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Study Links Pacific Coastal Warming To Changing Winds

dtjohnson Re:Two new deniers are born... (207 comments)

It would actually take about 75 years to combust all known reserves of fossil fuels at current combustion rates. In that scenario, prices would remain constant until that last chunk of coal was burned. However, the more likely scenario would be that fossil fuel prices would increase as they become more scarce and difficult to extract and the increased prices would lead to lower rates of use which would extend the life of fossil fuel reserves out to perhaps 2 or 3 centuries. In that scenario, the atmospheric co2 concentration would never reach 550 ppm (which requires 75 years of combustion at current rates) but would instead remain below 500 ppm and then decline as combustion rates dropped below the rate necessary to maintain the current atmospheric concentration. Approximately 80 percent of the carbon dioxide released from current combustion ends up as calcium carbonate in ocean sediments rather than co2 in the air.

about a week ago
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Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

dtjohnson Where IS this Microsoft Talent that you speak of? (363 comments)

It's not on display in their current business. Windows 8.1, Office, xbox, windows phone, where? Also, let's not forget that they are busy laying off many/most of the former Nokia engineers in Finland that actually had to design, build, and compete in a competitive world market and replacing them with...who?

about a week ago
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Study Links Pacific Coastal Warming To Changing Winds

dtjohnson Re:Two new deniers are born... (207 comments)

I sense a teachable moment. Carbon dioxide molecules certainly absorb infrared radiation leaving our beautiful planet. They have been doing that for most of the 4 billion years that the Earth has existed and had an atmosphere of gases. Fortunately for the planet, though, those same co2 molecules do not 'hold on to' (or store) the IR but, instead, 'release' it via collisions with other, far more abundant molecules in the atmosphere (O2, N2, H2O) or re-radiate it. Someone has noticed that the carbon dioxide concentration has increased in the atmosphere by 84 ppm since 1958 to its present concentration of approximately 400 ppm and they are concerned that that increase will result in a net decrease in heat being radiated into space thereby leaving our planet warmer. They believe that the carbon dioxide concentration should be held to a constant value by limiting the combustion of fossil fuels. To support this belief, they have modeled the planetary climate with computer software and have determined that a continuing increase in carbon dioxide concentration will lead to a much warmer climate which will, in turn, lead to melting of the polar ice caps in antarctica and greenland resulting in a dramatically higher sea level that will inundate a large portion of the human population. However, the maximum atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration possible if we combust all of the known reserves of fossil fuels at our present rate of combustion is about 550 ppm and it appears likely that a re-tuning of the computer model will show that a concentration of 550 ppm will not result in a any of the catastrophes that the earlier computer runs predicted, as TFA is alluding to. The climate changes, is changing, and will change...yes. But...due to carbon dioxide concentration...no. Capiche?

about a week ago
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Study Links Pacific Coastal Warming To Changing Winds

dtjohnson Two new deniers are born... (207 comments)

Denier: anyone who does not agree that the earth's climate is being significantly warmed by the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.

about a week ago
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Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

dtjohnson Reject the Culture of Death... (478 comments)

...and embrace a Culture of Life. This 'bioethicist' is asking you to buy into his values: that the 'feeble' are less valuable than the 'non-feeble', that life is not worth living unless you are 'vibrant and engaged,' etc. These are the same sorts of values that are used to justify suicide, abortion, executions/murders, assisted suicide, euthanasia, eugenics, mercy killings, and the like, with the implied blanket claim that the killing somehow improves things for the killers. In TFA, we have the 'bioethicist' arbitrarily selecting some calendar age to begin neglecting his health based on the idea that life after that point is not worth living.

about a week ago
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Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

dtjohnson Diet sodas have ruined millions of lives (294 comments)

It is great to see some serious research on the aspartame/splendas type of artifical sweeteners based on amino acids. But you can do your own research. Go down to your local supermarket and look at all of the people who are 100+ lbs overweight who have a case or more of diet soda in their shopping cart. These people are severely disabled. Their quality of life is poor, their mobility is restricited, their life expectancy is greatly shortened, and the high blood sugar levels have severely affected their neurological function and cognitive processes. Worse, it is not their fault, even though their friends and families probably have castigated them about it from time to time. If there is one single person to blame, it would be Donald Rumsfeld, who as the new head of GD Searle, was instrumental in getting the federal government to approve aspartame back in the 1980s. That opened the floodgate of these sweeteners and, the rest, is history.

about two weeks ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

dtjohnson Science is not a religion (937 comments)

Science is a process of discovery: using observations, measurements, and thought to attempt to answer questions about the physical world. Religion attempts to define values, principles, rules, and ideas that enable our lives to be lived as our creator God desires. The only way that science and religion intersect is when people attempt to use science to prove or disprove the existence of God...which is obviously a question that science can not, and never will, resolve. If atheists need spockism, it is only because it gives them the comfort of a world with all questions 'logically' answered and with no messy philosophical entrails.

about two weeks ago
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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

dtjohnson Playing the ball... (770 comments)

"CO2 concentration is measurably increasing year on year and accelerating...this is because of release of fossil fuel sequestered CO...CO2 in the atmosphere traps heat...These are not up for debate...The only debatable point is what do these facts mean for the climate."

Here are some more facts. The atmospheric co2 concentration is increasing by about 2 ppm per year. The world currently produces about 4.9 x 10^13 kg of co2 per year from the combustion of fossil fuels. Therefore, the small total amount of co2 in the earth's atmosphere (atmospheric mass x co2 concentration) means that the earth currently sequesters ALL of the co2 produced by living organisms, decay, natural methane seeps, etc. as well as approximately 80 percent of all of the co2 produced annually from the entire world combustion of coal, oil, and natural gas. Based on all known reserves, there are approximately 75 years remaining of fossil fuels at current consumption rates. What this means is that, even if the natural sequestration rate remains unchanged (it is likely to increase with increasing co2 conc), the atmospheric c02 concentration will not increase more than 150 ppm ultimately reaching a concentration of approximately 550 ppm from the current 400 ppm. Even that increase, however, is unlikely, as rising fossil fuel prices and the diminishing returns of production will mean that global consumption of fossil fuels will decline over the next century as they are replaced by solar, wind power, nuclear power, conservation measures, and increased energy efficiencies. Therefore, rather than reach a maximum of 550 ppm and then decline precipitously as the last chunk of coal is burned, the atmospheric co2 concentration will more likely never reach that number as consumption tapers off and consumption continues at a lower rate of several centuries. What this means to an AGW true believer is that you have to believe that the earth's climate would dramatically warm if the atmospheric concentration of co2 went from the current 400 ppm to 550 (or less) and, there is absolutely no scientific basis for that belief. The atmospheric co2 concentration has increased by approximately 84 ppm since co2 measurements began in 1958 and the earth's climate has not changed dramatically. Even the small amount of warming that we have seen during that time is much more likely to have resulted from increased solar activity and long-term climate effects (we are in the middle of an interglacial warming period) than an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Moreover, there are actually signs of climate cooling as both the arctic and antarctic ice extent have increased in recent years. So, no, 'consensus' is not science.

about three weeks ago
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L.A. Times National Security Reporter Cleared Stories With CIA Before Publishing

dtjohnson Follow the money... (188 comments)

Many will likely go 'cluck, cluck...they are the independent press and shouldn't do that' and, of course, they are right. But the 'independent press' is rapidly disappearing because there is no longer any money to be made in being part of the 'independent press.' Newspapers (such as the LA Times) have a plummeting circulation of mostly older subscribers and a shrinking advertising base. Most of them are losing money hand over fist or, at best, barely breaking even. Television news (network and local) is seeing its viewer base plummeting and consequently, its advertising revenues are declining rapidly, leaving it fortunate to still be on the air. Internet media gets lots of hits but not much revenue. The bottom line is that there are no longer any major 'independent' news organizations that can afford to antagonize powerful organizations, be they government or corporate or whatever. The LA Times reporter was likely grateful for any scraps of information that his CIA friends would give him because he would never have any way of getting that information otherwise. He is probably lucky if the LA Times will pay him car mileage to drive over to meet with a source. You get what you pay for. Follow the money. What do you pay for news?

about three weeks ago
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Tesla's Next Auto-Dealer Battleground State: Georgia

dtjohnson What is the Tesla strategy? (157 comments)

(From TFA): "Musk and Tesla's biggest hurdle in the U.S. has been bypassing conventional dealerships and selling directly to customers. "

I don't get why Tesla's biggest hurdle to sales is bypassing conventional dealerships. It seems like their biggest hurdle would be to convince people to purchase a new type of vehicle that had different advantages and disadvantages than anything they had owned before. The linked article on the slowing sales of electric vehicles also refers to that when it mentions that 'the numbers don't pencil out for many purchasers.' So why is Tesla focusing so much energy on getting rid of car dealerships? Couldn't they allow 'Tesla' franchise dealers to sell cars? Wouldn't that result in more retail outlets for Teslas? Wouldn't that result in more places for Tesla owners to go for repairs and parts and wouldn't that result in more people working indirectly or directly to make Tesla a success? Maybe a few dealer salespeople would be able to show buyers how the numbers do pencil out. What am I missing here?

about a month ago
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Study: Antarctic Sea-Level Rising Faster Than Global Rate

dtjohnson Re:What will it take? (302 comments)

You're not accounting for all the methane that gets released from the frozen tundra in Siberia. Once that goes, it's runaway greenhouse warming. Methane is much more climate warming than CO2.

No, methane does not persist in the atmosphere but oxidizes in a matter of a few weeks. Moreover, the amount of methane potentially released from permafrost is small relative to the amount of methane produced as natural gas.

about a month ago
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Study: Antarctic Sea-Level Rising Faster Than Global Rate

dtjohnson Re:What will it take? (302 comments)

Okay, here are some facts. The atmospheric co2 concentration is increasing by about 2 ppm per year. The world currently produces about 4.9 x 10^13 kg of co2 per year from the combustion of fossil fuels. That means that the earth currently sequesters all of the co2 produced by living organisms, decay, natural methane seeps, etc. as well as approximately 80 percent of all of the co2 produced from the world combustion of coal, oil, and natural gas. Based on all known reserves, there are approximately 75 years remaining of fossil fuels at current consumption rates. That means that, even if the natural sequestration rate remains unchanged, the atmospheric c02 concentration will not increase more than 150 ppm ultimately reaching a concentration of approximately 550 ppm from the current 400 ppm. Even that increase, however, is unlikely, as fossil fuel prices and the diminishing returns of production will mean that global consumption fossil fuels will likely decline over the next century as it is replaced by solar, wind power, nuclear power, conservation measures, and increase energy efficiencies. Therefore, rather than reach a maximum of 550 ppm and then decline precipitously as the last chunk of coal is burned, the atmospheric co2 concentration will more likely never reach that number as consumption tapers off and consumption continues at a lower rate of several centuries. What this means to an AGW true believer is that you have to believe that the earth's climate would dramatically warm if the atmospheric concentration of co2 went from 400 ppm to 550 (or less) and, there is absolutely no scientific basis for that belief. The atmospheric co2 concentration has increased by approximately 84 ppm since co2 measurements began in 1958 and the earth's climate has not changed dramatically. Even the small amount of warming that we have seen during that time is more likely to have resulted from changes in solar activity and other climate effects than an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Moreover, there are signs of climate cooling as both the arctic and antarctic ice extent have increased in recent years (TFA notwithstanding). If antarctic continental ice is melting, it is likely due to subsurface volcanic activity and geothermal heat input rather than warmer atmospheric temperatures which never rise above freezing in antarctica away from the coastlines.

about a month ago
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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

dtjohnson Re:What? (708 comments)

Yes, in the beginning there was carbon and water. Then, the water was split into hydrogen and oxygen which oxidized the carbon into carbon dioxide and left a lot of hydrogen gas drifting around. Then life spontaneously arose and converted the carbon dioxide into hydrocarbons aka "stored sunlight." Then more new life spontaneously arose which could metabolize the stored sunlight (aka food) into carbon dioxide and now here we are busily turning/burning the stored sunlight back into carbon dioxide. Now, all we need to do is to stop everyone from burning the stored sunlight and we will all live happily ever after on our beautiful planet while happily skipping naked hand in hand with naked females through meadows filled with daisies and dandelions. [editor: please add the above to the IPCC report to the world leaders]

about a month ago
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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

dtjohnson It's IPCC...not IPPC (708 comments)

At least get the acronym for the name of the organization predicting doom right. And...there's no hurry for action. The climate is currently taking a 'hiatus' from warming due to the alleged storage of heat in the deep ocean. Forecasts for the upcoming winter are...cold.

about a month ago
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Statistics Losing Ground To CS, Losing Image Among Students

dtjohnson Difficult to determine what TFA is about (115 comments)

Is this very poorly written article about: 1) students not choosing to pursue a career path in computer science rather than statistics... or... 2) CS people doing poor-quality statistics work... or... 3)banning the Advanced Placement "Statistics" class because students are relying too much on their "pocket calculators." We get three-articles-in-one to talk about here. At least they are all loosely related to something called "statistics."

about a month ago
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Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

dtjohnson Admission that the "Hiatus" exists... (465 comments)

Here is an implicit admission that there is such a thing as a "hiatus" from the predicted increase in global temperature. Most of the recent stories have suggested that the planet was past the point of no return, that the antarctic ice cap was doomed, that the arctic would soon, be ice free, that sea levels were on the verge of dramatic increase, that drought caused by planetary warming was accelerating, and so forth. The entire idea of human-caused global warming is based on information we have that the the atmospheric concentration of co2 is increasing and computer models which suggest that this increase in co2 concentration would lead to an increase in global temperatures due to heat being prevented from radiating back into space. But...what if the computer models are...dare we say it...wrong? What if the earth's albedo changes due to changes in atmospheric water vapor and condensed water (clouds) that are not modeled? What if the solar output changes leading to planetary heating and cooling cycles stretching over centuries? What if the amount of heat radiation into space that is being blocked by carbon dioxide is far less than predicted by the modeling due to kinetic gas mixing and reradiation? What if the amount of heat originating from the center of the earth is varying more than we expect and affecting our surface climate? If our crude computer models attributing climate change solely to simplistic effects of carbon dioxide heat absorption are...wrong, one result would be that planetary surface temperatures might not actually increase as the models have predicted. Now, though, the co2/AGW proponents are attributing exactly this effect to an increase in subsurface ocean temperatures. However, there is obviously no long-term data on these temperatures making any such prediction fanciful at best. To put this into perspective, if all of the solar radiation striking the earth in a one-year period were to be absorbed by the earth's oceans and none of it were re-radiated into space, the temperature of the earth's ocean waters would increase by only about 0.2 C in that year. Now, consider that even AGW proponents will concede that 99.99 percent of that solar radiation is re-radiated into space and the temperature variations in the deep ocean would be very small and lost in the 'noise' of the measurement precision and absence of historical data for comparison. TFA is nothing but interesting conjectural speculation based on very limited data and certainly not the definitive 'answer' suggested by the slashdot article title.

about a month ago
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TEPCO: Nearly All Nuclear Fuel Melted At Fukushima No. 3 Reactor

dtjohnson Idiot speaks: "So.. what?" (255 comments)

A large amount of radioactive material was released into the ocean where it will remain in the food chain for decades. Approximately 100,000 people are unable to return to their homes and a large area of land in a country where land is scarce and precious is uninhabitable. But...that's just the short term. Long term: Japan will have to deal with electric power shortages for years until their power generation can be rebuilt with new technology. Hundreds of billions of dollars will have to be spent over the next 20 years to decommission the mess at Fukushima and attempt to decontaminate the surrounding downwind land. All of this was avoidable...but happened because the resident village idiots were able to prevent realistic plans from being implemented for electric power generation at Fukushima. The Onagawa power station was closer to the earthquake epicenter and yet it survived undamaged thanks to a losing battle by the resident village idiots to ensure that it was built according to their idiot plans. They lost at Onagawa but 'won' at Fukushima. Idiots who said...why spend a lot of money on a bigger seawall at Fukushima? Idiot engineers at GE who said 'there's no need for a failsafe design for something that will never happen,' and idiots who say 'what's the big deal about a meltdown?'

about 2 months ago
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New Car Heads-Up Display To Be Controlled By Hand Gestures, Voice Commands

dtjohnson Shut up and drive... (142 comments)

Those cool features described in the TFA, like the HUD display for test messages, twitter, iTunes, etc. leads to something politely called 'distracted driving' and less politely called 'Being an Asshole' which last year killed 3,328 people and injured 421,000. As a long-time biker, I often see the drivers working their smartphone whilst swerving through traffic and chatting up their passengers and I've damn near become one of the 421,000 (or the 3,328) more than once. Rather than provide fancy new 'heads up' displays for drivers or built-in smart phone driver docking stations for drivers with their 'heads up' their ass, we should be working on roadside electronic surveillance and longer prison sentences for the drivers who kill people while using their smartphone.

about 2 months ago
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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant Dismantling Will Cost $4.4 Billion, Take 20 Years

dtjohnson Re:No, it's killing the planet (343 comments)

"Every single one of those damnable windmills is slowing-down the air and making it more turbulent as a trade-off for spinning the generator..."

This is so dumb, it's actually funny. Those 'windmills' do not create or consume energy. They are an energy transfer device. The take an insignificant amount of energy (relative to the atmospheric total) out of the moving gases in the atmosphere and transfer it to another location. There, that energy is released as heat into the...(wait for it)...atmosphere where it contributes (in an insiginificant small way) to convective heating that drives more...wind.

about 2 months ago
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San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant Dismantling Will Cost $4.4 Billion, Take 20 Years

dtjohnson Nuclear power will be too cheap to meter... (343 comments)

...not. Advocates of nuclear power point to the relatively-low (compared with other fuel types) operating cost of nuclear power plants but tend to disregard the construction and dismantling costs. In this case, the dismantling cost is estimated at $4.4 billion and that's before dismantling has even started. Worse, still, though was the little nugget in the article stating that the spent nuclear fuel would be indefinitely stored on the site in steel cannisters until the federal government comes up with a long term solution. Yeah, I know what you're thinking...'so what's the big deal about a little spent nuclear fuel in a few steel cannisters?' Well, those will require long-term expensive oversight and security and, even with all of that, will likely eventually begin releasing contamination into the environment as vigilence is relaxed due to future financial constraints, corrosion, etc. That spent nuclear fuel remains dangerous far after we, our descendants, their descendants, and their descendants are alive...and that amount of time is probably beyond the limit of any earthly vigilance anyway. Don't buy into the 'nuclear power is cheap and environmentally-friendly' arguments. It's not either one of those...and never will be (fission-based power anyway). Better to have coal-fired power plants. Even better to have wind and solar power. Better still to just use less.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Antarctic Ice hits an all-time record high level

dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  about 2 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes ""Two weeks after a new record was set in the Arctic Ocean for the least amount of sea ice coverage in the satellite record, the ice surrounding Antarctica reached its highest ever level. Sea ice extended over 19.44 million square kilometers (7.51 million square miles) in 2012, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The previous record of 19.39 million kilometers (7.49 million square miles) was set in 2006." Ice extent is reaching an all-time record high on the bottom of the planet just after ice reached an all-time record low on the top of the planet. What can it mean? Either there will soon be more ice at the top or less ice at the bottom or the planet will become seriously 'bottom heavy.' Now there is something to worry about..."
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Underground condos for sale in Kansas will be humanity's last holdout

dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes "A developer in Kansas is selling what can be called "Humanity's Last Holdout." He is converting abandoned Atlas missile silos into luxury condos that will allow the occupants to hunker down and withstand war, solar flares, catclysmic weather events, and just about any of your general apocalyptic events. A condo starts at $1 million for a half-floor unit and will include complex life support systems for water, power, and unmentionables. So far, brisk sales have totaled $7 million."
Link to Original Source
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Iran deleted from the world's banking computers

dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes "Iran is being deleted from the world banking system Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) computers as of Saturday at 1600 UTC. Once the SWIFT codes for Iranian banks are deleted, Iranian banks will no longer be able to transfer funds to and from other worldwide banks making Iranian international commerce into a barter operation. SWIFT is taking the action at the request of EU members to comply with international sanctions against Iran due to its program to develop nuclear weapons. The effect will be to drastically hinder Iran's ability to execute international business transactions. This is serious folks."
Link to Original Source
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Greenland ice cover loss claims said wrong

dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  about 3 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes "The new "Times Atlas of the World" claims in publicity for its newest edition that global warming has turned 15 percent of Greenland's former ice-covered land "green and ice-free." Now, however, scientists from the Scott Polar Research Institute say those figures, based on data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) are wrong. "Recent satellite images of Greenland make it clear that there are in fact still numerous glaciers and permanent ice cover where the new Times Atlas shows ice-free conditions and the emergence of new lands," they say in a letter that has been sent to the Times. Others have pointed out that if 15 percent of Greenland ice cover had been lost, then sea levels would have risen by 1 meter...which has not happened. Perhaps yet another climategate is brewing."
Link to Original Source
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Future Sun may disrupt spacecraft and satellites

dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes "A study published today predicts that solar storms are going to become increasingly disruptive to satellites and communications in the coming decades as the sun cycles towards a minimum of activity. "The work, published in Geophysical Research Letters, predicts that once the Sun shifts toward an era of lower solar activity, more hazardous radiation will reach Earth. The team says the Sun is currently at a grand solar maximum. This phase began in the 1920s — and has lasted throughout the space age....The evidence seems to indicate that although there are fewer solar storms once the Sun leaves its grand maximum, they are more powerful, faster and therefore carry more particles.""
Link to Original Source
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Thunderstorms produce large amounts of antimatter

dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes "Scientists have been looking for anti-matter deep in space but now it appears that there is a source much closer to home...thunderstorms. Scientists looking at terrestial gamma ray flashes (TGFs) produced in thunderstorms have discovered that the gamma ray energy transforms into a pair of particles...an electron and a positron...which then sprays out into space as an anti-matter beam. This happens as many as 500 times each day. Perhaps it will not be much longer until anti-matter is harnesses as a source of energy for interstellar warp drive."
Link to Original Source
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Solar hemisphere eruption shatters understandings

dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes ""On August 1, 2010, an entire hemisphere of the sun erupted. Filaments of magnetism snapped and exploded, shock waves raced across the stellar surface, billion-ton clouds of hot gas billowed into space. Astronomers knew they had witnessed something big. It was so big, it may have shattered old ideas about solar activity."

Previously, solar scientists had considered solar activity to be localized and isolated but the August 1 eruption led to the insight that all localized activity (i.e. 'sunspots') were manifestations of much bigger interrelated solar magnetic activity lurking below the surface. This has implications for models of the Earth's climate which have modeled solar output as a relatively constant input to the Earth's climate varying only slightly on the 11-year sunspot cycle."

Link to Original Source
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One percent of human genes come from Neanderthals

dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  more than 4 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes "A study published in Nature today establishes conclusively that living humans carry between 1 and 4 percent of their genes in common with Neanderthals. Previous studies failed to show intermixing between us and neanderthals. The new, much more rigorous study, was done by sequencing DNA from 3 neanderthal individuals who perished 40,000 years ago and comparing it with DNA from humans in Africa, France, Papua New Guinea, and China. The researchers concluded that humans living today carry between 1 and 4 percent of Neanderthal genes and the intermixing must have happened during a 50,000 year window when neanderthals and humans were living side-by-side in the Middle East. So, the next time you see a neanderthal image, keep in mind that it might be your Uncle Fester."
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Arctic Ice Extent Underestimated by bad sensor

dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  more than 5 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes "The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has been at the forefront of predicting doom in the arctic as ice melts due to global warming. In May, 2008 they went so far as to predict that the North Pole would be ice-free during the 2008 'melt season' leading to a lively slashdot discussion. Today, however, they say that they have been the victims of 'sensor drift' that lead to an underestimation of arctic ice extent by as much as 500,000 square kilometers. The problem was discovered after they received emails from puzzled readers, asking why obviously sea-ice-covered regions were showing up as ice free open ocean. It turns out that the NSIDC relys on an older, less-reliable method of tracking sea ice extent called SSM/I that does not agree with a newer method called AMSR-E. So why doesn't NSIDC use the newer AMSR-E data? "We do not use AMSR-E data in our analysis because it is not consistent with our historical data." Turns out that the AMSR-E data only goes back to 2002 which is probably not long enough for the NSIDC to make sweeping conclusions about melting. The AMSR-E data is updated daily and is available to the public. Thus far, sea ice extent in 2009 is tracking ahead of 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 so the predictions of an ice free north pole might be premature."
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RIAA litigation may be unconstitutional

dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  more than 5 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes "A Harvard law school professor has submitted arguments on behalf of Joel Tenenbaum in RIAA v. Tenenbaum in which Professor Charles Neeson claims that the underlying law that the RIAA uses is actually a criminal, rather than civil, statute and is therefore unconstitutional. According to this article, "Neeson charges that the federal law is essentially a criminal statute in that it seeks to punish violators with minimum statutory penalties far in excess of actual damages. The market value of a song is 99 cents on iTunes; of seven songs, $6.93. Yet the statutory damages are a minimum of $750 per song, escalating to as much as $150,000 per song for infringement "committed willfully."" If the law is a criminal statute, Neeson then claims that it violates the 5th and 8th amendments and is therefore unconstitutional. Litigation will take a while but this may be the end for RIAA litigation, at least until they can persuade Congress to pass a new law."
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2008 is the coldest year of this century

dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes "Data from the United Kingdom Metereological Office suggests that 2008 will be an unusually cold year due to the La Nina effect in the western Pacific ocean. Not to worry, though, as the La Nina effect has faded recently so its effect on next years temperatures will be reduced. However, another natural cycle, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, is predicted to hold global temperatures steady for the next decade before global warming takes our planet into new warmth. If these predictions are correct, there must be a lot of planetary heat being stored away somewhere...unless the heat output from the sun is decreasing rather than increasing or the heat being absorbed by the earth is decreasing due to changes in the earth's albedo."
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Microsoft falls over the cliff

dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes "Microsft released their fiscal 3rd quarter earnings yesterday and they are a shocker. Sales of the Windows Client tumbled 24 percent from a year ago, sales of Microsoft Office were down 2 percent, but sales of Xbox360 gear were up 68 percent. Unfortunately for Microsoft, though, the 'Entertainment' Division is still just a break-even business and most of their profit comes from selling Windows and Office. Other interesting stuff: they repurchased $5 billion less stock in 3Q08 than 3Q07 and they are carrying $10 billion on their books now as 'goodwill' versus only $5 billion in the year ago period. Looks like all of those stories about problems with Windows Vista were...right. What should Microsoft do now to fix the mess? Rush out a new and improved Windows update or keep pushing on Vista?"
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Poll Topic

dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes "How much gas do you use to get to work? A) Zero. I roller-skate. B) Less than 1/4 gallon. Two wheels and a motor are all anyone should need. C) 1/4 to 1/2 gallon. My carpool complains about my gas. D) 1/2 to 1 gallon. My car sips gas like it's fine champagne. E) 1 to 2 gallons. My job and I are at opposite ends of a space-time paradox. F) More than 2 gallons. My carbon footprint looks like Sasquatch so I own stock in Exxon Mobil."
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New infrared treatment for Alzheimer patients

dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes "A new treatment is being tested for people with Alzheimer's disease in which the brain is bathed with infra-red radiation to stimulate the growth of brain cells. Tests in mice have been very promising at improving the learning ability of the mice. In tests with people, 8 out of 9 have showed improvement. The treatment requires that an infra-red emitting helmet be worn for 10 minutes a day. From the article: "Currently all you can do with dementia is to slow down the rate of decay — this new process will not only stop that rate of decay but partially reverse it." It's estimated by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health that the incidence of Alzheimer's will increase from the current 1 in 200 people to 1 out of 85 people worldwide by 2050 so any new potential treatment is welcome news."
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dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  more than 7 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes "Google has just gone live with their new javascript requirement. Now, you can no longer access stuff like groups or images from the Google front page without having javascript turned on. Given the security weaknesses of javascript, many turn it off or use plugins like noscript to block untrustworthy sites. Google was in trouble not long ago for their search logging. Now, you'll have to let Google in through your javascript door if you want to use their stuff. What will they do with that?"
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dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  more than 7 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes "Semiconductor Insights has selected the 65nm AMD X2 manufacturing process for their 'Most Innovative Process Technology' award for 2006. Says their press squib: ""Our analysis of the device has confirmed that the 65nm AMD Athlon(TM) 64 X2 dual-core desktop processors produced at AMD's Fab 36, use minimum gate lengths of 35nm, nine copper and one aluminum metal levels, strained silicon channel and a Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) substrate," stated Don Scansen, SI's lead process analyst. "Put altogether, it is an impressive technology package""
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dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  more than 7 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes "In a study of 364 men by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, those who used cell phones heavily were found to have fewer sperm that were less healthy than men who abstained from cell phones. Men who logged 4 hours per day with their cell phone had average sperm counts of 50 million per ml and the least healthy sperm while men who did not use a cell phone had sperm counts of 86 million per ml and their sperm was of superior quality. Maybe the cell phone damages sperm or maybe any man who would spend 4 hours a day chatting on a cell phone just doesn't have very good sperm to begin with, compared with the strong, silent types. More studies are needed..."
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dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  about 8 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes "The Inquirer writes about a script to install the latest version on Internet Explorer on Linux distributions using WINE. The program achieves "the feat of running several Internet Explorer versions side by side -something not possible on windows without some hacking of the Microsoft provided installers" and also manages to isolate IE from the WINE installation. It even downloads and installs the ActiveX version of the Flash 9 player for IE and installs it at the end of its process. While it's always good to see more software options, is running IE a good thing or is it a new no-security 'window' for the world to leap through...on Linux? Even worse, could this make people less likely to use IE alternatives like Firefox?"
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dtjohnson dtjohnson writes  |  about 8 years ago

dtjohnson (102237) writes "Princeton University has published a paper and video describing the results of their testing of a Diebold touchscreen voting machine that is used at thousands of locations in the United States. Princeton found that malicious vote stealing software could be installed in a machine in less than one minute that would miscount the votes and then delete itself when the 'election' was ended, leaving no trace that it ever existed. In their hypothetical election, George Washington loses to Benedict Arnold in the final vote tally even though George Washington received more 'touchscreen' votes. It's amazing that these kinds of machines are still allowed to be used. The short flash video at the bottom of the page does an exceptionally good job of illustrating the problem. Your local elected officials need to see it."

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