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China To Begin Submitting Air Pollution Reports

caerwyn Re:Meanwhile... (176 comments)

What is my point of this? You sit all smug in your computer chair or couch or wherever saying others should 'listen to you'. Guess what you sound like a twat who tells others what to do without realizing you yourself are part of the problem. Want to change peoples minds? Its simple, pollution sucks. People get that. "we might be changing the climate" will get you a yawn and no one will really care. But lets say 100% of everyone gets the point. What is the alternative? The current one on the table (and being implemented) is higher taxes. That helps very little and does not actually make things better. It just means those who can afford to will pollute will while you pick up the tab. As those same companies can afford it (due to many of them being regulated monopolies). And companies will just do what they always do. They will pass down the cost to the consumer. As guess what I can not buy my electricity from someone else I pay a higher price for no change. I need to get to work so I can buy food for my family (so I have a car). Without a radical remaking of our entire society nothing will change.

This is not strictly true. The point of taxes on carbon emissions is that it helps to reduce externalities- costs that party A incurs and party B must pay, without an actual economic link between them. For instance, power plants currently emit pollutants (including greenhouse gases). Those pollutants ultimately result in costs (health care cost increases, infrastructure development to deal with changing climate, environmental reclamation costs) that are not paid by the entity that reaps the benefit from incurring them - the power plant operators. By placing a tax on the polluting activities, we cause those entities to pay for the costs that they are incurring. That cost more fully reflects the actual cost of the good that they are providing- electricity produced from coal, which levels the playing field for alternative energy sources which do *not* incur such external costs. *That* is the point of such taxation- to *level* the playing field by actually making every pay for all of the costs that they incur to society.

more than 2 years ago
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China To Begin Submitting Air Pollution Reports

caerwyn Re:Meanwhile... (176 comments)

This is true, but all major client models take this into account. The cooling effect from particulates is vastly smaller than the warming effect from concurrently emitted greenhouse gases.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Calculators With 1-2-3 Number Pads?

caerwyn Re:Don't you have anything better to do? (393 comments)

I know that there are those of us who like to learn, and therefore use efficient memory techniques, and that there are those who ridicule those of us who learn. On a website for geeks, I had expected to find the former, not the latter.

Some of us like to learn useful concepts, not memorize things that are either useless or better handled by machines. I don't know most of the telephone numbers that I use with any regularity, and I consider that to be a good thing, not an indication of someone who doesn't want to learn.

more than 2 years ago
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The Most Expensive One-Byte Mistake

caerwyn Re:Maybe a better candidate (594 comments)

They might be different in theory; they are not in practice. In addition, in Objective-C, C, and C++, NULL is, in fact, (void *)0L. This is not something that is likely to *ever* change, given the absolutely enormous body of code that assumes that (!pointer) is identical to (pointer == NULL); this is not something limited to x86.

Also, char *pointer = 0; being anything other than 0 is rubbish. There are systems for which 0 can contain valid data, and therefore you must be able to assign 0 to a pointer.

about 3 years ago
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The Most Expensive One-Byte Mistake

caerwyn Re:Maybe a better candidate (594 comments)

Hmm, yes, that might be a better reading of his intention. That said, it's probably worth pointing out that 'nil' is used *far* more often than 'Nil'; few (if any) standard Cocoa APIs return Nil. The only time I've really seen it used is specifically to be placed into collections.

about 3 years ago
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The Most Expensive One-Byte Mistake

caerwyn Re:Maybe a better candidate (594 comments)

nil and NULL are identical; they're just casts of 0. The reason that you can send messages to nil is that the objc_msgSend() function (the runtime bit that does the actual message lookup and call on objects) does a NULL check for you and immediately returns 0 if you're messaging nil/NULL.

about 3 years ago
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Pakistan Tries To Ban Encryption

caerwyn Re:ok guys, seriously (185 comments)

Sure they are. They're interested in low-hanging fruit, and this will catch a whole lot of it.

about 3 years ago
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New NASA Data Casts Doubt On Global Warming Models

caerwyn Re:Follow the data! (954 comments)

No. Data suggests that global warming is very real. Models suggest a certain future continued warming.

The two should not be confused. The historical record is not a model.

about 3 years ago
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LulzSec Announces That It Is Done

caerwyn Re:Cowards (412 comments)

Not all of us, let me assure you.

more than 3 years ago
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There Oughta Be a Standard: Laptop Power Supplies

caerwyn Re:cost (482 comments)

The beginning of action in the EU to mandate a specific charger is what caused the mobile phone manufactures to agree on such a standard- they decided it would be in their interest to pick one they liked rather than having one forced upon them.

more than 3 years ago
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Man Updates His Facebook Status During Hostage Stand-Off

caerwyn Re:Obstruction? (203 comments)

He fired shots during the standoff, as he reported in one of the status updates.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Hiring Android Devs To Close the 'Apps Gap'

caerwyn Re:Perhaps an Objective C - Java tool? (323 comments)

Well, the problem with that argument is that the exact same music player is present on the iPhone- so it's clear that this isn't just a "well, we're just a cell phone, how you can you expect us to play music well?" situation.

more than 3 years ago
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Netgear CEO Says Jobs's Ego Will Bite Apple

caerwyn Re:Sounds familiar (500 comments)

Uh, you should check the sales numbers on iPods before claiming that its a dead fad. It might be *dying* (the numbers are generally dropping year over year), but it's far from *dead*. The iPod is remarkably long-lived as far as tech gadgets are concerned, actually.

more than 3 years ago
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Electronics In Flight — Danger Or Distraction?

caerwyn Re:For the Nth time now! (532 comments)

Oh, I'm not opposed to the briefing at all. I just think that the content needs to be reviewed in light of current society (eg, how to fasten a seat belt).

As for the exits: you don't need a briefing for that if you have any experience- you'll see them as you find your seat. Again, a new flyer could use to have them pointed out, but that's not the part of the briefing that I'd object to.

more than 2 years ago
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Polynomial Time Code For 3-SAT Released, P==NP

caerwyn Re:I'll be first to say WTF (700 comments)

Err, that's not actually correct. 0.999... != .A, as you could transform any of those 9s (after the first) into an A to have a number between .999... and .A. This is like trying to say that 0.444... = 0.5, which is clearly wrong.

Also, the original comment mentioned "branches of mathematics", which is what I was curious. Hexadecimal is just a different base.

more than 3 years ago
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Electronics In Flight — Danger Or Distraction?

caerwyn Re:For the Nth time now! (532 comments)

The problem with this argument is that it's clearly fallacious. I've never been on a flight where someone indicated that reading a hardcover book might be a danger, and yet it'd be far more dangerous as a projectile than my frankly damn light mp3 player.

This may be the rationalized argument that you use to convince yourself that electronics are still dangerous, but it's so full of holes as to not hold any water.

(Oh, and as a side note: You seem bitter about people not paying attention to the safety briefing. The issue is that it a) covers ridiculous things (who doesn't know how to put a seat belt on at this point!? And if they don't, you'll catch that by the pre-takeoff belt check) and b) is repeated verbatim on every single flight. I could probably give the thing as well as the flight attendants on most planes.)

more than 3 years ago
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Polynomial Time Code For 3-SAT Released, P==NP

caerwyn Re:I'll be first to say WTF (700 comments)

Really? I haven't encounter any of those; can you provide any more information?

more than 3 years ago
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Polynomial Time Code For 3-SAT Released, P==NP

caerwyn Re:I'll be first to say WTF (700 comments)

One of the first things I learned is that 0.333... (as an example) is an approximation of 1/3. A fraction such as 1/3 cannot be 100% accurately represented in a decimal system.

This is incorrect, and is apparently the source of most of your confusion. 1/3 = 0.333...; there's no approximation going on. 1/3 is approximated by 0.3, and 0.33, and 0.333, but the infinite decimal is *not* an approximation.

The problem here is that people are generally very ill-equipped to handle the idea of infinity, and a lot of common sense doesn't really work. You can't "tack another 5 on the end" of 0.999... to get a number halfway between 0.999... and 1, as some other poster commented, precisely because there is no end for it to be tacked onto. This is why it's ultimately equal to 1.0.

more than 3 years ago
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NASA Says 2010 Tied For Warmest Year On Record

caerwyn Re:Not so frosty piss (554 comments)

The issue with this, and the reason why CO2 continues to legitimately get the majority of attention, is that methane's half-life in the atmosphere is much, much, much shorter than CO2. As a result, adjusting methane emissions is less urgent, because the effects of the methane in the atmosphere vanish on much shorter timescales- the CO2 just keeps compounding.

So, while methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas on, say, a 1-year timescale, the comparison is much more complicated averaged over the duration of the substance's lifetime in the atmosphere.

more than 3 years ago

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