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Comment: Re:Makes sense I guess. (Score 1) 140

In the specific case of humans(and other placental mammals, presumably), it probably doesn't help that "aggressively invade immunologically foreign tissue, stimulate growth of blood vessels to support voracious demand for oxygen and nutrients" is one of the qualifications that you must have to avoid dying before your mother even noticed you.

That sort of capability is classic tumor; but you aren't going to hack it as an embryo unless you are capable of it.

Comment: Re:"new" research (Score 1) 140

The stakes are obviously higher when the subject is sentient(at least the subject tends to think so...); but even organisms that are barely 'multicellular', like slime molds, have some rather fascinating mechanisms surrounding the issue of maintaining organism-level cooperation between individual cells subject to their own selective pressures.

With the slime molds some of the really tricky bits happen when the normally free-living cells congregate and form a stalk that is mostly (dead) structural cells with some spore forming bodies at the tip. This behavior is apparently adaptive at a colony level; but it involves a bunch of formerly independent cells deciding which 90% get to die in order to form the support structure and who gets to be the reproductive structure. All without access to general purpose cognition, game theory, or any similarly handy tools.

Comment: Re: "Not eradicated" isn't needed (Score 3, Interesting) 140

Multicellular organisms do have a variety of lethal failsafes that are supposed to stand in the way of cancer. Unfortunately some fraction of potentially cancerous cells are sufficiently defective that apoptosis is interrupted and they can proliferate.

Comment: Re:nuke it in orbit... (Score 1) 115

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47722791) Attached to: Scientists Find Traces of Sea Plankton On ISS Surface
I'm not sure why this has you so worked up; but nothing about my proposal requires assuming that all true aliens are made of silicon and element-115 or similar sci-fi handwaving.

Looking at terrestrial organisms, we see various limits on what biochemistries actually work; but we also see a lot of variation. Some of it in fairly critical systems, much of it churn. Depending on the exact resources available and any special difficulties involved we can, and do, build robust phylogenetic trees. In cases that we care more about, or are better behaved, we can sometimes nail heredity down to the individual level despite the fact that conspecifics employ pretty much identical chemistry.

It may well be the case that an alien is based on pretty much the same chemistry as terrestrial life, even that there aren't any other options; but a carbon based alien with DNA that just coincidentially fits neatly into a terrestrially evolved phylogenetic tree? That would be quite a trick.

Comment: Re:Why gravity is treated as a force? (Score 4, Informative) 91

Gravity can be formulated as a gauge theory, like the other forces in Standard Model. It's just a different mathematical representation of General Relativity, and it also captures the gravity-as-curvature idea quite neatly. You don't see it that often because the math gets a little tricky, unless you use something like Geometric Algebra, which made it easy enough for Master's courses.

Comment: Re:Oh it'll happen... (Score 2) 645

by TeknoHog (#47716105) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

What's with all this KDE shit? We all know GNOME is the real package to go with. Only losers use KDE.

Yes, I'm kidding, but now you know exactly why we don't have Linux on the desktop. Linux Ignorance sat around for the better part of a fucking decade bitching back and forth over which desktop package to go with.

Desktop schmesktop. I want to use an application, not stare at some fscking icons, menus or panels all day. Fluxbox with no panel and a dozen virtual screens gives me just that. I basically have one v-screen for each task, for 100% focus. Out of sight, out of mind. The point of a computer is that it can handle much more information than me -- I'd just get lost in all that, instead I'll just do one thing at a time, and do it well.

Of course, that's just, like, my opinion, man. If someone wants to recreate the Windows experience on Linux, by all means, just do it. That's the whole idea of open source, use your computer the way you want. (Why "PC" means "Windows" in common parlance is beyond me -- Linux and other open OSes make computers much more personal.)

As for binary compatibility, just by assuming x86-64 (or just x86?) you're breaking a whole lot of opensource/unix tradition. The portable way of installing software involves ./configure and make, and it doesn't care about architecture. Unfortunately, most distros break this by not including basic stuff like compilers by default. The distros themselves are pandering to the Windows way of binary assumptions.

Linux on the desktop won't have much hope unless people get the whole idea of open source. With the typical binary distro, it's not much better than Windows or OS X. The kernel won't matter that much when the user experience is crippled to that Fisher-Price level where you're allowed to do these certain things, and not be the master of your own machine.

Comment: Re:I call bullshit (Score 4, Interesting) 84

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47711347) Attached to: Heartbleed To Blame For Community Health Systems Breach

The hospital had an Internet-facing router that was accessible via SSH or HTTPS?

If they were stupid enough to do that, then someone else had probably stolen all their data already.

What if it was a Juniper SSL VPN Appliance? TFA is a bit vague; but if the system has VPN access and Juniper gear it seems pretty likely that they might be using that, which would necessarily involve SSL on an internet facing device, though not necessarily SSH or HTTPS.

Comment: Re:ugh... white knights. (Score 1) 710

by Shadow of Eternity (#47709557) Attached to: News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

No, denying, minimizing, or outright erasing the actual real world actions and character of a movement totally dominated and utterly defined by those crazies is misrepresenting it. People on the internet insisting "feminism is nice and friendly!" do not outweigh people in real life committing felonies and violent crimes.

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