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Comment The plan is to pull water to the surface. (Score 4, Informative) 401

Normally, the sea ice freezes over the water, capping it off and insulating it. Heat soaks only slowly through the ice, cooling the water under the ice and freezing it, slowly.

Instead, if we pump seawater up and drop it on the top of the ice, it will freeze quickly. So we can increase the thickness of the ice, so it will, hopefully, last longer.

If done on a large scale, however, it will warm the arctic winter, as heat is added to the system in the form of liquid water to be frozen, water surface that is 0 degrees C instead of solid ice at maybe -20 degrees C. The increased ice is probably a net positive for the artctic, but I dislike all these goengineering kludges.

Comment The genie and the bottle... (Score 1) 301

There is no point in not using something for good because it could be also used for bad. The existence of CRISPR is known, so the genie is out of the bottle.
However, these techniques can't cause the nightmare you are considering. You need to inoculate the embryo to change it's genetics. So 'jumping species lines' would only be possible if the two species naturally interbred.
So, enjoy your fictional nightmares - but we will remain in the real world, where only possible scenarios need to be considered.

Comment Hmm. Less European Black Rats.... (Score 1) 301

Honestly, there are few places on this planet that couldn't do with a good eradication of the European Black Rat. Even if they did this with the domestic Cat - if every male cat was either neutered, a professional breeding animal or a GE males only animal - a whole lot of the world's feral cat problems would be solved. The only issue would be with animals that are potentially at risk in their native habitats - such as the possum.

Comment Someone who needs it. (Score 2) 101

The main reason why crossfeed isn't being worked on is that the extra capacity it would deliver isn't needed by any customers. The heavy is already a beast of a launcher without it. But, if someone came up with a mission that required the extra capacity and was willing to pay for its development, then they would restart work on crossfeed.

Comment Animal Waste is Also a Major Source of Methane. (Score 2) 181

Normal disposal of placing the waste into a pond really encourages anaerobic bacteria, which produce methane, which is an important greenhouse gas.

Any handling method that prevents that is a nice plus. Even if it converts it to CO2 instead. If they capture the energy and use it to replace fossil fuels - hey, big plus.

Comment Solar studies essential, for Climate and more. (Score 4, Insightful) 107

You have to be trolling.

Knowledge of what the Sun is doing is essential for anything we do in space, including studying the weather and climate, because solar radiation is dangerous to equipment as well as people. And down here on earth - someday there is going to be a solar storm such as happened in 1859, which set telegraph cables sparking across the planet. Today, such a thing would fry our phone and electric systems if we can't predict it with the certainty needed to, literally, shut down and disconnect our electricity and copper communication networks while it passes by.

And of course, while it is CO and methane that are driving climate change, the heat it traps comes from the Sun, so good knowledge of what the Sun is doing is needed to understand our measurements of temperature.

Comment The scariest words - "Stolen Database." (Score 1) 215

Data doesn't ever get 'un-stolen'. That database is out there, maybe for a price, or maybe posted for anyone with access to the right dark website. Basically, this should mean that G.M. should now be recalling their entire fleet to reencrypt all their vehicle's remote locking equipment, unless they can prove that some of their vehicles cannot have been in that database.

Comment Re:Maybe the driver believed it was enabled? (Score 1) 166

Auto-pilot comes from aeroplanes, where it is a device that keeps the plane in straight and level flight. It will happily maintain altitude and heading all the way into a mountainside. Really advanced ones even sqwark at you before impact; They all are set to throw their hands in the air and hand the plane back to the human pilot, without prior warning, if things go wrong. Very much like the Tesla's. So, when a system that can control the car without human attention is developed, then it won't be called 'auto-pilot'.

Comment Re:Maybe the driver believed it was enabled? (Score 5, Interesting) 166

Possibly the driver, seeing the bridge or rail coming up and being uncomfortable with the approach speed, tapped the brake. This would have disabled the autopilot.

Now, although disabling automatic systems on manual input has been the standard for as long as automatic systems have been available, I am beginning to wonder if it really is the right decision here. People seem to be turning it off without realising that they have done it.

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