Validating ID via Gravatar

Most people will have seen a Gravatar user icon online, short for the rather grand sounding "Globally Recognized Avatar". For example GitHub.com and StackOverflow use them, and many blog platforms uses them for user comments (sadly Blogger doesn't, yet). To get a user's icon, you construct a URL with the MD5 checksum of their email address - and if the user isn't registered you get default image or a unique generated abstract icon. This means you can cross-reference a list of email address with a list of Gravatar icon URLs (i.e. a list of email MD5 checksums).


Is IonTorrent open or not?

It seems IonTorrent are trying to present themselves as the open democratising sequencing platform for high throughput sequencing, with their Ion Community, sample datasets and (in theory) open source software. That sounds great and much more open than Roche 454 or Illumina, but I don't think they're doing a very good job of it - apparently they're even managing to break the GPL (see below).

Update 14 Dec: See comments, Ion Torrent Suite v2 should be coming to GitHub in January under the GPL v2 - that counts as open in my book :)

Update 23 Jan: As planned, the Ion Torrent Suite is on GitHub under the GPL v2. Nice!