196 posts • joined Tuesday 8th May 2007 02:39 GMT
Re: Paraglider and helicopters @<ike Richards
Rotary Rocket's Roton ruled! Here's the YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X--EDUqP9wI
Re: Lets get this straight
So why do we care about opinions? (especially opinions of papers rather than people :)
Last I checked, science was based on evidence...
Re: Next phase?
Biological weapons treaties didn't stop the USSR from building secret bioweapons labs that engineered anthrax and probably kept secret stocks of smallpox. It's easier to cross the lines if the other side doesn't know you're doing so.
Re: Watch out F-35
Make sure it runs Android so it's not stuck with Apple maps.
Re: Matt Funk huh?
Funk was quite popular in the 1970s. Better than being called Matt Rap.
The EA-6B is an electronic warfare aircraft first operational in the 1970s! Its bomb-dropping sibs the A-6 Intruders were retired some time ago and the EA-6Bs themselves are being retired in favor of the new EA-18Gs, which in turn are based on the F/A-18F, whose sibs currently drop bombs and shoot down bad guys and stray vultures for the US Navy.
Sounds like the new drone has almost double the range of either the A-6s or the F/A-18s.
Perhaps Musk and friend just realized there's no such thing as an "Alaska National Wildlife Preserve" and thus found the prospect of promoting drilling there a poor use of money. All the cool PACs know the action is in drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. :)
Re: Much Better
And there I was, thinking "rendering" was the process of turning horses into glue...
Er, life jackets on planes came in handy on the Hudson River in New York...
Remember those photos of life-jacketed passengers after the US Airways ditching a few years ago?
Sony has always made good audiovisual (AV) equipment for consumers, but they are not usually the best value for money.
As to your computer, it is likely the HHD (half-hearted drive) is slowing it down, as a total capacity of 320Megabits = only 40 Megabytes, which means the drive likely dates to the late 1980s.
Re: $4 Seattle bags
Dude, you must needs shop at Fred Meyer. Bags only $0.99.
In fairness, I don't like being in line behind the guy carrying the bag that his cats have been peeing in.
Re: "biggest culprit"
For a number of years now, that's been China. In fact, in recent years, the USA has significantly reduced its carbon-equivalent emissions -- much more so than the EU. Frack much?
Remember, we're talking about a literature review here, not a real scientific paper. Just about every sentence gets plenty of supporting references to actual papers. The problems with IPCC reports in the past have typically been that they have left out relevant (and published-paper-supported) views; getting more eyeballs reviewing earlier in the process can only help reduce such errors.
One of the reasons the nematode c. elegans was chosen for this project is that it is made up of about 1000 cells, and the developmental pathway (progenitor cells on back to the single-cell stage) is fully worked out and almost completely deterministic. All very cool, and the three prime honchos who brought c. elegans out of bacteria-gulping obscurity to become one of the top model organisms (Brenner, Horvitz, and Sulston) got the Nobel Prize for their work in 2002.
Anyone else underwhelmed by the video?
Sounded neat in the text, but the video seemed extremely unimpressive to me. For cool molecular-level self-assembly, look up TMV (not Z!).
Re: When lasers were invented in 1960
Actually, a laser was very publicly used already in 1964: by Goldfinger to threaten to cut Mr. Bond in two.
Re: Indiana Pi Bill
WR, that's what happens when vicious dictators decide on funding priorities. Politicians don't normally have the guts to back their beliefs with genocide.
A job well done!
Nice to mark the passing of this important observatory -- thanks!
Minor note: since the Earth-Sun L2 point is actually on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun, it's not technically "between the Earth and the Sun."
Re: might be a very poorly thought out way to highlight some of the seemingly poor grants
Splitting the social "sciences" into their own funding body (similar to the National Endowment for the Humanities) would probably be a good start. OMG! We've solved the flame war!
Maybe this is really the issue?
The article quotes President Obama as saying: "...not just in the physical and life sciences, but also in fields like psychology and anthropology and economics and political science – all of which are sciences because scholars develop and test hypotheses and subject them to peer review...".
As a former molecular biologist, to me it's pretty clear that Obama's statement is typically honored only in the breach. Sure, it's become fashionable in recent years for social "scientists" to follow the economists' lead and quantify everything and even construct mathematical models to make their work look like science. Unfortunately, just as with the economists' work 20 or 30 years ago, almost always the models are mis-specified, or the work relies on subjective assumptions because the author doesn't really understand the math or statistics. Physics and the life sciences (and computer science for that matter) are successful because their models and maths can quickly and easily be checked with reality for results that all can see.
Sadly, this is typically not so in the social sciences, so severely erroneous explanations and theories go on unhindered for decades or even a century (for example, there are still people who claim Freud's theories to be based in fact, and that Freudian therapy works better than baseline supportive therapy!).
Given the (relatively) big bucks to be had from the NSF, it sounds like the social sciences decided to get in on the funding action and have NSF allocate them money as well. The Congressman's action seems as though it might be a very poorly thought out way to highlight some of the seemingly poor grants given out as a result.
Re: The maths don't add up...but neither do yours :)
The wording from the article about the judge's approved royalties is "... half a cent per unit for the video-decoding patent and three-and-a-half cents for the wireless patent, amounting to about $1.8m a year." Those are "cents" (1/100 of a $US), not "percents", so the judge's total royalty works out to $US 0.005 + 0.035 = $US 0.04 per unit. At $US 1.8 million total, that implies ($US 1.8 million / $US 0.04) = 45 million units sold. At the $US 0.04 per unit royalty rate, the grand total is $US 1.8 million. Cost of an Xbox 360 is about $US 200, so the judge's royalty *rate* is $US 0.04 / 200.00 = $US 0.0002 or 2 hundredths of one percent.
Re: "Mere 2ppm"?
If the 2ppm per year remains the same, that means it'll take roughly 200 years to double CO2 from today's level. Boosting the global temp by 1.5C over 200 years doesn't seem "big" to me. Certainly it seems like a problem we should be able to solve, given 200 years to work on it. Imagine if early-19th-century climate boffins had demanded of Thomas Jefferson that we stop all woods-clearing, mammal-raising, and use of whale oil and coal immediately to prevent the disastrous rise of 1C expected by the year 2010!
Re: Geothermal all the way.
And terrible issues with corrosion and mineral deposits.
Dude, the US has plenty of government-owned power
JS - You should visit America! The big mid-20th century multi-state hydropower projects of the West were federally-funded and are still federally owned. They are run by separate administrations (e.g. the Bonneville Power Administration in the Pacific NW), but are part of the federal government.
The TVA is another big government-owned power company, in the Appalachians.
What about Ewan McGregor?
Didn't you have a deal to filch some Higgs bosons so he could "save" the Vatican and become Pope after Benedict retired?
Re: Geek Win (sort of)
You clearly have not been watching any Discovery Channel during the past half-decade!
Scrambled, maybe, but definitely not "poached"
In an effort to avoid settling into predictability and slowing innovation, DARPA encourages folks to spend only limited, few-year-long stints there. Seems that Mudge, like Dugan before him, hit that limit, and so "poached" doesn't seem an apt characterization.
Re: CO2 is fixable.
NNN: It turns out the Germans are planning on buying French nuclear-generated electricity to fill the power gaps that their future no-coal/no-nuclear plant setup will otherwise cause. I'm sure the French will not be subsidizing the prices they charge the Germans for this, especially since it will still be cheaper than the Germans' own solar and wind power.
Whatever you say about the French, they make sure they're not lacking in electricity (France and nuclear plants, Quebec and hydro plants).
Re: Who's right?
I've been reading RealClimate for almost ten years and agree with you that they can usefully be likened to Greenpeace. However, RC is pretty much wholly funded by PR organization(s) while Greenpeace has some genuine public donations.
Personally, I favor the logic of an argument over the title of the person advancing it, but if you want to go that route, I would also point out that it's Dr. MondoMan and Mr. Anonymous Coward. :)
Re: Who's right?
d0ubs: Dr. Steig is a strong advocate of the view that human actions are responsible for many recently-observed events in the climate system. For example, he is one of the folks behind the PR website www.realclimate.com . It's a bit tricky to figure out a priori whether Dr. Steig is a bigger advocate than Mr. Page or vice versa.
Re: Only quoting the bits where Steig agrees with you?
The real problem with the underlying journal article may be Dr. Steig's demonstrated difficulty in tackling advanced maths procedures. A few years ago, he authored a marquis article (in Nature?) that supposedly identified a new region of warming in Antarctica; unfortunately, the "warming" turned out to be a mathematical artifact (a Chladni pattern) of the poorly-characterized analysis technique he had introduced for the work. At the time, he was quite hostile to those pointing this out.
It IS great for Seattle, as Amazon's massive growth in its north-of-downtown lakeside location is really helping to fill the economic void left by the self-destruction of Washington Mutual bank a few years ago. Meanwhile, the only signs of Microsoft on Seattle's streets are the little green-and-white private WiFi-equipped shuttle buses carrying Microsofties back and forth to the Redmond mothership 15 miles away.
Beer, because Seattle's got excellent microbreweries, too!
Isn't this analogous to Intel's old "only the paranoid survive" thinking?
Re: study goodness
If you actually looked into that study, you might not be so eager to control what others have access to. Assuming you're into actual evidence and facts and that sort of thing...
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition_________________stealthy attack submarine
Your fancy, noisy new-fangled battleship would be dead meat to modern subs, just like the General Belgramo.
Thank goodness for right-thinking scribes!
Rik is of course right in his belief that the less Fox News content available to the unwashed masses, the better. Otherwise, who knows what uppity mischief they might get up to, given that someone slipped up and gave them the vote!
Perhaps ablative coatings would be more effective protection?
Presumably, the enemy's intent is for their missile or plane to reach the ship, which ought to be a matter of minutes or seconds. For such a limited-time need, ablative coatings (such as the heat shields on space capsules like Apollo or Dragon) will likely be more effective than reflective coatings.
Paris, because she's hot and doesn't reflect much.
Re: How PCR works
Not so much damage to the DNA (it's tough!) as introducing errors during the replication. When cells replicate their DNA, the error rate is on the order of 1 in 10^9 per replication cycle, so only a few errors per mammal-sized genome. In the simplified PCR process, the error rate is typically on the order of 1 in 10^6 per cycle. As long as you use the *population* of amplified DNA fragments for your downstream analysis, this shouldn't be a problem, as the vast majority of fragments will have the correct, non-mutated base at each position. If instead you pick out a single molecule for analysis (say, by cloning it), there's a real chance you may get unlucky and choose a molecule with a new error in the sequence. Much depends on the total length of the DNA segments amplified, the specific conditions of the reaction, the specific enzyme used, and so forth.
Re: Quite, quite mad
You're right, but many (most?) of the people with lots of BTC likely just mined them, especially a few years ago when one could still do so on CPUs, and thus have no investment in them other than the electricity used for mining.
Re: Controlling 1/2 the bitcoin network closer than you think
Most miners join mining pools. The BTCGuild pool currently controls almost 40% of the total network hashing power. Plenty of other pools control the 11 or 12% needed to carry them over 50%. That would sure worry me if I had significant resources in BTC. Check out
How PCR works
Changing temperatures IS important, but it's a bit more than that. Polymerase Chain Reaction, a key to most modern biotechnology, was invented in the 1980s, and won its somewhat eccentric California surfer-dude inventor (google Mullis) a speedy Nobel Prize as a result.
Most cells duplicate their DNA as they prepare to divide into two, so each resulting daughter cell gets its own full copy of the parental cell's DNA. PCR takes the DNA-copying enzyme from that process, and directs it to work on a specific stretch of DNA to duplicate that same stretch of DNA over and over again. Two short pieces of DNA (20 or so bases long), whose sequences match the DNA sequences at each end of the specific stretch, are included in the reaction to direct amplification solely to that stretch. Exponential growth is the bio-savant's friend in this case, as after the first duplication cycle, twice as many DNA copies of the given stretch are present; after the 2nd cycle 4 times as many copies are present, and so forth.
In theory, after 30 cycles, about 1 thousand million (2^30) times as many copies of the desired stretch of DNA are present, so that DNA from a small sample of hundreds or dozens of cells can be easily amplified, and even DNA from a tiny sample of just a few cells can often be amplified.
But what about changing temperatures? The brilliance of the process is that each step is performed without having to mechanically manipulate the DNA; rather just a temperature change is sufficient:
1) Initially, the temperature is raised to 95C or so to "melt" the DNA duplexes -- to separate the double strands one from the other so that the short DNA fragments and enzyme can access the now single-stranded DNA.
2) Next, the temperature is lowered to "anneal" the short added pieces of DNA to the main strand. These "oligos" will anneal or bind only to the sequence on the main strand that exactly matches their own, typically at temperatures in the range of 50C to 72C.
3) Finally, the temperature is raised a bit, usually to 72C, to allow the DNA-copying enzyme, starting from the end of the annealed oligo, to create a matching second strand for the stretch of interest.
This 3-temperature cycle is then repeated as many times as desired. The Panasonic system seems to take only 18 seconds per cycle, which is quite good; typical large-scale benchtop machines often take a few minutes per cycle. The more important advance represented by this system, though, is the all-in-one nature, able to take an unprocessed biological sample (e.g. the drop of blood) as input and to report SNPs present in that sample within an hour. As there are millions of SNPs throughout the genome, the practical efficiency of this system will depend greatly on how many *different* SNPs can be checked in parallel in a single run of the machine. If only a few or few tens can be checked, that is still useful, but if thousands or more can be checked in a single run, that would be quite impressive.
Well, based on Mt. Gox losing a big chunk of the money (real and virtual) their customers had deposited with them a few years back, all due to both poor security and not having a backup, they may very well be idiots.
Bitcoinland is plenty wild-n-wooly. Besides the DDOS against exchanges, it's common to have DDOS attacks against one or more "mining pools" that create the coins. The reasoning is along the lines of "in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man (or mining pool) is king." Another potential worry is that any group that controls more than half of the total extant mining power (usually measured in gigahashes/second) can defraud the system by validating copies of already-used Bitcoins. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you've got a reasonably high-end ATI graphics board or five and cheap electricity prices, it can be a fun hobby to join a pool.
What's with using color instead of black & white? :)
Entropy is winning...
I'm pretty sure the MS-DOS originator's company was "Seattle Computer Products", not "Seattle Computer Company."
The more interesting company names seemed to come from Silicon Valley: Apple, Intergalactic Digital Research, Dr. Dobb's Journal of Computer Calisthenics and Orthodontia and Cromemco to name a few.
These young'uns today. You'd think they were born knowing nothing about the US space program! For example, that our first mission to Mercury (and successful at that!) was Mariner 10, which first flew past the planet in 1974. Thus, this MESSENGER mission is our *second* to the planet.
Re: two kinds of shorts
The folks who have borrowed shares, and then sold those borrowed shares, will need to repurchase replacement shares in the future in order to "return" the borrowed shares to their rightful owners. Thus, these borrowers ARE the "naked" shorts (as they walk the financial markets "uncovered").
If you already own shares of the stock in question, and then sell it short, you are "selling short against the box". Until the late 1990s, this technique was accepted by the US tax code as a legal method for extending the effective date of a stock sale (and thus the associated tax payment) into the indefinite future.
For example, if you wanted to cash in your highly-appreciated REGX stock in 1990, but not pay the associated capital-gains taxes until 1997 (in 1997 dollars which would be cheaper because of inflation), you would sell your REGX short against the box in 1990 at the then-current price, collect your loot, and let the shares and the short sale ride in your brokerage account until 1997. You would then tell your broker to close out the transaction, trading the shares for the short sale at essentially no cost to you (just a small commission), and declare the 1990 profits on your 1997 tax return!
Then the tax law was changed...
You can also effectively sell short for various time periods and using fancier strategies if you use stock options instead of just plain stocks.
- Geek's Guide to Britain INSIDE GCHQ: Welcome to Cheltenham's cottage industry
- 'Catastrophic failure' of 3D-printed gun in Oz Police test
- Game Theory Is the next-gen console war already One?
- Analysis Spam and the Byzantine Empire: How Bitcoin tech REALLY works
- VIDEO Herschel Space Observatory spots galaxies merging