1887 posts • joined Tuesday 24th April 2007 14:31 GMT
As I noted yesterday
arsenic is rare compared to phosphorus. Why does life use the elements it uses: in part due to chemical properties, in part due to availability. Given two similar elements, organisms which use the commoner of the two will thrive at the expense of those that require the rarer. Technically speaking, the carrying capacity of the ecosystem for the former species is larger than that of the latter. Given that phosphorus is in the order of 1000 times more abundant than arsenic, guess what life ends up using.
Given that phosphorus is more abundant than arsenic
I do not see how this expands the range of places. What would really be interesting is if the bacteria have different chemistry in terms of DNA. Do they use a different code, do they replace phosphorus with arsenic in their DNA? More likely, they replace phosphorus with arsenic in their energy management (ATP->ADP conversion, etc).
Very interesting, but again, given that phosphorus is more abundant than arsenic (due to the processes of stellar evolution, everything beyond iron in atom number is very rare, comparatively speaking) biochemistry using phosphorus would be favoured over the alternative using arsenic.
dr Strangelove quote.
The guy probably thinks we're all "preverts"
Don't be silly
our politicians are just DIFFERENT whack jobs. Nut-cases rule!!
I'll get me coat.
will it turn lead into Glod?
Can we have a Discworld icon please?
"Have you been dreaming of that unique custom wheelchair that would not cost you an arm and a leg?"
Reality is stranger than fiction.
Maybe some add-exec thought it that ANY publicity is good publicity.
I thought Fox News
was a contradiction in terms
"people who live in the clouds"?
So , not just their heads in the clouds?
This is just BEGGING for a stream of silly jokes.
The image shown also suggests something you will NEVER get through customs when manned by the humourless types so often encountered when entering certain countries.
"Why does your computer look like a child's toy, sir? Do you like childrens' toys?"
And from then on the scene gets ugly very quickly.
Pushing the limit of what is possible
is always the primary aim of experimentation. Not monetary gain. The initial step from servers to laptop does seem to pay off quickly, the further electricity savings maybe not.
Having said that, a bookkeepers mentality has rarely been the key driving force in discovery.
can we have
an icon for that?
If care to read the article
the author has a wife, and kids. trundle back to your troll-bridge.
that a single core Xeon with 512 MB memory was considered a full-blown server not so many years ago. I think a key lesson is that tweaking the apps allows much more efficient memory use. Programmers (embedded systems' guys excepted) have become lazy about memory use, due to its low cost. This is why we need the equivalent specs of a Cray Y-MP to run the latest incarnation of Office (check the recommended system specs).
As Niklaus Wirth said: "Software is getting slower faster than hardware is getting faster"
In the current climate?
"We experienced a number of technical and other problems with the blimp and it was decided, especially in the current climate, that it was neither cost effective nor operationally viable to maintain"
So they are advocates FOR climate change then?
Makes a change, I suppose.
I'm all for a Mediterranean climate here.
Maybe eating brains
is the only way some students can acquire some.
always despairs of these stereotypes; zombies lurching, deary-me.
Me want more cores!!!
Given how beautifully my Gigapixel scale image processing routines scale on a 4 x 6 core opteron machine, I would love to test this kind of stuff, as we move towards terascale image processing
My first PC had SCSI
and boy was I pleased with that! An 88MB SCSI hard disk (MASSIVE in those days), backing up to an external SCSI ZIP-drive (THAT was so much faster than RS-232 (shudder)), and it could interface neatly with my scanner.
Somehow the name Elon Musk
suggests a Bondesque super villain lurking in an underground bunker.
I wish him luck in his SpaceX venture, we need more people with the combination of vision and deep pockets if we are to travel beyond our 3rd rock from the sun.
Alien icon, obviously
A fully stripped lead ion
Is actually more solid (and denser) than a solid lead bullet (which is mostly vacuum, as discovered by Rutherford)
You will probably get
A cup filled with a liquid which is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.
But the luggage hold and containers
can be made Faraday cages with holes far less than 1mm
Michael Faraday has something to say
How well do radio waves penetrate a Faraday cage made from aluminium? Apart from the plane itself, baggage containers could shield the device quite well, if properly made.
Magnetism is just a case of a Lorentz-transformed Coulomb field. The same principles apply. In fact electromagnetic waves are reflected from a metallic surface precisely because of its conductive properties, because the physical surface is an (approximate) equipotential surface. The longer the wavelength, the more pronounced this effect as a rule (for a 21 cm radio telescope, we need only a mesh with holes of say 20 mm to achieve excellent reflection, whereas for an optical telescope we need a much more precise surface)
What gets me
is the use of words like "incentivize" (AARGH). This kind of committee-speak rarely leads to anything, except a smug feeling amongst committee-members of having finished a report, and THEREFORE having done something about the problem.
Other than that I applaud people even just thinking about the problem of star travel
"The main problem at the Unis though is the lecturers. Much like most Project Managers are failed Developers, so are University lecturers (on the whole). Why would you get paid ~£25k to teach programming when you could easily get twice that doing it?"
Why, because I am passionate about science and do not want to be told what to investigate (besides, a lecturer earns quite a bit more than £25k down here). My brother works in (non-ICT) industry in R&D, and is sometimes exasperated at the fact that management almost always looks at short-term gains, not and long-term benefits of research. I can suddenly decide to see if I can improve someone else's algorithm by an order of magnitude, without EVER having to explain this to anyone. Provided I get interesting results that I can publish in leading journals, nobody complains.
Just recently I decided to branch out into satellite image analysis, and collaborate with some guys in Italy. When you get the wall-clock processing time of a rubble-detector for earthquake relief efforts, for a 1.5TB data set from the Haiti earthquake down from 34,000 years to 1.5 hours (by first going from a naive, O(N^2) algorithm to O(N log N), and then parallellizing it) this is REALLY cool. I could not make such snap decisions in industry.
Many lecturers here have a similar passion for research. In many, this passion spills over in teaching.
We (at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands) teach algorithms, and different programming paradigms (imperative (in C), OO (in Java), functional (Haskel), etc). This teaches them how to learn a new language. Thus, if parallel computing can be done more effectively in FORTRAN90 on some machine, or a project is coded in C++, we expect our students to get to grips with those languages in their own time (and they do). We also teach the inner workings of computers, and networks, databases, you name it. Typically, about 95% of students find a good job within one month of graduating. The rest first take a holiday.
We do however include presentation and writing skills, and ethics as integral part of our "hard core" computer science courses, because it IS important that CS grads express themselves well, and have some sense of ethics, as applied to CS.
That also depends on the time difference between separation and landing of both parts. If the glider went into a spiral flight, as suggested by the footage, it could land quite close anyway.
To test the difference, next time round they should also release a brick from 89,000 ft, shouldn't they? All in the name of science.
No evil scientist icon?
indeed we do not know
"The simplest explanation is that we're alone. Either that, or that the entire Galactic Federation is saying "Shhh, everyone be quiet until these monkeys wipe themselves out.""
The latter is correct. It is all due to the game of cricket! Aliens find this in very poor taste.
All these people slagging Java
never come up with what they consider a better platform for programming. I do not like Java very much myself (C, C++ are my current tools, though I started in Pascal, and did some work in Fortran (shudder)), but have always considered programming language fights among programmers too tedious.
I would be interested in what these people who hate Java prefer.
Have a look at universities
A lot of my (computer science) students have Macbooks, many courses and much scientific software use Java. All these students will abandon Apple if this goes through. Apple will lose an important user base, because these students mainly go into IT business, and ultimately influence choices on equipment in the future.
Piss them off at your peril.
Same at our uni
Some people have been trying to get me to order a MacBook, and convert to OS-X. No way now. Many courses are taught in Java, many students (a market segment Apple was winning over increasingly) will be seriously upset if Java is no longer supported.
Steve Jobs will probably respond that they should get a life. More likely, they will get Ubuntu.
What annoys me
Is that I have to nag, nag, nag EVERY TIME we get new kit, that I need more powerful graphics than the average user. After all, my work involves research into new algorithms for volume-data (as in MRI and CT scans) processing on state-of-the art GPUs. And NO you cannot do that on an Intel integrated chipset, and NO I do not want to use a Radeon (ever heard of CUDA?).
The best way round was to demand TWO machines (which I am entitled to): one regular desktop (which I do not need), and one experimental, high-end machine. I then suggest that we could make a savings by using the experimental machine for my normal desktop work as well.