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Comment: Re:i didn't even bother to watch the second one (Score 2) 336

by l0ungeb0y (#48665467) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

say...speaking of shitty fantasy trilogies i thought that shit with the blue aliens was supposed to be a trilogy? whatever happened? i guess the merchandising and bluray sales didn't really hit expectations for a new sci-fi property/brand?

We here at James Cameron Heavy Industries are happy to report that not only did international Blu-Ray® DVD sales meet market expectations, they totally and utterly surpassed them. As such, we've turned the planned Trilogy into a TETRALOGY! That's right -- not two more, but THREE MORE 3D IMAX EXPERIENCE movies featuring cutting edge CGI technology for you to spend every last hard earned dollar on tiny theatre seats and cold, greasy popcorn

Sadly, this embarrassment of riches has caused us to push back the production schedule a bit to accommodate HIS Lord Jim's latest round of ass-raping of the Terminator franchise and to allow for more production coordination with Disney to develop a world wide network of Avatar theme parks in disney properties world-wide.

Need to see it to believe it? http://www.imdb.com/name/nm000...

Comment: A Crewed Version? (Score 1) 200

by l0ungeb0y (#48617661) Attached to: NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration
Considering that a surface mission is completely unfeasible and that they would effectively be little more than equipment operators, it seems the only benefit to a manned mission would be "less latency" in controlling the equipment vs drone style operators based here on Earth. Personally, aside from "bragging rights" for pulling off the first manned Venus Mission I do not see anything that could remotely justify the risk of life and massive financial costs a manned mission would incur.

Comment: Computer careers and gender (Score 2) 208

by ivano (#48617231) Attached to: New AP Course, "Computer Science Principles," Aims To Make CS More Accessible
The interesting thing is when you do see a "normal" girl doing software development you can instantly see how much more "aware" they are with interacting with other people. Not a lot of people will like to hear this - but because they have the technology skills AND the social skills they get picked up pretty quickly for jobs requiring more responsibility and eventually higher ranking jobs.

In fact I'm pretty tired of going over to talk to a (male) colleague and they either can't or won't answer the question but instead will ramble on about something slightly related but nothing to with my question; or they'll be so passive-aggressive about any question that you have to know the answer beforehand to be able to ask the question in the precisely right way that they are willing to answer (think about talking to Dick Cheney about torture).

Of course, I'm ignoring that Russian girl who didn't know how to formulate an if-statement. And then there are those brilliant guys I've worked with which I still can't figure out their code - but it works just fine.

Comment: Re:This should be a given.. (Score 3, Informative) 47

by kebes (#48532513) Attached to: Researchers Design DNA With New Shapes and Structures
The base-pair sequence of DNA determines its biological function. As you say, this sequence determines what kinds of proteins get made, including their exact shape (and more broadly how they behave).

But TFA is talking about the conformation (shape) of the DNA strand itself, not the protein structures that the DNA strand is used to make.

In living organisms, the long DNA molecule always forms a double-helix, irrespective of the base-pair sequence within the DNA. DNA double helices do actually twist and wrap into larger-scale structures: specifically by wrapping around histones, and then twisting into larger helices that eventually form chromosomes. There are hints that the DNA sequence itself is actually important in controlling how this twisting/packing happens (with ongoing research about how (innapropriately-named) "junk DNA" plays a crucial role). However, despite this influence between sequence and super-structure, DNA strands essentially are just forming double-helices at the lowest level: i.e. two complementary DNA strands are pairing up to make a really-long double-helix.

What TFA is talking about is a field called "DNA nanotechnology", where researchers synthesize non-natural DNA sequences. If cleverly designed, these sequences will, when they do their usual base-pairing, form a structure more complex than the traditional "really-long double-helix". The structures that are designed do not occur naturally. People have created some really complex structures, made entirely using DNA. Again, these are structures made out of DNA (not structures that DNA generates). You can see some examples by searching for "DNA origami". E.g. one of the famous structures was to create a nano-sized smiley face; others have 3D geometric shapes, nano-boxes and bottles, gear-like constructs, and all kinds of other things.

The 'trick' is to violate the assumptions of DNA base-pairing that occur in nature. In living cells, DNA sequences are created as two long complementary strands, which pair up with each other. The idea in DNA nanotechnology is to create an assortment of strands. None of the strands are perfectly complementary to each other, but 'sub-regions' of some strands are complementary to 'sub-regions' on other strands. As they start pairing-up with each other, this creates cross-connections between all the various strands. The end result (if your design is done correctly) is that the strands spontaneously form a ver well-defined 3D structure, with nanoscale precision. The advantage of this "self-assembly" is that you get billions of copies of the intended structure forming spontaneously and rapidly. Very cool stuff.

This kind of thing has been ongoing since 2006 at least. TFA erroneously implies that this most recent publication invented the field. Actually, this most recent publication is some nice work about how the design process can be made more robust (and software-automated). So, it's a fine paper, but certainly not the first demonstration of artificial 3D DNA nano-objects.

Comment: Re:SURPRISE!!! (Score 1) 250

by l0ungeb0y (#48525689) Attached to: Apple Accused of Deleting Songs From iPods Without Users' Knowledge
Except that Apple isn't the owner nor are they acting on behalf of the owner -- they are depriving you of your property on the sole basis that they want to hurt you because you used a competitors service. I fail to see why this should be a mere class action suit and not a criminal proceeding. This should qualify as property destruction and theft.

The algorithm for finding the longest path in a graph is NP-complete. For you systems people, that means it's *real slow*. -- Bart Miller