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Comment Re:Yeaaaaaaa (Score 1) 129

A DDOS attack does nothing to attack the integrity or security of the data. The success of a DDOS attack only indirectly calls data safety into question - if they were not able to defend against DDOS, perhaps they're also not good enough to maintain security.

As an aside, I'm currently living in Australia, and the site worked fine for me at about 6pm.

Comment Re:Radiation (Score 1) 412

Pure water will not accumulate radioactivity. With one exception, there is no reaction with hydrogen or oxygen to make a long term radioactive nucleus. 16O+n->17O (stable). 17O+n->18O (stable). Very rare 18O+n-> 19O, half-life 26s. 16O+p->17F, half-life 65s. Etc.

The only exception is 2H+n -> 3H (tritium, half-life 12.3 years) but the cross section for this is very small, and H2 (deuterium) has very low concentration (0.01%) in ordinary water.

So leave your irradiated pure water for half an hour out of radiation, and it will be fine.

Contaminants in the water could accumulate long term radioactivity. If this is enough to be a problem (I'd bet it isn't), you'd need to purify the water before use.

Comment I hit this limit once in the Unix world (Score 1) 260

I was at a company which developed a large CRM application and I was the person who tarred up software updates to send to sites. A small part of the application was in Java, and the Java programmers were enamoured with class names which emphasized descriptiveness over brevity. We ended up with some files where path+filename exceeded 255 characters, and tar broke. My fix was to tell the programmers to shorten their damn file and directory names. (This was about 15 years ago, and it would have been Gnu tar. )

Comment Re:sequence it (Score 1) 287

My understanding is that this has already been done: smallpox has been sequenced, and if all samples were destroyed and then for some reason we really needed to have smallpox again, we could reconstruct it. It eight years since scientists created a synthetic bacterial genome of 580,000 base pairs. Smallpox is (according to Wikipedia) 186,000 base pairs.

Comment Re:Not all eukaryota have mitochondria (Score 4, Informative) 48

This was my understanding, but TFA says:

For decades, researchers have tried to find eukaryotic cells that don't have mitochondria --- and for a while they thought they'd found some. One example is Giardia, a human gut parasite that causes diarrhea. It was considered to be a kind of living fossil because it had a nucleus but didn't seem to have acquired mitochondria. But additional studies on Giardia and other microbes showed that actually, the mitochondria were there.

"It turned out that all of them actually had some kind of remnant mitochondrion," says Karnkowska, who notes that mitochondria perform key jobs in the cell beyond just generating power.

I figure their knowledge is more compete and up to date than mine.

Comment Re:Looking in the wrong place for emissions cuts (Score 1) 100

Thanks for that analysis. I bow to your superior knowledge.

Humans for safety: "We're talking about miles of track that cross public roadways with children on bikes." The human on board can't do anything useful if a kid crosses in front of their train (it takes hundreds of meters to stop), so this one is a non-issue.

Comment Re:Looking in the wrong place for emissions cuts (Score 4, Interesting) 100

So ideally for a freight rail system we want high throughput, short delivery times, cheap, and running to/from convenient nearby locations.

Breaking this down further, it suggests we want
* Small trains (lowers latency - less time to wait for a train going to your destination. Removes/reduces need for transferring cargo between trains by allowing point-to-point service, so long as the 'point's are train stations.)
* Autonomous (required by 'small trains' and 'cheap')
* Handles congestion well (for high throughput with lots of small trains)
* Fast
* Moderately priced infrastructure.
* High density of train stations around the country
I.e. something like an internet for shipping containers.

Hyperloop gives us 'fast', but fails on infrastructure price, fails at least initially on density of stations, and congestion may be problematic. Starting with the existing rail network and moving to more automation and smaller trains and solving some congestion problems (perhaps the hardest bit) gives everything but 'fast', but for many purposes is 'fast enough'.

It still needs to be competitive compared to autonomous trucks.

TL;DR: I agree.

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