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Climate Scientist Pioneer Talks About the Furture of Geoengineering

fygment Climate Whiz (et al) are all knowing, right? (139 comments)

Because climate is part of the global system, clearly one must understand the interaction of all the components.
Which means the Climate Whiz (et al) know what all the components are.
And naturally, the Climate Whiz (et al) know what all the components do and how they work.
And, of course, how all the components interact.
With such knowledge one supposes that what 'they' say is true, there is nothing left to discover.

Oh, hey look here, was this already known? Hope there's nothing else hidden out there. How catastrophic could that be :-p


Numerous Methane Leaks Found On Atlantic Sea Floor

fygment Don't be fooled. (272 comments)

No it isn't the vents that were just discovered that contribute to climate change?
No no ...
It is climate change that caused the vents ?!
Can you spin things more blatantly?

In any case, yet more evidence of how little we know about our planet.
And more reason not to screw with it.
Adapt and accept that things change for reasons we cannot yet comprehend.
Laying blame and grandiose geoengineering 'cures', are the stuff of politicians and profiteers.
Don't be fooled.

2 days ago

If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

fygment Poorly Phrased Question (500 comments)

When I read "_how_ C strings work...", I began to think of what I knew about how the C language is actually implemented. And frankly, I don't know how C is implemented (eg. what happens after parsing, how things get converted to CPU instructions). Even though I've spent a fair bit of time writing in the language, I would have stumbled on that question and perhaps have asked you to clarify (something a younger person is less likely to do).

When I read your answer, I realized you were asking "how are strings defined in C" or "how do you use C with string types".

See the difference? On that alone, I guess you may have screened out a lot of good people.

Tangentially, this is also a good reason to not pay too much attention to survey results unless you have actually read the questions that were asked in the survey.

2 days ago

Scientists Confirm Life Under Antarctic Ice

fygment Biology != Science (46 comments)

The "butterfly collectors" are surprised again ... well some are. The others are getting used to the idea that they really have no clue about where and how life can exist.

5 days ago

Scientists Baffled By Unknown Source of Ozone-Depleting Chemical

fygment They. Just. Don't. Know. Here's what that means.. (303 comments)

Some will blame humans.
Some will blame an unknown natural phenomenon.
Bottom line?

And yet, despite yet another glaring example of the tenousness of our grasp of natural and human processes, people continue to think that the planet can be engineered to 'solve' climate change, etc.

Maybe the climate is changing, maybe it's not. Maybe it's human caused, maybe it's not. We just don't know. And maybe the wise person will hold off on acting in ignorance so they don't make things worse. The only reason not to wait is to profit from the fear mongering. And that's just wrong.

about a week ago

Modular Hive Homes Win Mars Base Design Competition

fygment Above ground hexagons? Only circles are stupider (61 comments)

You're on Mars. You need to keep it simple, and keep resource requirements down. So why six walls instead of four? Why complicated join angles? Does the fact that all but the most artsy furniture is _square_, and hence fits best in a square/rectangular space, lost on the designers/judges? Does the fact that Mars dwellers might come from Earth, and hence long for something familiar, not suggest that a square/rectangular design might be better for the mental health of the colony?

We are not bees. We are human. Mars dwellers will not be 'artists', but people struggling to survive in an alien and hostile environment. Hexagon houses don't make any sense here on Earth, where they are easy to build and maintain. Why in heaven's name would they make sense on Mars?

You know what would make sense? Frickin' trailer parks of 'portables' like we use in hostile environments here on Earth! Worried about radiation? Put them underground dumbass!

about a week ago

The Royal Society Proposes First Framework For Climate Engineering Experiments

fygment Beginning of the End due to lack of knowledge (174 comments)

We simply do not know enough about the planet to 'engineer' it.
Every past effort to 'engineer' nature, even the simplest, has discovered things it failed to take in to account eg. introduction of 'control' species that became 'invasive'.
On top of which, we don't have to engineer our way out of this. The clear solutions arepresent albeit mundane: more trees, less waste.
'Engineering' the planet simply means finding a way to allow us (humans) to continue to make inefficient or wasteful use of our resources.

So this is where I personally opt out.
        I will deny climate change simply in an effort to keep people from screwing with the planet and to encourage others to protest experiments.
        My next house will have two airconditioners, four cars (all SUV's), two pools, and as much 'always on' electronic gadgetry as I can stuff in it.
        All my future purchases will be quadruple wrapped in plastic, all my food processed, and I'll no longer recycle.

If you're going to engineer the planet, I'm going to make it worth your while.

about a week ago

Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

fygment Re:Answer to headlines question is, again, "No" (442 comments)

You're wrong on all counts. Neat!


a) _all_ forms of energy production need storage, simply because demand varies and production cannot be dynamically varied in sync. Therefore, energy produced that exceeds demand should, in the interest of efficient use of resources, be stored. Renewables _in particular_ require storage; and

b) the power usage of power-hungry industries _cannot_ be varied easily. Those industries respond to consumer demand and resource availability, neither of which is controlled "easily".

about two weeks ago

Broadband Subscribers Eclipsing Cable TV Subscribers

fygment + or - 5,000 on 50,000,000 is not 'eclipse' ... (85 comments)

... it's noise.

More accurate to say, 'the number of people with broadband subscribers now approximately equals ....'

Very sadly, I know that I will shortly hear someone in the workplace trumpetinng the /. title.

about two weeks ago

Apple's App Store Needs a Radical Revamp; How Would You Go About It?

fygment Listen to feedback users have already posted? (249 comments)

Also, be honest. Like, when you use /. to conduct a survey, don't use a bogus name; use your real name, Apple, when posting in public.

about two weeks ago

China Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Apologizes For Unauthorized Data Access

fygment " ... only collect users' phone numbers ... " (64 comments)

So they only know who you speak with.
One wonders what that information would be worth and to whom.
Was phone number collection a condition in exchange for guarantees of the company's success, or did the company, after the fact, realise it had an additional profit line as its customer base increased?

about two weeks ago

Injecting Liquid Metal Into Blood Vessels Could Help Kill Tumors

fygment "Relatively benign" ... ? (111 comments)

Will the side effects simply lead to death in another way?
Will the quality of the time bought, if any, be worth it?

about two weeks ago

Brookings Study Calls Solar, Wind Power the Most Expensive Fossil Alternatives

fygment Alternatives require no fuel? Wrong ... (409 comments)

In this neck of the woods every wind turbine has a back up generator.
Peak power demands are hot, windless, summer days.
So the back up power generator has to kick in. And the generators of choice? GAS TURBINES.

Solar you say?
Do you have any idea of how much square footage is required to meet peak demand? So it costs a fortune to hook the necessarily remote solar farms in to the grid (though in fairness, that has a lot to do with the price of copper).

Face it, 'fossil' fuels and nuclear are efficient ... when used efficiently.
Oh, and if you are really fussed about power consumption, then do something like say, get rid of your air conditioner ... hmm, thought not.

about three weeks ago

The Doctor Will Skype You Now

fygment Dumb Profit Seekers (97 comments)

Can doctors get any idler?

Anyways, stupid idea. Sick people want to share with a real person. Hard enough to do with a flesh and blood arse giving you 12 minutes of his/her time, let alone a 'remote presence' (as if that even makes sense). The only circumstance where the scenario is a necessary evil, is true remoteness eg. medical advice for people in very remote locations like the Arctic.

Next profit idea: don't even use a real doctor, instead, an avatar with AI that is 'really good at listening and looking'.

about three weeks ago

Xiaomi Arrives As Top Smartphone Seller In China

fygment And with Apple now banned from Chinese Gov. use .. (82 comments)

... it becomes apparent what has been going on:

a) foreign industry allowed in to Chinese markets;
b) Chinese intelligence (government and industrial ... there's a difference?) goes to work stealing IP and passing it on to chosen Chinese industry;
c) foreign industry gets hit with exclusions (eg. MS and Apple banned for government use) and legal harassment (MS target of anti-trust investigation); and
d) Chinese industry rises to dominate the market (Xiaomi - Apple of China).

Nothing wrong with all that, a society/country looking out for itself. In fact, it might be considered admirable that they so closely protect their autonomy, refusing to let themselves be dominated by foreign corporate interests.

about three weeks ago

Man-Made "Dead Zone" In Gulf of Mexico the Size of Connecticut

fygment area with life forms we can't harvest for profit (184 comments)

It isn't a dead zone.

Because algae is 'life'. So is all the stuff that feeds off the algae.

There's just nothing we can fish in to extinction.

about three weeks ago

Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

fygment This is a sunbelt problem ... (502 comments)

... go north and south of that and guess what? Solar isn't viable in any meaningful sense.

And you know what? That's as it should be. So:

Dear Utilities,

Send your power to where people need it.

Person from a Dark Cold Country

about three weeks ago

Animal Behaviour Specialists Map Out the Social Networks of Cows

fygment Why Biology != Science (66 comments)

Wow, herding animals have a social network. Really, that should not be surprise but kudos to the researchers for actually studying it. But biology is repeatedly surprised by this sort of thing to the point that one is inclined to think that is biology tells you it isn't so, then it is likely just so eg.- "No life could exist in such an environment." => Life could exist in such an environment.

Biologists = butterfly collectors

about three weeks ago

Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

fygment Moral: Be An Asshole, Get What You Want (928 comments)

That's it folks. Enjoy the way the future unfolds for you. And remember, you asked for it.

about a month ago


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