* Posts by Grikath

689 posts • joined 9 Feb 2012

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Want a MEEELLION-year data storage? Use DNA of course

Grikath
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FAIL

Re: You could duplicate it ...

"we might always know how to read DNA" .....

Ummmm not so much... It will take only a couple decades' worth of technological setback to render this type of archive useless. Reading DNA pair-for-pair quickly is pretty advanced stuff y'know..

Even then, the Read/Write rate is, let us say, somewhat awful, and cannot be improved much upon, because physics...

This kind of thing has always been a nice thought experiment since the 70's , and there's been quite a bit of oddball work around ( at least when I was at uni in the 90's) on how you could "organically compute" stuff. But reality dictates that the best speed you could manage would be in the order of magnitude of the old tube-driven beasts of the digital stone age.

Practicality? Naught.

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Lenovo shipped lappies with man-in-the-middle ad/mal/bloatware

Grikath
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superphish?

'nuff said methinks..

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Boffins grasp Big Knob, get ready to go ALL THE WAY at the LHC proton-punisher

Grikath
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Devil

Re: we need a black hole icon

Just stack all the funny-cat-pics on top of each other.

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It's not easy being Green. But WHY insist we knit our own ties?

Grikath
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Re: I mostly agree, but, but BUT.....

Nutritionists? You mean the branch of trick-cyclists dependent on their continued relevance by (re)inventing a new health scare every other year?

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UN negotiations menaced by THOUSANDS of TOPLESS LADIES with MAYONNAISE

Grikath
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Re: What idiots

you don't think they are actually *serious* about it ?!!!

(the arms control, for all we know the remark could be a coded message for "party tonight at my place?" )

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SWINGBELLIES! Take heed AGAIN: Booze shortens your life

Grikath
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Ah, but you're forgetting the whole Advisory Industry, whose subsidies depend on people having a stroke over the next health-fad. The whole living forever while looking like you're in your prime thing is so universal you can find it in any culture, past and present, and the industry surrounding it is huge, and needs fuel.

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Amazing, cool, wow: Humans naturally use POSITIVE words, and that is GOOD

Grikath
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poking holes

As quite a few of the fellow commentards here pointed out in so many words already, the study has a small, but fatal flaw.. : Words are used in context , with inflection, changing their value in conveying meaning.

Which, as the above comments show, is pretty self-evident.

Now ordinarily this kind of...research would be hailed with a resounding and quite endearing categorisation of "trick-cycling" which strangely enough seems to be lacking in the article. I wonder if all the post-pub neckfilling preamble has incapacitated the editorial staff, or that they've simply fallen asleep at the desk.

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ALIENS are surely AMONG US: Average star has TWO potentially Earth-like worlds

Grikath
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Re: Tidal forces required in early evolution

competition/mutual benefit.

One of the steps in evolution most overlooked is that the eukaryotic cell is actually most likely a symbiont of several separate "ancestor-organisms", of which one, the mitochondrium, even still has its' own DNA and reproduces separately within the cell.

Something along the lines of that mechanism still exists today,where ( very anaerobic) methanobacteria survive in an oxygen environment by living in the creases of the cell walls of E.Coli bacteria, occasionally temporarily being incorporated as "organelles" within the host body itself. ( and giving rise to the rather rare, but fun, "lightable fart". Ain't biology fun.. ;) )

As far as I can remember the biggest influence the moon has on the earth with regards to the "sustainability of life" is that it stabilises the earth's spin with regards to the ecliptic plane, creating an environment that is more stable than it would be without. Then again, we don't see Mars, or any other planet flipping its axis of rotation all around, so ymmv there.

Never been too fond of the tides-enabling-life/driving evolution theory, given that the moon at the crucial time was a lot closer to the earth, and the tides it created were a bit more frequent and.. prominent.. than the gentle stuff the moon gives us nowadays.

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Grikath
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Re: It's a long way to the chemist, etc... @ GedT

except that star distribution is not even, rather clumpy, and simply doesn't work the way you just calculated, spot on.....

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Zimmermann slams Cameron’s ‘absurd’ plans for crypto ban

Grikath
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Facepalm

*ahem*

"The FBI and intel agencies such as MI5 have been vocal in complaining that strong encryption technologies are paving the path toward a dark web where they will no longer be able to intercept terrorists' communications."

Call me stupid, but if you are going to act up against whole nation states, the first thing you do is ensure the Other Side will have the utmost trouble intercepting your communication, and figuring out who you are..

Fail that, and you're a bloody amateur.

The moon is not the only harsh mistress, y'know..

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Black Beauty Martian meteorite IS a SPOT-ON match with Red Planet's DARK PLAINS: boffins

Grikath
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Re: Selection bias?

"It should be pretty obvious that this particular rock will show signs of being beat up, but that does not mean the rest of Mars is that way."

Except for the bits that, you know, have been pounded so hard chunks flew out at escape velocity.. Which according to the data to date is still a significant amount of martian real estate.

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Uber isn't limited by the taxi market: It's limited by the Electronic Thumb market

Grikath
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Re: Uber limits

"Uber apparently doesn't like its drivers to tell insurance companies what they're using their cars for. That's not good."

Well no, then again, the absolutely last thing you want to do is bring professional extortionists into a business model. More so for state-sanctioned extortionists.

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Sly peers attempt to thrust hated Snoopers' Charter into counter-terror and security bill

Grikath
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Re: We need to make clear...

oh, when it comes the the US/GB/Aus it's already gone way past that point...

The only hope we have is that their rotting carcasses won't poison the surroundings too much.

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SUPERHANDS! Fossils of early human ancestors reveal a GRIPPING development

Grikath
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Re: hand shandy

Australopithecus already used tools, and posessed rudimentary stone knapping techniques.

Mind.. you can do quite a lot without a "powergrip" opposable thumb, so rather than "tool use" this little bit of info shifts precision tool use ( and the whole brain development thing) back quite a bit.

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Saudi govt pauses flogging dad-of-3 for Facebook posts – after docs intervene

Grikath
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medieval?

Dear AC, please read up on your history.

I think you'll find that western european medieval systems of punishment were on the whole pretty much comparable to what we are used to: fines in lieu of incarceration, incarceration as a last resort, and capital punishment only for capital crimes and crimes against the Crown.

Torture as a method only came into "vogue" during the 16thC onwards, mostly tied to religious courts, and even that wasn't a patch on what passed for justice under the British Empire, which even in its day was seen as "overdoing it" by most other european nations.

There's a sharp shift from "salvation through penance" to "condemnation through suffering" tightly tied to the period we now call the Reformation. It's actually interesting reading up on, since it emphasises how bloody important the Trias Politica as a social and political concept is.

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What do UK and Iran have in common? Both want to outlaw encrypted apps

Grikath
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The worst part of it is...

That there's really no need for cyber-crypto if you want to be up to Nefarious Things....

Which makes you wonder if amongst all the dredgers in the "national security business" there's actually people left who are aware of, and versed in, the various OldSkool methods.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Hot Spanish tongue action

Grikath
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Re: An oldie, but goldie

so you won't eat something that's used in going in, but do eat something that's generally known as coming out...

hm'kay... to each his own, I guess..

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ALIEN fossils ON MARS: Curiosity snaps evidence of life

Grikath
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Re: Unconvincing hype @ ST

So comparing photographs is Bad Science?

If you've actually read the whole paper, it's a bit more than the couple of shots shown in the article. The lady in question has a very valid point, because the structures in the martian photo's are exactly what paleo-sector scientists are looking for here on earth if they want to find Interesting Things. If you find the same structures on Mars, you really want to determine whether or not you've found the Golden Grail.

This is not some little green men work , the organisms that cause these structures to appear on earth are the most likely candidate to have had cousins on our red neighbour, and they have been around here on earth since both planets were wet enough to support them. Mars' geological evolution may have been different to earth, but the comparisons are between rocks of a similar age, when conditions, according to all data found so far, were similar. ( Which includes the point that the environment then would be lethal to any current lifeform, except the cyanobacteria mentioned in the paper...)

This comparison shows that there's most definitely something to look out for when driving the Rovers around, and almost rates a "hold on chaps, let's turn back and have a real good look at that place." maneuver.

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BILL GATES DRINKS 'boiled and treated' POO. Ah, 'delicious'

Grikath
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Re: Literally @ ravenviz

sorry bub... but rain mostly sinks into the ground, washing out whatever waste elimination product by [organism] is on it into the soil, where it is recycled by [organisms] which think of [excrement] as [food], in turn producing [stuff] ..... etc...

You can be assured that water from a natural source ( be it a well or pumped up from several 100 meters down ) has seen so many "faunal oesophagi" that there's literally nothing left to use as [food]. This is known as a natural filter, quite widely used, and nowadays actively induced in waste treatment plants.

I know that most modern dutch waste treatment plants turn out a water quality that's significantly better than our "cleanest" surface water, and that the only reason it is not piped directly into the drinking water plants is the well-known Squeamishness about "recycled poo". Which is funny as hell given that the water that is used in those drinking water plants comes straight out of the Rhine/Meuse delta, carrying....well you can do the math...

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Why has the Russian economy plunged SO SUDDENLY into the toilet?

Grikath
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the worrying thing....

is that it's all good and nice to make fun of Putin et. al. But in the end the whole damned Free World™ runs on this principle.

Now....When , besides US Lawyers and the USPTO, are we going to put Bankers up against the wall and shoot them for Crimes Against Humanity? After all... a foreclosure kills just as much as a bullet.

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Frustration with Elite:Dangerous boils over into 'Refund Quest'

Grikath
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Re: Arguing over nothing

"No-one purchased it under those circumstances. They invested in its development via Kickstarter.

If you want to be sure of a game's feature set, you wait till launch, and buy it. Then you are protected by consumer laws."

This is the crux of the matter, isn't it? The people screaming their head off funded a kickstarter project. They did not, in any way, buy a game. They invested in the development of a game, for the incentive of a working copy of the final product which aimed to include Feature [X]. And with investment in a software project comes risks, including the fact that not all, or even none of the features you invested in become actual reality. People may not like this, and scream Entitlement all over the Intarwebs, but it still doesn't change this simple, but harsh fact.

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Sucker for punishment? Join Sony's security team

Grikath
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Re: that's what I call

challenging? An excercise in futility, since you know that somewhere someone up the corporate ladder will insist that he should still be able to.... Unless they authorise the use of the Cattleprod for all IT personnel it's ...well... hopeless..

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Google's first stab at control-free ROBOT car rolls off the line

Grikath
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Re: The beginning of the end of driver as an occupation.

I doubt trains will disappear, as will human-operated vehicles. At least not this century. An integrated solution between railway transport and driverless cars may well be a solution in heavily urbanised/metropolitan areas though. I gues we'll see in the next 10 years or so.

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Hackers pop German steel mill, wreck furnace

Grikath
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Re: Why the fcuk...

why the fcuk not? Given the setup and inherent workings of steelworks the controlling machinery is already heavily networked and operated/monitored from a remote control room. It takes but one beancounter insisting that the machine that actually handles the controls also is quite capable of doing the in-company email and "intranet" so a separate box is Unnecessary Expenditure and you are quite literally down with your pants on fire.

Been there, done the Facepalming, and yet It Was Done, and not as an isolated incident either.. Production security to Beancounters is personnel not walking off with a packet of soup from the Management restaurant, not the very real possibility of a whole plant borking because the "intranet" is compromised and crashes all production systems.. They simply can't be bothered until it inevitably happens.

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Terror bomb victims demanding Iran's .ir will appeal US ruling

Grikath
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Pirate

Re: Can we have .com & .gov then please

Well.... There's a fair share of hardcore USA-ians amongst the commentards who dislike anything that critisises the nation of Freedom, Truth, Justice and etc..

This would be one of the topics where a well-crafted inflammatory post could land you the Stick of Fail or the Dropping of Excellence.

[grabs popcorn]

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Branson sinks sub dream: Plan to explore Earth's bottom scrapped

Grikath
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Re: Colour me surprised

Not too sure about that, with modern glass-making/laminating techniques. But a dome like that would probably be prohibitively expensive. Especially if you factor in the "zero"-risk tolerance you need to have if you want to take Tourists to an environment that's even more lethal than outer space. Vision distortion would be a major problem too at the thickness needed. It's probably technically possible, but it would be effectively useless.

If you do want to have a look around down there, the only economic way would be to use a closed shell and camera feeds, which sort of defeats the purpose of being physically down there for most people in the first place. You can do the same with a robotic craft, without the risk to life and ..oh wait.. there's no other choice down there...

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Uber surge pricing kicks in during Sydney siege

Grikath
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Re: Capitalism at its finest

Well... we are talking about Australia, where you can spot Holiday Seasons just by watching the price hikes... It's not as if Uber is suddenly the only Bad Guy around...

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Sony to media: stop publishing our stolen stuff or we'll get nasty

Grikath
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Re: "a program to identify and destroy any copies of Sony-derived data"

Well yeah, you read that particular juicy bit, and the first thing you think is: "They can't possily be that stupid, can they?!", and then you realise that, yes, they are...

It only serves to show how much whole sections of Sony are divorced from reality, and that the people/attitude that gave rise to the rootkit episode have neither moved nor learned from the experience..

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Sony Pictures email hack: The bitter 'piracy war' between Google and Hollywood laid bare

Grikath
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Re: so if they can automate the moving it down the ranking

Yes they could indeed.. And then it would be waiting for the next Entirely Reasonable Request from [X] to remove [Y] , and then the next.. and the next..

Google can get away with downgrading some search results, but giving in to outright censorship? Really good for your business, that...

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Uber? Worth $40 BEEELLION? Hey, actually, hold on ...

Grikath
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problem...

Uber has raised the jolly roger and has, at least here in the Netherlands, stated they are not planning to go through due process, ignore national laws and regulations, and soldier on regardless. This does not endear you to our otherwise extremely tolerant government, let alone less tolerant ones. If you interfere with government revenue streams ( which taxy licensing is...) and make long faces while doing it, well..

But let's go with the autocab idea.. Assuming the technology is refined at current speed, trials are held, larger scale trials are held, laws are adapted to allow for the technology, infrastructure is modified to allow for the technology... you're talking 10 to 15 years in the future. If there's an actual political will to do so. It might be feasible in a dense urban area, but even then I simply can't see it happening, unless the scheme is comprehensive and would effectively act as the sole mode of transport, except the few top dogs who could afford the permits for a personal vehicle.

It won't fly, and Uber will eventually be a nice black hole.

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Parliament face-sit-in to spark mass debate on UK's stiff smut stance

Grikath
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All the protesters need to do...

Is bare their ankles..

The sheer sight of such an abominable sight of pure carnality would surely cause the MP's in question to faint, spark riots, mayhem, and general civil unrest of the insubordinate kind!

I'd use the joke icon, but it seems the british neo-Victorians are serious about this kind of stuff, and collectively the normal british have failed at stopping this kind of nonsense.

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Boffins: We have found a way to unlock the MYSTERIES OF SHEEP from old parchments

Grikath
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Large samples....

You'd need a really large and comprehensive sample to piece pedigrees together..

Parchment was both locally produced, but also heavily traded across well.. the world. Many pieces of parchment were also recycled (scraped) , bound, rebound, cut up, etc. The stuff ended up all over the place, so you'd need to do quite a bit of sampling to get a comprehensive picture, and prevent tagging, say, italian sheep as a british breed.

Still, impressive work.

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Brit boffins debunk 'magnetic field and cancer' link

Grikath
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Re: You can't use science to disprove theories not based on science

Oh yes you can. Getting the Troglodites to actually accept the results is quite another matter though. Facts don't make nice Stories.

My biggest problem with the rather unsurprising results of this research is that the boffins in question may have looked at the wrong class of proteins, or even the wrong mechanism when it comes to mild EM fields affecting the general state of an organism. If our energy transfer chain was that sensitive, MRI scanners, for instance, would be lethal. Or thunderstorms, for that matter.

There may be an effect of EM fields on (human) health. But if there is, it is not one simple "cause" you can point your finger at, but rather a matter of addittional stress, compounded with susceptibility to that particular kind of stress, like so many things. There is plenty of science that proves EM fields can influence homeostasis or even perception, provided... etc... As such there may be people whose health is indeed affected negatively by (mild) EM fields, but it's certainly not the norm, and you'd need to be extremely sure you've eliminated every other possibility/sensitivity to have a scientific case.

But the answer is not in our electron-transfer chain(s). That stuff is, and needs to be, quite sturdy.

And where's the "extremely simplified" icon when you need it?

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Mars was a WET mistress: Curiosity probes once-moist bottom

Grikath
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Re: Rocks.

which other liquid would that be then, pray tell? You may assume temperature and atmospheric pressure to be equivalent to current temperate climate on earth with about half the atmospheric pressure. ( or a nice spring day halfway up the Alps/Rockies if you want the romantic picture)

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Grikath
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ummm you do know that even now Mars is too warm to sport liquid methane in any quantity, let alone a while ago?

*hands Eddy Ito a Physics For Dummies booklet. With pictures.

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Grikath
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Re: well , there you have it.... @ P.Lee

Besides ending a couple of centuries of debate on Matters , giving a strong indication "life" could be the norm, rather than the exception in the universe given favourable conditions, and some other minor stuff in the realms of pure science which obviously wouldn't interest you at all.. ?

nothing to see here, move along..

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Grikath
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Pint

well , there you have it....

If there ever was a site we need to send a retrieval team to for rock samples this would be it...

On earth a formation like this would make an archeologist cry tears of joy. On Mars this stuff may well contain the precious, prreciousss evidence telling us whether or not life once existed there , even if only on a microscopic level.

For me, this is one of the most stunning pictures the Rovers sent back. There's Stuff out there, and we have an actual chance getting at it.

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Identity thieves slurp Sony Pictures staff info – as CEO sends 'don't sue me, bro' memo

Grikath
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just a thought or two.

Funny how people always know the Best Solution after Murphy has struck..

That said, something on this scale is pretty much unprecedented, it's a whole level up compared to the usual leaks/breaches. Almost an Ocean's [umpteen] job compared to your run-of-the-mill bank robbery. Certainly not the work of your average script kiddie, or even dedicated lulzcrew.

One of the funniest things I see in the comments is that people assume they pulled all the data at once.. This Is Stupid... If the attack was as sophisticated as it seems to be, the people behind it could easily have slowly bled the data out without triggering any alarms. Comprehensive breach with elevated rights and stuff, you can, y'know..., do things, at leisure, under the radar...

Leaking the data to the Wide Intarwebs is also a brilliant idea to confuse the trail. Whoever did this is obviously fully aware of the lulzcrowd and their habits, and the lovely smokescreen it can provide. Given the scale of this, a smart person would stay the hell away from stuff this hot, but script kiddies and bragging rights, eh? Good way to create several layers of subterfuge and misdirection as to who has really done It. And most beautiful of all: the suckers do it to themselves, of their own free will, without having to prod them into action.

Nation state or criminal group ( and unless people have been living under a rock, yes, there are a couple out there that are just as sophisticated as quite a few Intelligence Agencies...) , this has been a big one, and the current broohaha is only the first chapter in the book.

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Orion hacker sends stowaway into SPAAAAACE

Grikath
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Re: hacking

what Glen1 said...

It's a point of ingress in a field where there's absolutely no tolerance for error. Space is rather unforgiving....

In this case the chip just "sat" there.. Now imagine that instead of just having it tag along, they would have done something silly, but ego-stroking, like having the list of names read out over radio during the flight over frequency [x] , if only to test a secondary channel in a public and sort-of-engaging way.. Now imagine the number of *innocent* pranks you could have pulled with that one... A malicious attack would have been a lot harder, but Spacecraft and Murphy are cousins...

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Boffins unearth the ultimate antique art - 500,000 years old

Grikath
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Re: Shark tooth huh.

well... you mean besides the fact that mollusc-eating species of shark simply crush the shell, and don't even have the teeth to make this kind of impression?

The shell in question shows the specific type of tool use described in the article to get it to open ( easily done with a shark tooth, if you've got an opposable tumb..), and is scratched on the inside in a way that takes several passes to get even that shallow identation, showing clear intent ( or casual boredom...) Calling it "art" is stretching things a bit though.

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Euro spacemen clear Ariane 6 for liftoff

Grikath
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Re: Great stuff.

That may be because successful launches are not as "newsworthy", or interesting to watch...

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Bloke, 36, in the cooler for leaking ex's topless pics on Facebook

Grikath
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"Bare breasts don't constitute nudity everywhere and always. Nor are photos of bare breasts necessarily sexual in nature. Legislation of this type may not be particularly apt."

There are , however, *very* clear , and rather universal laws about publishing parts of anyones' anatomy without express written consent by the owner of said anatomy, regardless of the part, purpose, and possible erotic association.

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Brit smut slingers shafted by UK censors' stiff new stance

Grikath
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the next step....

well sir.. we have noted that you have declined the Government Approved Netfilters, and are streaming from IP's [x], [y], and [z]. Would you please step over here ? Just a couple of questions...

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By the Rivers of Babylon, where the Antikythera Mechanism laid down

Grikath
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Re: Lost in translation?

Not really lost in translation, since technology has always been something people, especially those in power, have been really keen on. If anything, things got embellished beyond recognition, even by the otherwise pretty consistent and accurate arab translations of the day.

Mostly the problem is simply in documents surviving the ravages of time and politics. The things that have survived clearly point to a rather thorough, if empirical, understanding of what we would call technology, and quite a number of people who actively improved on, or re-invented "machines" based on ancient texts. But the general knowledge of this kind of thing has always been an elite occupation, with very little trickling down to practical applications.

Funny enough, mainly because the major sources were Greek, and their philosophers had *very* distinct ideas about putting things to practical use, since that would sully the pristine...etc... Which makes the Antikythera device unlikely to be greek in origin, and much more likely to be "made in Korea" with an english user interface because well.. that's the global lingue france after all.

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High Court: You've made our SH*T list – corked pirate torrent sites double in a day

Grikath
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Re: The people are voting... @ Phil'o

"Copyright exists to protect honest work. Honest people respect that, and don't look for specious arguments about why they are exempt."

And there's the crux, isn't it? We're not dealing with individuals here, but with pretty corrupt corporations who, like the industrial robber-barons of old, try to wring every cent out of their "copyright" above and beyond what, and who, the concept is meant for to begin with.

People are *well* willing to support individuals by buying their stuff, especially when said stuff is of quality, and adresses a viable market. People are a lot less inclined to support byzantine constructions that makes [stuff] artificially rare, overpriced, or simply impossible to get while still being advertised as Available! Get It Nao! in your face.

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Grikath
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Devil

Re: alternatives

And make all those lawyers, Business Suits, and other highwaymen who are happily taking their cut from the copyright trough jobless?

Think of the children! They might find another ambulance to chase....

This way they're happily occupied out of harms' way..

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Beyond the genome: YOU'VE BEEN DECODED, again

Grikath
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Boffin

too simplistic....

proteome, derived from the genome, check..

It's just that you're ignoring 20-odd processes that modify the primary transcripts into functional proteins, some of which are dependent on non-protein agents,and...... Let's just say things are a wee bit more complicated than that, and that while , like the HGP, definitely worthwhile figuring out the proteome will simply not be the Holy Grail in medicine.

It's really only fundamental work for the next step in understanding how things fit together.

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DNA survives fiery heat of re-entry on test rocket

Grikath
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Re: Calculate the size of meteorites that can survive passing through earths atmosphere

Now I would quite like to see amino acids form up RNA of any kind....

As for the actual chance.. Wrong kind of numbercrunching...

We know for a fact that this solar system is built out of the remains of quite a fair number of supernovae of a previous generation: it's where all the other-than-hydrogen stuff comes from, after all... So the chance of [anything] "surviving" being blown up and ending up in this part of our milky way is exactly 1....

The question whether or not viable fragments of DNA, or even whole organisms landed here is moot. If it was a whole organism, we know that it cannot have been more complex than the most basic chemotrophes, because that is the stuff our earliest fossil record indicates existed at the Dawn of Life. Nothing more complicated than that could have possibly landed here.

There's many things we already know that make panspermia extremely unlikely, most of which point to the simple fact that Life, at least over here, must have been a DIY job. But calculating the likelyhood starting from the Big Bang? Not the way to do it.

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Grikath
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Re: Not surprising

Yup. Plus they're plasmids... A structure that's meant to be able to go outside a (bacterial) cell, and y'know survive...

And there's nothing in there about the "survival rate" of said plasmids. With the techniques used even a 1*10^-9 retaining the original information would be amplified enough to show a positive result.

All it says, like Voland remarked, is that DNA is really tough stuff. The only reason it quickly disappears in nature is because there's a lot of microorganisms around that happily break it apart for ...parts.

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Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU

Grikath
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funny....

Books, often requiring the same head postures, never seem to have had the same effect.

Now it's waiting for a lung specialist to come up with "Oxygen damages your lungs! ", using appropriate medico-waffle, of course, else it doesn't count.

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