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Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

Tailhook Wait (144 comments)

Folks here have been saying that the "hiatus" is a denier hoax. But now it's real, AND we understand it!

4 hours ago

Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical

Tailhook Re:No data, so choose your favorite villain (287 comments)

Christians. They're cooking some weird god food or storing CCl4 for the second coming or something.

It's got to be them.

If not them then it's the Joos. Israel is trying to burn off the ozone layer. Again.


<sarcasm you dolts/>


Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

Tailhook LOL (482 comments)

This has been going on for months and months. I wondered how long it would take Slashdot to finally surface it.

This is Brightsource in Mohave. Feinstein et. al. held it up for years to protect turtles that were supposedly endangered.

Now it's frying birds. Certain species could be wiped out because they happen to inhabit the area.

This is the no. 1 best contemporary example of exactly why renewables will never displace more than a trivially small fraction of electric supply in the Western world; land use and its effects on ecology. Every form of wind or solar consume vast amounts of land, permanently altering the ecology of the region. Whether it's the "wind farm [that] imperils rare grass" (no, really — rare grass) or desert birds igniting in mid-air, the same greens that demand renewables will insure its failure.

Windandsolar is a pipe dream.

Hey, mdsolar ... you there man? Why you want to kill all the birds man? Quick! Go find a scary Fukushima leak story and post it!

Go ahead, pick "troll" or whatever. I have karma for the ages.

2 days ago

Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

Tailhook Basis? (467 comments)

From the story:

Research shows that sticking to the speed limit when other cars are going much faster actually can be dangerous, Dolgov says, so its autonomous car can go up to 10 mph (16 kph) above the speed limit when traffic conditions warrant.

Anyone know what "research" Dolgov is referring to? It's always been self evident to me that a car travelling slower than the flow of speeding traffic is a danger, but actual evidence would be nice.

Not that it matters. We don't really prioritize safety. We pay lip service to safety and then pursue other agenda. If safety was our first priority small cars wouldn't be allowed on roads; mortality and injury severity is substantially higher for light vehicles. And no, it's not because SUVs are slaughtering Prius owners. It's physics; all else being equal a small, light vehicle will more often kill or more severely injure you in a crash.

2 days ago

Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

Tailhook Munich Schmunich (569 comments)

Please, stop posting blather about Munich adopting Linux. This drama has been going on for years and years and I'm tired of it. There are stories going back past 2004; "City of Munich Freezes Its Linux Migration", "Munich to Go Ahead with Linux After All", blah blah blah.

Munich uses Linux to pressure Microsoft for better deals, which is just fine, but not interesting to me or most of the rest of us I imagine. Linux is not some struggling underdog begging for attention. So much computing today is Linux, from super computers to $90 smartphones, set tops, huge cloud infrastructures, corporate data centers, weapons systems, etc. — what Munich's government clerks happen to use to print emails or whatever just doesn't matter anymore, if it ever did, and I don't care either way.

3 days ago

Delays For SC Nuclear Plant Put Pressure On the Industry

Tailhook Re:Just red tape? (140 comments)

The links provided in the story are the usual, information free sort one expects from mdsolar as he plies his anti-nook trade around Slashdot. There are better news stories written about this and the bottom line is a subcontractor is falling behind making "submodules." This story from yesterday points the finger at Chicago Bridge & Iron in Louisiana, and this story actually provides a little detail about the submodules that CB&I are trying to make. The builders are moving some of this work to other facilities and contractors because of CB&I failures. Another story a year ago also names CB&I as the culprit for delays.

So it's a manufacturing problem and not a regulator hold up. Manufacturing problems are solvable (we've built stuff like this many times) and not as appealing to mdsolar as a nasty regulatory tangle, so he deliberately avoided stories with specifics.

5 days ago

Involuntary Eye Movement May Provide Definitive Diagnosis of ADHD

Tailhook Re:100 percent bullshit (199 comments)

What do you propose we do for kids who do not fit the standard model and are therefore thrown to the wolves without pharmaceutical help?

Does your question have as a premise that all those treated are supposed to be treated? I think it does and I don't believe that, so I wont address your question. I believe most shouldn't be treated because their behavior isn't wrong; it just fails to fit well into a badly distorted culture. So if you accept my premise of widespread over medication we're left with these alternatives; stop the abuse of drugs and let the wolves, as you say, have them or continue this sick spiral of pseudoscience and physco-engineering until we have secured our Stepford future.

There was an important word used above; "most." Most being "treated" today shouldn't. That means "some" should. Some, however, should not mean little Johnny spends his teens and early adulthood on medical grade speed because he got in a fist fight at eight and the libtard, kumbaya world view that runs everything involving children can't tolerate it.

about a week ago

How California's Carbon Market Actually Works

Tailhook La la land (97 comments)

CA makes fantasy laws that have to be papered over when the dates arrive. News at 11.

The ZEV (zero emissions vehicles) mandates they've been backpedaling on for twenty years are another fine example. Physics and CA voters frequently do not agree on reality. When that happens physics wins. Every time.

about a week ago

Involuntary Eye Movement May Provide Definitive Diagnosis of ADHD

Tailhook Re:100 percent bullshit (199 comments)

He was right except for the part about "interactions with technology." We've built up some sort of model kid and heavily medicate those that fail to follow the model closely. That model kid happens to be highly risk adverse, entirely compatible with quiet suburban life and profoundly concerned with the sensitivities of its elders, their jet set lifestyles and half dozen credit lines. It's got little to do with stimulating boxes and everything to do with shoehorning kids into compliant slots in their parents world.

His skepticism of this supposed new diagnostic method is spot on. This is pseudo-science used to rationalize drugging people that don't fit the model, employ vast numbers of highly paid specialists and sink wealth into "health care."

about a week ago

The Flight of Gifted Engineers From NASA

Tailhook Re:Another sign NASA is circling the drain ... (160 comments)

the Air Traffic Controllers are all Government employees

You mean the ones that tried to go on strike and we fired en masse to reign in their union demands?

Because if that is the policy you're advocating then I think you and the GP might have found some common ground.

about a week ago

Interviews: Ask Bjarne Stroustrup About Programming and C++

Tailhook Re:Is the complexity of C++ a practical joke? (425 comments)

C# pioneered lambda's.

Ridicule of this has not been sufficient.

Your geek cred has been zeroed. Please turn in your membership card and leave the premises.

Before you go, please note that JavaScript, almost 10 years older than C#, has had lambdas from day one, and I don't believe any other language that has done more to expose the common programmer to lambdas. Eich took some if his design inspiration from Scheme, in which lambdas are central. Scheme, a LISP dialect, goes back to the mid seventies, perhaps before you were born.

C# is a fine Microsoft language, but it had nothing to do with pioneering lambda.

And the index you cite is a laugh. It had Apple's brand new Swift language floating around in the type 10 last month, gone this month. Search engine query frequency is not a terribly meaningful measure. All it means is that those interested in a given language have done a lot of searches, and that fluctuates with events such as press releases.

Over here is a little more comprehensive study of programming language popularity. As you can see, C/C++ give up nothing to C#. Not a damn thing.

about a week ago

California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

Tailhook Re:It's just a battery factory (327 comments)

OMG you ignorant fuck. Tesla batteries are made of wonderful shit like Nickel. A fire in such a plant could loft heinous amounts of contaminates which would promptly precipitate out in the vicinity downwind of the plant.

Do you want cancer with that battery?
January 19, 2014

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy undertook a study to look at the environmental impact of lithium-ion batteries for EVs. The study showed that batteries that use cathodes with nickel and cobalt, as well as solvent-based electrode processing, have the highest potential for environmental impacts, including resource depletion, global warming, ecological toxicity, and human health. The largest contributing processes include those associated with the production, processing, and use of cobalt and nickel metal compounds, which may cause adverse respiratory, pulmonary, and neurological effects in those exposed.

This is what CA is throwing it's precious regs under the bus for; it's politically correct industrial golden boy.

You know what the worst part of all this happy horseshit is? At the end of the day all we're really doing is off-shoring our impact. The elements that Tesla is going to need to feed this "giga" factory are going to come from Africa and Asia, far beyond the reach of EPA, DOE, OHSA, NLRB and the rest of the gang;

Tesla’s Gigafactory: Needs 6 new graphite mines, but where will cobalt be sourced?

Nickel refining is particularly heinous. It's worse for the environment than copper mining and refining. Downwind of a third world nickel mine or refinery is a dead zone. That's why we won't tolerate it near ourselves anymore.

And yeah, doesn't this story just put the lie right to the Left when they argue how environmentalism and economy aren't in conflict. And what happened to Tesla here? Playing one state off against another for regulatory wavers? Tsk tsk.

All these regs and legislated morality have a price. It really does. I'm sorry about that. A magic fairy wand would be nice, but we don't have one. Get that through your la-la land head and grow up a little.

about a week ago

Why the Public Library Beats Amazon

Tailhook Amazon (165 comments)

I've been purchasing used books on history, politics and science from Amazon for almost the cost of shipping, which is close to or less than the cost of the fuel it would have taken for the two round trips to the library, and it takes a lot less of my time. Funny thing is, about half of these have library card sleeves. These books sat unread in libraries (you know, the places that supposedly have "content you want to read") for decades almost untouched (based on the condition I find them and the empty cards I find in said sleeves) until the libraries sell them off to make room for more new books almost no one will read. Here are a few from 2013;

(shipping included with these prices.)
Nuclear disaster in the Urals, Zhores A Medvedev, $6.98
The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin's Russia, hardcover, Tim Tzouliadis, $6.78
Red Atom: Russia's Nuclear Power Program from Stalin to Today, Paul Josephson, $4.94
The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict Over Creativity, Enterprise, and Progress, Virginia Postrel, $4.00
Behind the Facade of Stalin's Command Economy: Evidence from the Soviet State and Party Archives, Paul R. Gregory, $5.36
The Legacy of Chernobyl, Zhores A Medvedev, $4.49. (got 2x for some reason; gave one to a co-worker.)

I could go on all day as I've been reading this sort of stuff from Amazon for going on ten years now. Most of these are hard covers in excellent condition.

The truth is libraries are dead to me as a source of reading material. I can't afford the time or fuel it takes to frequent them, and they simply can't host the selection I demand, which is why they purge themselves of their stock using Amazon. Right or wrong that's how it is.

about a week ago

Getting IT Talent In Government Will Take Culture Change, Says Google Engineer

Tailhook Re:It's more than the tie (165 comments)

It's the rules, the bureaucracy and the paperwork

Don't forget the corruption.

As we've learned from multiple agencies that flaunt records keeping laws by deliberately employing systems that are incapable of meeting statutory requirements, the motives of these people are criminal. As an IT person you `will' or `will not' based on their perogatives, legal or otherwise. If they want a twenty year old email system maintained because an upgrade would mean their traffic is recoverable after six months, you're going to find yourself maintaining an ancient POS and ignored (at best) anytime you point it out.

If they want a massive, possibly illegally obtained or misused database analyzed for extra scrutiny of political opponents you get to help them abuse power. And you'll keep your mouth shut about it too, or they'll put you and your stapler in the basement.

about two weeks ago

Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

Tailhook Re:I don't get it. (538 comments)

Geneticists admit that physical appearance varies thanks to mutations and variations in the expression of the genome, so why is intellectual variability so verboten?

Exactly two stories before this one we learn from Nature Communications, a bimonthly peer-reviewed scientific journal; "approximately half of the children's math and reading ability stemmed from their genetic makeup."

The problem isn't that intellectual variability due to genetics is verboten. The problem is that certain people must not be permitted to extrapolate awkward conclusions from these results. If, however, one were to write that Caucasians are, say, genetically predisposed to ruin the environment, subjugate non-Caucasians as slaves, engage in industrial warfare, eat too much meat or any of a number of politically acceptable assertions, that would be just fine.

about two weeks ago

Russia Cracks Down On Public Wi-Fi; Oracle Blocks Java Downloads In Russia

Tailhook Re:You know what? Screw them. (254 comments)

their population loves the actions their leaders

There you go. Mod the parent up.

The parent perhaps goes too far in dismissing Russia's standing in the world since '91; there has been a huge flow of capital from the West into Russia to fund heavy industry beyond the reach of Western regulatory burdens and this has stimulated rapid economic growth and a resurgence in Russian military capability, including new design ICBM deployments.

But the parent is absolutely correct about the Russian people and the leaders they empower. Russians are once again indulging a cult of personality in Putin. I know there are many Russians in IT and geekery that will say I'm all wrong because that's not what they would have, but the fact is that the majority of Russians are thrilled by their bare chested father figure, sop up every morsel of the propaganda they're being fed and have kept him in power long enough to cement his place as Russia's latest autocrat.

Russia; publicly cultivate your masculinity and say bad things about America and you too can install yourself for life.

about two weeks ago

Paint Dust Covers the Upper Layer of the World's Oceans

Tailhook Re: slowly (141 comments)

Take every news story with some skepticism.

They can't. They've been inculcated with the "silent spring" narrative since birth and they indulge the fears and hates with which they've been trained. Stories and reporting that fit the narrative are given the benefit of the doubt, and those that question are for hating.

about two weeks ago

With Chinese Investment, Nicaraguan Passage Could Dwarf Panama Canal

Tailhook New Panamax (322 comments)

The current expansion of the Panama canal goes online next year. "New Panamax" ships are 13,000 TEU vs 5,000 for current Panamax ships. All the important East coast ports have already been or a currently being dredged out to accommodate these ships. This was accomplished quickly and quietly beginning in 2012 when Obama exempted the dredging operations from the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act.

Guess they'll be needing another bunch of pencil whipped wavers to dredge out the ports even deeper for the EquadorMax ships, because what China wants China gets.

about two weeks ago

Transatomic Power Receives Seed Funding From Founders Fund Science

Tailhook Re:Getting permission... (143 comments)

daffy country-on-a-ship plans

Or China.

Greenies don't actually trump everything, everywhere.

WAMSR is a paper reactor. It has all the problems of any molten salt reactor, plus a few new ones thrown in for good measure.

It requires fuel channels made of unobtainium. We can't actually make unobtainium so we use Hastealloy instead which cracks at some rate faster than anticipated plant life, as found in ORNL's MSRE. Neutron flux embitterment is also an issue for fuel channels and the long term effect of this is not perfectly understood. WAMSR actually runs at slightly higher temperatures than MSRE which will not improve the cracking problems due to even greater temperature gradients. Transatomic speculates about using certain exotic ceramics to solve this, and that could pan out; materials science does actually solve problems from time to time, but this one hasn't been solved yet.

The reactor produces relatively large quantities of tritium (~12y half life) requiring active separation and storage of the gas. It's effectively impossible to capture all the tritium (hydrogen is slippery stuff), however enough could be retained to bring it in line with conventional reactors, they claim. This assumes the capture system works, is maintained and doesn't leak. Good luck with that. Amusingly the Transatomic Power Technical White Paper claims the addition of Lithium-7 can reduce tritium generation, and you can read about it in section 2.6.4, which doesn't actually exist ...... hopefully the ~$2 million funding injection will get that written. Tritium is among the larger spikes being driven through the heart of Entergy's Vermont Yankee right now, in case one wonders how much this might matter.

As with all MSR designs, fuel must be reprocessed on-site concurrent with reactor operation. This is always offered as a nonproliferation benefit of MSRs. Unfortunately handling molten reactor fuel is a difficult mechanical and chemical process that has never actually been fully modeled in an experimental reactor and would probably be a source of the usual drama inherent in chemical processing operations; leaks, fires and whatnot. Personally I believe this to be the biggest risk involved with MSR reactors; any failure mode that leads to uncontained fuel will produce a lethal radiation flux, fires lofting clouds of radionucleotides and other fun stuff. Bear in mind that every single plant and its resident Homer Simpsons will have to operate their own reprocessing facility for the entire life of the plant; it's not a question of if a mistake will happen, but rather; how heinous are the consequences when it happens. Liquids tend to get away from people.

Finally, WAMSR uses zirconium hydride as the primary neutron moderator, which is pretty novel and a source of some unknowns. The zirconium hydride exists as rods inside the reactor core which also contains the molten fuel and the primary loop coolant water. If, for whatever reason, the zirconium hydride came into contact with the super-heated water in (the inevitable) presence of oxygen, huge quantities of explosive molecular hydrogen would be produced. This is what blew up the reactor buildings of Fukushima no. 1 and 3. The moderator, fuel and coolant are all in close proximity inside the reactor core, flowing through what appear to be relatively fine tubes. Again, due to the chronic shortage of uncrackable unobtainium, we make vessels and tubing such as these out of various steel alloys which frequently crack and corrode and leak.

So, WAMSR is not without its problems.

about two weeks ago

Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier

Tailhook Re:and linux aswell (267 comments)

You have to upgrade to on Linux to obtain connections. They've cut off earlier versions.

This is the sort simple minded behavior that seriously limits the value of Skype. I received no warning. Suddenly Skype stops working and my subscriber access is cut off. I find this out just as an important phone conference is getting underway.

When it works (which aside from this is all the time) Skype is absolutely great, even on Linux. $30-ish a year for unlimited call termination in North America and caller id that shows my regular cell phone, text messages (again with correct ID) — it's wonderful. But interfering with service by cutting off anything older than the most recent clients is just ridiculous.

about two weeks ago



STEM worker shortage is IT industry fantasy

Tailhook Tailhook writes  |  about three weeks ago

Tailhook (98486) writes "Ron Hira, professor of public policy at Howard University and Paula Stephan is a professor of economics at Georgia State University; `As longtime researchers of the STEM workforce and immigration who have separately done in-depth analyses on these issues, and having no self-interest in the outcomes of the legislative debate, we feel compelled to report that none of us has been able to find any credible evidence to support the IT industry's assertions of labor shortages.' — `there is a remarkable concurrence among a wide range of researchers that there is an ample supply of American workers (native and immigrant, citizen and permanent resident) who are willing and qualified to fill the high-skill jobs in this country. The only real disagreement is whether supply is two or three times larger than the demand.'"
Link to Original Source

Linux Mint 17 "Qiana" released

Tailhook Tailhook writes  |  about 3 months ago

Tailhook (98486) writes "Linux Mint 17 "Qiana", a long term support edition of Linux Mint, has been released. Mint 17 is available in both MATE and Cinnamon editions. Mint 17 is derived from Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) and will receive security updates until April, 2019. The Cinnamon edition provides Cinnamon 2.2, with a much improved update manager, driver manager, HiDPI display support and many usability refinements. This release of Mint establishes a baseline on which the next several releases will be based; `Until 2016 the development team won't start working on a new base and will be fully focused on this one; future versions of Linux Mint will use the same package base as Linux Mint 17, making it trivial for people to upgrade.'"
Link to Original Source

Independent Foxconn audit results appear

Tailhook Tailhook writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Tailhook (98486) writes "The Fair Labor Association gave Apple's largest supplier the equivalent of a full-body scan through 3,000 staff hours investigating three of its factories and surveying more than 35,000 workers," said FLA president Auret van Heerden. Overtime laws violated, short-changing worker compensation, no representation. AppleFoxconn thinks they might be able to stop their overtime criminality by July. 2013. Perhaps they'll also do something about the bi-annual dust explosions."
Link to Original Source

'Flagging' rumors

Tailhook Tailhook writes  |  about 5 years ago

Tailhook (98486) writes "Some folks are concerned about a request by the White House 'Director of New Media' Macon Phillips to gather information about 'rumors' or other 'disinformation' that "travel just below the surface" and might appear in "casual conversation." It seems that Macon "can't keep track of all" of the rumors and would like the to public to help uncover them by using a newly established email address; Unfortunately the dastardly Special Interests have begun signing up to irrelevant mailing lists."


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