibo. Do not pay more than around 20 dollars for an Amiibo. You will be disappointed.

Unfortunately, Amiibo seem prone to factory defects and paint issues. This makes pre-ordering thoroughly unappealing, which is awful considering how that’s going to be the only option for a lot of these things, unless they get restocked later. It’s still vague as to whether or not that’s going to happen, and to what capacity. Thanks, Nintendo! That said, when you get one without any problems, they’re pretty cool. Don’t expect the same level of artistry as the Disney Infinity figures, however. Those things are amazing. Amiibo are still nice pieces, and some of them have a lot of neat little details, like Peach. Some of the less complicated characters, such as Little Mac, are going to be a little boring if you’re not into the character or franchise. It’s also worth nothing the stands on some of these figures. Some of them are a hideous shade of yellow for no clear reason, and others just have them in visually awkward places. Mileage may vary on characters like Link and Captain Falcon.

Here’s the big one. In terms of actual, NFC video games thingy function, Amiibo are… kinda garbage. Especially compared to the competition. Right now, three games are Amiibo compatible: Mario Kart 8, Hyrule Warriors and of course, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. In the first two, Amiibo simply unlock some in-game items, mostly cosmetic. Using the Link Amiibo in Hyrule Warriors does net you a new weapon, but the others just give you a random item. In Mario Kart 8, you get outfits for the Mii racer depending on which characters you use (not all of them are compatible). The functionality in Smash Bros. is a bit more elaborate, with the Amiibo becoming trainable A.I. which you can customize and fight with.

What’s going to make or break Amiibo is how Nintendo supports them after Smash Bros. When you look at Skylanders or Disney Infinity, you can immediately see the value. Buying a figure gives you tangible in-game content. If you pick up Hulk, you can play as Hulk. When you bust your ass to find a Little Mac, you could already play as him in Smash Bros. Unfortunately, with all the artificial scarcity going on, it’s hard to imagine a game revolving around the figures working out very well. If Amiibo continue to unlock alternate costumes and items, that doesn’t sit well with me either.
What does “Amiibo” even mean, anyway?

Ultimately, I’d be willing to argue that without the supply issues, Amiibo probably wouldn’t be the hot topic it is now. Does that mean Nintendo didn’t have enough confidence in the gimmick to hit the ground running with it? Who knows. What we do know is, they don’t actually do much, despite being neat little figures. If you’re into collecting things, by all means these are some of the best Nintendo-themed trinkets money can currently buy (for a generally affordable price, no less). Otherwise, if you want to see what NFC figure gaming is all about, those Disney Infinity figures are super nice, and do a lot more for you. You can also, like, find all of them in stores.

What if JRPGs make you smarter, but anime/magna makes you dumber.

Considering that most of the anime fans I know in this site (myanimelist) or outside it, are dumb and ignorant as fuck, no I don’t think it makes people smarter The opposite is true for JRPGs and martial arts videogames, because they make your brain hurt more.

I know its counterdicting.   Magna and anime, you riot your brain on bad dubs, but JRPGs you have to comprehend things in order to see the ending.  Plus all the genius societies claim to play videogames.  In the future, our job hiring will be based around how well I play videogames (2020s, 2030s)

European Union commission investigating E-commerce eroding national markets.

The gradual erosion of national markets is one of the apparent side effects of the growth of on-line commerce and the ever increasing influence of the institutions and law of the European Union (of course with Grexit and Brexit this centralising tendency may not continue). More specifically the practice of having differential prices across Europe and the related practice of geo-blocking (preventing persons located outside a certain territory from accessing websites in another territory) is coming under increased scrutiny. This is a highly relevant issue for the games industry, given that games are increasingly being sold online and in digital form, and with a specific European Commission investigation into the pricing of games. Current developments include:

  • Reports that the European Commission is investigating on competition law grounds “the alleged geo-blocking of certain video games sold online for personal computers.”
  • An investigation, again on competition law grounds, into cross border restrictions in the EU of pay TV services offered by US film studios.
  • The European Commission Digital Single Market Strategy due to be launched in May, which is likely to result in the development of digital market policy and possibly legislation.
  • A European Commission Competition ‘Sector Inquiry’ into the E-commerce sector which is expected to conclude mid-2016.
  • Raids on producers of electronic products and small domestic appliances, based at least in part on alleged infringements of competition law in relation to on-line sales.

It is apparent that the majority of these investigations involve competition law. There can be very significant implications for any companies that have been found to have breached competition law (including fines of up to 10% of worldwide turnover). However, the wider issues could have significant implications for the games industry as a whole- with fundamental implications for how and where games are sold, the price at which they are sold and therefore the money available to develop further games. This article considers the current position in relation to the law and thoughts on the potential outcomes of the current investigations

So what is the current position with respect to the application of competition law in this context? As you might expect a lawyer to say, the position is complicated, nuanced and ultimately should be the subject of detailed and specific advice. But looking at the position broadly the following principles are relevant.

“companies cannot make agreements with third parties that have the object or effect of restricting competition”

Firstly, of some comfort to businesses, competition law acknowledges that companies have a right to determine how they conduct their own business, who they choose to deal with and the price at which they deal. However that right is not absolute and there are exceptions. Where companies have market power over competitors and customers (referred to in competition law terms as ‘dominance’) they have a special responsibility not to abuse that power. This can in certain circumstances require companies to deal with third parties, or not to discriminate between customers on illegitimate or arbitrary grounds (nationality is likely to be one such illegitimate ground). Typically dominance will only arise with market shares well above 30%.

However while competition law will only rarely intervene in the conduct of a business acting on its own, companies are more restricted when it comes to the relationships with third parties. More specifically, companies cannot make agreements with third parties that have the object or effect of restricting competition. Of particular relevance to this article is the law around territorial restrictions in agreements between companies.

While it is generally deemed acceptable for a manufacturer to determine how its products are actively marketed by its distributors or resellers by allotting distributors or resellers certain exclusive territories (so called active selling), it is generally not allowed for a manufacturer to prevent those same distributors or resellers from meeting unsolicited requests for product from customers outside of their territory (so called passive selling). In this way the authorities with responsibility for enforcing competition law seek to balance the pro-competitive benefits of rationalising the distribution of products within territories, with the overarching EU goal of ensuring as far as possible that there is a single market for goods and services within the EU.

“a games manufacturer in the UK can appoint an exclusive reseller to market and sell their games in Poland and prevent them actively targeting customers the UK”

So by way of example a games manufacturer in the UK can appoint an exclusive reseller to market and sell their games in Poland and prevent them actively targeting customers the UK. However, the reseller in Poland cannot typically be prevented from fulfilling unsolicited orders from gamers in the UK.

Perhaps the best example of enforcement of this principle in practice is in relation to Nintendo. In October 2002 Nintendo and its exclusive distributors were fined a total of €167.8 million (one of the highest fines for infringement of competition law at the time) for having in place general prohibitions in its distribution agreements on the trade of its consoles and games between EU member states.

Because the European Commission sees the internet as generally a passive sales channel- any absolute requirement on third party resellers not to fulfil orders from outside the territory (which is likely to include a requirement to geo-block) is likely to fall foul of the law outlined above.

There are a number of cases other than Nintendo that follow current law and illustrate that this is more than just a theoretical risk. For example:

  • In 2007 objections were raised to Apple iTunes pricing practices which were resolved by a settlement with the European Commission based on a decision by Apple to equalise prices across the EU (or more specifically reduce the price for songs in the UK). In its statement on settlement the European Commission suggests there may not have been grounds for formal action given that this was a unilateral action by Apple “The Commission’s antitrust proceedings have also clarified that it is not agreements between Apple and the major record companies which determine how the iTunes store is organised in Europe. Consequently, the Commission does not intend to take further action in this case.”
  • In the much publicised Murphy case in 2012 the Court of Justice of the European Union held that the use of foreign decoder cards to broadcast FAPL football matches to a pub in the UK (thus avoiding Sky’s licence fee) could not be prevented on the basis that obligations not to provide decoders outside the territory are contrary to competition law. The effect of this case was not however as dramatic as it might have been, given the finding of the courts that broadcasting to the public without an appropriate license could infringe intellectual property rights.

But competition law is not the only relevant law in this area. General provisions of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), and Directives also cover these areas – for example Article 26 TFEU states that “The Union shall adopt measures with the aim of establishing or ensuring the function of the internal market….the internal market shall comprise an area without internal frontiers from which a free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured”. The Services Directive of the European Parliament states that “Member States shall ensure that the recipient [of a service] is not made subject to discriminatory requirements… but without precluding the possibility of providing for differences in the conditions of access where those differences that are directly justified by objective criteria”.

“There is therefore a real possibility that the outcomes of the various current enforcement actions and enquiries will be great centralization of prices for games (and other products) across the EU”

As the Nintendo, Apple and Murphy cases demonstrate there is little tolerance at a European level for cross border restrictions. That is also consistent with the broader aims as outlined in the TFEU and the Services Directive, as well as those that wish to create a single EU economy. There is also a personal element to some of these concerns – Margrethe Vestager – Commissioner for Competition EU has said “I, for one, cannot understand why I can watch my favourite Danish channels on my tablet in Copenhagen – a service I paid for – but I can’t when I am in Brussels.”

There is therefore a real possibility that the outcomes of the various current enforcement actions and enquiries will be great centralization of prices for games (and other products) across the EU.

However there are clearly rational objections to any single market approach. Some differences in prices across the EU may be rational however- and not simply on the basis of different costs of distribution. In a digital world the cost price differences between prices in the sale of games are not likely to be significant. But discrimination between member states can be pro-competitive in ensuring that the price of the games matches the customer’s ability to pay. A single price across the EU risks that games will be set at prices that are relatively cheap in North and Western Europe, and relatively expensive in South and Eastern Europe. Ultimately this could lead to respectively oversupply and undersupply depending on the area, and may limit the profits available to reinvest in producing better games and games technology. Others complain that the move towards a single market will undermine the cultural heritage across Europe, favouring instead larger companies with pan-European operations.

It remains to be seen what the outcome of the enquiries and the investigations will be. This is however something the games industry participants should monitor carefully and feed into with their views when they have the chance. The outcome of the current inquiries could have a profound impact on the way games and other digital content is market, sold and consumed in the EU.

Bought new Everdrive 64 2.5 and Superdrive

I bought the 2.5 version of Everdrive 64. Now I can play all the Super Mario 64 mods like Starry Road on old N64s.  My N64 collection isn’t large enough for Instagram.  I like to collect the entire N64 category, but am spending that money on 3DS, PS4 and Vita games.   I also got a Pro8 Superdrive for SNES.  This will emulate roms from Sdcard and save games with a Nihm battery. The sNES games were getting expensive.  Earthbound Reloaded was $50.  I have 30 SNES games and 20 Sega Genesis games.

Alien Pandoraviruses

Newly Found Pandoraviruses Hint at a Fourth Branch of Life

If you were to guess right now what kinds of organisms have driven some scientists to believe that another branch of life exists, what would they be? Hideous, green aliens or maybe man-eating flies? Actually, the organisms in question are neither alive nor visible to the naked human eye. Recently identified giant viruses – literally just uncommonly large viruses – are the organisms responsible for this new line of thinking.

Giant viruses appear to have been hiding from us in plain sight (figuratively speaking of course). In 2003, a group of French researchers identified the first mega viruses in a cooling tower, where they had been living off of amoebas. Since then, other giant viruses have been found in swamps, contact lens fluid (!), a pond in Australia, and off the coast of Chile. The recent identification of giant viruses doesn’t mean that they have suddenly appeared on Earth in the last ten years. On the contrary, it signifies the changing notions of what it means to be a virus. Scientists have long thought that viruses are small and fairly simple. Seeing that giant viruses are neither, other scientists who may have found them before now probably assumed that they were just bacteria.Giant viruses are unique because of their immense size and vast number of genes. In comparison to other viruses, giant viruses are like lions amongst mere house cats – larger, and more complex. Since the discovery of the first few giant viruses, such as Mimivirus and Megavirus chilensis, two extremely large new ones have been identified. Known as Pandoraviruses, for their box like shape, these two particular specimens are the largest viruses ever found. How large are they? So large that they can be seen under a light microscope. Pandoraviruses are even bigger than some eukaryotic cells, the ones humans are made of, which is radical since they are after all viruses.

The number of genes Pandoraviruses have is especially noteworthy. Their genomes range from 1,900 to 2,500 genes. In comparison, the influenza virus has a mere 13 genes while humans have roughly 24,000. What’s more, only 7% of their genes have been seen before in other organisms, meaning that the other 93% is foreign. According to Jean-Michel Claverie and Chantal Abergel, who are researchers on Pandoraviruses, “the lack of similarity of most of their genes with other life forms might be an indication that they originated from a totally different primitive cellular lineage.” As of now, three domains of life are recognized: Bacteria, single-celled Archaea and Eukaryotes, the domain plants, animals, and humans belong to. Pandoraviruses’ foreignness alludes to the possibility of a fourth branch of life distinct from the other three and greater biological diversity.

Hand in hand with the theory of a fourth domain is the idea that Pandoraviruses and other giant viruses descended from primitive, living cells separate from bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotic cells. If so, then ancient cells must have embarked on two different evolutionary paths: some gave rise to “modern life” while others evolved into viruses.

Giant viruses, as far as we know, are harmless to humans. They have been found lurking in amoebas inside the human body but don’t appear to cause any sickness. Only time and more research will tell if they actually can wreck havoc in the body. There is even some evidence that they are useful, not to humans but to the oceans. Pandoraviruses found in water regulate some populations of phytoplankton, which contribute significantly to the world´s supply of oxygen, by preying on them.The French scientists who discovered Pandoraviruses are hopeful that future studies on the viruses will lead to further “biomedical and biotechnical innovations“. Overall, I think that the discovery of giant viruses shows that much biological diversity on earth is still unknown to humans and worth discovering.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary-rodham-clinton 2.jpg
United States Secretary of State

Hillary Rodham Clinton (born October 26, 1947) is currently serving as the 67th Secretary of State in the Obama Administration. She was a Senator for New York from 2001 to 2009, and ran for the Democratic Primaries in 2008. She was the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001 as wife of President Bill Clinton whom she married in 1975.

Early Life

Hillary Clinton was born Hillary Diane Rodham to Hugh Ellsworth Rodham and Dorothy Emma Howell in Chicago, Illinois on Oct. 26, 1947. She has two younger brothers, Hugh Rodham and Tony Rodham. Her parents, who were United Methodist‘s who moved the family to Park Ridge, Illinois when Hillary was three-years-old. Her father operated a small business in the textile industry[1] while her mother was a homemaker.[2]

Early Political Activism

Growing up in a politically conservative household, Hillary began working for the Republican party from the age of thirteen. However during her college years, prompted by events such as the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, she changed her political views by the late 1960’s. She left the Republican Party for good in 1968.

Law School & Career

Hillary majored in political science at Wellesley Collge in 1965 before entering Yale Law School where her research focused on children and the law.

Marriage to Bill Clinton

In late Spring, 1971, Hillary began dating Bill Clinton who was also studying law at Yale. In 1974, following repeated requests from Bill Clinton to marry him, Hillary accepted. They were married on Oct. 11, 1975 in the Rodham’s living room. On February 27, 1980, Rodham gave birth to a daughter, Chelsea, her only child.

Moving left

Hillary Clinton grew up as a Goldwater Republican, like her father, in the middle-class Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. By the time she was a freshman at Wellesley, when she was elected president of the College Republicans, her concern with civil rights and the war in Vietnam put her closer to the moderate-liberal wing of the GOP led by Nelson Rockefeller. By her junior year, she had to be talked by her professor into taking an internship with Rep. Gerald R. Ford and the House Republican Caucus. In her senior year, she was campaigning for the anti-war Democrat Eugene McCarthy.

“I sometimes think that I didn’t leave the Republican Party,” she has written, “as much as it left me.”[3]

Alinsky Thesis


The senior thesis of Hillary D. Rodham, Wellesley College class of 1969, was on the work of Chicago radical Saul Alinsky.

The Clintons who asked Wellesley in 1993 to hide Hillary Rodham’s senior thesis from the first generation of Clinton biographers, according to her thesis adviser and friend, professor Alan H. Schechter, who describes taking the call from the White House. “A stupid political decision.”

Wellesley’s president, Nannerl Overholser Keohane, approved a broad rule with a specific application: The senior thesis of every Wellesley alumna is available in the college archives for anyone to read — except for those written by either a “president or first lady of the United States.”

So far, that action has sealed precisely one document: Hillary Rodham’s senior honors thesis in political science, entitled ” ‘There Is Only the Fight…’: An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.”

Rodham took her thesis title — “There Is Only the Fight…” — from T.S. Eliot:

“There is only the fight to recover what has been lost and found and lost again and again.”

She began with a feminist jab at the clichés of male authors: “Although I have no ‘loving wife’ to thank for keeping the children away while I wrote, I do have many friends and teachers who have contributed to the process of thesis-writing.” She thanks particularly “Mr. Alinsky for providing a topic, sharing his time and offering me a job.”[4]

Radical law firm


Hillary Rodham served a:) clerkship in 1971 at one of America’s most radical law firms, San Francisco based Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein.

One partner at the firm, Doris Brin Walker, was a lifelong Communist Party USA member at the time. Another partner, Robert Treuhaft, had left the party in 1958, several years after being called before the House Un-American Activities Committee and labeled as one of America’s most “dangerously subversive” lawyers. The Oakland-based firm was renowned for taking clients others rejected as too controversial, including Communists, draft resisters, and members of the African-American militant group known as the Black Panther Party. The other partner Malcolm Burnstein, maintained a lifetime commitment to radical causes.

The firm was involved in a volatile Black Panthers case the summer Mrs. Clinton worked there: the trial of Huey Newton for the 1967 killing of an Oakland police officer. Treuhaft represented a Newton associate whose role in the trial may have helped Newton win a series of mistrials and, eventually, the dismissal of all charges related to the officer’s death.

Partners at the firm said it was likely Mrs. Clinton also worked on politically sensitive cases involving a Berkeley student activist denied admission to the California bar over incendiary rhetoric, Stanford physician interns fighting a loyalty oath at the Veterans Administration, and men claiming conscientious objector status to avoid being drafted and sent to Vietnam. Mrs. Clinton’s only public recollection of her work at the Treuhaft firm is that she handled a child custody matter.

Mrs. Clinton’s most vivid memories from that summer may be personal ones that have nothing to do with the law firm with which she clerked. A fellow Yale law student, President Clinton, shared the Berkeley apartment where she was staying. The pair soon got serious and would move in together when they returned to New Haven that fall.

Mrs. Clinton’s decision to work at the Treuhaft firm was rooted in the turbulence, chaos and radicalism that buffeted Yale after she entered law school there in 1969. Most campuses saw their share of foment, but Yale saw more than its share in the spring of 1970 because of the impending criminal trial in New Haven of a Black Panthers’ leader, Bobby Seale, and several co-defendants, for kidnapping and murdering another member of the Panthers. Many, including Yale’s president at the time, doubted that Seale and other black militants could get a fair trial. As students prepared for a national student strike on May Day 1970, a suspicious fire broke out in the basement of a Yale law library.

Mrs. Clinton has written about joining a “bucket brigade to put out” the library fire and about organizing round-the-clock patrols in the wake of the blaze.

Ultimately, the May Day protest turned Yale into an armed camp, occupied by thousands of soldiers, but the event yielded little of the feared violence. That came three days later at Kent State University in Ohio when National Guard soldiers shot and killed four students protesting the Vietnam War.

The Black Panthers’ trial didn’t actually begin until the fall. During the lead-up, Seale’s attorney, Charles Garry of San Francisco, became a regular presence in the courtyards at Yale Law School.

At some point, Treuhaft and his wife, Jessica Mitford, passed through New Haven and threw a party to raise money for the Panthers’ defense. According to Gail Sheehy‘s biography of Mrs. Clinton, “Hillary’s Choice,” the future senator attended the Treuhaft-Mitford party. Many have surmised that this event laid the groundwork for Mrs. Clinton’s clerkship at Treuhaft’s law office.

One of Treuhaft’s partners, Malcolm Burnstein, said Mrs. Clinton’s internship was arranged by a national student group. “She was sent to us by the Law Students’ Civil Rights Research Council,” Mr. Burnstein told the Sun. The group also paid Mrs. Clinton during her summer at the firm, he said. It is possible Mrs. Clinton selected the Treuhaft firm and then arranged funding through the council. That’s how she set up her first law-school summer internship working with the future founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman.

Mrs. Clinton’s only public recollection of her stint at the Treuhaft firm came in her 2003 memoir, “Living History.”

“I told Bill about my summer plans to clerk at Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein, a small law firm in Oakland, California and he announced that he would like to go with me,” she wrote. “I spent most of my time working for Mal Burnstein researching, writing legal motions and briefs for a child custody case.”

A review of some of Mr. Burnstein’s legal files now at the archives of the University of California at Berkeley shows that the Treuhaft firm also handled two major cases in mid-1971 involving political dissent. One involved a protest leader who was elected Berkeley student body president, Daniel Siegel.

Mr. Siegel passed his the bar exam in 1970, but his admission was blocked on grounds that he was morally unfit. He was criminally charged with inciting the 1969 “People’s Park” riot, which left one man dead, others injured, and hundreds arrested.

Mr. Siegel was acquitted of that charge, but bar officials said his statements prior to the riot and thereafter indicated he was not suited to be an attorney. They also asked him if he was a Communist, which he denied.

Mr. Burnstein appealed the bar committee’s rejection to the California Supreme Court, arguing that Mr. Siegel was being punished for his political beliefs. The court eventually sided with Mr. Siegel, who joined the bar in November 1973.

Two other dissenters whose case was pending during Mrs. Clinton’s summer at the Treuhaft firm were Peter Cummings and Peter Rudd. Both were medical students from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio who won internships at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. On arriving at Stanford, they discovered they were required to fill out loyalty oaths to do a required rotation at the nearby Veterans Administration hospital. “It was the typical, ‘Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?'” Dr. Cummings recalled in a recent interview. He said he and Dr. Rudd were not Communists, but chafed at signing the oath. “I’ve always been very annoyed by and not a fan of this kind of loyalty oath,” Dr. Cummings said.

Through the American Civil Liberties Union, the pair became clients of Mr. Burnstein. In the ensuing legal challenges, which went before riders of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals at least twice, the government argued that disloyal medical students might try to kill unsuspecting veterans who sought medical treatment. Mr. Burnstein prevailed and the loyalty oath for Veterans Administration doctors soon wound up as a footnote of history.

As Mrs. Clinton left the Treuhaft firm in 1971, one of its partners was gearing up for the defense of a Communist and black revolutionary, Angela Davis, against murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges stemming from a 1970 shootout that left a California judge dead. Ms. Walker became the resident Communist on Ms. Davis’s legal team. “I was asked by the Party to participate in Angela’s case,” the lawyer said. She said no one else at the law firm, including Mrs. Clinton, worked on Ms. Davis’s case.

At the trial, held in 1972 at San Jose, the Treuhaft firm’s winning record held up again. A jury acquitted the polarizing African-American activist of all charges.

By the time Mrs. Clinton arrived at the Treuhaft firm in 1971, its reputation as a defender of left-wingers and radicals was well established. Indeed, those at the firm assumed that reputation drew the Yale law student in.

“She did want to work for a left-wing movement law firm. Anyone who went to college or law school would have known our law firm was a Communist law firm,” Treuhaft told Ms. Sheehy in 1999.

“This was an old-left, radical law firm,” a staff attorney there during Mrs. Clinton’s summer, David Nawi, said. “Treuhaft was suing the police and doing wonderful work with the black community in East Oakland before anybody else.”

A Yale Law student who worked as a clerk at the firm the summer before Mrs. Clinton arrived, Mary Nichols, said Treuhaft was open about his stint in the Communist Party. “Treuhaft, he himself was proud of having been a Communist at one time. This was not something that they hid in any way. They were not people stockpiling dynamite. They were a respectable law firm, but still you knew they had experimented in that kind of way,” she said.

Mr. Siegel, the Berkeley protester-turned-lawyer, said committed student leftists in 1971 would have viewed the firm’s Communist connections as quaint, perhaps even conservative. “We almost universally thought Communist Party people were sellouts,” he said. “People of my generation who were getting involved were Marxists, Maoists, even Trotskyists. The Communist Party was pretty unpopular, unless your parents were in it.”

The details of Treuhaft’s membership in the Communist Party were not formally disclosed until 1977, when his wife, Jessica Mitford, published a humorous memoir of their years in the Communist ranks. In “A Fine Old Conflict,” she reported that her husband signed up in 1943 and that she followed in 1944. Both left the party in 1958, she wrote.

Ms. Walker joined the party in 1942. “I’m still a Marxist, and that’s why I stayed in,” she said.

While many American Communists quit the party in disgust in 1956 following the Soviet invasion of Hungary and Nikita Khrushchev’s denunciation of Josef Stalin’s crimes, those events do not seem to have been the impetus for the departure of Treuhaft and Mitford, who stayed on for another two years.

A journalist who edited a recently published collection of Mitford’s letters, Peter Sussman, said the couple’s falling out with the American Communist Party was driven largely by its unyielding bureaucracy.

“She was bored with it,” Mr. Sussman said. “It was ineffective. She had worked to reform it and that was unsuccessful, and to give the American party some autonomy from Soviet Communism.”

Mr. Sussman said Mitford, who died in 1996, was also “bitterly disappointed” about a decision the party made to cut ties with a group dedicated to resolving racial inequities in America, the Civil Rights Congress.

A collection of Mitford’s letters indicates that Republican political operatives knew about Mrs. Clinton’s work at Treuhaft’s firm months before the 1992 election, but apparently chose not to raise it despite her prominence in her husband’s presidential campaign. In a July 4, 1992 letter to a veteran civil rights activist, Virginia Durr, Mitford wrote, “There was a v. long article in Vanity Fair by Gail Sheehy, an interview with Hillary in which every detail of her life from childhood on was explored — no mention of the internship in Bob’s law office. Quite right, I thought, as obviously if that came out it would be prime meat for the Bush campaign.”

Mr. Burnstein said he, Treuhaft, and Ms. Walker agreed upon learning of Mr. Clinton’s presidential bid not to talk publicly about Mrs. Clinton’s clerkship because they anticipated it would become fodder for Mr. Clinton’s opponents.

“We expected it,” Mr. Burnstein said. “We were very carefully not talking to the press back then. … We did not want her being unfairly tarred with someone else’s politics. Hillary’s politics were not Bob’s politics, which were not Doris’s politics, which were not mine.”

“For Hillary to pick the most left-wing firm really at that time in the Bay Area, it’s still a surprise to me that more hasn’t been made of that,” Ms. Walker said. “It was such an obvious thing for them to pick up, but they didn’t, and I’ve never understood it.”[5]

Bernard Rapoport connection

As Texas swung from a Democratic stronghold to an increasingly Republican and conservative state, marxist leaning businessman Bernard Rapoport continued to support liberal Democrats and their causes, both with his money and his extensive national political connections. His contributions to George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign put Mr. Rapoport on one of President Richard M. Nixon’s enemies lists; contributions to the presidential campaigns of both Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton helped nourish a 40-year friendship. Mr. Clinton was scheduled to deliver a eulogy at a memorial service in May 2012, in Washington DC.[6]

Single-payer Bill

In 1994 Jim McDermott, John Conyers and Paul Wellstone promoted a “single-payer” health care bill (HR1200/S491).[7] Ellen Shaffer, a member of Wellstone’s staff told the People’s Weekly World that the authors had been “working closely” with Hillary Clinton. “She knows what they are doing” Shaffer said.[8]

2000 WFP Convention

The New York Working Families Party 2000 Convention was held at the Desmond Hotel, March 26.

Attendees included;

There were sizable delegations from ACORN and Citizen Action.[9]

Clinton and communists helped Kucinich

During Dennis Kucinich‘s 1996 Congressional run, there was considerable controversy over his ties to Communist Party USA member Rick Nagin. Writing in the Communist Party USA paper People’s Weekly World Ohio Communist Party chairman, Rick Nagin, detailed the campaign which led to Kucinich’s election to Congress:[10]

“The election of Dennis Kucinich in Ohio’s 10th Congressional District was a ground-breaking event demonstrating the powerful political potential of a mass, grassroots coalition led by Labor.
Trade unionists and seniors provided the largest numbers of some 5,000 volunteers but many others came from Hispanic, environmental, peace and other organizations.
According to the campaign staff, the volunteers canvassed at least 600 of the district’s 750 precincts, some as many as four times. They turned the western half of Cuyahoga County and especially the west side of Cleveland into a sea of 15,000 bright yellow yard signs reading “Light Up Congress! Elect Dennis Kucinich” –[10]

Many organizations also issued their own literature and did their own mailings including the AFL-CIO’s Labor ’96, the UAW CAP Council, the Sierra Club, Peace Voter ’96, gay rights and senior groups. The United Auto Workers and the Steelworkers did plantgate distributions. The Ohio Council of Senior Citizens distributed 12,000 pieces with the positions of Kucinich and his opponent, incumbent Martin Hoke, on senior issues to senior buildings, nutrition sites and bingo games.

Then First Lady Clinton, Congressmen Louis Stokes, Joseph Kennedy and Barney Frank also helped out.

“The coalition embraced many political viewpoints: Democrats, independents, Greens, socialists, Communists, members of the Labor Party, even some disgruntled Republicans. Democratic Party figures, including First Lady Hillary Clinton, Congressmen Louis Stokes, Joseph Kennedy and Barney Frank visited Cleveland to help in the effort.”[11]

Take Back America Conferences

Hillary Clinton was on the list of 114 speakers (which included George Soros) at the 2004 Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America’s Future.[12]

She was back in 2006, 2007.

Admiration for Cesar Chavez

On April 1, 2008 Evelina Alarcon, Executive Director of Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday welcomed the backing for a Cesar Chavez national holiday from Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama who issued a statement on Cesar Chavez’s birthday Monday, March 31, 2008. “We at Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday appreciate the backing of a national holiday for Cesar Chavez from presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama. That support is crucial because it takes the signature of a President to establish the holiday along with the Congress’s approval,” stated Evelina Alarcon. “It is also encouraging that Senator Hillary Clinton who is a great admirer of Cesar Chavez acknowledged him on his birthday. We hope that she too will soon state her support for a Cesar Chavez national holiday.”

Alarcon’s remarks were part of a statement made at a press conference at our nation’s Capitol on April 1st called by Chair of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA) in support of HR 76, a resolution he authored with 62 Co-Sponsors that encourages the establishment of a Cesar Chavez national holiday by the Congress[13]

Support from Individuals

Hilda Solis & Dolores Huerta

In 2007 Hilda Solis, current Secretary of Labor, endorsed Sen. Clinton for president and signed on to co-chair of the Clinton campaign’s Environmental and Energy Task Force and co-chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Council.

Solis was joined by her friend and Democratic Socialists of America honorary chair, Dolores Huerta. Solis and Huerta had the honor of formally nominating Clinton for the Democratic primary.

Together Huerta and Solis campaigned for Clinton through California and Nevada on a tour themed “Juntos Con Hillary, Una Vida Mejor” (Together with Hillary, A Better Life).

Megan Hull

Between Feb. 2, 2008 and August 28, 2008, Megan Hull contributed $6,900 to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential Nomination race.[14]


Stanley Sheinbaum has many influential friends on the U.S. left.

His walls are adorned with framed photos with Fidel Castro, King Hussein, Barbra Streisand and other world leaders and A-list celebrities.[15]

Key political players such as Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Queen Noor of Jordan and former Sen. Gary Hart, have made the pilgrimage to his Westside salons in search of intellectual stimulation and money for their pet causes — sometimes their own political campaigns.

“Sheinbaum keeps the New Deal torch alive in an age when it’s not fashionable to do so,” said former senator and presidential candidate Gary Hart, a longtime friend. “He’s a voice of conscience.”

George Soros

By 2008, Barack Obama was one of only a handful of candidates to get a personal contribution from George Soros. The others include Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Bob Graham (D-Fla.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, and former Vermont governor Howard Dean.[16]

Support from Organizations

Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to “reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security”, primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Hillary Rodham Clinton in his successful Senate run as candidate for New York.[17]

Planned Parenthood

Clinton received $1837 in lobbying funds from Planned Parenthood in 2008.[18]

EMILY’s List

Clinton has been supported by EMILY’s List during her campaigning.

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

The 700,000-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, one of the nation’s largest and most politically active trade unions, endorsed New York Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton for President. They also took the unusual step of endorsing a Republican candidate for the primaries, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Obama appointment

In January 2009, Clinton was nominated by the Obama administration for the position of Secretary in the Department of State and confirmed in January 2009.[19]

External links


  1. Bernstein 2007, pp. 17–18.
  2. Brock 1996, p. 4. Her father was an outspoken Republican, while her mother kept quiet but was “basically a Democrat.” See also Bernstein 2007, p. 16.
  3. [, NBC News, Reading Hillary Rodham’s hidden thesis, By Bill Dedman Investigative reporter, 5/9/2007 11:20:39]
  4. [, NBC News, Reading Hillary Rodham’s hidden thesis, By Bill Dedman Investigative reporter, 5/9/2007 11:20:39]
  5. [, NY Sun, Hillary Clinton’s Radical Summer A Season of Love and Leftists, By JOSH GERSTEIN, Staff Reporter of the Sun | November 26, 2007]
  6. [, NY Times, Bernard Rapoport, Deep-Pocketed Texas Liberal, Dies at 94, By JOHN SCHWARTZ Published: April 22, 2012
  7. Dem. Left, Jan./Feb. 1994, page 2
  8. PPW, March 13, 1993, page 1
  9. Peoples Weekly World, April 22, 2000, pages 10,11,
  10. 10.0 10.1 PWW November 23, 1996
  11. PWW 10th December 2005
  12. Our Future website: Take Back America 2004 Speakers (accessed on June 11, 2010)
  14. KeyWiki: Megan Hull: Donations, 2008
  16. Unlike Kerry, Barack Obama Covets George Soros’ Support, By Robert B. Bluey, July 7, 2008, Boston (
  17. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
  18. KeyWiki: Planned Parenthood: Donations, 2008
  19. Nominations and appointments