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Comment: Reading a synopsis of the novel ... (Score 1) 255

by Ihlosi (#48013603) Attached to: Could We Abort a Manned Mission To Mars?
... makes me think "highly unlikely".

On a mission like that, your might survive one major thing going wrong, but the second mishap will kill you. You can't duct-tape your way out of misfortune after misfortune in space.

See Apollo 13. One thing went wrong, and it took all the engineering and duct-taping skills (literally) to get the crew back alive.

Comment: Re:C=128 (Score 4, Interesting) 165

by Ihlosi (#48010215) Attached to: Why the Z-80's Data Pins Are Scrambled
There was a Z-80 in the C=128 , but it wasn't used.

Yes, I found this part of the article amusing too.

C128s were cobbled together from too many different parts. And they appeared when the 8-bit generation was already on its way out.

However, the C128 mode had its uses. The BASIC was had lots of additional features (commands for music, graphics, sprites), and it had a built-in sprite editor. If you didn't know the C64 inside out and could do these things in assembly (blindfolded), the C128 mode gave you much more access to the machines capabilites. Too bad no company ever came up with a killer 8-bit machine. Z80 CPU, more than 64 kB RAM, sound and graphics like SID and VIC-II.

Comment: Re:So evolution possibly already happened ... (Score 2) 120

by Ihlosi (#48001473) Attached to: Physicists Find Clue as To Why the DNA Double Helix Twists To the Right
A living chemical system is organized to continually minimize local entropy.

Actually, it's not. If your body tried to minimize its entropy, you'd end up frozen or your body separated into its constituent atoms.

I guess you're trying to describe the concept of homeostasis, which is in fact part of the "official" definition of life. One thing living things do is use energy to keep their internal state constant even against outside influences. This is different from trying to minimize entropy.

Comment: Re:Not Coincidence, it's the point (Score 1) 236

by Ihlosi (#48000655) Attached to: Apple's "Warrant Canary" Has Died
That's how things get done: not with the stick, but that they legally offer a lot of carrots that states can't afford to turn down, and then attach strings to those carrots to get states to do things that Congress shouldn't have authority over.

I wonder how much extra tax money from alcohol sales a state could make if it lowered the drinking age to 18 ...

Comment: Re:However, it might have security holes. (Score 1) 65

by Ihlosi (#47991419) Attached to: CIA Tested Primitive Chatbots For Interrogation In the 1980s
So you should phrase your answer in the form of cleverly devised SQL?

Possibly. Something like that might make for an interesting scene in a movie. Captured subject utters a seemingly nonsensical phrase and interrogation-bot suddenly turns on the captors. Ooops.

Everyone can be taught to sculpt: Michelangelo would have had to be taught how not to. So it is with the great programmers.