* Posts by Grikath

678 posts • joined 9 Feb 2012

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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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Apple surges in on the BYOD wave

Grikath
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seriously....

I do hope this is a lead-in for one of Simon's little tales.

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'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal

Grikath
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Still..

Is he going to allow ...let's see... Russians, Chinese, Iranians, etc.etc.etc. in then ?

Thought not.

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Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads

Grikath
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Re: What about security?

you've never dealt with politicians in real life, have you?

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LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball

Grikath
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Boffin

Re: Just because they're organic doesn't mean they're biologic...

not very likely.

what would be a serious "hit" would be either complex cyanides and/or penta-chain monosaccharides. put those in water and let stew for a year, and you'll have your amino-acids and rna precursors. From there on it's just a matter of time...

The idea of whole, viable bacteria brought in over interstellar distances over stellar timescales is downright silly. The environment within our galaxy cooking up a significant amount of the precursor molecules that make up what we call life, saving a hell of a lot of time in the synthesis of sufficient amounts on a suitable planetary body is not.

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Has your STARFISH been DRIBBLING awful SLIME? Scientists now know WHY

Grikath
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They do, and [assorted boffinry]. The problem lies in actually isolating a strain. It's easy to get a blip saying "yup, the same agent is in there *somewhere*..." . Isolating the strain and proving it does indeed melt starfish is quite another matter.

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MYSTERY Russian satellite: ORBITAL WEAPON? Sat GOBBLER? What?

Grikath
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or...

It is a simple maneuverable box that the russians *know* will be tracked , just for the purpose of saying: "Look buddies, you're not the only ones able to put stuff in orbit and move it around" .

Especially when with modern tech it is entirely possible, although expensive, to build something that will be damned hard to track. The russians are not averse to a bit of grandstanding where they feel it's needed, after all.

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Sealed with a kiss: Er, 80 MILLION BACTERIA

Grikath
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Re: Ok, I'll be the one to ask.

Several actually. There's been studies into this area in STD prevention and various other subjects in medicine and life sciences in general.

Given that the microflora that uses us as a playground is a major barrier to all kinds of other nasties that are...less civilised.. about cohabitation, it's a rather serious field of research.

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NASA launches new climate model at SC14

Grikath
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Re: from the article ...

they parsed the data and refined the grid, call it "image enhancement" . and that takes a *lot* of cycles...

As the animation goes, as far as I can tell it should be accurate enough to work with. It does concur with thermal barriers, coriolis effects, seasonal growth ( watch how the Big Red disappears as nature wakes up and gobbles up the CO2 on the northern hemisphere..), population centers, and other stuff, like the brush fires in Africa. Everything you expect to be there is in there.

As is, it shows a couple of things both sides of the Climate $deity have been crusading on, and debunks a couple of arguments on both sides of the fence. I for one would very much like to see a longer run, say, over the past 20 years, extrapolated or not. It would (hopefully) show whether or not the cycle is progressing or stable, or.. can't tell anything from one cycle except that "world is moving on happily as expected".

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Pre-digital computer 'cranks out' Fourier Transforms

Grikath
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Re: Fluid analogue Computer

Only if el Reg employs an Igor, and makes sure the thing is not *quite* accurate...

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Why did men evolve map-reading skills? They were PAID BY BONK - study

Grikath
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Re: Additional explanation? @ frank ly

That would be the most obvious, and actually generally assumed, proposition. Especially since primitive man ran more on a social structure as the modern apes, and nigh-on all species of monkey, which means you actually got a chance to mate if you don't go so far away, and nip in with the ladies before the alpha troop comes back...

However, (modern) anthropology isn't, unless sex or sexuality isn't the prime motivator, preferably from a modern Feminist point of view. This is why nowadays the discipline is classed with the arts, not science.

As far as spatial awareness in females is concerned.. I suspect they generally simply don't much care about that skill... unless needed.. The deadly accuracy of an irate woman with crockery/household implements/assorted sundries on hand is an ancient trope, and can be found in all cultures, and in historical anecdotes dating all the way back to the dawn of the art of writing...

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U wot? Silicon Roundabout set to become Silicon U-BEND

Grikath
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Re: London is a dirty unfinished shithole

funny.. they've been saying that about it for nigh-on 2000 years.. ;)

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