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Comment Silly me. (Score 0, Offtopic) 590

All this time I had thought the archive was non-partisan. Sorry to see them choose a side. I'm a conservative and now I can't be sure I can trust them to be even handed when I archive pages that have a conservative slant.

Now to figure out how to stop auto-donating each month.

Comment Re:Odd... (Score 2) 66

>Sorry, can you outline how many fly overs the russians made vs how many the americans did?

I don't ordinarily respond to cowards but this really needs addressing.

The Russians didn't fly over the U.S. for two reasons. One, they didn't have U2 or SR71 technology so they couldn't do flyovers without getting shot down. Two they didn't need to. Russia had entire cities that foreigners weren't allowed to travel. We on the other hand only restricted access to military bases. Hell, Khrushchev rode a train through one of our nuclear missile bases when he toured the U.S.

The USSR was a huge entity spanning 11 time zones so missiles in Turkey weren't anywhere near as threatening to Moscow as Cuban missiles were to Miami. Nonetheless, Kennedy agreed to remove them in exchange for the Soviets withdrawing their missiles from Cuba.

Comment A simpler idea (Score 1) 262

My thought is that cancer at its core is a bit error that is disabling apoptosis (cell suicide in response to its neighbors telling it to). Once a cell ignores apoptosis, all bets are off as to what that cell will do. It's free to reuse any genetic code that's available just like a virus can.

Consider that metastasis, the migration of cancer cells, is how we all got our start. After we were conceived, the fertilized egg migrated from a free floating organism in the fallopian tubes to attach itself to the uterine wall. Cancer uses those routines.

Once at the uterine wall, the fertilized egg sends out signals to the uterus to build a blood network to feed the egg. Cancer uses those routines.

The egg grows in an organized fashion into us. Perhaps because cancer has disabled apoptosis, it grows into a disorganized mess. Apoptosis is a pruning mechanism that keeps cells from varying too much from their neighbors. Sort of an HOA on steroids.

Consider that roughly 10^9 cells engage in cell divisions every day, that each cell has to copy around 10^9 base pairs which entails a huge number of parallel processes that have to coordinate during mitosis and it's amazing we don't all die from the errors that are bound to arise.

Comment 4 random words (Score 1) 637

I have a scrambled 100,000+ English word dictionary. I have a javascript script that I feed 100 random bits drawn from John Walker's Hotbits. The script produces 4 random words when taken together are at least 16 characters long. To remember the four words, I construct a single sentence story that says something about the site.

Since I have the source code which I run in a browser that has never seen the web, I don't have to trust the author - that's me - to keep my passwords secret. The only thing I need to trust are the 72 bits are what Walker says they are and that his site isn't recording the bits he's handing out. If it ever comes to thinking otherwise, I have a lava lamp. Yeah, I'm that old.

I only use the script on moderately and very important to secure like email and work. For sites that I don't care if someone pretends to be me, I use one word passwords.

There are 10^20 possible combinations . Adding a fifth word for banking cranks that up to 10^25 combinations. I can type quickly so 4-6 word phrases aren't a problem for me.

I suspect a clever cryptologists could find several weaknesses in the approach (etaoin shrdlu comes to mind) but I think the resulting pass phrase will defeat most attacks.

Comment Dubious calculations (Score 2) 73

Your prodigious display of math is all for naught since you've essentially proved 1=2.

I grew up in the early 60's when sonic booms were part of the background along with Duck and Cover. Nuclear war was just around the corner, or so we thought, and jets routinely generated sonic booms. Sometimes they'd sound like distant thunder and other times they'd rattle the house. Those were far louder, and more objectionable, than your putative 10 mph breeze.

Thankfully, they tapered off towards the end of the 60's as the Air Force realized people *really* didn't like being rattled and those same people objected to Congress. Since the later controlled the budget, the Air Force cut back on high speed overflight over the cities.

Booms weren't just domestic issues. NOVA interviewed a British Consul who was sitting in a tent in the Middle East discussing trade issues with his Middle Eastern counterparts. The Concorde flies overhead and the resultant boom startled all the conferees. The Consul said one of the men pointed at the sky and said "Concorde." at which point the Consul realized another trade issue had just been raised.

Some of those booms were anything but quiet and they sure weren't FUD as you assert.

Comment Re:More religious whackjobs (Score 4, Insightful) 286

Hard to worry about what happened over a 100 years ago. Had the issue bothered a lot of people, Hawaii wouldn't have voted to join the U.S. in 1959 by 93%.

The "rightful owners" wouldn't stand a chance against whatever power chose to occupy the islands were they to secede from the union.

It's hard to see this as anything more than a routine "pay us off and we'll shut up" shakedown.

Comment Re:As a private citizen (Score 1) 213

We don't have to break the treaty. We can withdraw from the treaty instead. From the treaty

Article XVI
  Any State Party to the Treaty may give notice of its withdrawal from the
Treaty one year after its entry into force by written notification to the Depositary
Governments. Such withdrawal shall take effect one year from the date of receipt of
this notification.

Comment Re:Not worth it (Score 1) 161

Having a degree from a state school hasn't hurt me as I am close to making upper management wages at a prestigious McCompany.

Had you gone to MIT or Stanford, you would have been surrounded by students who wanted nothing to do with being a wage slave but were looking to start the next fortune 500 company when they graduated. The lessons learned at college depend on the aspirations and talents of the student body.

Comment laser levelling (Score 4, Informative) 133

The fields I drive by on my way to work put the lie to the author's premise. A week ago, I saw a road-scrapper type device running around a field that had a spinning laser positioned more or less in the center of the field. The laser provided a level reference that the scrapper responded to moment by moment by lifting or lowering the blade. The machines are designed to build a field with a precise gradient so the farmer can minimize the amount of water needed to irrigate the field as well as to uniformly irrigate the crop. The water may be free but lifting it from the aquifer isn't.

Further down the road, there was a device that was building perfect raised beds covered in plastic. Strawberries need to be grown in well drained soil and the raised beds provide that. The plastic is used to keep a fumigant on the bed until it decays instead of leaking into the atmosphere prior to seeding. Once the soil is fumigated, it's planted by an automated planter that leaves the plastic in place to reduce evaporation - again to save water.

The next field over was being harvested by a machine that requires two people to operate it. Ten years ago, there'd be a crew of 30 doing the same task.

The industrial revolution upended farming from what it was centuries ago and that process hasn't stopped since. The net result is fewer people are needed to grow more food at a lower cost. Downside is calories have become so cheap that most of us are overfed.

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