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Comment Re:I don't understand this ... (Score 1) 184

Even if they were dragging planets with them (is it possible for planets to orbit that fast?)

Velocity is relative. If such a hypervelocity star did have a planetary system, then from the reference frame of that system, its own centre of mass would be stationary and it would be the rest of the universe that's whizzing by at relativistic speeds.

Comment Re:News? (Score 1) 82

It's even older than that. Here's an article on the subject dating back to 1998. Jeffrey Turner was one of the early pioneers of this research, and co-founded a company, Nexia Biotechnologies, to commercialize the idea in 1993. I swear these "spider goat" articles have been popping up several times a year for the last fifteen years in various media outlets.

Comment Re:Thanks for pointing out the "briefly" part. (Score 1) 461

It ain't that easy to throw away 25Mw of generation at the drop of a hat

Why can't you just disconnect some fraction of the solar panels? Just run them as open circuits.

But I agree that underproduction is much more difficult to deal with than overproduction. The only practical solution I know of is to use some sort of energy storage system like pumped water storage, batteries (e.g. vanadium redox), or, and I'm speculating here, possible next-generation graphene ultracapacitors.

Comment Re:Mapping the Nematode? (Score 2, Insightful) 44

You look for cellular activities which correspond to cancerous behavior, and when you see them, you tell that cell to kill itself

That's kind of what's already supposed to happen naturally inside the human body. Cells are supposed to kill themselves if they are severely malfunctioned or are likely to become cancerous. However, if enough of these fail-safe mechanisms are damages within a cell, then that cell becomes cancerous. That's why cancer is so difficult to treat, and why your own immune system has difficulty attacking it -- the cancer cells have gone rogue and are no longer "following orders" to kill themselves.

So, if you were able to insert genes into cells, which would allow the cells to kill themselves upon activation by a certain light wavelength, then what would happen? Say you illuminate the tumour with that particular wavelength. Perhaps 99.9% of the cells will undergo apoptosis, as instructed. But maybe 0.1% acquired a mutation which disabled your fail-safe genes. Now what? Congratulations -- the cancer has now evolved to be resistant to your light-induced apoptosis commands. And you're back to square one.

Comment Why is it lit from the side? (Score 1) 29

The article says that these images are produced from radar scans. Why, then, does the asteroid look like it's illuminated from the side? If the asteroid was "illuminated" with a radar beam from an earth-based antenna, while the reflected radar waves were also detected using earth-based dishes, then shouldn't the asteroid look like it's illuminated head-on? Am I missing something here?

Comment Mouse Latency Issue? (Score 2) 187

I read sometime last year that Windows 8.1 introduced a bug related to mouse latency, which was especially noticeable for gamers using high-dpi mice. Apparently, many games became unplayable because of the greatly increased mouse lag. Microsoft issued a temporary "fix" (patch KB2908279), which from what I've read only corrected the issue for a few specific games -- i.e., it was not a true, universal fix. Does anyone know if they have finally fixed this issue? I've been holding off from upgrading to Windows 8.1 for this very reason.

It's not hard to admit errors that are [only] cosmetically wrong. -- J.K. Galbraith