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Comment Re:My question is ... (Score 2) 33

I have no clue where you're coming from. You rightly point out that life takes energy, but then proceed to consider internal sources of energy as worthless, when in reality in the universe far more things are exposed to internal energy than external. And radioactive decay-driven energy sources are only one. For example, Encelaldus's heat seems to be driven by the serpentization of rock, which also releases hydrogen, a potential food source to microorganisms. There are numerous chemical means which can release vast amounts of energy - yes, nuclear energy is many orders of magnitude more dense, but non-radioactive elements are also orders of magnitude more common.

Anywhere that there is heat and fluids (or solids that can undergo solid-state convection) can experience that heat being turned into harvestable forms of chemical energy, because chemical equilibriums are different at different temperatures. For example, at STP conditions, N2 + O2 is favorable, while at high temperatures NO2 is more favorable. N2 + O2 that goes to higher temperatures and forms NO2, which then comes back down to the lower atmosphere, is bringing a source of chemical energy with it.

Since heat differentials can and will be readily converted to chemical energy wherever it's associated with convection of any variety, then any source of heat is a fuel for life - and heat most definitely doesn't only come from nuclear decay - or chemical reactions. It comes also from the rebalancing of layers to a lower gravitational equipotential. It comes from impacts. It comes from tidal heating. It comes from thermal cycling in elongated orbits. It comes from mass loss due to solar wind exposure. There's a vast range of potential heating sources in the universe that can create heat differentials. And heat differentials make exploitable chemical reactions.

You make blind assertions that "these environments wouldn't be likely because of their composition". What do you know about this? You have a sample size of one of chemical processes that have created life. We can't even see deep into our own world to see what other alternatives might exist at higher pressures, let alone in other worlds. Heck, underground doesn't even mean particularly high pressures. Dwarf planets can have Earth-surface pressures at hundreds of meters or even kilometers depth. And life on Earth exists fine in the deep sea, wherever there's energy to support it, where pressures are at over 1000 atmospheres

Deep environments might prove even more prone to organic chemistry. In general, pressure is usually associated with faster reaction rates. You also often have more complex arrangements of possible chemical phases for each compound at higher pressures than with lower pressures. Water for example over its possible temperature range at a particular depth might have 3-5 potential ice phases, a liquid phase, a supercritical fluid phase, and a gas phase. This leads to a much greater range of possibilities for reactions to potentially exploit, because each chemical in each of its phases has the potential it interact with each other chemical in each of its other phases, or in the case of non-metastable forms, at least many of its other phases.

Common theories for the origin of life on Earth usually assume that it wasn't the sun that powered the first forms of life, even though that's the most convenient source of energy on our planet. Photosynthesis is much more complicated than most forms of chemosynthesis. Environments like black smokers, volcanic pools or acidic waters within deep iron-rich minerals seem like far more likely candidates.

Intelligence evolving within creatures that live in liquids? Oh, we've never seen that before! ;) Except, of course, for the fact that the second-most intelligent category of mammals are aquatic (cetaceans), and the most intelligent invertebrates (mollusks) live there too. Rather, the oceans tend to be highly competitive environments, and thus good breeding grounds for intelligence.

The only reason that our deep seas seem less rich with competing life is that our deep seas are usually relatively energy devoid. Which says absolutely nothing about subsurface layers on other planets. Wherever our deep seas are not energy devoid, such as around black smokers, they tend to be flush with life.

Comment Re:My question is ... (Score 2) 33

I think it's silly in the regards that we have precisely one datapoint about the sort of environments in which life may exist, which is pretty terrible in terms of making any sort of definitive statement. I'd much rather they keep their options open, check out a wide range of environments, and just look for signs of "things that are hard to explain", whatever they may be. "Hmm, this body has both a strong oxidizer and a strong reducing agent in its atmosphere - how is that happening?"

I'm not saying "check planets in random order" or anything of that nature. Just that I don't think it's critical to obsess over being sure to examine them in order of "earthishness" from highest to lowest. We need to be looking at a diversity of worlds.

Heck, we don't even know whether the surface of a body is the best place to look, most life in the universe might be in sub-crustal layers for all we know. Certainly would partially help explain the Fermi paradox, if it were such that we rare "surface dwellers" have a far easier route to the cosmos than something that needs to be under gigapascals of pressure to survive and whose radiating transmissions, if any, would be blocked by their planet's crust.

Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 335

Well, unless you count App Ops in Android 4.3 (until it was removed) and builds of CyanogenMod starting with 10.2.

Or any Android device with 4.3 or later with the Xposed framework and the AppOpsXposed module installed and active, at which point AppOps shows up in Settings just like it ought to.

Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 335

And in my experience, apps don't seem to much care if you kill a flag or two. Perhaps because the ability to do so is not yet that common.

There are multiple reasons. Mostly two: you don't want to fail if the user is missing some hardware that the software can work without, and the app doesn't actually request the permission from the OS until it wants to use it, unless it's very poorly designed. So if you for example deny the microphone permission, the app will never even have to decide if it's upset about that unless it tries to grab some audio.

I forget what versions it appeared and disappeared, but Google did put this functionality into an older version of android, then removed it again. You can get it back on rooted devices by installing Xposed and installing AppOppsXposed. Many custom ROMs also have this functionality baked into the ROM so you don't need to mess with Xposed, but Xposed+App Settings+Gravitybox is very wonderful and you want it anyway, if you're not running CM especially. If you can't root your device, make better purchase decisions in the future.

Comment Re: Waaaahhhhh!! (Score 2, Insightful) 593

Linus has been acting that way since the beginning, in fact since Matthew Garrett is 22 Linus has been acting that way since before he was born. Linus's behavior is not an existential threat to the project since it's one of the most successful projects in human history despite the fact that he has always acted like that.

Comment Re:Just (Score 1) 165

And yes, I am well aware of danger to linemen if there's a general outage and a residence is still supplying power. I would put in a transfer switch capable of intentional islanding and some form of intelligent grid AC resync and reconnect if I were to do this.

It's simple enough to just mandate these for interconnect. Everyone will need them anyway, if they want their solar system to work when the grid is not feeding them power.

Comment Re:Monopoly on what exactly (Score 1) 215

Lol. This isn't civil disobedience! Where is the human rights violation??

You don't need a violation of human rights for civil disobedience. But there is one, anyway. It's prohibiting licensed drivers in good standing from utilizing their vehicles as they see fit, including for profit, in a world in which you are required to have money or be treated as a criminal. If they're not safe to be an Uber driver, they're not safe on the roads and/or in public period, and you should address that issue.

Comment Re:incomplete sentence... (Score 1) 136

There is some truth in parts of what you say but its still a highly biased view point. Firstly the relatively small size of the Native American population made all that land management easy.

Before the Spanish showed up with many fun new diseases, their population was up to at least 50 million, if not 100 million or more. It was smaller than what we have now, but not as small as people think.

Simply burying your shit works when you only have a handful of people living on a large acreage. That does not hold up when your numbers get much larger.

If they get much larger you have to actively compost the crap, sure.

"The flyover states" are also "America's bread basket" they are not empty.

Actually, most of the food comes from California.

They do have a good deal of forest, more than they once did

Forested area is nice, but forest biomass is what really matters, because old trees fix more carbon (and so on) than new trees covering the same area.

The rest of space is very much being used to group the wheat and corn that went into your breakfast cereal this morning.

Stuff we should be eating less of. Actually, I'm eating oats. 40% of our corn goes to make ethanol and 4.7% for HFCS. Only about 50% of the land is actually used for crops, and if we cut the HFCS out of corn we could save approximately 27 million acres there alone.

Comment Re:Monopoly on what exactly (Score 1) 215

Who says civil disobedience is acceptable for people? In a civilized society, that is not how we change things.

It is if you want things to change. All the great movements of change now occurring in this nation were preceded by long periods of civil disobedience. Things like (ostensibly) equal rights for people of all races, for example, or the medical use (let alone legalization) of marijuana would not have been possible without civil disobedience.

Comment Re:This is why you call your bank before tourism (Score 1) 340

Local banks commonly have card machines in their offices. Chase operates theirs from a central location, but I've never had a replacement card take longer than two days to arrive and it's usually the next day. In the meantime, existing authorized autopayments (Verizon, virtual server, a few other things) usually go through for at least a couple of months.

This is the theory that Jack built. This is the flaw that lay in the theory that Jack built. This is the palpable verbal haze that hid the flaw that lay in...