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Comment Re:200 Million Yahoo "Users" (Score 2) 169

But apparently the security questions and answers were stored in plain text. That's like locking your front door with a triple lock, a fingerprint reader and iron bars but then leaving the ground floor window wide open with a neon sign "enter here" pointing to it. And then claiming that you take security seriously. And when someone enters, you don't tell anyone for two years because you're afraid your parents will find out.

Comment Re:Screw you (Score 5, Insightful) 133

I "know someone who" wanted to rent a 5 year old movie on iTunes not long ago. He was ready to pay for it. The rights holders, however, had decided that this particular movie was only to be made available for purchase, not rental. More than twice the price of a rental. So guess what he did...

Other example, same guy, rented a movie on iTunes then decided he liked it so much he wanted to purchase it. Do you think they would let him convert the rental into a purchase? Nope, full price on top of rental. So guess what he did...

Bad service turns potential customers into pirates. In both examples above the rights holders missed out on the money someone was willing to spend because they were simply too greedy. It's easy to blame the pirates, though.

Comment Re:They don't answer the only question we care abo (Score 5, Informative) 175

The cytosine methylation signal along a strand of DNA is theoretically heritable, even though it has nothing to do with the actual sequence of bases.

There are vast stretches of junk DNA in the genome, some with old genes for ancient viruses or parasitic sequences like transposons, and the way the cell keeps those parts of DNA away from cell machinery is by methylating the cytosine residues. The methyl groups prevent RNA polymerase from transcribing the DNA and therefore it gets silenced.

When a cell divides, the methyl groups are only on the original strand; the new complimentary strand doesn't have any. The methylation signal has to be actively transcribed from one strand to another; an enzyme runs up the DNA feeling for methylated cytosine residues. When it finds some, it starts methylating any cytosine residues that might be nearby on the opposite strand, to make sure the troublesome regions all stay commented out. That's why it's heritable.

Comment North Korea is in the nineties (Score 1) 138

Hey Dan, ready for that public hanging of political prisoners? I'm just finishing up here with my new kayaking friends.

Kayaking friends on your computer?

Dan: Yeah, I just got North Korea online.

Sounds great. Listen, I can't go to the public executions today.


First my kids have to go to the library to read books on how great Our Leader is. Then I have to stand on a street corner and yell revolutionary slogans at complete strangers. And I have to contact my mother; she's making kayaks in a slave labor camp and gets executed tomorrow.

Hey, we can take care of all that before we go.

Yeah, right!

No, with North Korea online!

North Korea online can do all that?

How about sending your mother some nice flowers?

Comment Re:What we should really do. (Score 2) 70

Perhaps we could focus on saving the fauna we have now that is on the verge of going extinct from a variety of reasons.

I think we can walk and chew gum at the same time.

If any extinct species deserves a second chance it should be mammoths. They only went extinct because we arrived as an invasive species and killed them all ourselves.

Comment Re:Times change (Score 1) 192

Now, pardon me but I need to ask you some questions. Have I answered all your customer concerns about your fighter aircraft in a timely and satisfactory fashion today? Have I accurately and politely provided answers to your questions in a courteous and prompt fashion and offered good customer service? Thank you very much bye!

Comment Re:Not a nice way to die (Score 4, Informative) 429

Although it's an old technology, older than the 3.5 mm audio jack even, the ordinary mousetrap is humane, effective, reusable, and available in multiple sizes. They kill instantly; you'll never find a mousetrap with a live rodent wiggling around in it.

The glue boards, on the other hand, are pretty gross. The rat sticks to them and then you toss the thing into the trash, which always struck me as somewhat psycho. Sometimes people buy them without it dawning on them they're going to end up throwing a live mammal into the garbage. I knew one guy who came across a starving mouse wiggling in the glue, was overcome by an unexpected burst of empathy, and spent the next half hour making a mess outside with rubbing alcohol trying to pry it off without tearing any limbs.

Comment Re: It's the Sun, actually (Score 1) 130

Thank you very much for providing an article that proves my point. Too bad you apparently didn't read it yourself, or you would have realised you were wrong and I was right all along.

From that very website:
"The distortion of water and earth that we call "tidal bulges" is the result of deformation of earth and water materials at different places on earth in response to the combined gravitational effects of moon and sun. It is not simply the size of the force of attraction of these bodies at a certain point on earth that determines this. It is the variation of force over the volumes of materials (water and earth) of which the earth is composed."

You know, that variation that you claimed was completely insignificant and could never be strong enough to cause tides? Yes, that very variation turns out to be the cause of the tides after all, just like I wrote it was.

The article goes into more detail than I did: it turns out these differential gravitational forces don't just mean more gravity one one side and less on the other, but also have sideways components due to the change in the direction of gravity. At the poles the resulting force is even towards the surface of the earth. That's something I didn't even know, I would have thought those would be insignificant.

Anyway, the part about "A closer look at centrifugal forces" goes on to debunk your very theory about tides being caused by centrifugal forces.

"So the bottom line is that centrifugal forces on the earth due to the presence of the moon are not tide-raising forces at all. They cannot be invoked as an "explanation" for any tide, on either side of the earth or anywhere else."

Seriously, do me a favor and read the article. All of it. I couldn't explain it better than it does.

Comment Re: It's the Sun, actually (Score 1) 130

Your calculation are wrong byl orders of magnitude. The gravitational pull decreases by the inverse square law. The difference in distance is 60 times. the inverse square law gives a difference of 1/3600 between the near side and far side

Come on, this is basic physics.

Gravity at the surface of the moon (1737.1 km from the center) is 1.62 m/s^2
Gravity at 384400 km from the center of the moon is 1.62 * 1737.1^2 / 384400^2 = 33.08 micron per second squared.
Gravity at 390771 km from the center of the moon is 1.62 * 1737.1^2 / 390771^2 = 32.01 micron per second squared.
Gravity at 378029 km from the center of the moon is 1.62 * 1737.1^2 / 378029^2 = 34.21 micron per second squared.

A difference of 1/60 in the distance does not result in a difference of only 1/3600. Derivatives don't work that way, you are squaring the wrong thing.

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