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Comment Re:Decades? Really? (Score 1) 199

The problem is that the Cavendish is sterile and only reproduces from cuttings. The seeds, those little dots inside, do not develop at all. So every Cavendish banana plant in the world is, in one sense, the same plant: genetically identical and cannot be bred from.

So you have to go back to another variety and breed in any of the qualities of virus resistance, productivity, size, flavour, edibility etc. which it does not currently have. Which is not impossible, but no such varieties have been produced in the last thirty years or so, so an estimate of decades dies not strike me as unreasonable.

Comment Re:How about IMPRISONING those responsible (Score 1) 169

I imagine there has been such an investigation. But first, you have to decide what was "the decision" that caused the accident. In aviation they say that an incident is none things going wrong at once, an accident is ten. If five people each believe that one of the other four had put the safety locks in place, and none had, which of the five made the decision which caused the accident?

Comment Re:How about IMPRISONING those responsible (Score 2) 169

The problem being, apparently, that nobody made "the decision". Due to lack of communication, one crew thought that status was A, and the other that it was B. Should you sent to prison the person who allowed live power in an area he thought there was nobody working, or the person who sent people to work where he thought the power was off? Or the bosses in the two different companies involved? Or the bosses in the employing company, a bank, the only place the chains of command met, who though they were employing competent contractors? The problem is that the structures were so confused that, though they didn't realise it, there was no-one in control. Finding someone guilty "beyond reasonable doubt" is almost certainly impossible.

Comment Re:The fine won't hurt the DC owners. (Score 1) 169

Reading the article, it appears that it is not that "somebody made the call", it is that communications between the teams working on the project, from two companies, was so bad that one crew didn't realist that people would be working in the area, and the other crew didn't realise it was live. Incompetence, not risk-taking.

Comment Re:Wrong Priorities (Score 1, Offtopic) 237

No, to eliminate most healthcare, you have to eliminate ageing. Cancer is not a hunger related disease, nor is Alzheimers. Only somewhat cardiac. It is alleged that 50% of health spending is in the last six months of life. Hunger is a major problem, and hunger has health consequences. But it is not the major driver for healthcare demand.

Comment Re:Researchers Use ONE WEIRD TRICK to Hack Your Wi (Score 1) 162

Nonetheless, you need to get file access to such devices to read the passwords. The trick here was that they managed to get the kettle to, effectively, spit out the WiFi password. Until you compromise the network, lots of things may have lots of files inside them, but without physical access you can do nothing. This allowed them to compromise the network without physical access.

Comment Research continues, but not successfully (Score 1) 712

The armed forces have been spending big bucks on researching this sort of thing for a long time. They, too, do not actually want to kill people, especially when it is some brainwashed kid sent out on a suicide mission. While obviously prepared to kill, their ideal is a complete victory with no casualties on either side. So they have spent a lot of money on researching pain rays, stopping foams etc.Unfortunately with essentially no success. It seems that anything capable of stopping somebody armed and ill-intentioned has a high probability of killing them.

Which make sense. The human body is not a single co-ordinated machines, but a number of semi-autonomous subsystems working on a team job - of making the body of which they form part a success in the world.

Comment Re:Software error ... (Score 2) 234

The loose description sound like something not being garbage collected when it should have been. So no single change cause the problem. It might well have been caused by controllers playing with a new toy, in a way they would never do once it had settled in and testers would not do, It is difficult to observe heap leakage - even if you check free space after a run, it is not clear what the right value is.

Comment Overdramatic (Score 5, Interesting) 42

"Strangulation" seems to me an over-dramatic way of putting it. "Starvation" would be better. The supply of fresh hydrogen stops, so new stars stop being created. The old stars continue burning, some go supernova and blast out metals.Like when you stop adding wood to a fire, the logs already on the fire continue burning and the amount of ash increases.

All this suggests that there is not an indefinite supply of intergalactic hydrogen, so once the galaxy has pulled in all the hydrogen in its immediate vicinity, it will slowly starve.

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