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Comment: Re:not hard cosmic radiation (Score 2) 116

by wierd_w (#47707895) Attached to: Scientists Find Traces of Sea Plankton On ISS Surface

Yes and no-- Depends on what the ISS's orbit is. If it has a circumpolar orbit, (crosses the polar region), then it will pass through the magnetic field lines that funnel cosmic particles into the atmosphere that cause the northern lights. EG-- it would get beamed pretty intensely with concentrated cosmic particles.

If it does not have that kind of orbit, and instead stays around the equator, then no so much. Mostly radiation free, compared to outside the magnetosphere.

What we need to do, is send a lander to the moon loaded with some microbial and planktonic colonies, where it can get beamed by high intensity, raw solar wind radiation, (And more importantly, where we can keep close tabs on it easily) and measure how the colonies do over time.

Last I checked, we have pretty much definitively determined that the moon is devoid of native flora or fauna. "Contamination" of the moon is a silly prospect.

If we decide not to land the experiment ON the moon, we could just as easily place it in orbit around the moon, and still conduct the experiment. the moon just provides a nice stable gravity well to moor the experiment so we dont have to send oodles of fuel to keep station, which is conveniently close by, and outside the magnetosphere of the planet.

I am actually surprised that there are so few experiments geared at empirically testing terrestrial microorganisms against the "Inhospitable environment" of space.

I strongly suspect it has more to do with the politics of not having to contemplate panspermia as a probable/reasonable factor in scientific debate than anything else.

Comment: Re:All the more reason-- (Score 1) 166

by wierd_w (#47684535) Attached to: Watch a Cat Video, Get Hacked: the Death of Clear-Text

That would work too, but getting your hands on CF cards is getting harder and harder, and so is the likelihood that end users will have a card reader capable of using them.

Chromebooks dont use CF.

This does throw a nasty little wrinkle in.
we would need a custom SD card ASIC that purposefully does not accept writes, and does not have any code inside its firmware to facilitate writes.

That's gonna make it significantly more expensive though.

there's a possible alternative though, but it still requires custom hardware fab. A filter sleeve.
It does a man-in-the-middle between the actual sdcard and the sdcard slot. it allows read requests through, but denies write packets. It instead lies, and says a write was denied, emulating the behavior of the write protect notch on the sdcard logically to the controller, while actively also prohibiting the write from getting through at all. The ideal form factor here is in the "SDHC to microSDHC adapter sleeve" format. Sits inside a real SDHC slot, accepts microSDHC, but strictly enforces write protection.

Comment: All the more reason-- (Score 2) 166

by wierd_w (#47681383) Attached to: Watch a Cat Video, Get Hacked: the Death of Clear-Text

Really, revelations like this are all the more reason to run a fully rom based OS for anything touching the internet.

Before somebody says something absurd, this is basically what a thin client does anyway. The difference is that you keep the system image inside the thin client itself, rather than pulling it from the network. A modified chromebook would work just fine. An sdcard slot that is hardware designed to be electronically incapable of raising its line voltages to write-enable levels, while still being physically accessible by the owner, would round out the package for where to store the system image.

Everything else is stored exclusively in RAM, and blanks completely on power off.

If the user WANTS persistent data, they can use external media. it comes in quite acceptable sizes these days.

This could very easily be done with a chromebook with some simple modifications. Instead of doing google chrome, pack it with a squashfs knoppix image.

watch all the seditious cat videos you want.

Comment: Re:Because "How dare he" (Score 1) 417

by wierd_w (#47680737) Attached to: Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

There-in lies the rub.

Politicians are expert liars and manipulators. They have agendas. they arent always good, and almost always have some kind of barb in them. Positions of power attract those who hunger for power, and that hunger is insatiable.

What is "War for what I want" to the politician, he spins as "War to prevent $atrocity" to his citizenry.

As voltaire pointed out, those who believe absurdities, can be made to commit atrocities.

The absurdity is that there is a justification for war to begin with-- a "right reason." To the politician, that just means he needs to push that "right reason" button, and you will go to war for him, and he will get what he wants.

Be it "Spreading freedom" or "assisting a revolt" or whatever.

Think about what war actually *IS*.

"I disagree with you, so strongly, that I feel compelled to use lethal violence against you to either eliminate you, or force you to adopt my position in this argument."

When you look at war that way, all pretext of "right reasons" dissolves.

As I pointed out earlier, "War is necessary because war exists(elsewhere)!" is a tautology. That is what "Violence in the name of self-defense" is. "My violence is necessary because there is violence (elsewhere)!"

Comment: Re:Because "How dare he" (Score 2) 417

by wierd_w (#47680259) Attached to: Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

The issue, is that you have governments that dont know the meaning of a peaceful "no."

You know, like,

"Hey bro-- I see you have lots of untapped oil resources. Would you please make some backroom deals with me so I can get some of it real cheap? I'll give you all the stuff to get it out of the ground for a reasonable bait and switch arrangement..."

"no, your deal is clearly not in our best interests. Seek your oil elsewhere."

"Oh, sorry to hear you say that..." (Turns around, spreads propoganda in his own country to rile up the 'For the right reasons' crowd) "For FREEDOM!(tm)"

[sounds of killing and horrors of war of scene]

[new scene, completely different person is now in charge of the other country.]

"Thanks so much for putting me in power! Now, how can I help you?"

"yes, about that oil...."

THIS is why we must not allow people to be moved by speeches about "right reasons" for war. There would never have been a war without them. That's the point.

The argument in favor of 'For the right reasons' revolves around war being inevitable and necessary. It is a logical tautology.

"War is needed, because war exists(elsewhere)"

Comment: Re:Because "How dare he" (Score 1) 417

by wierd_w (#47679925) Attached to: Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

Little problem there, pal.

If EVERYONE did this, then there would be a scarce few idiots to join in behind dangerous, power-mad people, like the ones you mentioned.

Why? Because they would know that what that guy wanted, would lead to war, and know exactly what it is.

What REALLY contributes to those kinds of atrocities you cited, are people who think war is OK for "the right reasons".

Those people can be made to commit atrocities.

Comment: Re:flash/disk/tape ratios still stand (Score 4, Insightful) 183

This is a little short sighted. Video files are not th eonly kinds of file that have grown demonstrably larger over time, due to "hey, everyone has the spaces these days, let's fill it! It's CHEAP!" being a development consideration.

Be it audio files (FLAAC vs MP3), Images (jpg vs png vs bmp vs RAW), Documents (RTF vs DOC vs DOCX) 3D object files (OBJ vs MAX vs BLEND) and of course, application files (I've seen 10mb and larger DLLs and other libraries become commonplace these days, where previously they were a few kilobytes to meg or two, with 5mb being 'large')

What you mean to say, is that 1TB is more than enough for anyone, "right now."

4 years from now, not so much.

Comment: Re:HR? What HR? (Score 0) 277

by wierd_w (#47659167) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are Online Job Applications So Badly Designed?

Perhaps, perhaps not.

As the AC that also responded pointed out, you know nothing of how they spend their own time. Your argument can be boiled down to a version of the broken window fallacy, in which you are a glazier, and thus value broken windows, regardless of the outcome.

You are discounting how your business can benefit by the more efficient utilization of the time and energy of people who do not get your blessing to become your employee; The coder you dont hire, that develops the next big thing in cryptography, because he misspelled something. The musical genius that produces the next major record hit, that powers the recording studio you have as a client that ends up paying your bills. Etc.

How many of THEIR minutes are you accounting for in your value determination? How many minutes do you waste, which result in economy-wide changes in potential, because of your own laziness?

Have you ever contemplated it before?

Realistically, the best solution is one which wastes the least amount of time on both sides of the equation because it results in the greatest potential in both your own direct market potential, and your indirect market potential. Your insistence on not seeing this only demonstrates that you do not understand the real value of time as a monetary metric.

The more time people spend engaged in producing and engaging in the marketplace, and the less time they spend trying to win the lottery by being the lucky one person who gets the job, directly correlates to lost income for you. You are just too blind to see it. This is ESPECIALLY true when there are HUGE disparities in the time expended on each side of the equation.

If you have 10,000 applicants, and your laziness costs them an extra half hour PER APPLICANT, you just wasted 5000 man-hours of market potential.

If your system is adopted by other hiring directors, the number only gets bigger.

Since the applicants engaging in the process represent some semi-random slice of the total market population, you can arrive at an estimation of the lost market activity you are directly causing.

The question is, after doing so, is your time REALLY more valuable than the sum loss you have incurred?

(Or is it really just a fairytale that you tell yourself at night?)

Comment: Re:Ketonic diet (Score 1) 111

by wierd_w (#47657157) Attached to: Injecting Liquid Metal Into Blood Vessels Could Help Kill Tumors

Did you have reduced liver or renal function?

Here's a little tip:

Ketonic diets make excessive use of liver function to produce the ketone bodies that get substituted in cellular metabolism for glucose.

While in normal, healthy people the levels of produced acetone and other biproducts of ketosis are well within the body's ability to safely process and eliminate, renal failure restricts the body's ability to eliminate even normal waste products, such as urea, from the blood.

Engaging in a diet that is known to increase the production rate of these compounds, while suffering from a disorder that either 1) affects the liver's ability to even create these bodies as an energy source to begin with, or 2) affects the body's ability to dispose of the resulting reactive waste compounds, is a no-brainer for being a bad idea.

In the first, you can starve to death while eating lots of fat, and in the second you pickle yourself and can severely damage already chronically affected vital organs. (Acetone, one of the metabolites of ketosis, is known to damage kidney function in high concentrations. Reduced renal function results in higher than normal syrum concentrations of metabolites, which would include the acetone produced during ketosis. Many people with impaired renal function are not aware of it.)

Since you may feel perfectly healthy, and have impaired renal function and not even know it, (especially when one considers the risks associated with being obese in relation to renal disorders-- -- when coupled with the reason why one would engage in a ketogenic diet to begin with) you could very well be making a hidden but malignant condition worse.

Besides, asking your health care provider before doing *ANYTHING* extreme is simply good medicine.

Comment: Re:HR? What HR? (Score 1, Flamebait) 277

by wierd_w (#47656687) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Are Online Job Applications So Badly Designed?

What I find distasteful, is the inherent duplicity involved with "My time is valuable" when uttered in this context.

For every minute you "avoid wasting", you force how many other people to waste how many of their minutes? How much MORE valuable is YOUR time, to THEIRS?

How do you justify this disparity?

More poignantly, how do you justify this, when parsing technology exists in such a fashion as to allow automatic population of your presented high-level form that YOU read, without forcibly requiring your applicants to MANUALLY populate redundant entries on your application forms?

The option that wastes the least amount of time total, is to implement it correctly, so that information is asked for once, and populates it in many places automatically, so that no matter where the reviewer chooses to look preferentially, they will find the exact same data.

But that clearly makes too much sense; Everyone is too lazy to do it the demonstrably correct way, and as long as any one side of the issue can claim an advantage to leverage in doing the least amount of work, the issue will always persist.

Efficiency extends beyond just "It makes MY job easier!" It extends to the whole system, and what most improves useful results. There is a terrible problem with managerial myopia in this respect; Managers dont like being told that their policies are demonstrably poor-- Even more, they find ways to fire people that can actually prove it.

What I am getting at here, is that the root of this whole problem, is the idea that "I am the manager, and thus my will is of the highest impact, no other considerations matter" is in force. I'm sorry your majesty, but you have no clothes on.

Comment: Re:And what they did not publish (Score 1) 227

by wierd_w (#47648035) Attached to: About Half of Kids' Learning Ability Is In Their DNA

It would be trivial to get this information:

The human genome project aims to map distributions of known gene alleles across the entire genomic space of the human species; and there are many studies that track individual and sets of alleles across geographic and ethnic group boundries.

This study focuses on a single regional and ethnic group, but narrows action of a set of alleles.

Comparing both data sets to each other, will give you the difference in distribution of those alleles across the regional and ethnic domain.

I am not weighing in on either side of this sordid argument; just saying that studies specific to the mindset of "Nu uh! I want to see your studies SPECIFICALLY TRACKING these genes, or you are WRONG! WRONG I SAY, WRONG!" are not necessary.

You can get that data without bias from the statistical data already collected from the human genome project, once you have a set of target genes to cross reference, which this recent study provides.

Comment: Re:Is it really "impossible"? (Score 1) 315

by wierd_w (#47631645) Attached to: Why the "NASA Tested Space Drive" Is Bad Science

This is probably very wrong. (yes. declarative.)

The way I understood the quantum vacuum, was that it spontaneously produces particle and antiparticle pairs, that exist for a very tiny amount of time, recombine, and then disappear. The energy needed to create these particle pairs from "nothing" is not elaborated on well; it is a matter of some controversy as I understand. However, the existence of these particles has been experimentally verified, as they produce real, measurable effects.

Likewise, a high energy photon has a certain probability of degrading into a pair of antiparticles with low mass, (electron positron pair), which then also recombines back into a high energy photon. This happens in the presence of matter, according to wikipedia. Even the very best made EMDrive is going to have SOME gas inside the chamber, so "Check".

Since the virtual particles have charge, and the electron-positron pair have charge, a charge interaction is possible. Since the quantum vacuum is random, this means that light will suffer some small dispersion from the interaction even in deep space (which also has diffuse hydrogen atoms). The question that makes many scientists so angry, is that when this "real particle pair interacting with a not-real particle pair" happens, the vector of motion of the real particle pair can be altered slightly, as will the not-real pair. That seems to be the explanation for EMDrive. However, the not-real pair will vanish from existence, and the real particles will turn back into a photon.

Energy is exchanged via the interaction, but the energy vanishes on one side of the interaction as the non-particles vanish into the quantum soup again.

A device like the EMDrive tries to manipulate the probabilities of these interactions so that light, and electromagnetic fields in the device create additional interactions.

When both the light and the virtual particle pairs emerge into "Being", they exhibit some electrical charge characteristics. This means that an ambient magnetic field (which will be induced by the cavity resonating with high energy microwaves) will also interact with this exchange. Some of the "momentum" will be conferred to the field, which will then push on the field's source-- the cavity walls.

This means that the interactions going on inside the chamber, if you can cause a statistically relevant change in how the interactions proceed, can produce a net push against the cavity wall which will cause pushing against "light" trapped inside the cavity (the microwaves, as expressed as an antiparticle pair), and the virtual particle plasma that exists only for small moments of time before vanishing.

This appears to violate conservation of momentum, because the other half of the equation literally disappears with the disappearing virtual particles.

it is possible that the kinetic energy imparted to the vacuum particles does not actually vanish, but instead may manifest as a local increase in virtual particle density at the aft end of the device. This could be measured as an increase in the casimir force, if you wanted to check. That's a wildly unfounded idea mind, but I would be curious enough to look if I had the nanotech casimir force detection equipment to do it, and an EMdrive to test against.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile ... (Score 5, Informative) 266

by wierd_w (#47623897) Attached to: Snowden Granted 3 More Years of Russian Residency

Somebody is mis-remembering the controversy.

1) Snowden releases a controlled release, which starts the manhunt to collect him for prosecution.

2) NSA, CIA, and pals all BLATANTLY LIE to congress. Congress eats it up like fudge.

3) Snowden releases MORE information, catching NSA, CIA, and pals in their blatant lie.

4) NSA, CIA, and pals whine about how unamerican snowden is, and how cowardly he is to have fled the country where they cant capture him and interrogate/punish him in secret. Lie some more to congress. Congress eats it up like fudge.

5) Snowden releases MORE information...

Rinse, repeat.

This has happened about 4 times now, with the NSA and CIA heads being caught lying EACH AND EVERY TIME.

Without snowden releasing the information he has released, there would have been no proof that the NSA and CIA had been lying to congress in a blatant fashion.

He didnt just release it all at once, bradley/chelsey manning style. He released it as it was NECESSARY to have it released, to prevent the NSA and CIA from continuing to operate as they had been previously.

Your argument is absurd.

Comment: Re:correlation, causation (Score 1) 387

by wierd_w (#47607569) Attached to: Ancient Skulls Show Civilization Rose As Testosterone Fell

More along the lines of "High T people, with their greater rest-energy requirements, spent more of their time working for food to sock away to avoid starvation, where their Low T peers required less, for the same effort invested, and could carry a larger surplus, and thus provide better for offspring.

If you also make some wild leaps (not advisable, but meh), you could see how a society transitioning away from hunter-gatherer toward agrarian would have the "strong providers" leaving the settlement every day to go and hunt, leaving the beanpoles behind. This places the beanpoles at a greater opportunity for reproductive activity.

The agricultural advance enables this to happen; nature does the rest.

panic: kernel trap (ignored)