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Deported Russian (Spy?) Worked At Microsoft

RML Re:Derp (162 comments)

That didn't stop Gerald Ford.

more than 4 years ago
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Ubisoft's New DRM Cracked In One Day

RML Re:You're all dicks (678 comments)

Customers... Oh, too bad there are no customers because everyone stole the game.

You are assuming that no one would buy a game unless forced to by DRM... which must mean that you yourself wouldn't buy a game unless forced to by DRM.

Speak for yourself, pirate.

more than 4 years ago
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A Warming Planet Can Mean More Snow

RML Re:Science or Religion? (1136 comments)

This rules out any testable/falsifiable hypothesis and hence scientific-ness of the theory. In a few decades, another "expert" will come along who will spout forth his own untestable hypothesis.

I'm sure the geologists will love to hear that what they're doing isn't science. After all, they deal with stuff that happens over millions or even billions of years.

But just not enough randomness not to spend trillions of dollars in preventing global warming?

It really depends on how much you care what the planet is going to be like in 50 or 100 years or longer.

more than 4 years ago
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A Warming Planet Can Mean More Snow

RML Re:The time for debate is over... (1136 comments)

Imagine I have a coin that I know from past experience is double-headed; it comes up heads 100% of the time. If I only consider my most recent flip, that's not enough data to prove that it was weighted for that flip. That doesn't mean it wasn't weighted for that flip. Of course it was weighted for that flip, it's weighted for every flip. But I didn't consider enough flips to prove it.

In an analogous way, considering the data since 1995 is not enough to prove that the earth has been warming. That doesn't mean the earth hasn't been warming since 1995, it means that you're not considering enough of the data.

more than 4 years ago
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A Warming Planet Can Mean More Snow

RML Re:Science or Religion? (1136 comments)

No, it sounds like he has said there is no warming trend in the past 14 or 15 years. "Almost significant" means "not significant." Nor is p = 0.05 exactly a stellar level of certainty. Physicists like things at the three sigma level, for the most part.

We're talking about predicted warming rates of a fraction of a degree per decade. The atmosphere is not a uniform temperature bath, and there's a lot of reasons why temperature can go up and down independent of global warming - the data is very noisy compared to the predicted warming in a decade and a half. I don't know why the interviewer picked 1995 as the start year but all the answer really means is that 14 or 15 years is not a large enough sample period.

more than 4 years ago
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A Warming Planet Can Mean More Snow

RML Re:Science or Religion? (1136 comments)

The actual climatologists have generally been pretty careful about not making predictions they can't support. It's the politicians and activists who have been running around making predictions that then don't come true. Anyone who says that global warming will do anything specific on a time scale of less than decades is probably not a climatologist.

It's true that there's no single observation that would falsify global warming in general. There's too much randomness in the weather to get anything useful from single observations; we're talking about predicted changes of a few hundredths of a degree a year, against much larger background fluctuations. Fortunately we have a hundred years or so of data which appears to trend upwards. If there were a few decades of new data which didn't have a clear warming trend, that might put a dent in the theory - although that would likely mean that there was some other effect buffering it, not that carbon dioxide isn't a greenhouse gas. (If you don't believe in greenhouse gasses, I have some wonderful oceanfront real estate on Venus to sell you.)

more than 4 years ago
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A Warming Planet Can Mean More Snow

RML Re:Science or Religion? (1136 comments)

I'd hardly qualify myself as a True Believer here, but what it would take for me to reconsider would be a whole bunch of climatologists saying that global warming isn't happening. I can't say exactly what would make the climatologists change their minds, but it would probably involve computer models.

more than 4 years ago
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Southwest Declares Kevin Smith Too Fat To Fly

RML Re:awesome! (940 comments)

A 5'3", 170 lb (BMI=30) person like this is not going to spill into your seat. For airline seat purposes straight weight is probably a better indicator than BMI.

more than 4 years ago
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Is OpenOffice.org a Threat? Microsoft Thinks So

RML It's not about for or against "Open Source" (467 comments)

Microsoft's strategy for interacting with Open Source seems to be settling into the pattern of treating it like any other software. Instead of being pro-"Open Source" or anti-"Open Source" their reaction depends on the specific project.

Software that interoperates with, extends, runs on, or otherwise boosts Microsoft products: Good.
Software that replaces or competes with Microsoft products: Bad.

So, it would make perfect sense to Microsoft for them to try to lure open source projects built on top of OpenOffice.org, like plugins or whatever, to switch to building on Microsoft Office instead.

more than 4 years ago
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MS Pulls Windows 7 Tool After GPL Violation Claim

RML Re:So, this is about as damning as you get, isn't (186 comments)

Yes you are obligated to do such a thing, and if you don't comply you can be dragged to court where you could be sentenced to pay for copyright infringement.

Exactly: not complying, getting dragged to court, and paying is an option. You're not obligated to open the source, you can just suffer the consequences of copyright violation instead.

more than 5 years ago
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Researcher Trolls MMO, Surprised When Players Hate Him

RML Re:He has no idea what he's playing (895 comments)

I agree that that's not nice. But - this is the key point - he is winning the zone for his team. His actions contribute to fulfilling his objective within the game, and they are legal by the rules of the game.

It sounds to me that the entire purpose of the PVP zones is to have PVP fights, and people who aren't there to fight or interact with enemy players are abusing them for something contrary to the designer's intent. If someone comes along and does something mean to them, that's their fault for being in the PVP zone. If the designers wanted to provide a place where you can get the increased experience without the risk of having someone kill you they would just add it!

more than 5 years ago
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Why are oil prices dropping?

RML Re:Demand (588 comments)

You're confusing speculation on futures contracts with speculation on actual items.

Take the case of tulips. Speculators buy physical tulip bulbs and hoard them, driving the price up, causing more people to buy tulip bulbs, etc.

The same thing happened in the housing market - people were buying houses, not to use or rent them, but just to resell them later.

For that to happen in oil, speculators would have to actually buy oil and sit on it waiting for prices to go up. But for the most part, the speculators never actually touched a drop of oil. They bought futures contracts, and resold them before they came due. They weren't actually taking the oil off the market, so they couldn't cause a bubble.

more than 6 years ago

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