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Apparently it's not enough that we humans got up on two legs, walked out of the Rift Valley, developed the ability to speak, went on to put our thoughts down in writing and ultimately invented email.

Nope. According to scientists at the Zoological Society of London, if we want to improve our communications skills, we'd do well to look at the way chimps interact.

For example, if you're having a particularly hard time with a work colleague, perhaps grooming them would diffuse the situation.

On the other hand, if you're the office whipping boy, then why not flap your arms about, wave objects in the air and puff yourself up in an intimidatory show of force?

Better still, give your boss a piece of your mind by baring your teeth at him.

Marvellous. Speaking to BBCi, Organisational psychologist Professor Cary Cooper enthused: "What I love about this as a concept is that people don't communicate enough to one another. What they communicate is words, not feelings, so this kind of thing would give them access to their emotions... A hierarchy similar to the animal kingdom already exists in the workplace, even though it is not always acknowledged."

Really? Anyone who has sat through an El Reg Strategy Boutique flip-chart brainstorm would claim that the corporate food chain is well established, and acknowledged. It's a dog-eat-dog world in IT news, make no mistake.

Should, however, this very silly idea appeal, then you can be one of 100+ volunteers the RZL wants to take part in its "chimp chatter" experiment. Details are available here.

As for us, we don't think there's much Vulture Central could learn from chimps. Our advice to those who need to address the animal within is this: if you're having a hard time with a work colleague, punch him; if you're being bullied at work, punch someone; and if your boss is giving you grief, bare your buttocks in a display of submission. It works every time. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

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