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The Specter of Gasoline At $5 a Gallon

ScientiaPotentiaEst Re:Inflation (1205 comments)

I wish I could give you a +ve vote (none available to me at the moment). I've had this kind of runaround on Slashdot too (see here and here). The education level of the Slashdot crowd must be higher than average. If so, the quality of fiscal and economic education in the schools must be correspondingly abysmal.

Just as a side note: at the time of my Slashdot discussion (see links), gold was around $1350/Toz. It is now, 13 months later, around $1700/Toz. The gold isn't that much more "valuable". The $US is that much less valuable (along with other currencies).

more than 2 years ago
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Man Accused of Selling US Military Drones On EBay

ScientiaPotentiaEst Re:Perhaps tangential, but a worry nevertheless... (182 comments)

What is the absurdity of the fear that a model airplane that can fly thousands of miles by itself could be used to deliver something hazardous?

It is akin to worrying about general aviation (all those "uncontrolled" airplanes in the sky - in the hands of terrorists, etc.) while ignoring the proverbial elephant in the room - Ryder trucks. Only more so.

Further, as has been demonstrated repeatedly, a car bomb is a horrifyingly effective terrorist weapon (cheap, fast, inconspicuous, readily available, large payload). As an example, the use of just one such device ended up with US forces leaving Beirut.

Thus far, no model airplanes have been used in any terrorist attack (long distance or otherwise). If we are to worry about model airplane terrorist attacks, then we are no longer able to prioritize and are fearful to the point of collapse.

more than 3 years ago
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Man Accused of Selling US Military Drones On EBay

ScientiaPotentiaEst Re:Perhaps tangential, but a worry nevertheless... (182 comments)

In form, yes. But I have seen repeatedly model aircraft designers using techniques & technology that only sometime later appeared (publicly, at least) on military UAVs. Also, only relatively recently have military UAVs become so small - falling into the realm of model aircraft. And now that the difference is blurring, at what point will a model airplane be considered an ITAR "munition"?

more than 3 years ago
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Man Accused of Selling US Military Drones On EBay

ScientiaPotentiaEst Perhaps tangential, but a worry nevertheless... (182 comments)

... these UAVs are becoming more and more like amateur model aircraft. In this current climate (fear, terror, control), I believe the model aircraft crowd are therefore likely to be increasingly regulated. It has happened already to the high power rocketry crowd (they pushed back - with some limited success).

An anecdote: a few years ago, a group flew a model airplane across the Atlantic (link). I found this quite interesting and told a few friends. One reacted with horror, postulating that terrorists would be able to use such a thing to deliver all sorts of nasty. No counterargument convinced him of the absurdity of his fear.

more than 3 years ago
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Happy 80th Birthday, William Shatner!

ScientiaPotentiaEst Re:OK, maybe I'm a bit grumpy today. (226 comments)

Assuming you don't mean in person, a quick youtube search revealed this (among others):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqzbnSymE2w

more than 3 years ago
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Happy 80th Birthday, William Shatner!

ScientiaPotentiaEst Re:OK, maybe I'm a bit grumpy today. (226 comments)

I was comparing the attention space opera related articles receive with that garnered by real space related articles. The latter typically receive far fewer comments.

more than 3 years ago
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Happy 80th Birthday, William Shatner!

ScientiaPotentiaEst Re:OK, maybe I'm a bit grumpy today. (226 comments)

Aren't Yuri Gagarin and Neil Armstrong more inspiring? To bring it even closer to this crowd, how about John Carmack? He's working his way up from first principles - developing real hardware. It surprises me that the technical people ostensibly filling this discussion site are apparently more interested in wildly inaccurate space opera.

more than 3 years ago
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Happy 80th Birthday, William Shatner!

ScientiaPotentiaEst Re:OK, maybe I'm a bit grumpy today. (226 comments)

Good thing you posted as an AC. If the initial response to my post is any measure, your "blasphemy" would result in crucifixion. :-)

more than 3 years ago
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Happy 80th Birthday, William Shatner!

ScientiaPotentiaEst Re:OK, maybe I'm a bit grumpy today. (226 comments)

Interesting. It appears to be akin to a religious issue for you (assuming you are really that upset with me).

more than 3 years ago
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Happy 80th Birthday, William Shatner!

ScientiaPotentiaEst OK, maybe I'm a bit grumpy today. (226 comments)

Why is it every time there's an article posted in connection with some soap opera in space, so many /. denizens are all over it with 100's of posts. Yet whenever there's an article on the real thing (space probes, man in space, deep space observation, etc.), either there are only a few tens of posts (many frivolous), and/or there's actual opposition (waste of money, rich bastards in space, etc.).

Fun and entertaining as he is (and indeed, happy birthday to the man), Shatner is an actor. Neil Armstrong, Wernher von Braun, Burt Rutan, Carl Sagan are/were the real deal - scientists, engineers, astronauts.

Of course, I might be jumping the gun. Perhaps this article will garner few posts.

Why is my karma going up in smoke? :-)

more than 3 years ago
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Amazon Stymies Lendle E-book Lending Service

ScientiaPotentiaEst One more reason why... (237 comments)

... I don't like eBooks. There is no problem with APIs, DRM, ravenous megacorps, etc. when lending a paper book to someone. There is no lending fee and the loan event is not recorded.

As eBook development ascends the experience/technology curve (robustness, display quality, etc.), such devices could become a realistic alternative. But all this tethering and associated DRM kill the idea stone dead for me.

more than 3 years ago
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King Wants To Sell Out Ham Radio

ScientiaPotentiaEst Re:You'll miss them in a disaster (309 comments)

While I agree with you, I think you missed the parent poster's joke. Of course, that makes the non-trivial assumption I understand the joke.

more than 3 years ago
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Scientists Cleared of Misusing Global Warming Data

ScientiaPotentiaEst Re:No Surprise (541 comments)

Meaning yourself, right? You're just smarter than the vast majority of climate scientists -- and that's a reasonable position. Good for you.

Instead of appealing to authority, just read the emails. Then come back and tell me you'd accept that kind of behavior from someone in, say, the medical research field.

more than 3 years ago
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Scientists Cleared of Misusing Global Warming Data

ScientiaPotentiaEst Re:No Surprise (541 comments)

And there's no "huge political agenda" opposing global warming?

Yes, of course there is. But that doesn't change the fact. Just read the emails. The manipulation is obvious. A real scientist would not talk of hiding and deleting data.

more than 3 years ago
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Scientists Cleared of Misusing Global Warming Data

ScientiaPotentiaEst No Surprise (541 comments)

Had the exposed emails I read been from scientists working in some other discipline, I think there'd be no doubt cast on the accusations of manipulation. I suspect that the huge political and financial agenda behind the so called global warming movement (political control, taxation and the sale of carbon credits) is whitewashing what any reasonable person can read as blatant manipulation of data.

more than 3 years ago
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Goodbye, HD Component Video

ScientiaPotentiaEst Re:The only people they're stopping... (469 comments)

Forgive me, but perhaps the problem here is not so much the extortionist crap the media distributors, etc. are foisting on people. Perhaps the problem is more that rather than tell them to go to hell, you'd accept it by paying an additional $500 (not to mention the effort you seem to have expended). Is it really that important to watch TV?

more than 3 years ago
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Scientists Invent World's First Anti-Laser

ScientiaPotentiaEst OK - so I RTFA... (241 comments)

... yet I can't help thinking that it's akin to the classic black body. Light hits it and is absorbed. I assume the energy is re-emitted from said anti-laser in the form of heat or some-such.

No doubt there's more to it than this. But TFA isn't clear.

more than 3 years ago
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E-Book Lending Stands Up To Corporate Mongering

ScientiaPotentiaEst For short-term business related material... (259 comments)

... maybe I can see the point. But for long term reference material or for books I value, there's no way I'm going to use any of the eBooks. Sure, they're portable. But they come with more points of failure that can prevent the contained books from being read. Also, the text isn't (yet) so clear and sharp as ink on paper.

But even were there no technical issues, the DRM makes it a non-starter for me. I've had /.ers beat me up about my opinion on this subject. Still, it doesn't fix the "rub". When the distributors can reach out and remove books remotely (as Amazon has already done), or restrict what one can do with them, or charge for lending, or provide no mechanism to buy anonymously, etc, I'm just not interested.

PS: if you tell me that the distributors promise not to delete books remotely again, you are then telling me that you trust large corporations to keep their word.

more than 3 years ago
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Four Outrages Techies Need To Know About the State of the Union

ScientiaPotentiaEst Re:A modest proposal (489 comments)

Secondly, SS is just fine. It's running a surplus and can pay full benefits for the next 27 years.

Actually not. SS is now entering the phase where more is being drawn than being contributed (somewhat ahead of schedule - http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TRSUM/index.html). Further, there is no surplus - there hasn't been for many years. Federal law prohibits it ( http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/51264.pdf). Any surplus must by law be rolled into the general fund (referred to in the document as "borrowing from the Social Security trust fund"). Given that the federal government is currently in debt to the tune of approximately $14Trillion, there is no actual SS money accumulated anywhere.

The situation is dire. Not only is the debt not being reduced, but the deficit is accelerating. Extra taxes aren't going to cover it (they'll probably make the situation worse). Medicare/Medicaid are in even worse shape - and the prior administration made that worse still by signing into law the Medicare Drug Prescription Act.

Bleak indeed.

more than 3 years ago
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I'd rather my paycheck be denominated in ...

ScientiaPotentiaEst Re:Obvious Missing - GOLD (868 comments)

Zimbabwean dollars became worth less because a great many more of them were printed (and added to computer databases - which is trivially easy to do), thereby diluting their value. Another way of viewing it is that the intrinsic value of Zimbabwe was divided through more pieces of paper (or database entries). Generally speaking, once it becomes clear that the dilution process is underway, people look to put their worth elsewhere. This can accelerate the process.

By comparison, producing another Troy ounce of gold is extremely difficult. This is a simple statement of fact. Because of this (and its rarity and durability), people tend to move toward gold in times of stress.

If you claim gold's value has "changed very little" then you must also be claiming that virtually every other commodity has reduced in value by about 4 times, since a given quantity of gold can now be traded for about 4 times as much of other commodities then before.

I make no such claim - and your assertion is wrong. Commodities that have not benefitted from technological advances in extraction/production have not changed in value much relative to gold. Elsewhere in this thread I posted a graph of the gold/oil ratio over the past few decades. You'll see that the ratio fluctuates around a value of about 15. Compare that to the dollar/oil and/or dollar/gold ratio - especially after the closing of the gold window. This is but one example. You can find others.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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FDA Bans Sale of Primatene Mist Spray

ScientiaPotentiaEst ScientiaPotentiaEst writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ScientiaPotentiaEst (1635927) writes "The only over-the-counter asthma inhaler sold in the United States soon will be banned from store shelves because of environmental concerns, and replacement medications may cost more, the U.S. Food and Drug administration acknowledged.

According to the FDA news release, replacement medicines for Primatene Mist may cost more."

Link to Original Source
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Wikileaks Reveals US Climate Accord Manipulation

ScientiaPotentiaEst ScientiaPotentiaEst writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ScientiaPotentiaEst (1635927) writes "Embassy dispatches show America used spying, threats and promises of aid to get support for Copenhagen accord. The US mounted a secret global diplomatic offensive to overwhelm opposition to the unofficial document that emerged from the ruins of the Copenhagen climate change summit in 2009."
Link to Original Source
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UK govt. to track all email, web visits & phon

ScientiaPotentiaEst ScientiaPotentiaEst writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ScientiaPotentiaEst (1635927) writes "Every email, phone call and website visit is to be recorded and stored after the Coalition Government revived controversial Big Brother snooping plans. It will allow security services and the police to spy on the activities of every Briton who uses a phone or the Internet. Moves to make every communications provider store details for at least a year will be unveiled later this year sparking fresh fears over a return of the surveillance state."
Link to Original Source
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Climate Scientists Broke Law when Hiding Data

ScientiaPotentiaEst ScientiaPotentiaEst writes  |  more than 4 years ago

ScientiaPotentiaEst (1635927) writes "The university at the center of the climate change scandal over stolen e-mails broke the law by refusing to hand over its raw data for public scrutiny. The University of East Anglia breached the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to comply with requests for data concerning claims by its scientists that man-made emissions were causing global warming."
Link to Original Source

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