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Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

Todd Palin Re:We've been doing it for a long time (326 comments)

Say what? Who uses a single variable to model/explain climate change? Maybe Fox News does, but really, nobody else does. The models are enormously complex, and they get more complex all the time. They include a full array of climate/meteorological data, plus ocean temperatures, ocean circulation, ocean pH, solar radiation, earth's albedo, vegetation patterns, and much more. Maybe you are the one that is naive.

2 days ago
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Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

Todd Palin Re:We've been doing it for a long time (326 comments)

Our unintentional geoengineering has made it clear that the climate is a very complicated thing with vast opportunities for unintended consequences. Diving into a dynamical system that we don't understand all that well anyway is a sure recipe for disaster. We might just be better off adapting to the changes that are coming. There will be some winners and lots of losers, but at least it will be caused by all of us together rather than an adventuresome nation trying to cover its own losses.

On a side note, can you imagine the United Nations agreeing to a planetary geoengineering plan? I can't.

2 days ago
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Major Brain Pathway Rediscovered After Century-old Confusion, Controversy

Todd Palin Re:Link to PNAS article (112 comments)

Great point. Unfortunately I currently have no mod points. I am as curious as you are. The lay press often ignores the real meat of the issue and only offers the headline. So, "why" is a good question. Laziness comes to mind, but I expect it is more complicated than that.

5 days ago
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MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

Todd Palin Re:Panic! It's worse than you think (322 comments)

Don't forget Ebola. The Ivory Coast grows a huge amount of the world's cocoa. It is right next door to Liberia. Most of the labor to harvest the cocoa crop is migrant labor from Liberia. Ivory Coast has closed its border with Liberia in response to the Ebola. So, the cocoa crop there is not going to be harvested unless the growers figure out another source of cheap labor. Stock up on chocolate now.

about a week ago
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In this year's US mid-term elections ...

Todd Palin mailed my ballot a week ago (551 comments)

I live in Oregon where everybody votes because it is painless, since we vote by mail. So, I will not vote for any of the parties, because I already voted. All we have to do now is count the votes.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

Todd Palin Re:"I don't care" camp. (613 comments)

A numeric designation of time is purely arbitrary in the first place, so adding an arbitrary adjustment twice a year seems consistent with the arbitrary nature of it. The main problem is dealing with more than 24 different times. If we could all agree to make the switch, using a single arbitrary time would make sense in our connected world. I expect that to happen soon after the USA switches to the metric system, which is also somewhat arbitrary, but oh so much more sensible than the totally insane system we use now.

about three weeks ago
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Internet Broadband Through High-altitude Drones

Todd Palin Re:propeller driven? OK, I'm wrong (99 comments)

As it turns out, the unofficial propeller driven altitude record is 96,863 feet. So, I guess I'm completely wrong. Nevermind.

And, it was a solar powered plane to boot.

about a month ago
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Internet Broadband Through High-altitude Drones

Todd Palin propeller driven? (99 comments)

I could be wrong, but I don't think any propeller driven aircraft has flown to 65,000 feet, or even anywhere close. There is a problem with the low density air that makes props a really poor choice for high altitude. Since a solar jet has huge tech problems as well, I think the concept is stuck with problems that it can't easily solve.

about a month ago
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FAA Scans the Internet For Drone Users; Sends Cease and Desist Letters

Todd Palin Re:Pecions? (222 comments)

A pecion is a person with bulging pectoral muscles.

about 3 months ago
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Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?

Todd Palin Re:Define technology (231 comments)

We discovered a remarkable thing at the hobby shop. They used to make Jetex brand jet motors that used a solid fuel pellet inside a steel housing. They were ignited with a short length of Jetex fuse, which usually came with the pellets, but we bought the fuse separately in six foot lengths. A six foot fuse took three or four minutes to burn. This allowed our dry-cleaner bags to get to several hundred feet before igniting. We often would include a cherry-bomb in the payload just to make sure people would see it when the gas ignited. We tried to mix air in the gas mix to achieve an actual explosion, but never got it mixed right. It was always an almost silent fireball, but it was pretty good sized.

Somehow no one ever got burned and no houses burned down. The guys at the hobby shop never asked us what we were doing with all the fuse. Times have changed, I think.

about 3 months ago
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Did you use technology to get into mischief as a child?

Todd Palin Re:Define technology (231 comments)

In the fifties we didn't have digital options so we relied on other technology. Natural gas is flammable AND buoyant which makes for great UFO reports. Nitrogentriiodide is always good for a laugh. Manganeseheptoxide is always fun. There were always cherry bombs and M-80s which have some surprising uses, especially when combined with simple string bombs. You would be amazed at the alternative uses of glo-fuel. You can even get into trouble with birthday candles and dry-cleaner bags if you are hard up. (more UFO reports) In the fifties and sixties there were numerous UFO reports in southern Michigan, not all of which were my work.

about 3 months ago
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Researchers Make Fruit Flies Perform Aerobatics Like Spitfire Pilots

Todd Palin where is the video? (51 comments)

OK, it is a pretty cool project, and the illustrations were good, but is there no video of the flies "rolling like Spitfires". How do they know it happened if there isn't video? How do we know it happened?

about 4 months ago
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Think you can drive better than an autonomous car? You're wrong.

Todd Palin It depends on the criteria for "better driver" (3 comments)

From the article it appears that the criteria is accident rate. My accident rate will be very near zero if I let my garage drive my car. Of course, the car will be much less useful, but that isn't the criteria, is it? If a self-driving car is less useful, and I'm pretty sure it is because of the self-driving nature, then I might argue that it isn't a better driver than me. Until a self driving car can do EVERYTHING I can do as the driver, I reject a simplistic notion that it is a better driver than I am, despite stats showing a lower accident rate.

about 4 months ago
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The Man Who Invented the 26th Dimension

Todd Palin Re:Gotcha covered... (259 comments)

You only can have the extra dimension until you open the box at which point the dimension collapses into the ordinary three dimensions. Next time don't open the box to insure the dimension stays intact. Be warned, however, that some theorists believe that you can't see the extra dimensions, so the extra dimension you purchased might still be alive and well. It might be best to just close the box and hope for the best. Perhaps you can re-sell it on Ebay. How would anyone know you had opened the box?

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should I Fight Against Online Voting In Our Municipality?

Todd Palin Re:same as vote by mail (190 comments)

Oregon has had vote-by-mail for about two decades. Opponents suggested vote selling and other vote frauds would occur. Every investigation into these things since then has shown only an incredibly tiny amount of abuse. Vote-by-mail works very very well in Oregon.

The problem with online voting lies in other issues, like the lack of a paper trail for recounts, fraudulent logins, and the potential for wholesale fraud with software/malware manipulations. These are real potential issues, but don't suck vote-by-mail into the argument. Mail voting works. Oregon gets a high turnout in even minor elections because it is so painless, and that is a very good thing. Democracy is alive and well in Oregon, largely due to vote-by-mail.

about 4 months ago
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Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

Todd Palin What a surprise. (582 comments)

Wow. What a surprise. Russia is involved in the conflict in Ukraine.

about 4 months ago
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The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

Todd Palin Re:Slashdot Users (242 comments)

Post under a pseudonym? Check

Use encryption for email? Check

Don't use Facebook? Check

Use DuckDuckGo? check

Use Tor? check

about 4 months ago
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Drone Search and Rescue Operation Wins Fight Against FAA

Todd Palin Re:Why are you so angry? (77 comments)

OK. The proposed regulations are complex, so let me give you one example to illustrate my point. The proposed regulations require the RC pilot to notify any airport within five miles before flying an RC aircraft of any kind, even if the aircraft is a childs toy being flown in a suburban backyard. This requirement presumably really means ANY airport. Almost any town of 15,000 people has a small airport. Larger cities have multiple small airports in addition to maybe a major airport. Most of the small airports are little more than a grass strip and a few hangers. Many of them won't even have somebody answering the phone. How many people even know if they are within five miles of an airport? Most are, but few really know.

The bottom line is that most people won't be calling, even if they knew who to call. That would make them criminals. Would the average park flier call? I doubt it. Criminals all. What if they tried to call and got no answer? Still a criminal? Maybe.

I'm not saying people will quit flying if the regulations are enacted. Most will just become criminals and continue flying.

I stand by my statement, idiot or not.

about 4 months ago
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Drone Search and Rescue Operation Wins Fight Against FAA

Todd Palin Why are you so angry? (77 comments)

Waddgodd simply asked a question and you go postal. This is not the work of a "screaming idiot" Calm down. This is a serious issue that is not well served by rants such as yours. If I had to pick the screaming idiot here I wouldn't pick Waddgodd.

You say you operate illegally, and then you go off on the "douchbags" and "idiots" that also operate illegally. Take a look at yourself.

The regulations might need to be revised, but making the entire RC hobby illegal is the wrong approach. If you really have been flying for 30 years you would think differently about this.

about 4 months ago
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Drone Search and Rescue Operation Wins Fight Against FAA

Todd Palin comments are now underway on just this issue (77 comments)

You can visit the FAA comment site to comment on proposed rule changes that address this issue. The comment period ends on July 25. The proposed rules will cripple drone use by civilians and also cripple most RC aircraft operations in the USA. The proposal is simply draconian. Check it out:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!d...

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Genetic mugshot recreates faces from nothing but DNA

Todd Palin Todd Palin writes  |  about 8 months ago

Todd Palin (1402501) writes "Researchers at Penn State university are trying to reconstruct images of faces based only on the DNA sample of the individual. As far out as this sounds, they did a pretty good job at matching the actual appearance of the faces. This is a pretty good start on a whole new use for DNA samples. Imagine a mug shot of a rapist based only on a DNA sample."
Link to Original Source
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Dubious patent approved for yoga class recording

Todd Palin Todd Palin writes  |  about a year ago

Todd Palin (1402501) writes "The Washington Post has an article describing another dubious patent:
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has approved a patent on a technique for videotaping yoga classes. The patent claims the concept of an "image capturing device" being set up in "a studio having a front area and a rear area" and containing an instructor and a "plurality of students." In other words, if you run a yoga class, and you film it using the parameters described in the patent, you may owe royalties to the patent's owner, a company called YogaGlo."

Link to Original Source

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