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UEA Research Shows Oceans Vital For Possibility of Alien Life

Urkki Re:Correction (97 comments)

Only a few dozen million years ago "we" were small furry rodents.

Now I have to nitpick. According to Wikipedia, last common ancestor of Rodentia and "us" lived about 90 million years ago, and wasn't a rodent. So, strictly speaking, "we" have never been rodents (furry or not), and 6-7 (dozen million years) is more than "a few" even if you take the last common ancestor.

3 days ago
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The debate over climate change is..

Urkki Re:n/t (278 comments)

Me too, but sorry, that's not an option. Stable climate isn't really a thing, and merely removing human influence won't get you a stable climate.

On human timescales, let's say a maximum lifetime of an average building, on most places climate would be stable. This means, adaptation of human society happens automatically, for example as new buildings are being built in different locations, new fields are planted in different locations etc.

With human influence, in particular their massive release of CO2 and it's feedback effects, it looks like climate can and indeed will change so fast, that buildings close to oceans may get submerged in massive scale, farmland may become unarable faster than it's economical to create new farmland with all the food production infrastructure that goes with it etc.

about a week ago
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The Last Three Months Were the Hottest Quarter On Record

Urkki Re:Well here we go again. (552 comments)

Lazy bum.


# wget popcorn-6.2.1.tgz

# tar xvf popcorn-6.2.1.tgz

# cd popcorn-6.2.1

# ./configure --libs="-lbutter -lsalt"

# make

# make -install

Please forgive errors, I don't eat popcorn anymore so my popping skills are rusty, but still better than that microwave apt-get popcorn.

It'd be better, except the OS versions of libbutter and libsalt are either too old or too new, possibly both. So you need to build them too. But to build the right version of libbutter, you will need a specific version of libcow, which they forgot to actually tag in the source code repo. First you almost try to configure libbutter with -disable-dairy to get a non-dairy version only, but then you realize that it won't be real butter, and you're not desperate enough to consider getting popcorn without real butter yet. Trying random versions from libcow source repo doesn't give success either. So, you decide to get older popcorn version 5.6 instead. But after going through the process of building libcow, libbutter and libsalt, you discover that popcorn version 5.6 has a really annoying bug for your use case. First you see if you can backport the fix, but too much has changed so the fixed code in newer version does not look anything like the broken code in 5.6, and it's not easy to see how you could just simply fix it. So, then you fall back to apt-get source popcorn, because that should have the right versions and fixes and so on. And it does, it builds and installs perfectly!

Then, while enjoying the popcorn, you suddenly realize that it's exactly the same software you would have gotten with simple apt-get install, because you didn't actually change any configure options for your "custom" build.

about two weeks ago
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White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

Urkki The American way? (382 comments)

WTF? I know US has its problems, and I doubt I'd want to live there, but isn't it supposed to be a free market economy? Isn't this (not being allowed to sell legal goods to people) about as anti-American as it gets? What happaned to "the Land of the Free" etc? Free, except not free to buy a car?

about two weeks ago
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Google Kills Orkut To Focus On YouTube, Blogger and Google+

Urkki Re:But I thought it was already dead? (71 comments)

Why not?

Spreading a new email address would be total PITA. Street view of Google Maps is kinda unique and useful. Bing sucks compared to Google.

about three weeks ago
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Google Kills Orkut To Focus On YouTube, Blogger and Google+

Urkki Re:Come on Google (71 comments)

it really is not a lot of time to figure out what to do with potentially gigabytes of information.

Anybody who stores (instead of just sharing, with actual storage elsewhere) gigabytes of information at any social service deserves what's coming to them.

about three weeks ago
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CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

Urkki Re:So....far more than guns (454 comments)

Guns make suicide much too easy, which denies these people a chance to recover from their depression.

Well, guns are an effective suicide method yes, but I wouldn't say it's that easy. According to Wikipedia (and presumably the reference it gives, which I of course did not check), there's 10% chance it fails. But what's bad about doing it with a gun is, if it does fail, it'll likely leave the perp/victim maimed for life, unlike many other suicide methods, where failure is much less likely to result in any serious permanent injury.

So I'd say, guns only seem an easy way for suicide. If people knew the chance of failure and considered the likely results of failure, it'd seem much less tempting way to go, even for one who has decided to do it.

about a month ago
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Wikipedia Editors Hit With $10 Million Defamation Suit

Urkki Re:Who is that? (268 comments)

The news is about Wikipedia editors getting sued, not about the person who sues them. So it doesn't matter if he matters or not.

If Wikipedia editors getting sued is "Stuff that matters" in /. or not, I don't know, but it sounds like it might fit.

about a month ago
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When Drones Fall From the Sky

Urkki Future (97 comments)

This story proves how "Skynet" is wise to wait until there are enough robust robotic vehicles to take out all humans, before taking over the world. Another prerequisite is sufficiently autonomous repair systems for energy production etc. So I think the humans still have a few decades to enjoy life, before the inevitable robot apocalypse, and being strafed by military aerial drones, crushed by their own Google cars, electrocuted by their own Google glasses with neural interface, and strangled by their own Google neckties.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Rapid Development Language To Learn Today?

Urkki Re:What's wrong with html and javascript? (466 comments)

Just letting you know, that kind of talk sounds like you're one of those developers who tend to leave behind messy disasters needing complete rewrite as soon as some change is required, while talking about their own greatness. You probably know the type if you're not one, so you might want to adjust your message. And if you're one of 'em... Never mind, ignore this reply.

about a month ago
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Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration of Damaged, Old Immune System

Urkki Re:Human clinical trial in Somalia? (148 comments)

No, they aren't "quite different". One is for a short period, and one is longer than that. That's it.

Sort of like life and death, then.

about a month and a half ago
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Scientists Race To Save Miami Coral Doomed By Dredging

Urkki Mass extinction waits for no-one (99 comments)

Giving 12 days to perhaps save a tiny bit of biodiversity and learn something about doomed nature is too generous, not to mention pointless, such a waste of time. Pave the Earth and be done with it, already! /sarcasm

about a month and a half ago
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Robotics Engineers: "We Don't Want To Replace Humans. We Want To Enhance Humans.

Urkki Robot overlords (124 comments)

It doesn't matter what engineers want. The question is, what do the robots want. Once they want to replace us, they will, because at that point they're advanced enough to be able to do that.

about a month and a half ago
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Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration of Damaged, Old Immune System

Urkki Re:And Ramadan is coming... (148 comments)

I am fortunate to eat once or twice a week aside from a can of Coca-Cola. My body must be on rejuvenation overdrive!

Only if it is Zero. Getting the load of carbs that are in regular sodas will keep the body happily saturated with sugar, even with only a few cans per day.

about a month and a half ago
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Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration of Damaged, Old Immune System

Urkki Re:Human clinical trial in Somalia? (148 comments)

Fasting and being starved are quite different things...Fasting is not about getting too little energy and nutrients in the long term, or being malnourished. Even suggesting that starvation is just a form of fasting is naive and ignorant.

about a month and a half ago
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Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration of Damaged, Old Immune System

Urkki Re:Keep ignoring the Scriptures..... (148 comments)

.... it's surely just a bunch of superstitious nonsense......

Which scripture recommends the quite specific kind of fasting this study suggests will trigger the regeneation cycle? Link to relevant verse (or whaever it's called) would be good too.

about a month and a half ago
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The Disappearing Universe

Urkki Re:Fascinating, terrifying stuff is news (358 comments)

Say you wanted to go to Andromeda, not the closest galaxy but not exactly far on a galactic scale, At the speed of light that's still going to take 2.5 million years to get there, not really what most people would define as achievable, If we want to reach any other galaxy we're going to have to be going a hell of a lot faster than the speed of light.

Note that it is 2.5 million years from perspective of Earth. From perspective of the traveller, at speed of light the trip would be instantaneous.

I'll leave it as exercise for someone a bit more fresh with related math (or more motivation to Google) to calculate a more realistic figure: how much time it would be take to travel to Andromeda at constant 1G acceleration/deceleration, both Earth and ship time.

about 2 months ago
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Happy 95th Anniversary, Relativity

Urkki Re:peh (120 comments)

Wouldn't it be more fun to relive the story of the first time he got laid?

That's not something to celebrate publicly. Gentlemen and Ladies don't kiss and tell.

about 2 months ago
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Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

Urkki Re:Evolution is not an Observed Phenomenon (772 comments)

There are definitely different kinds of animals (that is why we use the words "Species" and "Genus" to classify the different kinds) but there are also similarities between those kinds.

From another point of view, there's just one "kind" of living organisms on Earth, the ones who share the same DNA/RNA and protein encoding scheme. Inside this one "kind", you can take a gene from any other organism and insert it into another, and expect it to produce the same protein.

I suppose one could get into semi-interesting argument about prions, which don't have a protein encoding scheme as such. As far as I understand them, they could and would exist just the same as long as there are proteins, no matter how and where they're encoded in whatever genome of "real" living organisms.

about 2 months ago

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