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Researchers Accidentally Discover How To Turn Off Skin Aging Gene

hawkinspeter Re:I believe in Darwin (175 comments)

You might find that an advantage, but the genes only care about reproduction. Maybe if perfect skin helped you take care of younger relations, then it could be selected for.

4 days ago
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Researchers Accidentally Discover How To Turn Off Skin Aging Gene

hawkinspeter Re:I believe in Darwin (175 comments)

It's quite likely that it would have some consequences (our bodies are very complicated systems), but it wouldn't have been subject to selective pressure if it only has a major affect after child-bearing age. There's no advantage (in terms of gene replication) in a 60 year old having perfect skin if they're not going to be having any more offspring.

4 days ago
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Sony Reportedly Is Using Cyber-Attacks To Keep Leaked Files From Spreading

hawkinspeter Re:Mixed Feelings (190 comments)

If Sony were at all concerned about the safety of their employees' private data then they would have taken steps to protect it BEFORE they were hacked. Sony have an abysmal history of computer security and this latest travesty is them trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted in an attempt to stop their chickens coming home to roost.

about two weeks ago
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45-Year Physics Mystery Shows a Path To Quantum Transistors

hawkinspeter Re:Insulator, Isolator (56 comments)

I think you're confused about isolator/insulator. Wires are commonly wrapped in insulation (e.g. rubber) to prevent them conducting. You can also put insulation into your walls to reduce heat loss.

An isolator is typically a mechanical switch that would completely disconnect an electrical circuit.

about two weeks ago
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Australian Target Stores Ban GTA V For Depictions of Violence Against Women

hawkinspeter Re: Innaccurate (310 comments)

When you write $100.000 do you mean $100 or $100,000? I can't figure out why you've got three zeroes after the decimal point unless you're using it instead of a comma.

about two weeks ago
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The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought

hawkinspeter Re:Over what time interval? (528 comments)

If the disks were members of a RAID set, then you'd have to steal them all at the same time otherwise you'd have inconsistent filesystems. With a bit of skill, you could probably read some data, but you'd be better off transferring data over a network as that wouldn't involve physical access to a server room (which typically have some kind of monitoring cameras installed).

about two weeks ago
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Hawking Warns Strong AI Could Threaten Humanity

hawkinspeter Re:Ignored? (574 comments)

However, if you had two AIs and one of them was focussed on replication, I'd imagine we'd end up AIs competing for resources.

about three weeks ago
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Microsoft Azure Outage Across the Globe

hawkinspeter Re:Yawn ... (167 comments)

Don't forget leap years - 365 was quite accurate the last time Microsoft forgot about February 29th.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Azure Outage Across the Globe

hawkinspeter Re:Yawn ... (167 comments)

I'm disappointed that they edited out my original comment: "Office 365 (maybe an optimistic name)".

about a month ago
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Elusive Dark Matter May Be Detected With GPS Satellites

hawkinspeter Re:I see why the boson is a "God Particle" (67 comments)

Yes, they used faith rather than science, even though they were supposed to be conducting scientific experiments. Just because they were doing it wrong doesn't mean that you can extrapolate that to people who do it right.

about a month ago
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Interviews: Warren Ellis Answers Your Questions

hawkinspeter Re:Who is this guy (15 comments)

In addition to your other reply, the feature film RED (with Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich etc) was based on one of his graphic novels.

about a month ago
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Interviews: Warren Ellis Answers Your Questions

hawkinspeter Re: full-body upgrade at this point? (15 comments)

I think it depends on your specific situation. Some people learn to use/take care of their body more when they are older, so they can "improve" with age (although they would have improved more if they had learnt that earlier). I personally started doing a lot of road cycling a few years ago and I'd say my heart/lungs are in way better shape now (45) than when I was in my 20s and just drinking and partying.

Anyway, middle-age is the best time to be delusional about aging. It's when some things start to go south, but you've got more disposable income to compensate for them. I don't think it's necessarily true that geeks are anti-aging at all - I'd be perfectly happy to take some age-reversing drugs if they worked. I think Warren Ellis just has a very good handle on what is bullshit and what isn't (that's why he's one of my favourite authors).

I was a bit disappointed that Warren didn't plump for any cybernetic laser implants, but I think he took the question too seriously.

about a month ago
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Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

hawkinspeter Re:Apparently "backers" don't understand the term (473 comments)

I think you've got a couple of things wrong there. Kickstarter is in no way an investment as you don't get any ownership of the company/project and you don't receive any profits. You "pledge" money rather than "investing".

In the Kickstarter basics, they state explicitly: "Project creators kepp 100% ownership of their work, and Kickstarter cannot be used to offer equity, financial returns, or to solicit loans."

In section 4 of their terms-of-use, they state: "the creator must complete the project and fulfill each reward." There then follows a description of the appropriate actions for the creators to follow when it's impossible for them to fulfill the project.

about a month ago
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World's Youngest Microsoft Certificated Professional Is Five Years Old

hawkinspeter Re:Waste (276 comments)

I imagine that would be a bit more challenging for a 5 year old than learning MS-specific exam answers. A lot of generic computer skills require a level of abstract reasoning that wouldn't be easy for a youngster to master. I guess it also depends on what his parents know - if they are MS specialists then I guess the kid's only going to be learning MS stuff.

about a month ago
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World's Youngest Microsoft Certificated Professional Is Five Years Old

hawkinspeter Re:Waste (276 comments)

While the qualification is worthless for him, the kid's interested in computers so why not take an exam? He's 5, what else would he be doing with his time?

about a month ago
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R. A. Montgomery, Creator of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" Books, Dead At 78

hawkinspeter Re:Hey! C'mon you guys... (80 comments)

Because we all hate you.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Microsoft Azure fails across the globe

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about a month ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "The BBC has reported that Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform has taken down many third-party sites that rely on it in addition to disrupting Microsoft's own products. Office 365 (maybe they were optimistic with choosing that name) and Xbox Live services were affected.

This has happened at a particularly inopportune time as Microsoft has recently been pushing its Azure services in an effort to catch up with other providers such as Amazon, IBM and Google. Just a couple of hours previously, Microsoft had screened an Azure advert in the UK during the Scotland v England soccer match."

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Philip K Dick's "The Man in the High Castle" to be produced by Ridley Scott

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about 5 months ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Amazon has given the green light to produce the Hugo award-winning "The Man in the High Castle". This is after the four-hour mini-series was rejected by Syfy and afterwards by the BBC.

Philip K Dick's novel takes place in an alternate universe where the Axis Powers won the Second World War. It's one of his most successful works, probably due to him actually spending the time to do some editing on it (most of his fiction was produced rapidly in order to get some money). Ridley Scott has previously adapted PKD's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" as the film "Blade Runner", so it will be interesting to see how close he keeps to the source material this time.

This news has been picked up by a few sites: International Business Times; The Register and Deadline.

So, are any PKD fans excited about this and is this story already Godwinned?"
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BBC ignores 50000 austerity protesters outside BBC in Portland Place

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about 6 months ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "It seems that the BBC didn't notice a crowd of 50,000 protesters right outside their front door on Saturday. The march was organised by the People's Assembly Against Austerity on their one-year anniversary and was led by comedian Russell Brand who has become a figure head for the movement. He called out for a "peaceful, effortless, joyful revolution".

The protesters started their march outside the BBC to protest against the broadcaster ignoring the impact of the cuts on the impoverished. Sam Fairbairn (the national secretary of the People's Assembly) spoke to the crowds at the end of the march, outside Parliament, saying "Make no mistake, these cuts are killing people and destroying cherished public services which have served generations".

Although this event seems to have been ignored by a lot if the UK press, it is covered by a few of them: Daily Express, The Independent and The Huffington Post."
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China rejects 545,000 tons of US genetically modified corn

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  1 year,1 day

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "The BBC is reporting that US corn that was found to contain an unapproved genetically modified strain. Although China doesn't have a problem per se with GM crops (they've been importing GM soybeans since 1997), their product safety agency found MIR162 in 12 batches of corn.

"The safety evaluation process [for MIR162] has not been completed and no imports are allowed at the moment before the safety certificate is issued" said Nui Din, China's vice agricultural minister.

The Chinese are now calling on US authorities to tighten their controls to prevent unapproved strains from being sent to China after the first batch of corn was rejected in November due to MIR162."

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Doom comes to Kickstarter boardgame project

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about a year ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Kickstarter backers are up in arms and accusing the head of developer The Forking Path Erik Chevalier of fraud following the cancellation of a tabletop game that successfully brought in nearly $123,000 on the crowdfunding website.

According to Chevalier, the project — a game called The Doom that Came to Atlantic City — ran out of money following 13 months of development despite earning nearly four times the amount originally asked for through Kickstarter. Chevalier began the Kickstarter campaign in May 2012, asking for $35,000 to create the title.

"The project is over, the game is cancelled," he wrote. "Every possible mistake was made, some due to my inexperience in board game publishing, others due to ego conflicts, legal issues and technical complications. No matter the cause though, these could all have been avoided by someone more experienced and I apparently was not that person."

Chevalier added he hopes to personally refund the full amount to his backers beginning with those who pre-ordered the game through its official webstore.

"Unfortunately I can't give any type of schedule for the repayment as I left my job to do this project and must find work again.

"Again, I never set out to con anyone or to perpetrate a fraud but I did walk into a situation that was beyond my abilities and for that I'm deeply sorry." A number of backers since claimed to have reported Chevalier to the Oregon Department of Justice. According to the designer, he has contacted the department himself in response.

"While they gave no promises their agent didn't feel that I'd committed any fraud. I am going to provide them with more information and work with them to see what I need to do to make this right in their eyes. I will also be contacting any other agencies who receive reports in order to provide them with a transparent view of the scenario from all angles."

Angry backers are of the opinion that the project money was used to fund Erik's move to Portland and to set up a video production company (formerly Suicide Pact LLC and now renamed as Intrinsic Gray). Additionally, it appears that Erik had to have legal action threatened by the game designers themselves before agreeing to come clean about the wasted money."
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MIT blocking release of Aaron Swartz's Secret Service files

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about a year and a half ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Lawyers representing MIT are filing a motion to intervene in Wired's Kevin Poulsen's FOIA lawsuit over thousands of pages of Secret Service documents about the late activist and coder Aaron Swartz.

It looks like MIT are afraid of the public finding out about the individuals who thought that sending Aaron to prison (for the digital equivalent of checking out too many library books) was a really good idea. Does that justify a non-governmental interfering with a FOIA request?"

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Ruby-on-Rails allows remote-code execution on over 240,000 websites

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about 2 years ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Popular programming framework Ruby on Rails is affected by two critical security vulnerabilities — one allowing anyone to execute commands on the servers running affected web apps.

The bugs both involve the parsing and handling of data supplied by visitors to a Rails application. The CVE-2013-0156 hole is the more severe of the two because it allows remote-code execution against any Ruby on Rails application that has the XML parser enabled — a feature switched on by default. According to security tools firm Sourcefire the flaw allows hackers to run system commands on the server with the same level of privileges as the app.

Both vulnerabilities can be resolved by updating to the latest version of the Ruby on Rails platform.

But what makes the holes particularly nasty is that, until the patches are applied, every application running on the insecure open-source framework will be vulnerable — like castles built on sand and the tide is rising: at least 240,000 websites powered by RoR are thought to be at risk."

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Caught on camera: quantum mechanics in action

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  more than 2 years ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Scientists at the University of Glasgow have captured images of ‘quantum entanglement’ on camera for the first time.

In quantum mechanics, entanglement is one of the bizarre behaviours exhibited by particles where the rules of classical physics are broken and seemingly impossible events are a reality.

Described by Einstein as ‘spooky action at a distance’, entanglement is the phenomenon whereby two particles act as one system even when separated by immense distances.

The entangled particles are in a superposition where their individual state isn’t known. However, as soon as one of them is measured or observed the other will take on a correlated state instantaneously, seemingly violating the speed of light.

Being able to exploit such behaviour would have major applications in communications encryption and could underpin the next generation of computer technology, known as quantum computation.

Their paper is available from Nature"

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Microsoft drope 'Metro' name for Windows 8

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  more than 2 years ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "The BBC is reporting that Microsoft is dropping the 'Metro' name for the new Windows 8 UI. Apparently, the catchy new name they've settled on is 'Windows 8 style UI'! This has happened due to a (potential) trademark dispute with Metro AG , a German retail giant.

I'm wondering if Microsoft planned this to get publicity for their new OS and UI or whether they just forget to check on how 'Metro' is used around the world."

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Man claims cell phone taken by DC police for taking photos

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  more than 2 years ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Just one day after Chief Cathy Lanier made it illegal for MPD cops to take recording equipment, a 26-year-old local man had his phone taken as he was trying to record a violent arrest. They eventually gave back his phone, but without the memory card which also contained photos of his daughter along with the record of the alleged police brutality."
Link to Original Source

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