Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

Xyrus Re:Time for new terminology (588 comments)

You jest but first it was global warming, then global cooling, than warming again and finally climate change.

The greenhouse effect was first proposed by Fourier (yes, that Fourier) in 1825. Way back before modern technology and computers he already figured out the basic relationship between heat trapping gases and planetary temperatures. From his paper in 1827:

"The establishment and progress of human societies, the action of natural forces, can notably change, and in vast regions, the state of the surface, the distribution of water and the great movements of the air. Such effects are able to make to vary, in the course of many centuries, the average degree of heat; because the analytic expressions contain coefficients relating to the state of the surface and which greatly influence the temperature."[

In 1864, John Tyndall furhter refined Fouriers work to show that different gases had different absorption spectra, and that water vapor, methane, and CO2 specifically were potent green house gases.

In 1896, Svante Arrhenius (considered the father of modern chemistry) put forth the first climate model and was one of the first to quantify the impact of CO2 on planetary temperature.

Since then, the science has only improved. We've gone from basic physics models to complex integrated global climate models. And they all show the same thing.

There was never any "global cooling". There were a handful of discredited papers in the 70's that tried to establish a possible cooling scenario. However the overwhelming majority of papers on the topic were all discussing warming and it's impacts.

And warming, while accurate, doesn't really define what the real problem is. Warming isn't the problem. It's what happens as a result of the warming that's problem. The additional energy into the climate system shifts the climate, which we, as a civilization, depend on. Also, warming gives the impression that every place on Earth is going to get warmer, which is not the case.

Climate change is a more accurate description of what's happening.


What it should be is "atmospheric CO2 level rise"

That is all the more we can really say in macro. All these attempts to predict outcomes have only damaged their credibility. Rational thinking people should still find it of great concern that we have ever increasing and never before seen (while humans have walked the earth) CO2 levels, and you follow that up with and their exist relation ships between solar energy retention, ocean currents, ocean acidity, and mean temperatures, etc with that.

Nobody really knows what will happen at least not on a short ( 0-50 year) time scale. If they just would have been honest up front about the fact that human activity is radically altering the composition of the atmosphere and that there will be consequences but those can't be entirely identified because its a hugely complex interconnected system maybe it would be taken seriously.

Instead we got decades of alarmist and bogus predictions. its no surprise that so many folks are so dismissive now.

Incorrect. We can say quite a bit about the macro. There is quite a compendium of science out there. The problem is that people don't know the difference between a projection 100 years into the future about general climate conditions and the weather in their backyard. Ignorance is the problem, and there are those who hope people stay that way.

2 days ago

Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

Xyrus Re:It's getting hotter still! (588 comments)

I and many others would like to see this contrary evidence you speak of, along with the physics that model the scenario AND can adequately explain observations from both present and past AND does not violate little things like thermodynamics and conservation of energy.

2 days ago

Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

Xyrus Re:It's getting hotter still! (588 comments)

slashdot today!? ... difference between North and South

There is a distinction between the two, of course, but it is without difference to the topic of this thread. Both ice-caps were supposed to shrink (with dire consequences for the rest of the world, of course).

One expedition set out to measure the loss of the ice, found itself stuck in it — not that it changed the leading professor's opinion about the global warming...

The Antarctic sea ice extent was not and is not projected to shrink in the near term. It was expected to expand as a result of the influx of fresh water from increasing land ice melt. As the planet continues to warm it will reach a point where the ice extent will start shrinking again (as the 0C starts pushing further south), but that isn't projected to happen until later this century.

2 days ago

Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

Xyrus Re:It's getting hotter still! (588 comments)

If you're going to troll, at least try to do a decent job.

1. Al Gore is not now, nor has ever been, a climate scientist.
2. His remarks were purely speculative and had absolutely zero scientific support. There is not a single peer-reviewed research paper anywhere that makes such a claim.
3. The AR4 and AR5 model ensembles show an ice free summers in the arctic around the middle of this century.
4. The article is talking about ANTARCTIC SEA ICE, which has absolutely nothing to do with the ARCTIC SEA ICE.

Climate model ensembles have consistently predicted an overall increase in ANTARCTIC SEA ICE in the near term as a result of increased freshwater runoff from the continent. The decrease in salinity allows for ice to form at higher temperatures, thus expanding the sea ice extent.

2 days ago

Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

Xyrus Re:Global Warming? (273 comments)

All models are wrong. There is no such thing as a perfect model outside of trivial classroom models e.g. spherical cow. Modeling fluid dynamics for aerodynamic lift, structural integrity models for bridges and buildings, etc . all have errors. They don't account for all variables and it is impossible to do so.

Science isn't built on models. Models are built on science. As with any other branch of science models are used to help get a better understanding of the phenomena being studied. Models are TOOLS that are built out of the results of science.

As to GCM's in particular, there is plenty of information out there describing the models, their error bounds, what they account for, what they don't, so on and so forth. For a layman's summary the IPCC does a fairly decent job describing the models, what they're used for, and accuracy.

about three weeks ago

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

Xyrus Re:why this article is nonsense (465 comments)

An explanation why this article is nonsense:

WUWT is one of the absolute worst sites you can go to for any kind of "scientific analysis". They wouldn't make it through a first year statistical analysis course, let alone any sort of rigorous review process.

about a month ago

Ebola Quarantine Center In Liberia Looted

Xyrus Re:Niggers. (359 comments)

Darwin wins. Again.

about a month ago

Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

Xyrus Re:Modern Day Anti-Evolutionists (497 comments)

None of your links are to peer reviewed research articles. Three of your statements refer to changes in trends BY THE END OF THIS CENTURY. Your fourth statement amount Britain never seeing snow again is just made up BS. That has never been stated in any research paper on climate.

about 2 months ago

Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Xyrus Re:Cry Me A River (608 comments)

No, it isn't.

Tools are simpler and easier to use than ever, and this guy is mistaking nostalgia and innocence for actual difference.

Developing anything other than a trivial web application requires in depth knowledge of several different technologies, along with a couple different languages, knowledge of browser quirks (no those big libraries don't always get them all), etc. Compared to traditional application development, web development is a bloated and complex mess, or as the original author wrote:

"The web is just an enormous stack of kluges upon hacks upon misbegotten designs".

This statement is absolutely true. The web was never intended for "applications". That happened later. And instead of going back and making the web more conducive for applications, we basically got the equivalent of bad case of technological diarrhea smeared across the web hoping that somehow it would just make everything stick together and work.

Well, it works somewhat. But it certainly isn't pretty.

about 2 months ago

Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

Xyrus Re:The Future's So Bright (415 comments)

But good developers make less mistakes in a language where there's less freedom...

Some of us like having the training wheels off our bikes.

Even the best bikers in the world end up going over the handle bars into a ditch every now and then. What will be your excuse when you and your team cost some company millions of dollars due to delays and bugs that wouldn't have occurred if you had simply ditched your ego and went with the safer choice?

Unless you know everyone on the project team beyond awkwardly greeting them once in a while by the water cooler, choosing the best technology to use on a project based on what let's you be a SUPA HACKA is not only naive, but will most likely horribly backfire. Always assume your team will consist of the muppets and plan your tools and technologies accordingly.

about 2 months ago

Nathan Myhrvold's Recipe For a Better Oven

Xyrus Re:Dollars. (228 comments)

How to improve the oven has been known for ages...

Yeah, don't let dumbasses near them.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Web Language That's Long-Lived, and Not Too Buzzy?

Xyrus Re:Perl (536 comments)


Random garbage or valid perl?


about 2 months ago

The Higgs Boson Should Have Crushed the Universe

Xyrus Re:Article with explanation for laymen (188 comments)

So erotic is when you use quarks, and exotic is when you use the whole Higgs Boson?

about 3 months ago

NASA's Horizons Spacecraft To Probe Pluto Moon For Underground Ocean

Xyrus Re:Ocean of what (47 comments)

Did jupiter or just yell at her?

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Best Rapid Development Language To Learn Today?

Xyrus Re:I'm a Ruby guy but... (466 comments)

JavaScript was developed by a Sith Lord.

about 3 months ago
top GOP Voters To Be Targeted By Data Scientists

Xyrus Re:This will hugely backfire... (422 comments)

Isn't the only reason that they vote for Democrats is because the Republicans want to kick them out of the country?

What? Of course republicans don't want to kick them out of the country! They LOVE Mexican immigrants! Dirt cheap labor, and they can't even complain if you mistreat them. If they start to get uppity you just threaten to send them back across the border.

So why are they so anti-immigration then? They're not. Tougher immigration laws means they can keep stringing these poor people along and treat them even worse. Meanwhile, inside those immigration bills they slip in little extras like reducing the punishments for employing illegals and such. Just a little "scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" for the big money donors.

Basically, republicans are about as anti-immigration as the DEA is anti-illegal drugs.

about 3 months ago

Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Xyrus Re:Progenitors? (686 comments)

Or maybe the universe is so competitive that anyone who announces their presence eats the bad end of a relativistic weapon...

But why? That's the question you need to answer. Why would any civilization advanced enough for true interstellar travel even be slightly interested in smashing the Earth with a relativistic weapon, or any other kind of weapon?

Any civilization that advanced wouldn't NEED Earth for anything. They could get everything they need and more from countless worlds, asteroids, comets, and whatever else they happen to come across and in much greater quantities than our planet can provide. Through technology they may be practically immortal as well. They may only come by once every couple million years or so to see how things are going.

At best, Earth would be little more than an idle curiosity. It would be something to watch and study, and with their technological level they could do so completely undetected if they so chose. But it's more likely that such an advanced civilization simply doesn't care. We're a primitive barely aware species on a little speck of rock.

about 3 months ago

Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

Xyrus Re:Good (519 comments)

Tenure exists to ensure that professors can pursue unpopular lines of inquiry without being troubled by university politics. It makes no sense in primary or secondary education.

Until teachers get fired for teaching evolution or climate change. :P

about 3 months ago

Geothermal Heat Contributing To West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting

Xyrus Re:Let me get this straight (387 comments)

The Thwaites Glacier is melting because of Geothermal heat rather than AGW?

No. It isn't. Read the paper instead of making inferences from a summary that is significantly lacking in details.

Scientists knew there was geothermal heat contributing to base melting of the glacier. Most places on Earth have a tiny amount of geothermal heat flux so underneath most glaciers there some small amount of melting due to this heat. On average, the geothermal flux on Earth is about 65 milliwatts/square meter.

This paper was looking to quantify the geothermal flux under the glacier so that they could model the behavior more accurately. It turns out the the average geothermal flux under the glacier is around 120 milliwatts/square meter with some areas going as high as 200 milliwatts/square meter. This adds a little bit more base melt and thus allows the glacier to move a little bit faster.

Keep in mind, these are milliwatts we're talking about, so it certainly isn't melting a lot. But since it is base melt it is contributing to glacier movement speed. This contributes to the ice loss already occurring due to warmer temperatures.

about 3 months ago

Geothermal Heat Contributing To West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting

Xyrus Re:Queue the deniers (387 comments)

You can't have a balanced discussion when the people involved want to remain willfully ignorant of the science. Check that, you can't have a balanced discussion when the people involved want to deny reality (hence the term "denier"). If science and reality can't convince someone that something is happening, you're just wasting time and resources that could be better put to use elsewhere.

about 3 months ago


Xyrus hasn't submitted any stories.



Yesterday, I got modded a troll...

Xyrus Xyrus writes  |  more than 9 years ago

In my response to the PA kids who were threatened with felony class 3 charges, I stated a simple truth: The kids broke the law, now they have to deal with the consequences.

Those who modded me troll did so out of ignorance, did it "for the children", believe the punishment does not fit the crime, or believe the school "had it coming" because of crappy security.

Out of all these reasons, only one has even the slightest bit of merit: the punishement does not fit the crime. All the rest are ludicrous.

The first one: Ignorance. This is the the typical knee-jerk slashdot reaction made by those who do not RTFA. Felony charges for messing with school computers? OUTRAGE, how can you support this?

Quite simply because they were using state computers and illegally altering them by bypassing security measures. The fact that they're teenagers is irrelevant. What if this has happened on the schools main servers and the teens were placing porn in teachers directories? What if they started messing with their disciplinary records or grades? What if they were doing this on a bank's system?

In short, where do you draw the line.

A lot of responses claim that the felony charges will ruin the kids lives. Again, this is sheer ignorance. Prosecuting felony charges is expensive, and pressing felony chrages on teens has often been a delicate point. Of course, the sensationalistic media coverage fails to mention this.

In reality, it is extremely unlikely that felony charges will be brought against these teens. In fact, school disciplinary action will probably be all these kids get. Worse case scenario, the teens get convicted of a misdemeanor and have to do some community service.

As far as their records go, their juvenile records are sealed once they hit 18 (or expunged, depending on what the state policy is).

The above addresses the "for the children" crowd as well. In addition to that, I have little sympathy for teens who continue to do things that they know are wrong.

One response I received was that these kids shouldn't be punished for being curious. And if that were the case, then I would agree. But that was not the case.

These kids didn't figure out the admin password and say, "Oh, this should be brought up to the school". They used it and distributed it to deliberately go around the restrictions that they agreed to abide by. It was wrong, they knew it, and continued their activities.

Which brings me to the last, and possibly most idiotic response: "It's the school's fault for having crappy security on the computers".

And I suppose that it's the woman's fault for being raped because she's hot. Or it's the homeowner's fault for getting burgled because he only had a regular lock on the front door. I'd like to see someone use that type of excuse in court.

Just because the security was weak doesn't give these teens the right to circumvent the restrictions. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do something.

So now we come to the last response, the one that is arguable: the punishement does not fit the crime. As I stated earlier, it's unlikely these teens will see anything other than school disciplinary action, since no administration data was compromised. The kids did not have access to the school's main server.

Any judge would see that this is at most a minor offense. That is why we have judges. To interpret the law and deal out appropriate punishment when those laws are broken.

Sure, PA state law may make what they did "technically" a felony, but it is the judge who decides whether or not that is the case. In this case, it was the media acting as the judge which is never a good thing (just look at Faux News).

I agree a felony charge does not fit the crime here, but as of right now THERE IS NO PUNISHEMENT DECIDED YET. If a judge does decide to follow through on the felony charges, then we can talk about unjust punishments. Until then it's just a bunch of media driven bruhaha.

In the future I hope when people respond they will stop, read, and think before modding instead of responding with "OMFG you're a troll!".

But then again....this is slashdot.


Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>