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Comment Re:Inaccurate article details... (Score 1) 293

CDC testing subsequently revealed the germ was New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase -- a highly resistant form of CRE

It should at least read "revealed the germ CONTAINED New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase". NDM-1 is not a bacteria, it's an enzyme possessed by resistant bacteria that inactivates antibiotics.

What's really fun is that this gene can potentially be transferred to other types of bacteria laterally...

I love the way bacteria, and other organisms can exchange genes laterally. It means evolution doesn't follow a nice straightforward tree structure; its a graph, with cycles, possibly not even directional (ie gene exchanges can go both ways). That makes things a lot more interesting.

Comment Re:Threshold (Score 1) 404

It's not people who refuse so much as who can't; and that doesn't mean automation will wipe all jobs away, either, regardless of what the doomsday predictors who fear the pneumatic air gun and wooden shipping pallet say.

Not sure about the air gun reference...

But shipping pallets were revolutionary. A box car loaded with goods the 'old fashioned way' in their individual boxes and crates took a team of people 3 days to unload. Shipping pallets took that down to under 8 hours.

I'd guess a whole load of people lost their jobs.

Comment Re:Why god created WASPS (Score 1) 159

Identifying a WASP is easy: a person who steps out of the shower so as to pee in the toilet.

Sometimes you have to go to the bathroom while you are in the shower. Curse those home designers who didn't put the toilet in the bathroom. I hate having to push it down the plug hole with my toe.

Comment Re:partner? maybe signees... (Score 1) 168

Lost sales or licensing fees are purely hypothetical if all someone does is sit on a patent for years.

Suppose you hold 2 patents for doing the same thing. One patent would result in more profit and a more expensive good/service, the other in less profit but a cheaper good/service.

You implement the more profitable patent.

Someone else 'steals' that 'intellectual property' for the less profitable patent, brings it to market selling that product or service for a lot less than you sell it for. Say through good marketing, they start to make a big profit out of this and your profits fall (because your good/service is now overpriced).

I guess thats a counterexample?

Comment Not to be too impolite about things... (Score 1) 86

Currently, that means smarter robots in space. Like Curiosity. Astronaut, like slide rules, are quaint but obsolete technology for space travel.

Not to be too impolite about things... but I kind of don't really give a sh*t about you putting a box with blinky lights on Mars. I have one of those in my closet, it's called an "Arris WiFi Cable Modem".

Unless there are people there to watch it blink, it might as well be a frigging brick.

I watched every damn Apollo launch. When I started school, and there was a launch, I had a note from my mother the next day: "Stayed home to watch the launch". I was always given makeup tests, but since 1/3 of the kids stayed out for the same reason, they eventually interrupted classes for the launches, even if they were "uninteresting" ones.

Who the heck stays home from school to watch the live video of a launch for a little box? Pretty much no one. If you care (which you likely don't, because no one cares about a brick), you watch the video later, on YouTube.

I think one of the reasons SpaceX tried to "stick" the water landing was that no one had done it before, and so the intent was to get people excited about watching things again.

It didn't really work, because it wasn't that exciting, after they blew the first one up.

Send a human to Ceres: my nieces and nephews are going to be staying home and watching the launch with me, even if I have to hog-tie their mother. They will also be watching the approach and landing on the asteroid itself.

Send humans to Phobos, or Mars itself: same thing.

Humans doing things is exciting. Robots operating as they are designed to operate is intensely boring.

The ESA robot mission to Mars has a malfunction? Who gives a crap. Apollo 13 has a malfunction? OMG, I don't know how I did it, but I'm pretty sure I was away like 76 hours straight, glued to the screen.

The incrementalists can all go scr*w themselves: If you all want to take "baby steps" to get from point A to point B, like NBill Murray in "What About Bob?": feel free to fund it yourself.

If, on the other hand, you want to make a "giant leap for mankind", we'll get behind you with the $$$.

P.S.: You can also fund yourself for a "giant leap for a brick"; no one cares if you put a Raspberry Pi on Mars. Really.

Comment We already learned to walk... (Score 4, Insightful) 86

It is important to learn to walk before you attempt to run. In case you cannot wait, we'd be happy to strap your ass to rocket and send you to the nearest star. Please write often, we'd love to hear how it is going.

We already learned to walk... you're probably a millennial who was not there on July 20th, 1969 when we took our first steps. That almost 50 years ago this year. Guess what we were learning to do in 1919, 50 years before that? We had just completed the first non-stop transatlantic flight.

50 years before that, the biggest deal in 1869 was closing on the funding for the Beach Pneumatic railway... and it was 10 years before Edison demonstrated his electric light bulb in Menlo Park.

We are sitting around these days, mostly staring at our belly button lint. But we are proud of ourselves, for using robots to do it. It turns out it's the same belly button lint that was there in 1969.

We seem to be saddled with an overabundance of one of:

1. Caution
2. Roboticists, sucking the funding out of everything interesting
3. People with sticks up their asses

Pick one, but we should have a colony on the moon already, if not Mars (at least a Phobos base for the asteroid mining fleet).

Comment Re:Don't buy a smart TV (Score 3, Interesting) 161

They have no purpose. Most people now simply use TVs as monitors for a set top box and if you need any more functionality simply plug your computer or tablet into a normal TV. Why anyone would pay a significant extra amount of cash for an oversized underpowered android tablet I have no idea.

Yet a 50+" monitor costs a LOT more than a 50" TV. Even more than a smart TV. A 55" monitor costs about $1400, at the low end. A 55" smart TV costs about $450 (going by Amazon).

Comment Re:Welcome (Score 2) 161

If you don't like the terms, don't buy the product. Let the free market sort things out.

Thats nice. I'll just buy out the water supply and include "Your first born become my slaves" in the terms of service. Let the free market sort things out, if they don't want to give me their first born they are welcome to die of thirst about 2 days later. That free market really works.

Comment Re:Keep it original... (Score 1) 304

Just look at how she teased Anakin, it seemed quite deliberate to me. She was leading him along the path to the dark side from the very beginning.

"Oh, Ani, we can't fall in love!" she says wearing a revealing dominatrix outfit next to a romantic roaring fireplace...

Three options:

1. Lucas intended her to tease Anakin.

2. Lucas knows women, and that some women are truly that clueless.

3. Lucas has absolutely no clue about women.

Gotta say my money's on 3.

1. Lucas intended her to tease Anakin because she was part of the scheme to turn him to the dark side.

Anakin came from a 'virgin birth'. Everyone LOL's. Sounds funny, right?

But then later on we learn that Darth Sidious' teacher, Darth Plagueis, had the ability to use the force to actually create life...

“Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life."

Anakin had the highest midi-chlorian count ever recorded.

So this Anakin who came from a 'virgin birth', does that really sound so implausible now? He was created by Plagueis; Anakin was effectively an artificial person, engineered by the force to be a super-Sith. Plagueis probably intended him to become his own apprentice and use him to rule the galaxy. Sidious learned of this plan, killed Plagueis and took over the operation.

Padme was a crucial part of this plan. She was from Naboo, where Sidious is also from. Given this and the way she treated Anakin and how well it played into Sidious' schemes it seems implausible that Sidious and Padme weren't working together.

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"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351