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Comment: Re:Meaning of LIFE!?!? (Score 1) 97

by ColdWetDog (#47502393) Attached to: UEA Research Shows Oceans Vital For Possibility of Alien Life

Maybe yes, maybe no.

We know that life has started out in an anaerobic environment with water present. Everything else is up for grabs. So if you're looking for life-as-we-know-it, it makes sense to go with the conditions we already know works.

TF Headline is, of course, hyperbolic. Alien life doesn't necessarily require conditions similar to earth. But that's were the money is. If you have limit the types of planet systems you will spend the time and money to look carefully at, you just might go with what has worked.

Comment: Re:It's finally time to do it (Score 1) 472

by ColdWetDog (#47491555) Attached to: World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use

Well, Freud was batshit insane, so take whatever he says with a grain of salt. But if you start to put together the costs to treat alcohol and tobacco related illness, they absolutely dwarf moneys spent on the other drugs. Now, saying that, it's a harder comparison to make since the 'harder' drugs are illegal and costly putting many of the addicts in a position to create societal harm (robbery, theft, etc). But MVAs due to drunks costs quite a bit of money as well. Back and forth ....

It's probably not going to get anyone very far by stating 'my drug is worse than your drug' - I think the bottom line is that a) people will use them no matter what legal prohibitions are thrown in their way and b) we as a society have to come up with a reasonable balance between personal liberty, social costs and straight financial costs. The 'War on Drugs' turns out to be an unreasonable way to solve this problem.

Comment: Re:"Entire Ecosystem" (Score 1) 52

by ColdWetDog (#47491183) Attached to: Genetically Modifying an Entire Ecosystem

True, but again, it's highly regulated and there are defense mechanisms - all of which are incompletely understood. And I'm not so sure that this is a good idea as the mechanisms used to disseminate the genes to the target organisms are going to have to look rather virus like as it's unlikely you're going to try to catch every Cane Toad in the swamp to give them a shot.

And viruses have lots of ways of getting around defense mechanisms.


Comment: Re:Ads are good for the internet. (Score 2) 391

by ColdWetDog (#47490939) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

Yeah, just imagine. A micropayment system that worked. 25 cents for a video? 10 cents? 2 cents? I'd go for that in a heartbeat. Sure, have a choice - look at the ads or pay up. I suppose that some smart marketing folks have actually looked at this and decided it 's not worth it, but I for one would welcome our new micropayment overlords.

Comment: Re:"Entire Ecosystem" (Score 1) 52

by ColdWetDog (#47490777) Attached to: Genetically Modifying an Entire Ecosystem

To me that implied all species. Obviously that isn't the case.

That's likely true and the journalists are being sloppy. At least the authors of TFA plan to use this to target a particular type of critter (eg an invasive species, a pathogen). The modified organisms could spread throughout an ecosystem, but not infect everything in sight.

Comment: Re:Why isn't the U.S. doing things like this? (Score 1) 156

by ColdWetDog (#47490261) Attached to: Japan To Offer $20,000 Subsidy For Fuel-Cell Cars

We have plenty of oil left. What we don't have is very much cheap oil. That interesting point at least allows the concept of market driven forces. Once oil is too expensive, then there will be more of a reason to switch. To be completely fair (which will never happen) we do need to cut back on the subsidies we give the fossil fuel industry. Adding differing subsidies to the mix isn't such a bright idea, but it is politically expedient.

The most delightful day after the one on which you buy a cottage in the country is the one on which you resell it. -- J. Brecheux