* Posts by Chemist

2659 posts • joined 24 Mar 2010

Until last week, you could pwn KDE Linux desktop with a USB stick

Chemist
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Re: Re:logged in as root and using KDE.....

"Back in the day, sUSe used to have a lovely screen background for anyone logged on as root into a KDE desktop.

Is it still around?"

Don't know - never log into the desktop as root ! No need !

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Chemist
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"It's bad enough auto-mounting by default"

Well it's just box clear/tick in System Settings to enable/disable automount. There are finer grained options as well if you do want to automount something.

What I can't remember because I always have it turned off is what the default setting for a fresh install is.

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Data scientist wanted: Must have Python, spontaneity not required

Chemist
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"Quite the opposite. It's a tool that is more than good enough for both "proper" software engineering and quick and dirty analysis*. "

Agreed. I worked (~2003) for a while, on secondment, with our Computational Chemists and was suprised at the extensive use they made of Python. Mind we had an extensive set of in-house and commercial libraries, tools etc.

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Winter is coming for AI. Fortunately, non-sci-fi definitions are actually doing worthwhile stuff

Chemist
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"We created computers roughly 30 years ago"

What, in 1988 ? I think I'd have remembered that !

( I was taught Physics to A-level ~ mid-sixties by someone who had worked on the Manchester 'Baby' 20 years before BTW)

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LISA Pathfinder sniffed out gravitational signals down to micro-Hertz

Chemist
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Re: Michelson-Morley

"A bit like the current vogue for looking back at old medicines for new applications ....."

I'm not giving away any company secret but doing that was always in vogue. Difference these days is that lots of start-ups talk * about it.

* applies to other industries too

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Here we go again... UK Prime Minister urges nerds to come up with magic crypto backdoors

Chemist
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Re: What's the nature of a scorpion?

"Well, it's not like I have something to hide. And besides, who would be interested in pictures of my pet/my holiday?""

Well I've not got anything to hide ( except financial stuff naturally) but I do always use ssh to access my systems at home from outside - this is to ensure security so my systems don't become a playground for spammers etc. My system is as secure as I can make it.

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Chemist
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"I would think that the "security agencies" would know that any encryption with a backdoor is useless"

It's the same in other areas. I lost count of the number of times I put together very detailed proposals for/against certain approaches to tackling a disease area, going to great lengths to research what was know, list the unknowns, explain the complexities, list the pros & cons and suggest a way forward only for a PHB+2 to dismiss ( or sometimes sanction ) the whole thing after a few moments consideration.

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Chemist
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Re: There's no magic encryption tree

"Those who don't know math are doomed to repeat it."

That also recurred to me

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Electric cars to create new peak hour when they all need a charge

Chemist
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Re: Answering a few points in the comments...

"The UK and many other counties have committed themselves to stop selling fossil fueled vehicles."

I thought they'd committed to 'only' allow hybrids to be sold

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OK, Google: Why does Chromecast clobber Wi-Fi connections?

Chemist
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"Bugger me! I was blaming my phone as it always appeared "

Well for several months after an update my wife's Android phone clobbered the Netgear router (not the access point.) After much experimentation and searching it was banned. Other Android devices like a Nexus 7 did the same. Even walking up to the house was sufficient as other people had found. It suddenly stopped ( presumably after an update ).

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Ice cliffs found on Mars and NASA says they’re a tap for astronauts

Chemist
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Re: Will it be that hard to drink it?

"e. From what I remember the amount of gas trapped in ice is a factor of formation speed, temperature, pressure and doubtless a few other factors not least gravity."

Depends on when the ice formed. The atmospheric pressure on the Martian surface is very low now.(~0.06% Earth and mostly carbon dioxide)

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Meltdown, Spectre bug patch slowdown gets real – and what you can do about it

Chemist
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"I don't think the 6800 (6809??) had anything like 6000 op codes."

6809

I was referring to the very extensive set of addressing-modes. which combined with the basic instructions generated ~~6000 op-codes. The data sheet mentions 1464 instructions.

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Chemist
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Re: 6809

My comment was meant to illustrate that even at the time of the 6809 processor instruction sets were getting rather complex. You could write complex data structure traversing code in just a few bytes in assembler ( The important FORTH word NEXT was just 4 bytes long ). I don't think any compiler would have used most of the instruction set. 6000 was the approx. number of unique op-codes taking into account the very extensive set of addressing modes.

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Chemist
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"RISC was originally to get as much on a single chip as possible (by making functionality simple) and thus making things fast, but this is no longer a constraint."

I thought RISC was an approach supported by measurements of actual operations in real program execution which supported the idea that compilers usually used a limited set of 'simpler' instructions., and therefore the masses of increasingly complex ops being added took-up too much silicon for their limited usage . ( Even the hard-wired 6809 had ~ 6000 op-codes from memory). I also remember a BYTE article describing one of the earliest RISC cpus being designed by students.

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Chemist
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Re: Windows 7 may not use PCID capability.

"So I'm not sure that Tumbleweed supports this, yet."

Well I get :

dmesg | grep isolation

[ 0.000000] Kernel/User page tables isolation: enabled

and CONFIG_PAGE_TABLE_ISOLATION=y in /boot/config-4.14.11-1-default.

Booting fine but I am in a VM for the moment

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MPs sceptical of plan for IT to save the day after UK quits customs union

Chemist
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Re: but they took a clear decision

"There's absolutely no point in having a referendum if you're going to ignore the result, so it was morally binding, if not legally so."

There is if a gov. is looking for an indication of strong/weak/marginal support for a proposal. In any case almost all ref. require a significant margin esp. for such a major change

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You GNOME it: Windows and Apple devs get a compelling reason to turn to Linux

Chemist
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Re: So, 2018 will be the year of the Linux desktop because of Gnome?

"Because, if the words "apt-get" or "go to the command line and type...""

If you don't want to use the command-line use a distro where you don't have to - there are plenty available. Ditto with updates

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SpaceX delivers classified 'Zuma' payload into orbit

Chemist
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Re: Mars Orbit?

"The Tesla roadster is not being sent into orbit around Mars"

No, no. It's actually a black Tesla, with a black interior being driven into the sun.

(Cheers Douglas)

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Least realistic New Year’s resolution ever: Fix Facebook in 365 days

Chemist
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Re: About virtual empathy …

"My watch recently wished me a happy new year"

My watch knew when it was midnight !

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Microsoft patches Windows to cool off Intel's Meltdown – wait, antivirus? Slow your roll

Chemist
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Re: Huge Baby Huge

" Are the Linux patches similar?"

The OpenSUSE one was ~52MB download for kernel & just had a 2.6MB Intel u-code update. Don't know if there will be more.

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Ubuntu 17.10 pulled: Linux OS knackers laptop BIOSes, Intel kernel driver fingered

Chemist
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Re: If you want Ubuntu laptops there is System 76.

"Nimbusoft seem to be all sold out, but I'm looking at Entroware."

Worth looking at PCSpecialists too. OS free so you'd need to install yourself - I've got a 4 year old i7 which installed OpenSUSE without a prob. ( I'm typing on it now). They don't support Linux officially but if you select 'No OS' they'll ask if you want Linux and point you to their Linux forum.

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Chemist
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Re: If you want Ubuntu laptops there is System 76.

"I would love to. Care to get them to supply me with a UK keyboard layout?"

Try Nimbusoft.

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Voyager 1 fires thrusters last used in 1980 – and they worked!

Chemist
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Re: Not used since 1980

"My MK14 from ~1980 still works. Never quite got round to fitting it with thrusters or it most certainly wouldnt."

Now that is an obsolete assembly language machine code. Well I hope it is obsolete. I used to write for it with a typewriter !

And, yes, I've also still got one

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Pro tip: You can log into macOS High Sierra as root with no password

Chemist
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Re: How worse than Single User Mode?

"Can we login without password on any linux distro from login screen? It is the case here."

Good of you to join to ask that question. !

The answer ( for all the ones I use) is NO

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Microsoft's memory randomization security defense is a little busted in Windows 8, 10

Chemist
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"Sure it's security through obscurity, but obscurity worked for Linux for years."

MS should also try publishing the source (from year 1 ) then - see how that works out

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Level 5 driverless cars by 2021 can be done, say Brit industry folk

Chemist
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"The sooner we get rid of the knobheads the better."

Whilst we can probably agree on that it's clear that with the statistic quoted about 1 fatality in 1e8 miles it's going to take (as mentioned) a lot of testing before a) people, b) insurance companies are persuaded and then people will be put-off by the likely extra cost and (presumably) the maintenance ( sensors/computers etc. will need checking, upgrading and certifying ) regularly.

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This could be our favorite gadget of 2017: A portable projector

Chemist
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"Camping with a projector to watch a movie while I poke the campfire ?"

Camping with a projector to watch a movie of a campfire do you mean ?

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Car insurers recoil in horror from paying auto autos' speeding fines

Chemist
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Re: So I'm liable for my Volkswagon exceeding CO2 emissions?

"The software change appears to ruin fuel economy if you see before/after tales from drivers that have had it done,"

Well I had my Touran 'fixed' in April. Traveling to Switzerland ( a 3 times a year 1700 mile trip) returns 54-55mpg exactly the same as the previous 12 trips.

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Chemist
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Re: Try a sensible design?

"they want no part of it"

Do you know an insurer who would insure a human driver for speeding fines ?

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Chemist
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Surely the manufacturer is at fault if its 'perfect' creation fails to spot a speed sign.

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Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs

Chemist
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Re: Forth

"That would make it a fine language to compile into".

Indeed it would but the benefit to me was I needed no other support other than an ability to lay-out & etch PCBs and a self-written serial terminal program. This was a long time ago (certainly pre-1985) when hardware was expensive and I was a relatively poor chemist. Still have the hardware somewhere ( in an enormous case).

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Chemist
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Re: Forth

"For some reason I really liked FORTH."

My reason was that you could fit the whole system into ~6KBytes (6809) including (simple) disk i/o. With that you could control a whole heap of hardware without needing assembly all the time (and an in-line assembler if you did need it)

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Microsoft exec says ARM-powered Windows laptops have multi-day battery life

Chemist
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Re: Does it run...

"all of the laptops I've noticed in the last six or eight months have been running one variation or another of Linux. Maybe it's just me..."

I've just purchased one in the UK with Kubuntu already installed

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Elon Musk says Harry Potter and Bob the Builder will get SpaceX flying to Mars

Chemist
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Re: "The Moon is harder because it has no atmosphere"

"bit easier thanks to them not needing to cope with such a steep pressure differential?"

As it's comparing ~1000 millibar Earth to ~6 millibar Mars vs ~1000 millibar Earth to 0 millibar vacuum not a great deal no.

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Microsoft faces Dutch crunch over Windows 10 private data slurp

Chemist
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Re: Too Late....

"can access your PC remotely without your knowledge."

Someone called yesterday from "MS security" and tried to access my computer ( with my knowledge but not my cooperation I might add)

So I did the usual :

"Oh, it's switched off"

"It takes a long time to boot" {fill & switch on kettle}

"Are you still there ?"

"Yes it does take a time", {make drink}

"Silly me it's off at the switch"

"No, nearly there now"

"OK which key do you want me to press?"

""The Windows key - which one is that ?"

" No, can't see that - where is it on the keyboard ?"

"Wait a minute I can't find my glasses "

"3rd in from bottom left ?"

"No still can't see it - the only key there has a penguin on it "{ which it does- came already installed as well}

"No, it's not a real penguin - what would I be doing with a live, or indeed stuffed penguin on my keyboard - the cat's bad enough" { quite a lot of swearing, and suggestions what I could do with it}..............

If I've got time I'll go off to answer the door for a while as well...

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Western Dig's MAMR is so phat, it'll store 100TB on a hard drive by 2032

Chemist
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Joke

Re: Why not SSD Drives?

"Client PC's, such as home and office computers will very likely be using flash (and it's successors) excursively "

Did you mean reclusively !

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Microsoft silently fixes security holes in Windows 10 – dumps Win 7, 8 out in the cold

Chemist
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Re: Perhaps money will talk louder:

"Any OS expected to be used by the average man in the street should not have maintenance that includes the phrase "download the source, patch it and compile". I understand it's how some things work in the Linux world "

Well I use Linux ALL the time and the only thing I've needed to actively compile since~1998 are my own programs.

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Biochem boffins win the Nobel Prize for cryo-electron microscopy

Chemist
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Re: "a specimen of amorphous ice,"

"Yes, the water freezes so fast that it doesn't have time to form crystals. It's a bit like glass, a supercooled liquid."

Water around proteins ( or indeed any non-polar/semi-polar material) is in a strange state anyway.

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Linux 4.14 'getting very core new functionality' says Linus Torvalds

Chemist
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Re: @Geoffrey W

" I started writing programs back in the 8-bit days"

Me too. ( SC/MP, 6502, 6809, 68000) . Tried Linux back in ~~1995 and have been using it ever since.

Try a USB/DVD as suggested or install into Virtualbox if you have a capable enough machine. Another cheap route is to buy a Rasp. Pi - once configured (using a monitor/TV, keyboard and mouse for convenience ) you can run it just from a laptop/desktop with a USB cable to provide power and an ethernet cable to provide connectivity to run a shell, virtual desktop or whatever.

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Chemist
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Re: Windows vs Linux ... really?

"And where do we get from this announcement? Lame complaints that Mint GUIs do not appear to provide equivalent functionality to Windows firewall management. Really?"

It's noteworthy that many Linux articles have ACs ( or people joining the Register the same day) asking somewhat naive questions designed, it seems, to highlight the (apparent) deficiencies of Linux v. Windows. Usually they slink away when challenged !

Too many ACs by far BTW. I can understand it when they might be compromised by their answer/knowledge etc. but mostly just hiding to make untrue or snarky remarks.

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AMD Ryzen beats Intel Core i7 as a heater (that's also a server)

Chemist
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Re: Didn't understand.

AFAIK it's a radiator in your house heated by CPUs' waste heat. The CPUs get hot by running a workload (using your electricity) sent to them via the internet. (What they do on a hot day is anyone's guess)

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Auto-makers told their autopilots need better safeguards

Chemist
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Re: It is easier to automate the damn highway

"Hell, how many billions were spent drilling a hole for HS2?"

Do you really mean HS2 ? AFAIK no real work has been done at all yet.

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Linus Torvalds' lifestyle tips for hackers: Be like me, work in a bathrobe, no showers before noon

Chemist
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Re: One word springs to mind

"Does it involve standing out in the rain or something?"

Fresh from a walk I can tell you it just involves being British !

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What's your flava? Ooo, tell me what's your flava... of Ubuntu

Chemist
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Re: Does KDE work now?

"Ooh, dedicated."

No, I've got 8 Pis running lxde, and quite a number of various VMs. But OpenSUSE has generally been my very reliable distro of choice ( and indeed SUSE before that when we had to pay )

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Chemist
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Re: Does KDE work now?

"So far in the last decade or so, every KDE installation I've seen over various hardware devices and various software versions, from SuSE to Kubuntu had severe display problems."

Well all I can say is I've been using SUSE and then OpenSUSE since ~~1995 - it's on all my regular laptops/desktops and I've never had these sort of problems. What can I say ? Have you researched it or reported it ? . Anyone with experience of KDE care to comment ?

I have just bought ( for general use ) a new cheap laptop which came with Kubuntu (17.04) pre-loaded and I've not had any problems with that either ( other than this dreadful trend to flat UI with kindergarten icons)

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Indian call centre scammers are targeting BT customers

Chemist
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"I got a call from my ISP (Plusnet - BT owned) the other day,"

Well I know what you mean, but I was called by them a year or so ago and offered a much reduced charge for what I was getting (unlimited download, fixed IP, domain name and web-space) . I'm very cautious about this kind of call but as they didn't want any details I went ahead and it was all genuine. Just wish genuine companies would think about how they appear to people they are (cold) calling.

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Living in space basically shoves a warp drive into your blood stream

Chemist
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Joke

"and an emergency 'scooter' "

Well the Italian module might well make do with a 'scooter', the USA would want a 'Harley' and me, I'd want my old Velocette Thruxton.

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Chemist
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Re: Immune system into overdrive?

"Immune system into overdrive? "

The immune system is very much a double-edged sword

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Chemist
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"Well, is the problem the lack of gravity accelleration or is it due to the radiation?"

There must be a number of possibilities including stress. A start might be a comparison with blood chemistry of groups in other extreme & stressful environments - off the top of my head :-

Scientists resident for long periods in the Antarctic

Submariners esp. nuclear subs.

Round-the world yacht racing crews.

Tour de France cyclists ( now their blood chemistries might tell a tale )

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Chemist
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Re: Prevention is better than cure.

"Space is hard. Fictional space doubly so..."

I think in the Foundation trilogy by Asimov the Foundation's fleet made a precise jump through hyperspace in a tightly coordinated maneuver to re-appear right behind the enemy fleet.

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