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Comments

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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

MrKaos Re:OMG! (547 comments)

I mean a double D.

A Developer, Developer?

3 days ago
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What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

MrKaos Re:Mass (502 comments)

Not to say that they still wouldn't have gone solar because of other mission parameters (e.g., mass), but the reasons you give don't really add up.

Well mass was the main point I was making, not just because of the weight of an RTG but because of the associated control systems, stronger landing gear and so on. However another poster pointed out the mass is similar to the solar panels for the required RTG so perhaps my point is moot.

Either way, I think that the conversation is somehow painting the mission as a failure, when I think it was actually a success. The first landing on an asteroid didn't go as it was intended and I think something similar happened for Apollo - except that people were there to handle it. Maybe it will collect enough power to start up again, I hope so.

3 days ago
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What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

MrKaos Re:Mass (502 comments)

It's not a "nuclear power plant," it's a radioisotope thermal generator (RTG). For this particular mission, a RTG would have had a very similar mass to the solar power system used (12 kg for the solar power system, ~12 kg for a 20-30W RTG).

Thanks, I know what an RTG is, however i didn't know that was it's mass.

4 days ago
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Martin Jetpack Closer To Takeoff In First Responder Applications

MrKaos Martian Jetpack (54 comments)

This is what I saw, now I am disappointed it's just "Martin" - sigh!!

4 days ago
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What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

MrKaos Re:But ... But ... But ... (502 comments)

The solar panels are "green" technology.

I heard through the grapevine that the solar panels narrowly beat out using wind power but they were worried about the wind encountered at such high velocities and the possibility of killing birds.

I'm not certain how you would power a lander with solar wind however even with a slow velocity of 400Kms a second, I think it's safe to say solar winds would kill birds.

4 days ago
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What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

MrKaos Mass (502 comments)

Whilst it is an appropriate use of a nuclear power plant, I'm sure the mass of a nuclear powered probe would have increased the costs and complexity of the launch and landing whilst decreasing the science payload.

I think it would have been far easier just to make sure the harpoons *actually* fired. If it was nuclear powered the probe may have just smashed, instead of bounced, the additional mass. The problem wasn't the power source, it was the landing harpoon. We have never landed on an asteroid before and these are, inevitably, the lessons that have to be learned.

The sun is a perfectly functional fusion reactor, so why wouldn't you use it for power? Had a nuclear plant been installed the probe would have had a guaranteed end of life, where as the panels afford the craft the possibility of functioning indefinitely. Had you been talking about a probe set to go well away from the sun then absolutely and pu-238 power plant would be a great idea.

4 days ago
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Court Shuts Down Alleged $120M Tech Support Scam

MrKaos Re:Why... (125 comments)

Man, these people are idiots. Why didn't they just use MyCleanPC?

I'm surprised it is not posted here many many times as, for once, it may be on topic.

4 days ago
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Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

MrKaos Bipartisanship (434 comments)

It would seem that even the possibility of bipartisanship is completely dead in America and that the possibility of actually resolving and solving the structural issues is lost in a ratcheting of political "solutions" designed to conceal their real intentions.

It's such a disappointing thing for such a great country when the political parties responsible for the stewardship of the nation can only look after their interests at the expense of everything else.

5 days ago
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Real Steampunk Computer Brought Back To Life

MrKaos Re:Great (81 comments)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these...

A scientific calculator!

about a week ago
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Fukushima Radiation Nears California Coast, Judged Harmless

MrKaos Re:caesium 137 bioaccumulates (113 comments)

We do know what radiation does.

Radiation vs Radionuclide.

about two weeks ago
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Fukushima Radiation Nears California Coast, Judged Harmless

MrKaos Re:caesium 137 bioaccumulates (113 comments)

You guys are getting all your facts out of kilter. Iodine is the one that does the Thyroid thing and it doesn't bio accumulate at all (just take lots of non radioactive Iodine).

Yep, you're right, thanks for pointing that out about the destination of the micro nutrient.

The issue is the radio-isotope's journey through a body if it is a analogue of a micronutrient that body uses. Tritium it is mutagenic to DNA at 0.018590 MeV for beta emissions and Caesium-137 is a beta and gamma emitter at 1.176 MeV so it is much more energetic. C137 gets organically bound and that increases the decay rate into the tissue, it doesn't seem to be used in medicine so I would prefer not to have a gamma emitter floating around inside me as it decays, whatever it gets attached to for 30 odd years.

However, whilst I think the risk of direct exposure to C137 is low, it is in the food chain and it has its own way that it bio-accumulates for 30yrs*20 decay cycles, around 1400 years, not as much as some other radioisotopes but longer than anyone living today.

Many of these products decay in geological timeframes so the amount of time they are toxic in the foodchain is a serious concern. US coast is protected by those deep currents washing the cold deep water. To test for and to identify other radio-isotopes you would need a proper government effort, perhaps international effort to determine exactly which radioactive products of Fukushima have contaminated the Pacific Ocean and the quantities it will continue to pour into the pacific ocean.

All we know right now is, they weren't there before, they are now and that it only took a couple of years to get across the Pacific. This will continue to unfold for many many years.

about two weeks ago
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Fukushima Radiation Nears California Coast, Judged Harmless

MrKaos Re:caesium 137 bioaccumulates (113 comments)

There is no safe minimum dose once it is in your body, slowly disintegrating, radiating into your organs and cells.

There is also no safe minimum exposure to sunlight, no safe minimum amount of air to breath, no safe minimal exposure to germs, no safe minimal ingestion of food. Nothing you do is safe.

There is no safe level of ignorance either.

But, if your definition of safe is something that is unlikely to cause any harm or ill effect, then small radioactive doses, internal or external, are quite safe, particularly in comparison to many things that we do in everyday life that we consider safe.

You are incorrect. Small doses are highly toxic because the meabolism transports them to sites around the body where they continue to emit radiation and gestate cancer. Oppenheimer's own research found pu-239 to be fatal at 1-10 micrograms, toxic as an inhalant or when ingested. So your statement contradicts even the 50 year old science.

As for energetic levels, and depending on the radio-isotope analogue, if they are beyond a certain level they are cancerous, if they are below a certain level they are mutagenic to the DNA and cause transgenic disease. So, no, there is NO safe level of exposure just whether you or your progeny experiences the consequences.

As for your "comparison to many things that we do in everyday life that we consider safe", any risk of exposure is measured against the severity of consequences. An argument like that presupposes that you have control over your exposure to the risk, which you don't have with radio-isotope exposure in the foodchain. The difference with Fukushima is that the risk is being increased e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y and no-one has any control over that exposure anymore.

This leads to the fundamental point missed in this argument. WHOI, with a small budget detected C137 of the coast of the US with just 50 samples from the pacific ocean. No government funding, one boat and a small group of dedicated scientists. Should we just assume that the rest of the ocean is hunky dory and "just the bits they were checking" happened to have radioceasium in it?

That is why there is no safe level of ignorance.

about two weeks ago
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Fukushima Radiation Nears California Coast, Judged Harmless

MrKaos Re:caesium137 has an approx 30yr half-life (113 comments)

Lots of stuff takes longer than that to diminish, and lots of that stuff is present in quantities that actually matter.

For example pu-239 whose halflife is 25,000 years and is fatal to humans in the 1-10 microgram range.

about two weeks ago
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Fukushima Radiation Nears California Coast, Judged Harmless

MrKaos Re:caesium137 has an approx 30yr half-life (113 comments)

Slow radioactive decay is low radiation.

That's a rapid decay rate when compared to other radio-isotopes, sr-90 is a 600 year half life which is quite rapid when compared to pu-239, who's halflife is 25,000 years. The issue here is not the radio-isotopes decay rate compared to a human lifespan, it's the decay rate compared to other radio-isotopes.

Think about the amount of radiation you'd face holding half a kilogram of Cesium-137. Now, think about if its half life were 8 days instead of 30 years. You'd face 30 years of radiation in 8 days.

The energetic levels of a radio-isotope's alpha, beta and gamma emissions differ. Your scenario would just mean you are holding a different radio-isotope. What it wouldn't take into account is the toxicity of it or the radio-isotopes that have a longer decay rate.

Furthermore you are looking at n years * 20 iterations (where n is the half-life) of daughter products, meaning a "short-lived" radio-isotope, like C137 will take 600 years to become benign, 12000 years for sr-90 and half a billion years for pu-239. So, yeah, 30 years is a short half-life.

All of which is effectively forever for human beings.

about two weeks ago
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Fukushima Radiation Nears California Coast, Judged Harmless

MrKaos Re:caesium 137 bioaccumulates (113 comments)

caesium 137 bioaccumulates. Concentrates its way up the food chain. There is no safe minimum dose once it is in your body, slowly disintegrating, radiating into your organs and cells.

Cesium accumulates in your body because it's chemically similar to potassium, which your body needs for nerves to function (among other things). So it can accumulate no more than potassium does.

Statement of fact.

Potassium has a naturally occurring radioactive isoltope, K-40, which like Cesium undergoes both beta and gamma decay. The amount of K-40 in the typical human body contributes 4000-5000 becquerel to your natural radiation dose.

Loosely related association.

So your contention that there is "no safe minimum dose once it is in your body" is clearly wrong. Everyone who has ever lived has been exposed to a relative "huge" amount of radiation from K-40 throughout their entire lives, and our species is still here.

Strawman argument.

Your comment describes the process all micro-nutrient analogues undergo as a radioisotope, exactly what mrflash818 stated. Your reply is a strawman because you attempt to say that C137 as an emitter is no more dangerous than potassium which is clearly false. C137's relatively short half life means it is highly energetic and when it is ingested at a sufficient dose in a human will trigger thyroid cancer.

about two weeks ago
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Fukushima Radiation Nears California Coast, Judged Harmless

MrKaos Re:caesium 137 bioaccumulates (113 comments)

caesium 137 bioaccumulates.

Concentrates its way up the food chain.

There is no safe minimum dose once it is in your body, slowly disintegrating, radiating into your organs and cells.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm...

This should be modded UP to informative.

I am trying to understand why this perfectly reasonable informative comment, with a link provided, that accurately describes *exactly* what caesium 137 does when ingested has been modded down to -1.

This is a perfect example of mod trolls at work.

about two weeks ago
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Fukushima Radiation Nears California Coast, Judged Harmless

MrKaos Re:A little radiation between friends (113 comments)

What ninnie moderated this DOWN?

Come on, it's a QUOTE from Star Wars for heaven's sake, and if you think about it in context this is FUNNY.

Boring conversation anyway.

about two weeks ago
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Fukushima Radiation Nears California Coast, Judged Harmless

MrKaos Re:You see, (113 comments)

Seasickness sacked several seamen who set sail in search of cesium in the sea. The say the seasickness ceased after stopping to seize the cesium sea samples they were seeking. So the cesium samples were safely secured by the sailors, sans-seasickness.

Was that Seaman Stain?

about two weeks ago
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New Book Argues Automation Is Making Software Developers Less Capable

MrKaos What *is* the hard work. (212 comments)

I automate every task I find mundane. Boring tasks means I am not thinking and if I am not thinking that means I am not learning. If I am not learning I am stagnating. Automating stuff *is* hard work because it forces you to learn. Learning other peoples automations means I don't have to solve those problems.

Automating stuff means I am more effective and I have more time to write /. comments and this is good because sometimes solving hard problems means I should just chill for a while, while the automation does the work. Automation doesn't make me less capable, but it does mean that I have 3 times the output of anyone else around me, making me more relaxed and generally easier going while people wonder how I do it.

Automation makes me smart lazy and achieving that is hard work.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Gore Vidal, 1925-2012

MrKaos MrKaos writes  |  more than 2 years ago

MrKaos (858439) writes "Gore Vidal was a significant presence in the American political landscape and though he was often controversial his love of American history was undeniable. A great voice for democracy in it's truest form his often acerbic criticism of the country he undeniably loved stemmed from disappointment watching it's long decline.

This iconic American died yesterday aged 86."

Link to Original Source
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Google buys Motorola

MrKaos MrKaos writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MrKaos (858439) writes "In a move said to "Supercharge the Android ecosystem" Google has bought Motorola for 12.5 Billion. Final approvals are pending but with the patent attacks on Android it will be interesting to see how this pans out."
Link to Original Source
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Today is Binary

MrKaos MrKaos writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MrKaos (858439) writes "Like last year, it's a year with binary dates. I missed the binary days in 2010 because I was too busy to pick up on something so insignificant that won't happen for another ninety years. Yesterday is binary and new years day was. I count six more "binary" days throughout the year. Of course there are a whole lot of interesting dates during the first 12 years of the 21st century that have made corny release dates for movies like 02/02/02 and the 03/04/05 but because of the the way months and days are positioned in dates around the world it's only the binary days that happen on the *same* day around the world even if they work out to be a different decimal value. I find it interesting just because of how they are arranged but maybe there are some maths geeks who can actually make it interesting.

If you plan on popping the question to a significant other you might want to do it on 11/11/11 which translates to the ascii character "?""
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Church of Scientology - 'rife with shocking crime'

MrKaos MrKaos writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MrKaos (858439) writes "An Australian Politician, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon, has used parliamentary privilege to launch a scathing attack on the Church of Scientology. Under parliamentary privilege the senator is protected from legal responses from Scientology and has called for and inquiry into the tax free status of 'a cult rife with shocking crime'. Fighting intense pain from recent back surgery the senator joked 'Nurses actually found a spine in a politician' and is also a strong opponent of Internet filtering and censorship. Despite partisan moves to block the inquiry he has called for a vote on the inquiry in February. The Times has a full transcript of the allegations of a Senator who appears to have spent some time exploring COS's activities."
Link to Original Source
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New Small Quiet Concorde plans

MrKaos MrKaos writes  |  more than 5 years ago

MrKaos (858439) writes "Designed by Skunkworks and dubbed the QSST by Supersonic Aerospace International a new super sonic passenger liner appear to have made it past the design phase and into the development phase. It's certainly an attractive aircraft with an interesting design said to be 100 times quieter than Concorde and able to fly at speeds of around Mach 1.8 whilst producing less emissions.

If this smaller version can be flown for longer at supersonic speeds over populated areas it may be able to overcome the biggest problems Concorde had, the sonic booms it produced that restricted it's supersonic flight."
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What if Sergey Korolyov had lived?

MrKaos MrKaos writes  |  more than 5 years ago

MrKaos (858439) writes "The Space Race that culminated with the Apollo moon landings was driven by the vision of Wernher von Braun on the U.S side and Sergey Korolyov on the Soviet side. Despite both being in the center of a maelstrom of two immense political machines both men were absolutely dedicated to bringing the space age into reality.

Korolyov put Sputnik 1 into orbit and thus began the space race. The Soyuz rocket family and spacecraft, designed and built under his guidance put the first man into space and continues to serve carrying crew and equipment to the International Space Station. His existence was a state secret that was not revealed until his death from cancer in 1966. It was a tragic loss to both sides as he injected vitality into the space race that ultimately meant the U.S could cut-back space spending.

At the time of his death Korolyov was working on a new project N1 moon rocket which was attempting to implement so advanced propulsion concepts. Given the man's drive, charisma and ability there is every chance he would have succeeded, even if the U.S ultimately got to the moon first.

Recent navel gazing in New Scientist about the Apollo program was interesting. But as an impetus, what if Soviet's were able to complete their moon plans and forced the U.S into spending more on space? What would our space programs look like now?"
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Star Trek

MrKaos MrKaos writes  |  more than 5 years ago

MrKaos (858439) writes "I just watched the new Star Trek movie and not only was it visually spectacular, the story was woven in a creative way. J.J. Abrams appears to have successfully 'rebooted' the story, leaving scope for new stories in a way Trek fans should appreciate. Abrams really has given viewers a sense of the sheer size of Federation Star Ships from within and blends the technology in a believable way. Characters are explored, where they came from and how they became who they are in a way that builds on the original stories instead of just throwing away story elements that other Star Trek movies have been known to do. There are a few hat tips to the original series, which people unfamiliar with Trek don't have to know to appreciate the movie. You can knitpick if you want to spoil it for yourself but, as someone who has watched Star Trek from when it first aired, I think Abrams has done a fine job. I'll be seeing it again. So get a ticket, leave your expectations at the door, have fun and enjoy Star Trek. Which is what Star Trek is about."
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Star Trek premier gets standing ovation

MrKaos MrKaos writes  |  more than 5 years ago

MrKaos (858439) writes "Proving that Science Fiction can be great entertainment, J.J. Abrams appears to impressed Star Trek fans at the World premier of "Star Trek", who gave the film a five minute standing ovation at the Opera House in Sydney today. Meanwhile flummoxed fans at the Alamo Drafthouse theater in Austin, Texas, deceived into thinking they were seeing a special extended version of Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, were pleasantly surprised when a disguised Leonard Nimoy greeted them and announced they would be seeing the new film in it's entirety.

ILM's influence on the film is reported as visually stunning and lucky Australian fans are scheduled to see the movie first as it opens a day before the American release."
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2008, 10th Warmest year on record.

MrKaos MrKaos writes  |  more than 5 years ago

MrKaos (858439) writes "Whilst cooler than recent years the World Meteorological Organization has listed 2008 the 10th Warmest year on record since records began and a UK Met Office press release titled Global temperature 2008: Another top-ten year. Just in case this horse hasn't been flogged enough looking back just one year the NOAA listed 2007 a Top Ten Warm Year for U.S. and Globe and Science daily citing (in 2007) Top 11 Warmest Years On Record Have All Been In Last 13 Years. Time to sell the beach side house yet?"
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Mining a wealth of your data

MrKaos MrKaos writes  |  more than 5 years ago

MrKaos (858439) writes "An interesting new scientist article about reviews a book 'The Numerati' about the extent and state of data mining and provides some interesting insights. From the article

Data is big business for the numerati. US firm Acxiom keeps shopping and lifestyle data on some 200 million Americans. They know how much we paid for our house, what magazines we subscribe to, which books we buy and what vacations we take. The company purchases just about every bit of data about us that can be bought, and then sells selections of it to anyone out to target us in, say, political campaigns.

How do you know who knows and if they need to know what they know? Now where is my tinfoil hat!"

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Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy

MrKaos MrKaos writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MrKaos (858439) writes "150 year old American investment banking giant Lehman Brothers has filed for bankruptcy. The bank is so large that it's loss is causing gold prices to go up and several agencies are reporting on it's demise and the effect on financial markets around the world. Meanwhile Alan Greenspan describes the current banking crisis as 'possibly the worst in a century — including the 1929 Wall Street Crash.'

Not exactly news for nerds but pretty hard to ignore."
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Western Digital working on 20,000 rpm drive

MrKaos MrKaos writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MrKaos (858439) writes "Western digital seems to be preparing itself for the onslaught of SSD drives affecting it's market by developing a 20,000 rpm hard drive. Similar to the Velociraptor line of drives, the new drives seem to be offering lower capacity as a trade off for higher seek and write times. Looks like the battle lines are drawn for a new series of development in the mass storage front."
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Open Source losing ground with charities

MrKaos MrKaos writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MrKaos (858439) writes "Following recent discussions about Creative Capitalism, Open Source and Charities I found that Open source could do a lot better addressing the needs of charities who do not have the budget to afford the skills of I.T Professionals capable of implementing and maintaining the Open Source solutions that they really need. Is this a job for the various Linux User Groups out there, or is there a better way?

So come on slashdotters, they want our help, they need our help, how can we help?"

Link to Original Source
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DOJ to oversee Windows 7 Development

MrKaos MrKaos writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MrKaos (858439) writes "Windows 7 already is being reviewed by U.S. government technical appointees, under the terms of Microsoft's November 2001 Justice Department settlement and final court judgment issued about a year later, a government-sanctioned "Technical Committee" has overseen Windows development. The TC is responsible for ensuring that Microsoft complies with the terms of the final judgment, investigating complaints about Microsoft abuses and regularly reporting on the company's compliance."
Link to Original Source
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Australia's Music mafIAA finds new targets.

MrKaos MrKaos writes  |  more than 7 years ago

MrKaos (858439) writes "Australia's version of the RIAA, the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia's (PPCA) has found a new target for revenue raising, Clubs and Pubs (Public bars) by increasing royalty rates by %1500. Zeropaid http://www.zeropaid.com/news/8904/Music+Royalties+ for+Aussie+Night+Clubs+and+Dance+Parties+Increases +by+1500%25! reports that new royalty models will be based on capacity and not actual attendance, effectively charging clubs for the people who aren't listening to the music. Could be a good thing if the clubs decide to enlist more live bands."

Journals

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MrKaos MrKaos writes  |  more than 7 years ago Pumping carbon into the atmosphere may not be the cause of Global warming, but it's absolute insanity to beleive we can continue to pump millions of tons of carbon into our atmosphere without consequences. Even if you subscribe to the belief that cyclic changes in the sun, or the earths orbital plane, are the causes of global warming, it's irrelavant - because our, and future generations, will still have to deal with global warming. This can only be achieved by having a sustainable energy infrastructure policy. I note that most of the people in that documentary are old enough so that if they are wrong they won't have to deal with the consequences. Global warming is happening, no matter what the cause, dealing with carbon emmisions are the first step. People may try to ignore the science, but it doesn't change the fact that is is happening.

The carbon emissions of industry that generates energy for society illustrates the much larger issue of externalities. Externalities are the waste and by-products of corporations, and they are not legally obliged to factor these into the cost of production of their goods or services. The cost of these externalities are offset to the community, because in theory, the community should have the resources to deal with the externality. Of course this was before we had corporations with economies the size of countries. Externalities can be anything from the toxic chemicals dumped into a river, the destruction of ecosystems, human rights violations from the abuse of cheap labor in third world countries, nuclear waste and of course carbon emissions from coal fired power plants.

Not factoring these externalities into the cost of producing a good or service reduces the cost. This reduction in cost forces the board of a company to take the lowest cost route available because, by law, the corporation is legally obliged to maximise the financial returns to the shareholder. Even if a board of a corporation agrees that it's is an undesirable course of action, morally wrong or clearly unsustainable environmentally, this fatal flaw in the design of a corporations legal structure prevents even the most environmentally aware directors doing what is right by the earth and ultimatley the human race.

Carbon trading is an attempt to put a cost on the energy industries externality (carbon emissions) so that a cost can be factored into energy production that burns coal. This very focused approach allows the issue of changing the law to force corporations to deal with their externalities, to be avoided. I'm not saying not to apply carbon trading, but this is the very layering of regulation that business complains about. The real issue is how much longer can we continue to destroy the very ecosystem that allows the human race to exist all because we allow this glaringly obvious legal flaw to continue.

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MrKaos MrKaos writes  |  more than 7 years ago I beleive technology is a gift. Thats why I was so interested in computers when I was a kid, and eventually made a living of it. So much to learn, which opens more doors and continues to develop me, I'm constantly amazed, the internet is like a western in cyberspace.

Which brings me to slashdot, innocently I came here thinking this is just a web site where nerdy people talk about nerdy things, but it's more, much more. Over the years I saw it building itself into an insidious massive network of connected human nodes who 'must read slashdot'.

I didn't notice at first, when I started reading in the late nineties, it made an interesting alternative to the newspaper or a magazine, at breakfast, or with a hot beverage. I didn't think it would affect me but soon, it became more noticable, like, you could get by without a coffee or a morning tea, but you would'nt be happy about it.

Then, it happened, the shift was so subtle, like trying to recognise a face you think you know,

'must read slashdot'

Oh, no "I'm addicted" I thought. I never realised how wrong I was, it was far worse than addiction. I start posting, and slowly I realised, "I'm inside a hive mind", but had it seen me? I couldn't look away - not because it was beautiful, more like, looking at a accident in slow motion. But the reality was it is more like some small animal looking at the headlights of a truck, and I'm the small animal. I'd stared too long. I thought "borg", but even the borgs assimilation process seemed quick and merciful compared to the slow roasting over flame I'd seen some nodes recieve on slashdot.

i pray to the great superconciousness it doesn't happen to me....wait.I.was.born.a.

religion not defined

.....

i should get a subscription...resist..arrrrggggghhhhh...

must read slashdot.......nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

we are the slashdot..we.are.the.slashdot

You will be assimilated.i.have.been.assimilated

must read slashdot

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