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Doomsday Clock Moved Two Minutes Forward, To 23:57

DiamondGeezer Re:Balderdash (216 comments)

I always thought that it was because of his skin color.

But I always regarded the Nobel Peace Prize as an expensive joke anyway.

5 days ago
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Doomsday Clock Moved Two Minutes Forward, To 23:57

DiamondGeezer Re:why in earth (216 comments)

Reasons.

5 days ago
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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

DiamondGeezer Re:They already have (666 comments)

Sadly not true. The fashion for some scientists to make names for themselves by producing misleading headlines for their supposed evidence has yet to fizzle.

Was 2014 the warmest it has ever been globally? No.

The satellite records (either one) show no special warmth for 2014 and the BEST record shows no statistical significance to the claim that 2014 was the hottest. Why? Because the tiny increase was well within the error bars of the mean temperature statistic

Has the global warming hiatus ended? No. Do the climate models reflect this? No.

That said, should Congress be making such a determination? No it shouldn't. But what this Congress is certain to do is cut the funding of climate change to the bone. Then we'll see how much was real and how much was money-powered hype.

about a week ago
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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

DiamondGeezer Re:Yep it is a scam (666 comments)

Malaria is not a warm weather dependent disease. England in the 16th Century had malarial marshes (in the middle of the Little Ice Age) and the largest malarial outbreak of the 20th Century occurred in Arctic circle Russia.

The real vector of malaria is poor sanitation, which in turn is a function of poverty and lack of economic development.

about a week ago
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New Collaborative Project Wants to Systematize Complex Problem Solving Online

DiamondGeezer Re:And what about net trolls? (42 comments)

Crap. The fact is that Wikipedia has demonstrated conclusively that trolls can get organized and can swamp legitimate scholarship in order to promote bullshit theories and rewrite history.

about two weeks ago
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Carnivorous Pitcher Plant "Out-Thinks" Insects

DiamondGeezer Re:Why the lame title? (111 comments)

This is how evolution by natural selection actually works. Yes 'out-thinking' is too strong a word.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

DiamondGeezer Re:24 years old... (790 comments)

When civilization collapses, everyone who has a typewriter will be looked on with awe and envy.

about three weeks ago
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Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

DiamondGeezer Re:Mann is a liar (786 comments)

His work has not been vindicated numerous times. Quite the reverse.

about three weeks ago
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Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

DiamondGeezer Re:Ah, yes, the hockey stick (786 comments)

Not true. A meme that has been produced that M&M cherry-picked runs but nothing in the peer-reviewed literature.

Steve McIntyre has written extensively on this canard.

tl;dr It's simply untrue.

about three weeks ago
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Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

DiamondGeezer Re:Mann Conflict of Interest (786 comments)

Are they all in it for the fame and fortune? Are they all paid off in some grand, global illuminati-style secret cabal to all tell the same alleged fabrications?

No. But they are in the star system of academia where the person with the most fame gets the most money and the fast track to tenure. Global warming is a huge waterfall of money into academia and anyone who wants an academic career will go with the flow or be drowned by colleagues.

about three weeks ago
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Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

DiamondGeezer Re:Ad hominem attacks are Mann's specialty (786 comments)

Steyn compared Penn State's investigation of Mann to be as consistently useless as the one conducted on Jerry Sandusky (by the same failed administration). And to his credit, Steyn wants Mann in court and pleads justification that Mann deliberately tortured data in the service of corrupt science.

about three weeks ago
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Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

DiamondGeezer Re:A bit rich (786 comments)

And thoroughly debunked (in peer-reviewed journals, natch) by McIntyre and McKitrick as an artifact of one proxy (Sheep Mountain) being artificially weighted hundreds of times more than any of the others. Without that one proxy, there would be no Hockey Stick shape and no academic career for Michael Mann.

The kicker is that in Michael Mann's files was clear evidence that he ran his algorithm using all proxies except Sheep Mountain (which would have shown no Hockey Stick shape) and then buried the result. He also claimed on more than one occasion not to have used the R2 metric which would have shown no statistical skill in his construction - which wasn't true because the calculating code for R2 was also in the files AND he put the calculated R2 into a diagram of the global locations of the proxies in his original publication.

Even more fun is that the Sheep mountain proxies used by Mann have been re-sampled and show no signs of the temperature sensitivity since 1980 when Mann's original data ended.

Regardless of people's position on AGW, a lot of climate scientists have come to the conclusion that what Mann did and continues to justify is scientific fraud.

about three weeks ago
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Ford Touts Self-driving Car, Launches Global Mobility Experiments

DiamondGeezer Re:When will this stupid crap-o-rama end? (73 comments)

Kool-Aid time:

1. They are likely to be far safer.

In your dreams.

2. They use road space much more efficiently, increasing the carrying capacity by a factor of five.

Then what you have is a train. Also, when traffic is heavy, I bet you won't find any more carrying capacity if everyone is in an SDC.

3. Many people, due to age or disability, can't drive.

Also children and goats are excluded as well. Its so unfair.

4. They decrease costs for companies that pay people to drive.

They put taxi drivers out of work? Truck drivers? Seriously?

5. They make public transportation much more affordable and accessible, by replacing big fix-route buses with small flex-route vans

In other words, a tram system. Good luck getting that happening.

6. Some people just don't like to drive, and would rather snooze or catch up on email.

Very few people like to drive and would rather be doing anything else. But its not an economic driver of anything.

about three weeks ago
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Ford Touts Self-driving Car, Launches Global Mobility Experiments

DiamondGeezer Re:When will this stupid crap-o-rama end? (73 comments)

In order to achieve anything like that, everyone would be compelled to have a self-driving car and all current cars would be scrapped. Good luck with getting that to happen in America.

The problem is not simply the behavior of the driver, its the behavior of everything else. One way you could reduce the carnage would be to insist on alcohol and other drug tests before the engine can be switched on. Another would be to address the huge numbers of truck drivers hopped up on amphetamines and other substances to keep them awake to drive crap around the country for people to buy.

I've yet to see a test of what happens with a self-driving car when it has a tire blow-out at 60 mph. I suspect it won't be pretty. Or what happens when it encounters an accident or incident involving the police.

Then there is the problem of liability. If an SDC hits another - who is responsible?

about three weeks ago
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Ford Touts Self-driving Car, Launches Global Mobility Experiments

DiamondGeezer Re:When will this stupid crap-o-rama end? (73 comments)

The daily commute is a timesink, but I work from home. Did you never consider that that would be far less expensive and problematical than a self-driving car?

about three weeks ago
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Ford Touts Self-driving Car, Launches Global Mobility Experiments

DiamondGeezer Re:When will this stupid crap-o-rama end? (73 comments)

Yet again another believer in something that does not exist.

SDCs have already been driven millions of miles on public roads. Their safety record is better than humans. They may not handle all unknown situations, but that is more than compensated by not driving drunk, falling asleep, or texting on a cellphone.

And the reality could hardly be different

...what Google is working on may instead result in the automotive equivalent of the Apple Newton, what one Web commenter called a “timid, skittish robot car whose inferior level of intelligence becomes a daily annoyance.” To be able to handle the everyday stresses and strains of the real driving world, the Google car will require a computer with a level of intelligence that machines won’t have for many years, if ever.

about three weeks ago
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Ford Touts Self-driving Car, Launches Global Mobility Experiments

DiamondGeezer Re:When will this stupid crap-o-rama end? (73 comments)

3. Many people, due to age or disability, can't drive.

This is the one I like. My wife has a medical condition that keeps her from driving. Man would she love to just jump in the car and go somewhere when she wants to.

She already has this option, It's called a taxi.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Send your name into orbit and beyond with NASA's Orion

DiamondGeezer DiamondGeezer writes  |  about 3 months ago

DiamondGeezer (872237) writes "NASA are inviting everyone (even Slashdotters) to put their name which will be on a microchip onboard the maiden flight of the Orion capsule. The flight is scheduled to launch on December 4th 2014 on top of a Delta IV Heavy Rocket. When you fill in your name, you also get a facsimile boarding card with your name and a unique code to save and keep.

If only your name could collect frequent flyer miles. NASA is inviting the public to send their names on a microchip to destinations beyond low-Earth orbit, including Mars.

Your name will begin its journey on a dime-sized microchip when the agency’s Orion spacecraft launches Dec. 4 on its first flight, designated Exploration Flight Test-1. After a 4.5 hour, two-orbit mission around Earth to test Orion’s systems, the spacecraft will travel back through the atmosphere at speeds approaching 20,000 mph and temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

But the journey for your name doesn’t end there. After returning to Earth, the names will fly on future NASA exploration flights and missions to Mars. With each flight, selected individuals will accrue more miles as members of a global space-faring society.

"

Link to Original Source
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Springpad shuts down - users advised to export data by June 25th

DiamondGeezer DiamondGeezer writes  |  about 8 months ago

DiamondGeezer (872237) writes "Springpad have annnounced that they will shutdown permanently on June 25th.

As we announced a few days ago, we are very sorry to let you know that Springpad will be shutting down on June 25th. Unfortunately, we were not able to secure additional funding or scale to become a self-sustaining business. As part of closing our business, a portion of our team is joining Google. At this point, our priority is to help you move forward with the data you have stored in Springpad. Today we are releasing an export tool that gives you a few options including a full Evernote migration, a viewable HTML data backup, and an importable JSON file for other services to use. Read more below about each of these options, or go to springpad.com/savemystuff to start migrating your data now. You will have until June 25th to continue to access your data and complete your migration. At that point Springpad.com will no longer be available, all online and sync features of the mobile apps will stop working, and your personal data will no longer be stored on our servers.

"

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The 2013 Slashdot Free Education Challenge

DiamondGeezer DiamondGeezer writes  |  about 2 years ago

DiamondGeezer (872237) writes "Most slashdotters would agree that with the ever rising cost of higher education and the ever-present need to keep ourselves ahead of the game, the game-changer might well be the free massively online education courses now being rolled out.

With that in mind, I'd like to suggest a 2013 challenge for as many Slashdotters as possible to enrol in at least one free online course and report on the results back to the providers.

Some courses have had mixed reviews (for example this one got a pasting) but the only way these massively online courses will improve and go mainstream (and maybe get real-world accreditation to boot) is to take courses and provide large amounts of feedback — oh, and learn of course.

I've chosen edx.org as a starting point and I've already signed up to Introductory Statistics at Berkeley.

We could call it "The Slashdot MMO learning challenge". Cost: nothing but time which you would normally be frittering away playing WoW or Eve or something. There are no dragons to slay or grand space battles to conquer for virtual resources, but there is a future universe of education to be found.

Who's with me?"

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The War Z game forced off Steam after complaints - purchasers refunded

DiamondGeezer DiamondGeezer writes  |  more than 2 years ago

DiamondGeezer (872237) writes "The recent zombie apocalypse game "War Z" has been removed from Steam after a large number of complaints that the promised content wasn't delivered:

The War Z was promoted as an open-world massively multi-player game that challenged gamers to survive in a many different zombie-infested virtual environments. In addition, said developer Hammerpoint, up to 100 players would be able to join each server and gamers would be able to draw up friends lists, rent their own private servers and improve game characters via a sophisticated skill tree....Complaints began appearing on chat forums on Steam and on social media site Reddit. Players vented their feelings about an update that changed re-spawn times from one hour to four hours when their character was killed. Players could resurrect instantly if they paid using an in-game currency that can only be bought using real money. The furore led Valve to halt sales of the game and offer refunds. In addition, Hammerpoint changed the way the game was described on Steam to be more accurate and issued a statement to address "questions and concerns".

There were also complaints about servers only allowing 50 players at a time when promised "up to 100" and other promised features not be available from Day 1. I guess that a lot of the furore was really about the idea that War Z was a rip-off of the Day Z Arma II mod which has a million players and that "War Z" developer Hammerpoint's real focus was making money though micropayments and tilting the playing field towards paying customers."
Link to Original Source

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EPA caught red-handed suppressing CO2 report

DiamondGeezer DiamondGeezer writes  |  more than 5 years ago

DiamondGeezer writes "Anthony Watts has the scoop on a developing story that the EPA decided to suppress a report written by one of its long term analysts which criticized the EPA's attempt to regulate carbon dioxide as a "dangerous pollutant". The smoking gun is an email sent from the director of the EPA.

In other news, a columnist at the San Francisco Examiner who was initially skeptical about the story, confirmed that the suppression had happened and suddenly all of his columns have disappeared from the website. Hopefully its just a server glitch."

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DiamondGeezer DiamondGeezer writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DiamondGeezer (872237) writes "Let's use the Slashdot effect for good!

It is now more than seven weeks since Alan Johnson, a BBC correspondent stationed in Gaza City, was abducted. I thought it would be good for Slashdotters who own websites and/or weblogs to put a simple button on their sites to remind everyone that Alan is still in captivity for reasons unknown, and to show support for all journalists in dangerous places who are brave enough to be there reporting for us.

The code for the button is on this page on the BBC website. The link on the button goes back to the BBC weblog chronicling Alan's story."
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DiamondGeezer DiamondGeezer writes  |  more than 8 years ago

DiamondGeezer writes "The Inquirer reports on Peter Gutmann's dissection of Microsoft Vista:

"Windows Vista includes an extensive reworking of core OS elements in order to
provide content protection for so-called "premium content", typically HD data
from Blu-Ray and HD-DVD sources. Providing this protection incurs
considerable costs in terms of system performance, system stability, technical
support overhead, and hardware and software cost. These issues affect not
only users of Vista but the entire PC industry, since the effects of the
protection measures extend to cover all hardware and software that will ever
come into contact with Vista, even if it's not used directly with Vista (for
example hardware in a Macintosh computer or on a Linux server). This document
analyses the cost involved in Vista's content protection, and the collateral
damage that this incurs throughout the computer industry"

Lesson: If you want your graphics to be of the highest quality, your digital imaging to be top notch, then don't use Vista because it will degrade them in order to protect premium content and there's nothing you can do about it (other than go to OSX or Linux).

Happy New Year"

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