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* Posts by Brewster's Angle Grinder

779 posts • joined 23 May 2011

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Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: German Tank Problem

No. The German tank problem would be estimating the total number of posts when only a few can be seen.

This is just fingerprinting. The timing of posts to $SocalNetwork in the last $ReasonableTimePeriod are unique. (Even if you've only written one post in the last month, there won't be many single posters who've posted at the exact same second you did.) So if you know when a suspect is sending TCP data, then you can search $SocialNetwork for posts made at the same time. It will be easy to correlate that with one account.

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Don't think you're SAFE from Windows zombies just 'cos you have an iPhone - research

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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It's not much more fun on OSX.

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Hackers' Paradise: The rise of soft options and the demise of hard choices

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: "with a competent operating system, these machines were essentially bomb proof."

@Hargrove

Your Windows' folder isn't full of the "operating system"; it's full of libraries and applications bundled with the OS. And that's what most of the updates are for. If you want things less complicated---and there is definitely merit in reducing the attack surface--then try a Chromebook. If that won't do what you want, then you need the complexity of the Windows' folder.

You actually don't see many OS level bugs reported. Mostly it's application vulnerabilities. Even Heart Bleed happened in userspace without needing to penetrate the kernel.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: wrong on two counts

Humanity tends to act in the best interests of the individual human concerned.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Flame

This is just a rant. It starts by explaining how things were in the good old days. Then, on the final page, the author admits they don't understand how things are these days. And then he says he doesn't care.

Well here's the simple version. Data has to be transferred from user space to kernel space so it can be written to "peripherals" or to the user space of another process. Bugs in that code allow viruses to insert themselves into the kernel. For historic reasons, one operating system is more vulnerable to this, but until we write bug free software it's always going to be possible. Even an OS on a separate CPU won't save you from that.

And Airline avionics don't have to run a web browser that mediates between the user and the internet.

And as for licenses, we can't even stop telemarketers phoning me up and telling me I have a virus and please could I go to their website. If we can't control the phones, what chance computers?

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What's in your toolbox? Why the browser wars are so last decade

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Browser emulator

And simulate touch events.

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Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Fork or collaborate

Why are we even having this argument?? We're hackers: we know that mostly you collaborate but occasionally the leadership becomes corrupted or the way ahead becomes murky and then you fork. We understand that there can be value in having parallel products that take differently approaches but that having two products embodying the same approach is a waste of effort.

We need to apply the same theory to economy: let's evolve it. This is what the pirate party should be campaigning for.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Geography & Data

If you have a robot that can build them ("3d printer") on site, then only those in your pocket have immediate utility value - unless you've run out of resources to produce them.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Or, for a government run example, the NHS which despite the Tories best efforts is the best healthcare system in the G8 and a helluva lot more efficient than the American market-based approach.

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Khronos unveils OpenGL 4.5, broadens OpenCL 2.0 language support

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Why bother with OpenGL?

Read this and rejoice.

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Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Joke

Re: Why do I bother cleaning my items before selling them?

I don't know, but they've just admitted they're selling shit!

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Why hackers won't be able to hijack your next flight - the facts

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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"Polstra said...the human factor remains the hardest for a hacker to overcome."

And how many times have sophisticated technologies been defeated by conning the human into bypassing or ignoring the computer? It's such a well known engineering discipline we have a term for it. I would hope the pilot is a cut above the average call centre worker, but...

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Gmail gains support for non-ASCII email addresses

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: More work

The point is that an email address that was illegal six years ago is now legal.

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Evidence during FOI disputes can be provided in SECRET

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Exactly; if your reputation would be harmed by the public finding out, then by definition it is in the public interest to know.

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NASA tests crazytech flying saucer thruster, could reach Mars in days

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Questions for rocket scientists:

"However something tells me that a photovoltaic panel working at 40% efficiancy shouldn't be able to collect 5000x more energy than a reflective sail working at 90% efficiancy."

A solar cell absorbs the incident photons, collecting X% of of energy from each. A solar sail absorbs the incident photons and then re-radiates them; it doesn't get access to anywhere near the same amount of energy.1 It's the difference between burning hydrogen and nuclear fusion.

1. I'm not actually sure where a solar sail gets its energy from. My instinct is it keeps some of the energy delivered by the photons - i.e. re radiates them at a lower frequency. But that would mean a perfect reflector wouldn't experience radiation pressure, which seems wrong.

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What's that? A PHP SPECIFICATION? Surely you're joking, Facebook

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: In my experience...

"The problem seems to be that a majority (not all) of web developers are very bad developers who barely know the language..."

And the good developers stay away from PHP because its virtually impossible to "know the language" well enough to use safely. If I want a back end it's perl or, these days, node.js because I can memorise all the quirks and avoid the danger areas. Frankly, I'd rather write the back end in C++ than in PHP.

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PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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@Vector I agree that mobile devices will usurp conventional x86 PCs. Equally, I think plenty of people will need keyboards. And if the hardware is cheap and iff all your work is in the cloud then why bother with a laptop- or desktop-sized "dock" for your mobile phone? Why not just own another device?

Although maybe there is a case for having docks in public spaces as a service (e.g. on the train?) so that your customers don't have to lug around laptops.

As for tablets, I thought they a were solution looking for a problem - too big to be easily portable but not as useful as a PC. So when my Dad got my Mum one, I didn't think she'd use it. But she uses it as a portable TV, dragging it round the house watching TV wherever she is; she barely watches the main TV. But she she still uses her main PC for email.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Ah, but what about Chromebooks? The future might be laptop + phone; but it might not be a Windows laptop.

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SOULLESS machine-intelligence ROBOT cars to hit Blighty in 2015

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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"...since it won't be the driverless car making the mistake..."

I'm a fan or driverless cars however I'm also a software dev so I know they will make mistakes. Some of those mistakes would be crazy silly things that no human would do in a million years. And the fact that, on aggregate, they will save plenty of lives will not stop the tabloids going on a crusade against them because of those mistakes.

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Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: TalkTalk blocked my site

According to http://www.blocked.org.uk TalkTalk blocked my wordpress site. (Occasional mild profanity?)

Can every wordpress user check their site: lets build a case against them.

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MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Not sure about this

In which case the solar system should be teaming with life.

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New Star Wars movie plot details leak, violate common sense and laws of physics

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Gravity is a Conservative Force

Slingshot!

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Microsoft's Xbox TV studio OBLITERATED

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Not mourning

It's been remade already. For legal reasons, the remake was released as Farscape.

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NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Showing off your saucy selfies

I take your reply as a mixture salacious desire and tongue-in-cheek humour, but a mass leak of naked selfies might be what's needed to get people to care.

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NAO slaps down Cabinet Office gov-IT savings claims AGAIN

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Joke

A "forecast" massively underestimates the true cost whereas an "original estimate" chronically and hysterically underestimates the true cost.

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LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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It's mark and sweep garbage collection on an entire codebase...

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Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Wait - How are they planning to use this?

On the up side, if you're an exceptional programmer who's immune to stress then you're going to rake it in.

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Google went behind our backs and really HURT US, squeal upset porn kingpins

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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@graham

Graham wrote

Because, as is traditional with with religious lobbies and the Mary Whitehouse Brigade and so on, the objection is "We don't like it, so *you* shouldn't be allowed to see it, just in case it makes you do something bad..."

Actually, their argument tends to be, "We don't like it and we don't want our children seeing it (or liking it), and they might, if you don't censor it."

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Universal Discredit: Gov admits Treasury HASN'T signed off biz case

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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We asked the department for a comment.

They answered a completely different question so we didn't think it worth publishing their answer.

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Fridge hacked. Car hacked. Next up, your LIGHT BULBS

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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@Tom Wood

I don't care about "the why". I just know that what is cool now will be in high end stuff in a couple of years and in everything you buy a few years after that. :(

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Report: UK.gov wants to legislate on comms data BEFORE next election

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Joke

@Paul Crawford

"But, but, but if the terrorists and paedophiles know the data is only retained for six months then they will plan their actions a year in advance and then wait till the data is deleted..."

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When PR backfires: Google 'forgets' BBC TV man's banker blog post

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: I don't suppose...

Well I heard Robert Preston on the radio arguing that even he would like to forget Robert Preston.

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Trick-cyclists defend Facebook emoto-furtling experiment

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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"There's not much risk, for example, that re-weighting sponsored posts that pop up in a user's feed will make someone with clinical depression feel worse."

Actually, all those ads are making people—depressed or otherwise—feel worse. We are manipulating the human mind into spending money on unnecessary shit in order to make a few people more wealthy.

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SUPER EARTH possibly home to life FOUND in our 'solar backyard'

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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In the authors' opinion, "Given the planet’s proximity to its host star, it seems likely that GJ832c will be trapped in a spin-orbit resonance, though moderate orbital eccentricity may mean it is not necessarily trapped in a resonance that causes one side of the planet to perpetually face towards the Sun."

So, yes.

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Google Glass faces UK cinema ban: Heaven forbid someone films you crying in a rom-com

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Terminator

Slow on the uptake

Okay, I finally get it. If this kind of device becomes common*, we'll have to rethink whole aspects of society and the rules by which society operates. Business models may crumble.

Next step: direct taps on the optic nerve.

* Don't blame me. If it were up to me the web would be text only and nobody would have a mobile phone. But it will be the great unwashed who decide whether or not to adopt HUD-tech.

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Zero-knowledge proof crypto scheme divines truths from nothing

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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@Tempest8008

You don't have to count every ballot paper, just audit a few polling stations - each party gets to pick N stations, plus M randomly chosen. And auditing can be done centrally.

(Although it would require a 'none of the above' option before this ballot spoiler was satisfied.)

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Aereo presses pause on 'tiny antenna' TV-streaming service

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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It wasn't so much 'disruptive technology' as 'disruptive legalese'. And on that latter count, it failed.

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Aereo has to pay TV show creators? Yes. This isn't rocket science

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Trollface

*innocent face*

Initially you argue

"Congress could abolish copyright if enough people wanted it to. They clearly don't."

but then argue

"YouTube relies on safe harbour provisions written for another era.."

Well, presumably, Congress could abolish or rewrite those provisions, if enough people wanted them to. Clearly they don't. Or maybe senators feel they'll be better remunerated trying to repeal the ACA than trying to outlaw Youtube.

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US Supremes just blew Aereo out of the water

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Are recordings fungible ?

"If my neighbor and I both record the same program at 9pm on tuesday, does it matter which copy either of us watches ?"

Yes. And they are probably distinguishable and matchable to your equipment.

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Expert view: What is the forecast for cloud backup?

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Actually, the first question to ask when planning backup is how much data loss can you afford? Can you live with loosing a week's worth? A day's? An hour's?

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Aren't incremental backups just deduplication happening at the application (and file) level rather than at the driver/hardware (and block) level?

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Latest casualties of Iraq fighting: Facebook and Twitter

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: "See there's always a catch When you're livin' thru a blow back"

"We will now bring you the latest evolutions of Rihanna..."

Followed by a debate on why Assassin's Creed won't let you play a woman...

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Car titans WON'T STEAL our tech, says Musk: DAMNIT, I'll GIVE IT to 'em

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: This is nice but @Mark #255

My reading of it is that laches would only apply if they'd sat on their arse for several years before suing the 13th company. If they sue as soon as they become aware then it's no defence.

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Women are too expensive to draw and code – Ubisoft

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: A dev's p.o.v

I read that as "institutionalised sexism" (not thinking about women from the outset) rather than misogyny.

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IPv4 addresses now EXHAUSTED in Latin America and the Caribbean

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Joke

Good news! This is like testing the poll tax on Scotland.

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Jellybean dominates Play, still seated atop rising KitKat

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Fragmentation

And El Reg keep posting stories making that point.

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Evidence of ancient WORLD SMASHER planet Theia - FOUND ON MOON

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Named by whom?

According to Wikipedia, the name was coined in 2000. It's certainly been common currency for a good few years.

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Broadcom: If no one buys our modem biz, we'll DITCH IT

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: @Don Jefe

Thanks for the replies Don. :) I see the difference now. But hopefully you can see why us ants overlook the subtly of it all: when you're 3mm long and living on the ground, the footprints look about the same.

I've been involved with enough "lets rebuild it from scratch" projects to be wary of them. Programmers certainly relish it. (I did in my youth...) But it's easy to underestimate how much work is involved and you've got to dodge second system syndrome. Clearly it can work (e.g. clang vs gcc) but judging that moment is a tricky. Ideally I'd start half the team developing the replacement while the other half continue on the existing system. But if I was taking over a team that needed to rebuild their system, the first thing I would sort out is the culture that allowed such a monstrosity to develop. And a University is the only place I've worked where the documentation was the most valuable thing. ;)

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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@Don Jefe

Don, your comments on the Moto factory closure—which were reasonable enough for me to up vote—asked where we got our cynicism. Well, it's deal likes this. Broadcom will save $600m by closing the operation, and the rise in share price will reward an executive - either through shares they own or through performance related pay. Maybe it's an exception, but these cases turns up frequently in the headlines and it leaves us at the bottom feeling rather bitter when faced with closures.

As for the rest, I will tell my boss I need time to write documentation and see how he reacts. But even the best documentation is no substitute for experience; if nothing else, it takes time to read and absorb the paperwork.I'm afraid some of your value is stuck in our heads.

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'GODZILLA WORLD' of the DRAGON CONSTELLATION - scientists

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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But if the environment disrupts life before it can get started, then D. radiodurans. will never be able to evolve. And with hurricane force winds scouring the ground under the terminator, life may be impossible, even there.

This is a necessary corollary to some wildly optimistic definitions of the habitable zone. At the same time, confining life to a star's habitable zone may be pessimistic - given that Jupiter's moons lay outside our habitable zone and yet are the most likely location for non-terrestrial life in our solar system.

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