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Comment Craig Venter first did this in 2004 (Score 3, Informative) 30 30

He combined his love of sailing with ocean microbe sampling to investigate the diversity of life.
Incidentally Craig perfected the shotgun decodign technique which accelerated decoding the first human genome in the late 1990s (his of course :-). Now gene sampling is fairly routine way of mapping biomes all over the ecosphere.

Comment dozens of such companies in 1970s (Score 3, Informative) 191 191

I went to the First West Coast Computer Fair and to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Homebrew Computer Club. It was a lot like mobile apps are now or dot.coms in the mid-1990s- many companies vying to succeed.

I thought the Radio Shack TRS-80 was best poised to succeed at the time since it was from an established company. But the killer app that propelled Apple was VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet. Many businesses wanted an Apple-2 then.

Commodity hardware from Dell and Compaq and a generic operating system like PC-DOS eventaully consolidated the industry and wiped out most of the small operators.

Comment 85 damaging accidents a year just in Sacramento (Score 1) 368 368

"Sacramento International Airport has had more bird strikes (1,300 collisions between birds and jets between 1990 and 2007, causing an estimated $1.6 million in damage) than any other California airport. Sacramento International Airport has the most bird strikes of any airport in the west and sixth among airports in the US, according to the FAA, as it is located along the Pacific Flyway, a major bird migration path.[13][14]"

Comment scammers cleaned up on $12B of reparations (Score 1) 195 195

There was virtually no requirment to show direct damages. I was inudated by email from scammers to let them help me join the reparations process (recently ended). I think it was partly beacuse showing cause of economic harm was difficult and much of the Gulf coast operated on an undocumented underground economy. Even the famed reparations lawyer Ken Feinberg of 9-11 and Colorado Theater Shooter fame was kicked off the case for wanting a minimum level of standards for reparations.

Comment Earths sky will have half dozen milky way streaks (Score 1) 52 52

During the collision era from simulations I've seen. However in two gigayears the planet will be too hot for life. In a few hundred million years the atmosphere will have too little carbon dioxide to support photosynthesis multi-cellular life. Existing carbon is gradually sucked into limestone formation. Earth will revert to a bacteria planet unless there is teraforming (burning the limestone to release CO2).

Often statistics are used as a drunken man uses lampposts -- for support rather than illumination.