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Comment: Re:just FYI (Score 1) 77

by mpe (#49148137) Attached to: Banned Weight-loss Drug Could Combat Liver Disease, Diabetes
DNP is an ATP inhibitor, which means it prevents cell mitochondria from synthesising ATP from simple sugars.

Mitochondria can't handle sugars anyway. What happens is that sugars must first be converted to something mitochondria can use within the cytoplasm. This is generally either pyruvate or lactate.
On the other hand mitochondria can directly use carboxylic acids.

Comment: Re:(looks straight down) (Score 1) 122

by mpe (#49093641) Attached to: The Science of a Bottomless Pit
Interesting... What happens if you tunnel fro New York into an ocean on the other side of the world? Does the water drop in and boil in the centre of the Earth?

This was what I was thinking about their example of a tunnel between the poles. Given that Arctic Ocean is more than 4km deep at the North Pole. Even with a vacuum tube you might fall around 7km short of the South Pole...

Comment: Re:Sweet F A (Score 1) 576

by mpe (#49087843) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Could We Actually Detect an Alien Invasion From Outer Space?
Besides, even if they were at our level of technology, if they have starships, then they have nuclear weapons. They don't have to invade, they can simple drop rocks or nukes on us to accomplish the same thing, and there wouldn't be anything we could do about it...

If you can drop rocks on a planet you probably don't need to bother with nukes. No nasty radioactives to clean up afterwards.
The only possible advantage of a missile over a rock is accuracy. But there probably isn't that much capable of surviving a near miss in the 100 MT range.

Comment: Re:We'd probably detect an invading fleet quite ea (Score 1) 576

by mpe (#49086267) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Could We Actually Detect an Alien Invasion From Outer Space?
We do not. We have detectors for big honking stellar explosions. If a bunch of objects 200m across were as close as the lunar orbit, if we knew exactly where to look, it is unlikely we could really distinguish them from rocks.

They might even be rocks. A 200m rock makes a very effective Kenetic Kill round. A 200m chunk of ice is probably going to be even harder to see, but still rates in the tens of MT range.

Comment: Re:Alpha not so great. (Score 3, Informative) 210

by Whiney Mac Fanboy (#49077525) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Stephen Wolfram a Question

For instance, "How do I plot a course from earth to Uranus?"

The really tragic thing about this particular example is that Alpha could just return (and indeed to any question involving Uranus):

"To plot a course to my anus, you're going to need to start by buying me a drink"

Thanks folks, I'll be here all night.

Comment: Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 1) 458

by SirSlud (#48950625) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

Let's talk income tax, because the vast majority of people are employees, not small business owners (when you compare the amount of actual business owners to the amount of pandering that goes towards them, it's hilarious.) When you make a certain amount, as I do, small changes to my tax rates don't really bother me. I make a shitload of money, so another couple of % of my earnings isn't really anything I'm prepared to uproot my life for, pick up and move for. Your claim that the rich people are mostly people who own business is stupid sauce.

Businesses

How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft 458

Posted by timothy
from the paper-beats-rock dept.
HughPickens.com writes James B. Stewart writes in the NYT that in 1998 Bill Gates said in an interview that he "couldn't imagine a situation in which Apple would ever be bigger and more profitable than Microsoft" but less than two decades later, Apple, with a market capitalization more than double Microsoft's, has won. The most successful companies need a vision, and both Apple and Microsoft have one. But according to Stewart, Apple's vision was more radical and, as it turns out, more farsighted. Where Microsoft foresaw a computer on every person's desk, Apple went a big step further: Its vision was a computer in every pocket. "Apple has been very visionary in creating and expanding significant new consumer electronics categories," says Toni Sacconaghi. "Unique, disruptive innovation is really hard to do. Doing it multiple times, as Apple has, is extremely difficult." According to Jobs' biographer Walter Isaacson, Microsoft seemed to have the better business for a long time. "But in the end, it didn't create products of ethereal beauty. Steve believed you had to control every brush stroke from beginning to end. Not because he was a control freak, but because he had a passion for perfection." Can Apple continue to live by Jobs's disruptive creed now that the company is as successful as Microsoft once was? According to Robert Cihra it was one thing for Apple to cannibalize its iPod or Mac businesses, but quite another to risk its iPhone juggernaut. "The question investors have is, what's the next iPhone? There's no obvious answer. It's almost impossible to think of anything that will create a $140 billion business out of nothing."

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.

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