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Comment: Re:CmdrTaco would say... (Score 2) 346

by ColdWetDog (#47439915) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

No FM Radio. Less storage than a Nomad. Lame.

This actually makes me nervous. Given the unbroken track record of Slashdot mistaking the market share for every major advance in technology since the iPod, I'm forced to believe that smart watches are going to be a hit.

And I'm not sure I want to live in that world.

Comment: Re:because drinking water is so pristine (Score 3) 222

by ColdWetDog (#47439093) Attached to: Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water

Or just plain ol activated charcoal. My sailboat has an RO system with a charcoal canister that I replace twice a year. Bigger systems have more complex pre filters. I'm sure that the system in TFA is at least cleaner than any river water or shallow well system. Possibly not as pure as a deep artesian system but if it passes EPA criteria, it's going to be pretty clean.

Really Slashdot, RO systems are old hat. You can buy them on Ebay. Soon they'll be in breakfast cereal.

Comment: Re:Ted Postol very bias opinion. (Score 2) 296

by ColdWetDog (#47438711) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

You don't expect a critical appraisal from the vendor, do you? Take his, and everyone else's reporting with some degree of skepticism.

One notable fact that was tangentially mentioned is that one doesn't see any 'hits' in the media. I would think one would be able to see the effect of the missile intercepting the targets at least some of the time. Given the intense media coverage, one wonders. It's certainly possible that by the time the interceptor hits the target it's too small to visual, but there is one hell of a lot of energy involved. Kinetic energy often creates sparkly bits that can be seen.

It is also hard to argue that this ISN'T just one more aspect of the public relations game that is endemic to this conflict. Both sides (as is pointed out in TFA) engage in trying to get the other side to look mean and nasty. It's way more complicated than that.

Comment: Re:What is life? What is a virus? (Score 4, Informative) 156

by ColdWetDog (#47428385) Attached to: Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus

Oh, now I went ahead and read TFA. It's all complicated and confusing.

The current thinking is indeed that viruses are an offshoot of 'modern' life (modern being sometime after the archea). These critters, because they contain gene sequences that seem to predate the prokaryote - eukaryote split and because we know that bacteria just love to transfer genetic information 'horizontally' - that is by tossing bits of DNA and RNA around so some unrelated organism can incorporate it into their genetic apparatus as opposed to simply eating it - that it may be that these big viruses started sometime after the RNA hypothesis took hold and created the first self replicating organisms. Or at least helped those first 'organisms' diverge and multiply.

At least it's a testable hypothesis. Once you have sequenced a number of the big virus genes and compare them you would presumably get an idea how old they are.

It would seem that even if this mechanism held, the critters would have had a long time to morph into another ecological niche so it would be hard to pin down what their function was (if any) at the beginning of life. But perhaps the Central Dogma is barking up the wrong tree after all.

Comment: Re:What is life? What is a virus? (Score 4, Informative) 156

by ColdWetDog (#47428313) Attached to: Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus

It can't reproduce entirely on it's own, so it's not 'free living'. It does need a host. It's just it doesn't need the host for some of the tasks that most viruses need the host for.

It would seem that, instead of being a primitive form that was at the base of the the genetic tree, it's more likely to be an offshoot. It hijacked some additional molecular machinery from an extant organism rather that figuring it out on it's own.

Comment: Resurrection (Score 5, Funny) 200

I see the plot of a new Micheal Bay (or maybe J.J. Abrams) movie: The US military, unable to get qualified recruits to fight the new Zombie wars, takes a cue from the Zombie playbook and develops the technology to bring life old soldiers. After a bit of a difficult start, the program exceeds all expectations until the previously dead soldiers revolt at being put back in the grave and bring Washington to it's knees by filing for Social Security benefits.

Don't hit the keys so hard, it hurts.