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Bastardi's Wager

RetroGeek Re:Missed the Issue (672 comments)

So are you doubting the physics of greenhouse gasses, or doubting whether we are dumping greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere?

whether we are dumping greenhouse gasses in sufficient quantities into the atmosphere

And water vapour has a much greater effect on the greenhouse issue. But of course you can't tax water vapour...

So neither and both. I don't think there is enough actual science one way or another. Maybe in another thousand or so years of measurements, and proof that computer models actually can predict the real world.

more than 3 years ago

Bastardi's Wager

RetroGeek Re:Missed the Issue (672 comments)

We know how much carbon man has put into the atmosphere, and we know the physics of how that leads to global warming. The measured increases in global temperature are corroboration that the physics is right.

There is no proof that we are actually having an impact. Yes we dump large amounts of pollutants, and it certainly looks bad when you stand next to a smoke stack, but studies have shown that CO2 rises AFTER the temperature rises, not the other way around. Also, water vapour has a much greater greenhouse effect than CO2.

The real problem is that we have no way to actually test any of this. If would be nice to have a planet that ages at a 100 fold rate so that we can perform experiments. But we only have this one planet to try to form a theory. Try to use the same methodology in ANY other discipline and you would be laughed at.

The measured increases in global temperature are corroboration that the physics is right.

What about the warm period in the middle ages? When it was hotter than now, and Greenland was actually green? Then it got cooler and the Vikings had to leave or starve. Now its getting warmer again.

Yes, yes, the curve is said to be steeper than normal, but what is normal? Historical data is much to vague to nail that down.

BTW, the rhetoric is so prevalent that intelligent discussion is almost impossible. One side calls the other either deniers or alarmists whenever either side tries to question anything.

more than 3 years ago

Bastardi's Wager

RetroGeek Missed the Issue (672 comments)

The Earth gets hotter, the Earth gets cooler.

But do WE have an impact on this variation. That is the question.

more than 3 years ago

RIAA, MPAA Recruit MasterCard As Internet Police

RetroGeek Re:I did my part (421 comments)

That seems like an odd reaction - it's the TV network that sold those ads

I think the network bowed to pressure from some marketing group. And behind them is the company trying to get more exposure.

more than 2 years ago

RIAA, MPAA Recruit MasterCard As Internet Police

RetroGeek Re:I did my part (421 comments)

I dumped everything to do with Mastercard when they started advertising over top of TV programs. Cut up credit cards, moved bank accounts, and so on.

NOTHING more annoying than to be watching a show and some stupid graphic shows up at the bottom of the screen.

And while I am at it, how lame does a show need to be to be continuously advertised at the bottom of the screen. I never watch those either.

more than 2 years ago

Erasing Objects From Video In Real Time

RetroGeek Re:Video evidence? (175 comments)

This is still just 2D.

When 3D becomes common, the s/w will be able to "peek" behind the object, then extrapolate the background.

more than 3 years ago

Kepler Spacecraft Finds System With Multiple Planets Transiting the Star

RetroGeek Re:Exoplanets vs. inter-stellar travel (136 comments)

Hmmm, I am not sure if you are only dangling a hook to see if anyone bites. However...

Nothing wrong with the earth. However it is the only place where humanity exists. If we get hit by an extinction level event (ELE), be it an asteroid, super volcano, or whatever, then that is that. We need to have a plan B. And forget about the moon or Mars. We do not have the know-how to create a self-sufficient environment there or anywhere else. We need a nice friendly planet in the Goldilocks zone.

And destruction is inevitable. An ELE WILL happen. It is just a matter of time. The earth has had a lot of near misses lately, one of which was only discovered after it had passed us. So forget about mounting some faint hope expedition. If you can't see it coming...

about 4 years ago

I'd prefer to allocate my work hours ...

RetroGeek Re:Work? (287 comments)

59 more days, just 59 more....

more than 4 years ago

Who Installs the Most Crapware?

RetroGeek First Actions (583 comments)

First I format the drive.

Then I install an OS copy that I got from Microsoft

Then I install the drivers I d/l from the machine site.

And I make an image (in case the app install fails badly).

I install the basic applications I use.

I make the recovery image.

Once in a while I format the drive and re-image using the recovery image.

more than 4 years ago

NASA Downgrades Asteroid-Earth Collision Risk

RetroGeek Re:four in a million? (244 comments)

Well yes, but "million" sounds more impressive.

more than 4 years ago

Google SideWiki Brings Comments To Everyone

RetroGeek Mandatory Installation (221 comments)

If you own a Web site, then you are forced to install this.

Otherwise how could you know what insightful comments have been posted against your web pages.

And then, of course, you will be tempted to comment on other pages.

Exponential growth!

more than 4 years ago

Why Anonymized Data Isn't

RetroGeek Re:Let's see (280 comments)

Unless someone (including Ohm) pipes up with a plausible means for identifying the original subjects, I call BS on Ohm's "law."

Is EVERYTHING anonymized? Did you leave in real eye colour, hair colour, height, sex and so on? Did you anonymize city names? States?

Enough correlation and you can start matching to real people. I did some similar work, including free form entry fields. For a name of "Prince" which was anonymized to, say, "NAME001" and "Albert" to NAME002", the city name "Prince Albert" became "NAME001 NAME002". A little reading around the free form text and you could equate NAME001 to Prince, then go back through the name column and make the changes. I had to put in an exception list for common phrases (slow as hell).

Any sort of real analysis of information must include real world information. You cannot hide everything. And once you have real information you can start correlation. Do this across enough data and you can find real people and suddenly you know that Joe Blow has cancer and you can reject him for health insurance.

This is not new.

about 5 years ago

Coders At Work

RetroGeek Re:Microserfs (207 comments)

The look of disappointment on the faces of the major news anchors was priceless and underscored their severe lack of understanding of technology.

It was if someone had said that a bridge needs repairs (the experts can see the rot), the billions were spent fixing the bridge and when the first person crossed the bridge it did not collapse. Then they whine that there is no sensational story, that the bridge would not have fallen anyway and why was the money spent, what a waste?

I hate news people. I find them shallow, news bite hunting morons.

about 5 years ago

IBM Patents Tweeting Remote Control

RetroGeek Re:Chicks Twitter (282 comments)

I believe your headline should have been "Chicks Tweet".

So in Britain they would be known as "Tweety Birds"?

about 5 years ago

Can Unmanned Aircraft Mix With Commercial Planes?

RetroGeek Re:The end of private aviation (203 comments)

For the first generation or so.

Then it will be put on a single chip and mass produced. Look at cell phones. The first ones used discrete circuits and were big and heavy.

more than 5 years ago

Sensor To Monitor TV Watchers Demoed At Cable Labs

RetroGeek Re:Revolution (302 comments)

Just need some moral outrage from some news (um entertainment) channel, some mother wailing about "child privacy", and a politician needing exposure.

Rinse, lather, repeat...

more than 5 years ago

Sensor To Monitor TV Watchers Demoed At Cable Labs

RetroGeek Re:duct tape (302 comments)

And then the box detects its 'blind' and refuses to run your movie

At which point I return the box/tv set, yell at the salesperson, and behave badly.

This is like the Panasonic patent which blocks channel changing during commercials. Some *AA exec is wetting his pants, but the public WILL NOT put up with this.

This kind of intrusion is a revolution just waiting to happen, sheeple or not.

more than 5 years ago



The web is NOT a magazine!

RetroGeek RetroGeek writes  |  about 6 years ago

RetroGeek (206522) writes "And another Web site buys into the magazine look. The Register has just changed its look from a full page display to a narrow centered display. This seems to be happening more and more. I try to fight this as much as I can. Some hotshot designer comes along and sells a magazine look to a PHB, then I need to counter it by showing how changing the font size on the browser completely breaks the display, and how stupid it looks on a wide aspect screen (I use 28" 1900x1600 screen. You get a LOT of white space in a magazine look web site. It looks really silly). So my question is, how often do you run into this, and how successful have you been in countering it? Or do you?"

A Tale of Data Shaping (AKA Global Warming)

RetroGeek RetroGeek writes  |  more than 6 years ago

RetroGeek (206522) writes "Is NASA fudging the temperature numbers? For the last few years the global temperature gradient has been reported as rising therefore leading to cries that man is responsible for greatly affecting global temperatures. These reports are based on the numbers which NASA is giving out. However it seems that NASA has been "adjusting" the numbers as reported by The Register. And to really stir up the conspiracy theories: "Dr. James Hansen at GISS is the person in charge of the NASA temperature data. He is also the world's leading advocate of the idea of catastrophic global warming, and is Al Gore's primary climate advisor.""

Wireless PC to Component Inputs

RetroGeek RetroGeek writes  |  more than 6 years ago

RetroGeek (206522) writes "I have a Dell laptop with a specialized S-Video connector, with a dongle which converts the S-Video to component RGB. I have made up a cable which takes the RGB (plus analog audio) and connects it to my large screen TV. The quality is amazing. But, I have this large cable running through the room. I am looking for a wireless connection which will connect via RGB + R/L Audio. Ideally the PC side will be quite small, so I can velcro it to the laptop cover, maybe getting its power via a USB port. Has anyone heard of such a device? Google is silent (or else I am not using the right search terms)."

The day the music died (or NOT?)

RetroGeek RetroGeek writes  |  more than 7 years ago

RetroGeek (206522) writes ""On March 2, 2007 the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), which oversees sound recording royalties paid by Internet radio services, increased Internet radio's royalty burden between 300 and 1200 percent and thereby jeopardized the industry's future." And this was at the behest of the RIAA. From the wbesite: "CALL YOUR SENATORS AND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE NOW TO ASK THEM TO CO-SPONSOR THE INTERNET RADIO EQUALITY ACT, S. 1353 IN THE SENATE AND H.R. 2060 IN THE HOUSE!". So all you Slashdotters in the US of A, go to The SaveNetRadio Coalition, follow the links, and contact your representative."

RetroGeek RetroGeek writes  |  more than 7 years ago

RetroGeek (206522) writes "The new daylight shift is coming up and I decided to get the adjustment update for my computer running Windows XP. I went to the Update site via Internet Explorer. And up pops this message that I cannot get updates because automatic updates is not enabled. Huh? I cannot do manual updates because automatic updates are off? So how do I now update Windows XP with service packs and critical updates? Because I do NOT want viral updates installed automatically behind my back."

RetroGeek RetroGeek writes  |  about 8 years ago

RetroGeek writes "Aries — March 21 — April 20
Taurus — April 21 — May 21
Gemini — May 22 — June 21
Cancer — June 22 — July 22
Leo — July 23 — August 21
Virgo — August 22 — September 23
Libra — September 24 — October 23
Scorpio — October 24 — November 22
Sagittarius — November 23 — December 22
Capricorn — December 23 — January 20
Aquarius — January 21 — February 19
Pisces — February 20 — March 20"

RetroGeek RetroGeek writes  |  more than 8 years ago

RetroGeek writes "Recently the USA decided to change when the Standard Time/Daylight Savings Time (ST/DST) occurs. Following the USA lead, several provinces in Canada have also decided to make the same changes. Other than confusing some people, this also has some serious technical issues:
  1. Windows (versions from 98 to XP) — These versions of Windows have a setting which automatically adjust the computer clock for ST/DST. While Windows XP will probably have a patch issued by Microsoft, earlier versions will probably not. So all the computers running an older version of Windows will have their clocks reset on the wrong dates. While someone will quite likely hack the .dll which does the change, how do we trust that the changed .dll does not contain a Trojan, and how will a legitimate version be distributed to non-technical people?
  2. International/ Nationally aware databases — I store all my dates and times in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). I then adjust the date/time to the user's local timezone. This means that the timezone libraries I use will be out of date. No doubt that Sun will alter the TimeZone Java object, but I need to make the change in every database application I have ever written. Ditto for other developers
  3. Firmware — Any device which uses a date/time to alter its behaviour, and automatically adjusts the ST/DST, will be affected. This potentially includes elevators, time cards (hey you are an hour late!), fax machines, etc. This also includes consumer electronics. I have a VCR which adjusts the ST/DST. Who will issue a firmware upgrade, and how would you apply it anyway? Replace the soldered on BIOS chip?
So my question is: have you or your company even looked at this issue?"


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