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Comment: Re:I've been calling for this for 20+ years... (Score 1) 131

by MillionthMonkey (#47439433) Attached to: Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast To Make THC

If we ever learn to design new genes and proteins quickly, there are a bunch of starter projects:

Give mold the ability to synthesize CBD and THC. It would motivate you to wash your dishes- so you can use a razor blade to scrape off a gooey film of cannabinoids from the slimy ceramic in your sink, puff away, develop the munchies again, refill the sink with dirty dishes, and complete the cycle.

Insert a couple genes into E Coli that can synthesize cannabinoids in your intestines, so you can get a buzz after eating regular brownies.

Give cows a few genes for synthesis of cannabinoids during lactation. THC milk would also go great with regular brownies.

Design a virus that invades the human nervous system and inserts genes into white matter cells to induce synthesis of Adderall.

Engineer mosquitos that have the ability to synthesize heroin.

Make puncturevines that synthesize injectable human vaccines for measles, mumps, pertussis, polio, flu, rubella. and accumulate them in those tack-shaped goathead seeds. Plant them near people who think vaccines cause autism. Also include genes for synthesizing tire sealant, so their needles stop blowing out my bike tires when they reach the curb.

Give chili peppers the ability to synthesize and retain methamphetamine. Pulverize them and you can get meth with that "Chili P signature" like Jesse was selling in the first episode of Breaking Bad.

Create bees that can successfully avoid any areas tainted with anything manufactured by Bayer.

Resurrect DNA from extinct giant bird Palagornis sandersi but modify the legs a little so that the birds can hold bombs and chemical weapons.

Design trees that grow both apples and oranges, so we can finally compare them.

Comment: Printed THC (Score 1) 131

by MillionthMonkey (#47438371) Attached to: Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast To Make THC

They are genetically engineering stuff to produce stuff that is already available? Benefit would be....?

I'm not going to bother with genetic engineering. I'm going to get a 3D printer, download THC.sdl and CBD.sdl, and print my own cannabinoids.

Which reminds me I also have to print a new bong because this one is starting to smell like yeast.

Comment: Re:The web is not a runtime environment. (Score 1) 586

by tlambert (#47434345) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Basically, if you are thinking your browser is a "platform", or you are thinking "the web" is "a platform" in the traditional programming sense, as the OP obvious is, then you are an idiot.

No, actually, he's quite right. It's a different method of programming, a different paradigm altogether. He didn't talk about programming the browser so that part of your statement is irrelevant, but as a design platform the web truly is different. At least before people tried to change a markup language into a full page layout and presentation language.

The problem with web applications - and the intrinsic problem of abstraction of the complexity that's solved by historical runtime environments that the OP likes, is that the render is independent. The whole article the other day about the Google device lab:

Completely and totally underscores the fact that markup and rendering are separate from each other, and that the system doing the markup has to understand, and either have variant code that it outputs so that it renders the same in as many browsers as possible -- or you need an entire device lab, because you've given up on solving the problem, and are willing to employ someone other than a "Normal Human" (per the current article) in order to chip away on a per device basis, until you exhaustively cover all possibilities.

The separation on the render is the problem with the web, as a platform, and it's why it's * not* "a platform", it's "N back ends * M browsers" number of platforms.

This separation is the same mistake that was made when window management was separated from X windows, such that you didn't get the same look and feel on all applications based on having a particular X Terminal/X Server on which the render took place. In other words, the primitives were too primitive, and you ended up drawing boxes and lines and patterns, instead of "pop up menus" and "menu bards" and "dialog boxes".

What the OP in this article is bemoaning as being missing is a self-enforcing emergent property of the design decision to separate rendering from markup, and to separate markup from UI logic, and separate business logic from everything else. It's why web services are so complicated, and why they are so fragile.

The only thing that ever came close to dealing with the issue overall, at a high level, was WebObjects, and even then, it didn't try to do it in a way that was renderer/backend/middleware/security model/web server agnostic.

So again, I'm going to say that web services isn't a *platform* in the traditional sense of a computer running one of half a dozen 80x24 block mode terminals to front end a COBOL program was a platform, and that anyone who thinks it is ... is an idiot. At best, they are engaging in wishful thinking, if they think Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, and other vendors of these things are going to settle on a common programming paradigm, and turn themselves into commodities, which would result in about 1/6th the revenue they're getting today.

Comment: Re:Come now. (Score 1) 102

by tlambert (#47417945) Attached to: How Japan Lost Track of 640kg of Plutonium

Let's not make a big deal out of this. 640kg of reactor-grade plutonium is only enough for a bit over 100 fission bombs / fusion bomb first stages, merely enough to make the recipient roughly tied for being the world's sixth most armed nuclear power.

Nothing to see here.

Clearly, you have never built a fission device, if you think you could get that many of them out of 640kg of even weapons grade Plutonium. You need to probably go back and read "The Curve of Binding Energy" and recalculate the neutron numbers to determine critical mass, assuming a pareto optimal design, because you are more than a bit high with "100"...

You could build a lot of dirty bombs with something like that, but you are likely better off just robbing a radiomedicine unit at a large research hospital to get the materials, or stealing a truck out of a fast food restaurant in Mexico City...

Comment: The web is not a runtime environment. (Score 0) 586

by tlambert (#47417745) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

You are right of course it is similar to the 80's and 90's in that companies that wanted to steal the sales of other companies simply created new fangled languages and marketed the hell out of them instead of embracing what works and adapting it to the new paradigms. The only reason you can't use Turbo Pascal to make web pages is the compiler was never updated for the functionality but it very well could have been. In fact its progeny Delphi is alive and well and building apps for almost every popular platform out there today including the web. As long as there is competition there will be someone who chooses to create from scratch rather than use someone else's tool.

The web is not a runtime environment.

The reason you can't use TurboPascal is because web pages run in the browser virtual machine, and TurboPascal code runs in the TurboPascal runtime environment linked into the native code TurboPascal application.

You could target TurboPascal to NACL/PiNACL in Chrome as a target runtime environment, but effectively to run it, you'd be doing a JavaScript call into a JavaScript extension that then ran as native code in a sandbox within Chome. You'd, as a result, lose most of the TurboPascal runtime libraries supplied by the compiler vendor, and you'd lose all third party libraries and components, if the third parties weren't willing to port them (I assume you realize that you don't have all the Photoshop plugins on Windows that are available on Mac, right?).

Web languages, n the other hand, are predominantly for programming code on a server to generate markup, which is then interpreted by the browser to render output, or they are intended to run in a really limited environment in the browser itself, usually as unextended JavaScript (and, in the case of things like iPad/iPhone/etc., they are *definitely* NOT extended, since a UIView extension is not allowed under the terms and conditions for interpreting web content, since it's a huge security hole that's easily exploited with a DNS hijack).

Basically, if you are thinking your browser is a "platform", or you are thinking "the web" is "a platform" in the traditional programming sense, as the OP obvious is, then you are an idiot.

Comment: Better add DARPA and Jon Postel as codefendants (Score 2) 309

by tlambert (#47417297) Attached to: Tor Project Sued Over a Revenge Porn Business That Used Its Service

Better add DARPA and Jon Postel as codefendants. I hear they came up with this thing called TCP/IP, which aids and abets people like Tor putting together anonymous networks in the first place; it's a clear case of collusion...

Bonus Points: I hear DARPA has deep pockets...

Comment: Re:Changing the shape is meaningless (Score 1) 138

by JaredOfEuropa (#47413639) Attached to: BlackBerry's Innovation: Square-Screened Smartphones
These days it's all about BYOD in the enterprise. Blackberry was (and still is?) a leader when it comes to devices and a secure infrastructure geared for corporate use, but it's been ages since I have come across anyone still willing to carry 2 devices for personal and business use, now that we've given people access to their corporate email, calendar and address lists on their personal devices. A phone maker who wants to sell phones to businessmen needs to appeal to two markets: business use (including the infrastructure) and the consumer stuff, since people will want to use their one phone for both.

Blackberry is strong in the area of business use, security, and the tools and infrastructure needed to manage these phones. But they fail to appeal to the consumer market, and they are fast losing the fight for the ecosystem (app store / developers) in that space. I don't see the deal maker in the Passport, or any other BB phone, unless it is the physical keyboard which some people prefer, or situations where the need for security is paramount.

Comment: Re:Dirty power (Score 1) 225

by Pharmboy (#47411463) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

Generally speaking, anything with lots of parts has more points of failures. Since CFLs all have ballasts, my experience has been that spikes does take a toll, by virtue of them dying after the incandescent is just a big resister. Yes, it can break but it is fairly tolerant by virtue of being tungsten and having no other parts. This is why I spend the money for the better CFLs. I've been using CFLs for well over a decade now. Been using them since the 90s, so not an expert, but I've owned a lot of them.

Weekends were made for programming. - Karl Lehenbauer