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Comment: And done elsewhere (Score 1) 172

by Sycraft-fu (#47440405) Attached to: Texas Town Turns To Treated Sewage For Drinking Water

In Tucson 10%ish of the drinking water comes from reclaimed water (aka filtered sewage). Makes sense in an area with not a lot of fresh water resources. Also in those areas you can have different kinds. You can purchase a non-potable (not for consumption) water source for irrigation. Again, reclaimed water, but it undergoes less filtering and thus is cheaper. Plenty of larger places get a hookup to keep their watering costs down.

It is a very sensible way of doing things and you actually have more control of purity than water that comes out of the ground.

Comment: Re:Seriously, an iphone? (Score 1) 134

by RockDoctor (#47439087) Attached to: Chinese State Media Declares iPhone a Threat To National Security
You're conflating "phone" and "smartphone". They are different things.

People can phone me and send well-crafted packets as much as they want, but they won't be able to turn on my phone's WiFi, accelerometer or GPS because the hardware doesn't exist. And I can answer work emails any time that I want to - by going home and logging into my computer and thence into the mail server. Which suits me fine - I don't want to answer work-email when I'm on leave.

Comment: Re:"Don't Worry, it's only 400k volts" (Score 1) 160

by RockDoctor (#47439045) Attached to: Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

We've already reached the breakeven point where a suicide bomber can kill more people standing in the incoming security line of the airport than he'd kill bringing down a plane

Was there ever a time when that wasn't the case? Typical numbers queuing at my local airport (where I start or end intercontinental, but thankfully not American, flights on a monthly basis) are around a hundred, and the maximum size plane they can service is about 150~170. Since not all planes run full, it's probably always been more efficient to trigger the bomb when approaching the X-ray machines. (BTW, I think the radiation shielding in the X-ray machines will likely double up as blast containment. That's how I'd design one, anyway.)

Thinking to larger airports ... yeah, easily a plane load of people in most scanning areas, except at 3 in the morning. I seriously suspect that the security check has always been a viable detonation point. The only thing doing the plane adds is visceral terror of surviving the bomb to experience the free fall. Briefly.

Comment: Re:Sure It's The Original? (Score 1) 124

by Reziac (#47439025) Attached to: Child Thought To Be Cured of HIV Relapses, Tests Positive Again

I had the thought that yeah, since mom is infected it could be a re-infection, but not necessarily through what I suspect you're thinking. Any accidental exchange of bodily fluids can suffice. Did mom have a cold sore and kiss the child on the lips? (Remember kids have potential breaks in the mouth due to new teeth) Might be enough.

Comment: Why - why $1 billion a year? (Score 2) 54

Seriously - why? There are less than 100,000 K-12 schools in the US, we're talking about $10,000 PER SCHOOL in the US, each year. I just upgraded my office (12 Ubiquiti access points, covering 45,000 square feet - probably about the average size of a school campus) to 150 Mbps down/65 Mbps up FiOS for $250 per month. Should cost less than $1000 for the hardware, and less than $3000 per year for the service. Where does the other $6,000 go - for the first year? And what about all the following years?

Comment: Re:Creepy (Score 1) 168

by budgenator (#47437679) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

What I've pieced together is it's a 50 cal smooth-bore discarding sabot system, the round is aerodynamically stable with the center of gravity ahead of the aerodynamic center and is fin stabilized. The round has no inertial guidance so I assume that it wouldn't be able to use nutating scanning techniques and any spin would be unnecessary complication.
Cryptographic modulation, more likely none in the first interation, then a very profitable MWO to add a simple coherency signal adapted by reading a barcode on the round as it's loaded.

Comment: Re:Creepy (Score 1) 168

by budgenator (#47437595) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

An obvious countermeasure would be to have the laser turn on only when the trigger is pulled. With a velocity of about a km per sec, the bullet won't give you much time to "remove yourself from the area".

So it'll be easy to recognise the important bad-guy because he'll be the one wearing the MILES gear, a second doesn't give you enough time to vacate the area, but you only have to move farther that the bullet has time to correct.

The likely target of this weapon is going to be some impoverished kid wiring up a dud mortar round as an IED by the side of the road.

Yeah right, the chain of command is going to authorize shooting a $50K bullet at a kid; also if somebody has to paint the target, then only a few dollars more gets you a live video feed so command can watch and control any engagements. I see this as being a replacement for the AGM-114, Hellfire missile on Predator and Reaper drones against soft, point targets. One problem we're having now is the bad-guys is using tactics that maximise collateral damage. these bullets will counter those tactics and give our drones he ability to engage many more targets.

Comment: Re:Will we ever stop celebrating Jesus? (Score 0) 151

I think you win the internet there for the most absurd comparison of the year.

Or can you point me to the chapter in the bible where Jesus the carpenter set down his hand tools, stole his neighbor's air compressor, power tools, and precut lumber, and proceeded to craft stuff from it in his own name?

It dulls the impact of an important event,

Which "important event" do you have in mind here? Are you talking about when he opened up a network closet and slowed down the network traffic of an entire academic library for his own aims - when he could have downloaded all the same material from the desk where he worked his job? Or are you talking about when he got scared about the possibility of having to face trial, and took his own life rather than object to the laws that he was potentially facing trial under?

Comment: Re:Origin of life? (Score 1) 154

by RockDoctor (#47436041) Attached to: Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus
All of those questions are definitely on the table.

After the Human Genome was published, I wondered why the fuck Craig Venter went off on his boat to do shotgun PCR on random buckets of seawater. Though this work isn't directly related to that, it's marking Venter's decision to forgo the complexities of culturing organisms as being a truly inspired insight. (And I'm not even a biologist! I deal with dead things and I can see the importance of this choice.)

Comment: Re:What is life? What is a virus? (Score 1) 154

by RockDoctor (#47435935) Attached to: Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus

If life started with a giant virus, and viruses reproduce by infecting living creatures... wence life?

"Whence." Your spelling checker needs switching on.

That is one of the discussions elaborated in TFA : did viruses initially need life forms to replicate on? Or did they force the development of modern life forms. Or ... was there an earlier form of organism, distinctly different from modern cells (post-3.5Ga ago) and modern viruses (also post-3.5Ga ago) which held an intermediate position between modern cells and modern viruses?

One interpretation (NOT undisputed) is that giant mimiviruses could fill that position, and have genes old enough for the hypothesised split.

There doesn't appear to be a consensus. Which is normal for cutting-edge research.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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