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Space

Swiss Scientists Discover DNA Remains Active After Space Journey and Re-entry 58

Posted by Soulskill
from the when-you-land-on-a-planet,-you're-landing-on-every-other-planet-it's-been-with dept.
Zothecula writes: It may sound like the first chapter of a Quatermass thriller, but scientists from the University of Zurich have discovered that DNA can survive not only a flight through space, but also re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere and still remain active. The findings are based on suborbital rocket flights and could have considerable impact on questions about the origins of life on Earth and the problems of terrestrial space probes contaminating other planets.

Comment: Re: What's with turkey anyway (Score 1) 110

by arth1 (#48477035) Attached to: I prefer my turkey ...

Well, they're not that big, but they're mean. We get packs of young toms in the parking lot at work every now and then, and the best thing to do is to wait for them to move on, because they will peck and kick you and can do substantial damage.

And eating? It's probably the fowl that has the least amount of taste of all, and they tend to be very dry, even when cooked to perfection and people swear up and down that they're juicy. Compared to even drier turkey, perhaps, but not juicy compared to anything else.
And they're so big that unless you have a huge family, you'll eat leftover turkey until it goes bad, which is a big waste.

I had half a Cornish game hen with stuffing, bean casserole, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy and cranberry sauce. That's plenty of food for one person, and they're much juicier and tastier than the turkey, and something I don't eat on sandwiches year round anyhow. And I won't be eating leftovers Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday... (damn, I sound like Rebecca Black.)

Comment: Re:Ah, good, progress. (Score 1) 100

by arth1 (#48469207) Attached to: Firefox Will Soon Offer One-Click Buttons For Your Search Engines

You trust Quickdrag?
Take a look at the comments. Just. Do. It.

Contrary to what some think, security isn't something you add on top afterwards - it's something best approached from the other end - don't introduce insecurity.

Also, it does not do much good if the text you wanted to paste comes from a different app.

Comment: Re:EDSAC (Score 1) 124

by arth1 (#48468425) Attached to: How the World's First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap

It depends where you went to school. I was taught that EDSAC was the first fully programmable computer. Earlier devices (including ENIAC) had to be physically re-configured to run each different program using cables and switches, rather than just loading a new program into the same memory that is used for data.

I thought the Manchester "Baby" preceded EDSAC?
While it was limited compared to its successors, it did have stored programs.

(Also, the Z3 could be programmed from tape, but it was electromechanical and not electronic.)

Comment: Re:Ah, good, progress. (Score 1) 100

by arth1 (#48466037) Attached to: Firefox Will Soon Offer One-Click Buttons For Your Search Engines

With your strong security and privacy concern, you really should not use the address bar for searches.

I am surprised if this has not happened to most people:

You work on something, copying/pasting occasionally.
Then you browse.
You copy/paste a URL into the browser.
Except that the copy didn't take (bad keyboard, bad fingers, bad mojo) and you ended up pasting what was in the buffer from before.
If lucky, you only told the search engine something innocent.
If unlucky, you gave classified company data or highly private information.

Comment: Re:So close, so far (Score 1) 555

by arth1 (#48428067) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

I recently paid a visit to my sweet friend Helen Jane and was excited to find this book at her house.

She was excited to find a Barbie book at her friend place ? and she's excited because it could inspire her daughter ?

No, she was excited because that would likely be ammunition for another sexism rant.

Comment: Re:LOL ... w00t? (Score 2) 555

by arth1 (#48427309) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

Someone who should be fired, not for being misogynistic, but simply for being stupid enough to not understand what he/she was doing.

We cannot really accuse the woman who wrote this booklet of misogynism.
Of being of the same, ehrm, intelligence level as Barbie, no doubt. But not misogynism.
A little bit of sexism in how boys are portrayed, perhaps.

Comment: Re:I know this! (Score 2) 555

by arth1 (#48427235) Attached to: "Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

To be fair to that scene, it actually takes a bit of awareness to realize that fucked up 3d UI was a filesystem wrapper.

fsn (file system navigator) for IRIX was not universally known, but if the girl used IRIX at school, it is not unfeasible that she was familiar with it.

(Most people knowing fsn would have used it to start a real shell, instead of continuing to use the slowest file system navigator in existence, just because it was pretty. But her role in the movie was to be a Barbie, so pretty counts.)

Comment: Re:Telegram (Score 1) 93

by arth1 (#48425753) Attached to: WhatsApp To Offer End-to-End Encryption

Telegram. It's open source, uses end to end encryption, and, unlike whatsapp, supports multiple connected clients at a time - including desktop clients for all platforms.

It's public domain, not open source.
End-to-end encryption is easy - you just need to send a courier with a one time pad.
And yes, there are telegraphs supporting multiple concurrent connections by using pitch shifting and filters so the receiver will only hear one set of beeps. But not more than a few.
Sure, there are desktop clients for all platforms - wooden, metal and marble top desktop can have clients, and there are even keys that mount on tilted desktops.

Of course you'll be hard pressed to find anyone on telegram

Indeed. Even Her Majesty The Queen stopped sending telegrams a few years ago. A shame, really.

Comment: Re:FBI Director James Comey may not care. (Score 2) 93

by arth1 (#48425681) Attached to: WhatsApp To Offer End-to-End Encryption

This is the same company that lied about the capabilities of its photo app, as well as stored the photos insecurely.

Why would they have to? All they need to do is present Whatsapp with a hush order to hand over keys.
When Whatsapp generates and maintains the keys, there's no real security here.
I even think it's not unlikely that they have implemented this in cooperation with the three letter agencies, in order to lure people into thinking it is safe. And the great unwashed masses will be fooled, as always.

Comment: Re:Not really secure (Score 1) 93

by arth1 (#48425629) Attached to: WhatsApp To Offer End-to-End Encryption

This is the same company that lied about the capabilities of its photo app, as well as stored the photos insecurely.

Don't forget storing conversation logs unencrypted.
Or requiring a personally identifiable marker (a phone number) in order to work, even when everything goes over IP and supporting anonymous users would be trivial.

Comment: Re:FBI Director James Comey may not care. (Score 2) 93

by arth1 (#48425591) Attached to: WhatsApp To Offer End-to-End Encryption

If it is really END TO END, then WhatsApp can't see the data either.

True, but anyone sniffing the traffic can, if they have access to a decryption key. Not that we know of anyone who would possibly do that...

In my view, this encryption is not to be trusted unless and until it can accept keys that are generated outside the WhatsApp product. Otherwise, how much would you want to bet that the three letter agencies aren't getting a master key under a hush order?

Never ask two questions in a business letter. The reply will discuss the one you are least interested, and say nothing about the other.

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