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Comment Re:What plan? (Score 1) 88 88

One of the simplest questions is How big an NEO do we need to stop? Once you realize our ability to stop NEOs is very limited (in terms of mass) and is 100% dependent on early detection, the initial focus should be on improving detection of NEOs. And even then, the future may be : "INBOUND NEO >90% CHANCE OF EARTH IMPACT --- MASS IS ESTIMATED TO BE . . . oh crap" and now we're back at the current stage of hoping it misses.

Comment Re:No thanks (Score 2) 154 154

Sorry, but I'm having trouble imagining such a facility being run by a typical American for-profit entity. Bad morale, low standards, high staff turnover, no loyalty to the employee, so no loyalty from the employee back to looking after the public.

So how's about we agree, that we'll make the operating entity an crown (or state) owned utility (not for profit) and run with a well paid, well trained, workforce ?

Comment inside or out (Score 2) 171 171

Is the colour meant to display for the condition of the wearer (which could be a display in advance of coitus) or for the condition of the partner (which is a display after coitus)?

Folks seem to be focusing on the partner's condition here. I think this idea would be far more valuable to the partner. Here put this on and we'll - hang on - blue plus yellow means clamidia and the clap - sorry fella - no joy for you. Warning of impending risk is far better than - hey wow, she's was really loaded up with bugs.

A raincoat will keep you dry in the rain, checking the weather may keep you from going out in the rain in the first place.

Comment Re:Exponential Birthdays (Score 1) 126 126

this kind of nerd glee is nothing more than typical human pattern recognition. The fact that your brain picks out mathematical patterns, is your peculiarity. Some of us pick up on language patterns, on movement (dynamic) patterns, some on patterns in the layout of bricks in a wall. Humans are pre-programmed to detect patterns. Its how we survive things that are trying to eat us, and how we figure out how we can eat other things.

Comment Re:Not spider thread. Yeast string. (Score 2) 48 48

1) The yeast can make the same proteins. However, what makes spider silk's properties so amazing is what the spider does with them inside/with its spinnerets. simply making the building blocks of the silk does not give you spider silk. The chemical work has been done before in a lab.

2. My comment was that this material was made to be aritificial spider silk. Both the article and the summary headline read "spider silk". Even if this material was 100% exactly the same as natural silk,it would not be spider silk. t would be artificial spider silk, as true spider silk only comes from spiders.

So "spider silk is ready for commercialization" is not the same thing as "artificial spider silk is ready for commercialization". I was very interested in what innovation they had created to allow the commercialization of spider silk harvesting. The current methods involves actually tying the buggers down on their backs and pulling the thread out. Seeing that they had only managed to utilize yeast to make the replicate the principal ingredient in spider silk left me disappointed.

Comment Not spider thread. Yeast string. (Score 5, Informative) 48 48

These folks have come up with an idea to market a threat with some (but not all) the properties of spider silk. Using yeast. While I am more than willing to admit that this material sounds interesting, it is most certainly not spider silk.

But it's not the first time we've seen an utterly misleading headline in both the article and in the Slashdot post.

Comment Re:It's always the same (Score 1) 176 176

The story never ends. Tech head figures out a way to earn money by not playing on a level playing field. Of course,they make it sound like the "evil establishment prohibits competition". The truth is there: the table is level and either step up and challenge or go away. When you meet all the technical requirements for the contract, you may then compete on price. failing to meet the technical standards and you don't get to play.

Comment Re:Why this whole article is pie in the sky bullsh (Score 3, Interesting) 334 334

The math in your example was to build a battery for the entire US to carry it for 7 days, including all transportation costs (air, rail, automobile) as electricity. I think that it is very safe to say that this oversizes the battery requirements for even a North American grid by one, if not two orders of magnitude. 7 days without any baseload generation, 7 days over the entire US without any sunshine, wind, hydroelectric flow, is simply an unreasonable target.

Comment Re:Wrong solution (Score 1) 678 678

Simply remove use restrictions and let the market properly set the price of this scarce product.

Why remove restrictions? Just place the restrictions and let the market properly price this product. When land developers or new business cannot find sufficient water within the regulatory framework, the "price" of water will increase. If it gets high enough, desalination makes sense. If your business depends on cheap water - time to diversify.

The F-15 Eagle: If it's up, we'll shoot it down. If it's down, we'll blow it up. -- A McDonnel-Douglas ad from a few years ago