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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

cirby Russian Missile Defense (431 comments)

That minute was over 40 years ago, and they're still using them.

Most of the newer high-powered SAMs built in Russia are capable of missile intercept (of shorter-ranged ballistic missiles), and they've still got a huge ABM system around Moscow.

yesterday
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

cirby One problem... (773 comments)

Minimum wage increases don't immediately result in mass firings. What happens is that companies stall for a few months, then slow down hiring - and start laying people off. It usually takes about six months. Expect to see an increase in layoffs starting about the time the kids go back to school.

It would also be interesting to see the stats for "number of hours worked." The trend in most places has been towards switching to part time, and cutting back on hours worked. We already know that the national trend for the last few years has been "more jobs with less actual work." Lots and lots of former full-time workers who get 29 hours a week or less, more and more kids who get four or five half-days instead of three full days.

4 days ago
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Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus

cirby "How big was it?" (158 comments)

"It was so big we had to sterilize our lab equipment with a hammer."

about two weeks ago
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Researchers Develop New Way To Steal Passwords Using Google Glass

cirby WildStar does this (116 comments)

The MMO WildStar uses a randomized keypad for their two-factor authenticator input.

After a while, you get pretty good at it.

about two weeks ago
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Oklahoma's Earthquakes Linked To Fracking

cirby Re:A small problem... (154 comments)

Rocks at depths like these don't allow water to flow very fast, so the earthquakes form a kind of spreading halo around the injection site that moves slowly away and eventually dissipates if you stop injecting.

...except that no such effect appears on their maps.

Not to mention the other thing - where the wells they extract the water from originally are on the side of the fault where the earthquakes happened, and the wells where they inject the water are on the other side of the fault, away from the earthquakes. Not only is it counterintuitive, it's the opposite of what they claim in the study.

about three weeks ago
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Oklahoma's Earthquakes Linked To Fracking

cirby Re:A small problem... (154 comments)

The small fault that seems to be generating most of the seismic activity in the study is not only quite a few miles away, it's not connected to any of the major faults in the area - and there's a long, major fault (Nemaha Fault) in between the injection wells and the earthquake zone. (Figure S9 shows this dramatically)

It gets better. According to the notes for Figure S3, water is extracted on the west side of the Nemaha Fault and re-injected on the east side. Which means that the earthquakes are increasing on the side nearest the extraction, and not increasing on the side where the water is re-injected.

about three weeks ago
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Oklahoma's Earthquakes Linked To Fracking

cirby A small problem... (154 comments)

They're nice enough to put their numbers and charts online. Which is great. https://cornell.app.box.com/okquakes/1/2137038978/18684174734/1

Unfortunately, their own charts show a bit of a problem. Specifically Figure S1.

The increase in earthquakes over time is definite. And it's NOT generally where the actual injection wells are. Sure, there's a few quakes recorded in the middle of the injection well area, but they're not consistent, and they don't map with time.

The earthquakes do map well with one thing, though: they seem to swarm around active seismic stations that aren't near fracking disposal wells. Which seems to either show that seismometers create earthquakes, or that they have some instrumentation issues.

about three weeks ago
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Renewable Energy Saves Fortune 100 Companies $1.1B Annually

cirby Re:Actual savings? (116 comments)

A lot of companies are switching from old-school fluorescents (which aren't quite as efficient) to LEDs as the fixtures wear out. And yes, they do wear out, along with things like ballasts. There are a LOT of the old T12 fluorescents out there still, not to mention the newer (but still somewhat outdated) T8.

They also make LED tubes now - a line of LEDs in a package the same size as the old fluorescent tubes. They cost a lot, but over the long run, they're cheaper to run. Once you include lowering air conditioning costs and less manpower spent replacing tubes, they're often worth the money. All you need to do is bypass the ballast (which also saves money in the long run - those things wear out too).

A lot of factory floors used mercury vapor lights, and those are going away as they get old, replaced with clusters of LEDs.

about three weeks ago
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Renewable Energy Saves Fortune 100 Companies $1.1B Annually

cirby Actual savings? (116 comments)

Not from "reducing carbon emissions and rolling out renewable energy projects."

They saved money by increasing energy efficiency.

And you can bet that a huge chunk of that is just replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs. These are HUGE companies with many, many employees. A savings of $1.1 billion is relatively tiny overall...

about three weeks ago
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Researchers Claim Wind Turbine Energy Payback In Less Than a Year

cirby Nice phrasing... (441 comments)

"the time to produce the amount of energy required of production and installation" ...but not the time to produce enough energy to pay back the actual cost of the machine, including labor and materials.

The actual study is very, very careful to NOT claim that it will pay back the total system cost. It's just the amount of energy used in production and installation, not the cost of raw materials and labor.

about three weeks ago
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Germany's Glut of Electricity Causing Prices To Plummet

cirby "Capacity" (365 comments)

"From December capacity will be at 117% of peak demand."

Ignoring, of course, that when talking about solar/wind power and "capacity," the actual output is, to say the least, variable.

They had the big headline recently about how much they generated during one hour of one day - but for some reason, they didn't mention all of those cloudy and windless winter days where effective output was a tiny fraction of that - and they had to use lots and lots of coal to make up the difference.

about a month ago
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An Army Medal For Coding In Perl

cirby Army Commendation Medal (192 comments)

One of the criteria is "meritorious service."

Writing - on his own - a set of scripts that save that much time for his unit? Should certainly qualify.

about a month ago
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Climate Change Prompts Emperor Penguins To Find New Breeding Grounds

cirby Or, maybe... (215 comments)

...they got tired of all of the scientists following them around, year after year, tagging them and annoying the kids.

"Y'know, Marge, this place is just getting too touristy for me. Let's go somewhere quiet, farther down the beach."

about a month ago
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Astronomers Solve Puzzle of Mysterious Streaks In Radio Images of the Sky

cirby Don't worry... (66 comments)

...it's just the screams of alien robots burning up in the atmosphere.

"Prepare to die, humans! Hey, this is sorta hot, isn't it? No, really, I should have thought this through. AAAHHHHHH!"

about a month and a half ago
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The Mere Promise of Google Fiber Sends Rivals Scrambling

cirby Monopolies? (258 comments)

...and it's almost as if you only find actual monopolies in places where the government intentionally creates them in the first place.

You know, like all of the cable and data monopolies in the US.

about 2 months ago
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Former US Test Site Sues Nuclear Nations For Disarmament Failure

cirby One Big Problem (165 comments)

"Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."

Note that this part of the Treaty does NOT say that they have to continually pursue negotiations until the end of time. All they had to do was pursue negotiations ONCE in order to fulfill the Treaty.

There were regular nuclear disarmament negotiations during the 1970s and 1980s - right up until the point where one of the participants in the NNPT effectively disbanded.

about 3 months ago
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

cirby Re:And they've already stopped TODAY (632 comments)

Yeah, those darned conspiracy theorists, all crazy and stuff - complaining about a policy that was stupid and evil.

But now that it hit the news and EVERYONE said it was stupid and evil, the government has stopped doing the stupid, evil thing.

So those people are now wrong and crazy.

Until the government starts doing it again.

about 3 months ago
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How Well Do Our Climate Models Match Our Observations?

cirby A problem... (560 comments)

...with your links.

The first one? The guy who uses Rush Limbaugh and other TV folks to show how unredeemable the skeptics are? Instead of actually quoting the folks who did the research and found the quotes?

He makes a big deal about finding "trick" in scientific papers to represent a clever solution for a problem. Fair enough.

However, he pretends that the problem with "hide the decline" is about something other than tree rings... when the hinge of most of the AGW models was tree-ring reconstruction. Basically, the guys "hiding the decline" desperately needed to hide the decline in temperatures for that part of their reconstruction in order for that reconstruction to be used as a metric for past temperatures versus CO2.

Yes, it's a nice snarky propaganda video, but it's wrong.

The second one? the one you refer to as "in depth and impartial?"

You're kidding, right?

For example, he handwaves "the divergence problem" with tree rings, which is something that those particular climate models can't survive. Remember the Hockey Stick? Notice how nobody uses it any more? Based on tree ring models. So yeah.

The thing you also missed about the Climategate problem for AGW fans: a lot of what they said would be fine, in a publication, or in an answer to a paper. It was, however, stuff they never told anyone, because it poked huge holes in the foundation of their work.

about 5 months ago
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How Well Do Our Climate Models Match Our Observations?

cirby Re:Does this 'trick' adhere? Nope. (560 comments)

Except, of course, that it was not "valid" at all.

When you have to hide your own results, you're doing something wrong.

A lot of dedicated alarmists have tried to pretend that "the trick" was above-board... but it wasn't.

In any other field, if a scientist had tried this sort of thing to hide a bad result, they'd be in deep trouble.

about 5 months ago

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