* Posts by Symon

1211 posts • joined 18 Aug 2009

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PM resigns as Britain votes to leave EU

Symon
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Facepalm

@wolf I think you'll find that Farage voted leave. I hope you put your X in the correct box...

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Symon
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Mushroom

Re: Cue The Clash!

White riot?

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Utah sheriffs blow $10,000 on smut-sniffing Labrador

Symon
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Wrong breed.

They don't want a black Labrador, they need a fifty shades of Greyhound.

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You lucky creatures! Mammals only JUUUST survived asteroid that killed dinosaurs

Symon
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Happy

Re: Yep, there's a huge difference between ''wiped out" and "nearly wiped out".

Larson has more than one theory on that!

http://moodle.solanco.org/pluginfile.php/607/mod_page/content/1/Freas_Favorites/Far_Side_Cartoons/Far_Side_-_dino_conference.gif

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Microsoft cancels Remain speech after death of Labour MP

Symon
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Holmes

Re: Debrief.

Lee's said all this already. Up there ^^^^

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Symon
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As Pedro's campaign manager is Napoleon, is he for 'remain' then?

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Gravitational waves: A new type of astronomy

Symon
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Headmaster

"supernovae bursts"

Too much plurality! Cf. "balloons bursts"

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London Mayor election day bug forced staff to query vote DB by hand

Symon
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Childcatcher

Re: UK elections.

I'm glad to know that your ball ache is more important than electoral fraud. I guess you don't live in Tower Hamlets?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-32451429

"Can I bring my children to show them how it works?

Of course. Polling station staff are expected to be welcoming to under-18s so as not to put off the voters of tomorrow. In exceptional cases where there are large numbers of young people in the station, presiding officers have the power to ask them to wait outside. If someone has several young children, a member of the polling station staff can look after them while the parent or guardian votes."

Also, if you have a genuine emergency:-

http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/how-do-i-vote/voting-by-proxy

"When can I apply to vote by proxy [if] I miss the deadline but can't go to my polling station?

If you have a medical emergency after the deadline, you can apply to vote by emergency proxy if the emergency means that you cannot go to the polling station in person. You can also apply to vote by emergency proxy if your occupation, service or employment means that you cannot go to the polling station in person, and you only become aware of that fact after the deadline. You can apply for an emergency proxy vote up to 5pm on polling day."

What I'm saying is that postal and proxy votes should be the exception, not a matter of convenience. You f*&ker! :-)

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Symon
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UK elections.

Personally, I'm becoming more and more worried about the way that UK elections are run. The proliferation of postal and proxy votes is, in my opinion, undermining democracy rather than enhancing it. The scope for electoral fraud is getting bigger and bigger, postal votes can be coerced and proxies can vote however they want in the privacy of the polling station. To get a postal or proxy vote you should have a bloody good reason. "I'm going to Glastonbury" isn't good enough. You make the effort to show up in person to be counted. As many aids as are necessary to assist disabled voters should be, and generally are, made available. And that count needs to be done by hand by the WI or similar organisation, not by some shitty piece of software.

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Cats understand the laws of physics, researchers claim

Symon
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Re: Understand

Dogs vs. Cats

http://www.marketingfirst.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/gary-larson-what-we-say-to-dogs-what-dogs-hear.jpg

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Virgin Media goes TITSUP* in South London due to painful piles

Symon
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Re: loved the sample tweets

Oh, I forgot this:-

http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/mpsr/

The mail preference service.

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Symon
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Stop

Re: loved the sample tweets

You can opt out of unaddressed mail.

https://personal.help.royalmail.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/293/~/how-do-i-opt-out-of-receiving-any-leaflets-or-unaddressed-promotional-material%3F

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Astroboffins' discovery gives search for early life a left hand. Or right

Symon
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Paris Hilton

Re: Enantiomers (mirror image copies of a chiral molecule)

@Christopher. It's in the linked article. "While L-glucose was an excellent candidate to be a low-calorie sweetener, Levin found that his company could not make it cheaply enough for commercial use."

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Symon
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Re: Enantiomers (mirror image copies of a chiral molecule)

@Mage. The "natural" sugar glucose is right handed. That's why it's also known as dextrose. (It rotates plane polarised light to the right, i.e. clockwise) You can make L-glucose, and it tastes exactly the same, but it "cannot be used by living organisms as source of energy because it cannot be phosphorylated by hexokinase". So there!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L-Glucose

http://spinoff.nasa.gov/Spinoff2004/ch_4.html

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NASA's astroboffins spot the largest ever Tatooine planet

Symon
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Alert

Re: Great

Two suns are not enough. Try six.

https://www.uni.edu/morgans/astro/course/nightfall.pdf

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Wales gives anti-vaping Blockleiters a Big Red Panic Button

Symon
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Headmaster

Re: Curious minds want to know

No, it's not. You would never hear it all the way from Oklahoma.

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Symon
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Headmaster

Re: Strange Sign

@Martin "bulking out bread flour with white Lead"

That doesn't make any sense. Lead carbonate is, and has always been, more expensive than flour. Gimme some evidence! Oh, and 'lead' isn't a proper noun.

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Symon
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Pint

Idiots in charge of drugs regulation.

I read today on the BBC about how the danger from ecstasy, aka MDMA, is higher than ever! Crikey!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/36503623/danger-from-ecstasy-greater-than-ever-say-drug-experts

It turns out that the new "danger" is that there's more MDMA in each tablet. That sounds like more value, rather than more danger, but I see their point. Anyway, at the end is a list of three things that users can do to stay safe. They missed one out, the zeroth rule should be to lobby your MP to get the stuff available on prescription from your GP so you get decent product at a known strength. I'm not a MDMA user, but I don't understand why it's a class A drug while alcohol is perfectly legal and more harmful in every way that my beer addled brain can think of.

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/drugs-alcohol/drug-ranking.htm

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Brit Olympian defies Zika with frozen man oysters

Symon
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Ginge

Well, if it goes unused he won't be able to get shot of it in Denmark:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-15001467

It'll have to be tossed.

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Welcome to the jumbo: Axl Rose tries to take a bite out of 'Fat Axl' internet meme

Symon
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Facepalm

Re: As Homer Simpson said when accepting the award of master in gaining weight

And only eating foods which made the napkin go see-through...

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EU referendum frenzy bazookas online voter registration. It's another #GovtDigiShambles

Symon
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Thumb Up

@Vimes. To be fair, if you're the leader of a party then you sometimes have other work to be getting on with. In this case, I guess he has been busy trying to keep the country in the E.U., which is the Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition's current position, I believe. Often, an MP will agree with another MP who would've voted the other way to also not vote, so the end result remains the same. That's the case in a single line whip. A double line whip requires attendance and a three line whip "is a strict instruction to attend and vote, breach of which would normally have serious consequences."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whip_(politics)#United_Kingdom

Anyway, he was _registered_ to vote. He just chose not to!

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Rogue Somerset vulture lands at Royal Navy airbase

Symon
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Linux

Put the bird to good use.

Zoroastrians of Somerset unite! Not so much 'The Rapture' as 'The Raptor'.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Silence

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England just not windy enough for wind farms, admits renewables boss

Symon
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Megaphone

Re: Nuclear

@ukgnome You're doing it wrong.

http://www.monbiot.com/2011/12/05/a-waste-of-waste/

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Symon
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Stop

@sawatts.

Been done. And it's terribly dangerous. It killed 175,000 people and left over 10 million homeless in a single incident in 1975. And yet, folks highlight the 50 people killed Chernobyl and the zero people killed by the Fukushima reactors. Whatever, coal power is far more dangerous again.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banqiao_Dam#1975_flood

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Symon
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Go

Re: Nuclear

Nuclear is expensive. But that's because a lot of "environmentalists" are actually Luddites in disguise* and make such a song and dance about it that the cost becomes enormous. It's also the safest form of power, by a long way.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/09/14/why-the-safest-form-of-power-is-also-the-most-fear.aspx

Nuclear can be classed as "renewable" too!

http://go-nuclear.org/energy-tomorrow/item/547-breeder-reactors-a-renewable-energy-source-bernard-cohen

*Not all. Check out http://www.monbiot.com/category/nuclear/

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Plutonian 'lava lamp' seas give dwarf planet a regular face lift

Symon
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Stop

Re: "Of course the world is a 6000-year-old flatland where π equals 3"

@Jedit. No it didn't. That proposed law was laughed out of the house. What's more, the bill trying was to define π as 3.2. Apart from that, you're spot on!

"..the bill was brought up and made fun of. The Senators made bad puns about it, ridiculed it and laughed over it. The fun lasted half an hour. Senator Hubbell said that it was not meet for the Senate, which was costing the State $250 a day, to waste its time in such frivolity. "

http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/crd/Localgov/Second%20Level%20pages/Indiana_Pi_Story.htm

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Juno yields to Jupiter's gravitational embrace

Symon
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Alien

@Quentin. They don't want it to hit a Jovian moon and possibly contaminate it with Earth biology.

https://twitter.com/nasajuno/status/317801725039869953

Also, it's better to be safe than sorry with those monolith people...

http://scienceblogs.com/universe/files/2013/07/vostok5.jpg

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Database admin banned from Oxford Street for upskirt filming

Symon
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Re: On the other hand...

Re. Dave Lee Travis. He never was a very good DJ, but I thought the prosecution against him was a little bit of a witch hunt. Out of about 15 charges of indecent assault, none of which were against children, he was found not guilty of 13 over two trials, one offence neither jury could reach a verdict on, and they found him guilty by a 10-2 majority of a single count of indecent assault, for which he got a three month suspended sentence. The whole process lasted three years and bankrupted him.

The guy is a creepy old man, and I am in no way defending his actions, and he was rightly sentenced for them. However, I don't think he deserves to be in the Clifford/Savile/Glitter gang, all of whom were convicted of sexual offences against minors.

Just saying...

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Queen guitarist Brian May releases virtual reality viewer

Symon
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Coat

Re: 360° badger sett simulator

It'll either be a breakthru or a flash in the pan.

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British cops to film you with 59k body-worn cameras by end of year

Symon
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Mushroom

Re: All their rights and entitlements would be exactly the same

@Newt. Yep, Tony and his cronies were making a new criminal offence every day*, and more and more were classified as "arrestable". In the end, they gave up and made everything arrestable.

*Did you know that it's now an offence to create a nuclear explosion? Although the "Nuclear Explosions (Prohibition and Inspections) Act 1998" hasn't yet been signed into effect, the "Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001" made it illegal to set off a nuclear explosion. In fact, you're not even allowed to own a nuclear weapon any more. I feel much safer now that it's illegal. Tony also made it illegal to sell grey squirrels.

47Use etc. of nuclear weapons

(1)A person who—

(a)knowingly causes a nuclear weapon explosion;

(b)develops or produces, or participates in the development or production of, a nuclear weapon;

(c)has a nuclear weapon in his possession;

(d)participates in the transfer of a nuclear weapon; or

(e)engages in military preparations, or in preparations of a military nature, intending to use, or threaten to use, a nuclear weapon,

is guilty of an offence.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2001/24/part/6/crossheading/nuclear-weapons/enacted

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Symon
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Holmes

Re: All their rights and entitlements would be exactly the same

@Newt. " on suspicion of committing an arrestable offence"

I think you will find that the category 'arrestable offence' ceased to exist on 1 January 2006. The "Serious Organised Crime and Police Act" changed the law so that plod decides whether it is "necessary" to arrest someone, based on various criteria, e.g. can the copper be sure of your name.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrestable_offence

And another thing. Presumably, where the headline says 'British', that means England and Wales. Other parts of the British Isles have different laws.

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Want a better password? Pretend you eat kale. We won't tell anyone

Symon
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Coat

@Dave. Careful Now.

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Symon
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Holmes

Re: How crackable are alien languages?

Try Choctaw?

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Symon
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Stop

Re: If only you could type commands and have each output to the next...

@Flocke "In real life, you will need at least a dozen passwords"

No. You only need the single password to your password safe.

http://lifehacker.com/5785420/the-only-secure-password-is-the-one-you-cant-remember

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Goats boost solar power

Symon
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Coat

Re: The trouble with goats....

They can use trolls to keep the goats under control. In other news, I know an old lady who swallowed a fly.

p.s. I guess glyphosate doesn't fit with their solar power ethos?

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Shakes on a plane: How dangerous is turbulence?

Symon
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Re: Betteridge's law of headlines.

Thanks Mike, nice link.

For some reason it reminded me of this:-

http://s91.photobucket.com/user/adamusthegreat/media/farsideplane.jpg.html

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Symon
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Trollface

Re: Explainer?

My guess is the author is aiming it at the level of his students at Preston Poly.

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Symon
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Stop

Betteridge's law of headlines.

NO!

These "Conversation" articles are shit. Fortunately, they are easy to spot from the headlines.

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Google-backed solar electricity facility sets itself on fire

Symon
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WTF?

Re: Supply commitments?

"The uncomfortable truth for the Modern day greenies"

Some of them are breaking ranks!

http://www.monbiot.com/category/nuclear/

The "A waste of waste" article is a good read.

p.s. @HMV, Coke would work!

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Symon
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Re: Supply commitments?

"it's designed to deliver enough power for 140,000 homes,"

When an article says "power for 'x' homes", it means it makes 'x' times 3kW or so. (in this case, 2.8kW) This power will not power the heating system, so the house's heating needs to be 'powered' some other way.

This whole sorry tale makes you realise what a good thing nuclear power is, safely producing vast amounts of energy and completely unaffected by "clouds, jet contrails and weather".

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/nov/17/huge-solar-plant-lags-early-production/

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/09/14/why-the-safest-form-of-power-is-also-the-most-fear.aspx

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SHOCK: GM crops are good for you and the planet, reckon boffins

Symon
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Stop

Re: Gene escape

@Bob. "New studies show that glyphosate harms the wee beasties living in our digestive system"

No, that's not true. It might harm the same bacteria in a test tube. And at much higher levels than you would see in real life. And your link to a guy who is selling "health food" doesn't count as evidence.

I'll tell you what does harm your gut flora, it's antibiotics, and yet idiots take them when they have a cold.

Here's a better link which invokes actual science about the single German study which looked at glyphosate's affect on gut bacteria.

"Along with other studies on the effects of glyphosate on intestinal microbiota, this recent German study was in vitro. In other words, bacterial strains were tested in laboratory culture, and their susceptibility to glyphosate assessed individually, which is not how the intestinal microbiology environment works. In other words, the possibility of intestinal microbiota effects is theoretically possible, but the issue now requires future studies to be conducted in vivo–in the real life intestinal environment of animals similar to humans–and looking at the effects of glyphosate in terms of quantity of the agent. Many times, issues that show up in in vitro studies do not translate into concerns in living beings."

https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/12/05/glyphosate-used-with-gmo-crops-under-attack-for-disrupting-microbiome-science-or-a-gut-feeling/

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Symon
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Stop

Re: Gene escape

@Chris. "Monsanto ... sell ... dangerous chemicals."

I disagree. I guess you are referring to glyphosate, the active ingredient of Round-Up. The problem with glyphosate is not that it is dangerous to human health. Study after study over 40 years has found that it is safe despite a single recent meta-study, which didn't do any new research, claiming it is carcinogenic. As Sir Colin Berry, an emeritus professor of pathology at Queen Mary University said, "For human epidemiological studies there are 7 cohort and 14 case control studies, none of which support carcinogenicity."

No, the problem with glyphosate is that the hairshirt environmentalists know that it's used in association with "Round-Up Ready" GMO crops. If they lose the argument against the GMO itself, they can attack the herbicide with FUD. This is despite the fact that even "If there are risks there are also benefits: glyphosate is far less toxic than the pesticides it normally replaces, and it greatly reduces soil erosion by limiting the need to plow fields."

Oh, and glyphosate is out of patent, so anyone can make it.

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/roundup-and-risk-assessment

As for the precautionary principle, there is a scientific consensus that glyphosate is safe, and the benefits hugely outweigh the risks.

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Symon
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Go

Re: Gene escape

@LC, good comment. It's important to remember that Genetic Modification is not modifying genes, rather it's modifying an organism's genome by splicing in genes from other organisms. For example:-

"Some micro-organisms have a version of 5-enolpyruvoyl-shikimate-3-phosphate synthetase (EPSPS) resistant to glyphosate inhibition. A version of the enzyme that was both resistant to glyphosate and that was still efficient enough to drive adequate plant growth was identified by Monsanto scientists after much trial and error in an Agrobacterium strain called CP4, which was found surviving in a waste-fed column at a glyphosate production facility.[32][50][51]:56 This CP4 EPSPS gene was cloned and transfected into soybeans. In 1996, genetically modified soybeans were made commercially available.[52] Current glyphosate-resistant crops include soy, maize (corn), canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, and cotton, with wheat still under development."

Monsanto didn't make that gene, they found it. In nature!

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Airbus to build plane that's even uglier than the A380

Symon
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Go

Re: I'm torn between..

If you're in the Bay Area, take a trip to the Castle Air Museum, just outside Merced. Whatever you do, don't miss your exit and go to Fresno by mistake.

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Chaps make working 6502 CPU by hand. Because why not?

Symon
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Boffin

Re: Vacuum tube (aka valve)

@Lee, the PCB and the wire links aren't the issue with this kind of board. Back in the day, we would regularly prototype boards with 6502s, Z-80s etc. using wirewrap, and that works fine up to 10MHz or so. The limiting factor with the discrete designs featured here is that the silicon to make the transistors themselves is much bigger and so have much larger parasitic capacitance and inductance than if they are integrated onto a piece of silicon. Look up the gate capacitance of a discrete FET and you'll see what I mean.

Also, people always go on about the capacitance of the links and PCB. That's almost never the issue, it's the inductance that kills you. Whenever current goes down a wire, it also has to come back somehow. It's the loop area of this path that kills your design.

Here's further reading from the International Doctor of Signal Integrity, Howard Johnson. "Digital engineers don't believe current flows in loops" , "Digital engineers don't believe in the H-field" and the list goes on!

https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/professional/files/why_johnny_cant_design_howard_johnston.pdf

p.s. If you're gonna use valves, you damn well better make them yourself!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzyXMEpq4qw

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Laser-zapping scientists will save the Earth from meteorite destruction

Symon
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Private Eye joke.

Well done for reminding me of this:-

http://www.private-eye.co.uk/pictures/covers/full/1037_big.jpg

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Dwarf planet intumesces before astronomers' gaze

Symon
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Coat

Re: "I think we're coming to a point where we can give 2007 OR10 its rightful name."

@Mort, in your d:reams.

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Did Spotify hire Alan Partridge to run its Netflix-style video push?

Symon
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Re: Swift on Swift

Ms. Swift presents the search for this England's fastest suit maker.

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