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Fish Found Living Half a Mile Under Antarctic Ice

fygment Biologists surprised ... again ... as always! (69 comments)

Adding to the body of evidence that biology is not a science, simply 'butterfly collecting'. With no first principles, biology simply makes guesses based on what it has found in the past. It has zero capacity to predict the existence of life (even life 'as we know it'), let alone the nature of life.

1 hour ago

Doomsday Clock Could Move

fygment Nuclear Weapons - Climate Change, Comparable? (144 comments)

Seriously? Proliferation of chemica/biological weapons doesn't register a nod over something as nebulous and topical as climate change?

What an example of bald-faced political commentary. Regardless of its origins with scientists, this is now just another meaningless and pretentious art show.

4 days ago

Microsoft Researchers Use Light Beams To Charge Smartphones

fygment _comparable_ = less ...and that's bad (65 comments)

Want to decrease your carbon footprint in a sane, achievable fashion?
Stop WASTING resources ... at all levels.
And 'remote' charging is so wasteful the mind boggles that it is done merely in the name of convenience.

about a week ago

'Be My Eyes' App Crowdsources Help For the Blind

fygment For family communications ... (66 comments)

... http://www.aetonix.com/. The targetdemographic are elderly and disabled, and the focus is communications with family, care providers, and medical staff. Not a tablet, but geared towards those for whom a tablet format isn't quite sufficient.

about a week ago

NASA, NOAA: 2014 Was the Warmest Year In the Modern Record

fygment So. What? Are _you_ going to do anything? (359 comments)

Going to get rid of your ride and take mass transit?
Going to use your electricity more efficiently eg. turn off pool pump/heater when not in use, shut off A/C/furnace when not in house, turn off lights and 'always on' appliances when not in use?
Going to start paying for repairs instead of throwing out whatever seems a bit broken?
Going to lose the dream of living in your own, lawn-ringed, home and move in to a small unit in an energy efficient, high density high-rise?

Didn't think so.

So how to stop these inane pseudo science, politically fuelled announcements?

about a week ago

Anonymous Declares War Over Charlie Hebdo Attack

fygment Anonymous sees the logical flaw, right? (509 comments)


Removing the freedom of speech of those who would seek to remove the freedom of speech ....

about two weeks ago

How Close Are We To Engineering the Climate?

fygment The twilight of science? (319 comments)

This upcoming failure of science will lead to a religious backlash that will put all further scientific progress on hold for centuries.

about two weeks ago

Newest Stealth Fighter's Ground Attack Sensors 10 Years Behind Older Jets'

fygment The Air Force doesn't like 'unattractive' (279 comments)

The Air Force deems the Warthog unacceptably 'unattractive'. The plane does its job outstandingly well, offers its pilot exceptional protection, but ... it's ugly. The Air Force doesn't like "ugly". "Ugly" pilots get screened out during training, only T. Cruise types need apply. Same with ugly planes.

about a month ago

Geoengineered Climate Cooling With Microbubbles

fygment Ask yourself: resist change vice adapt to it? (114 comments)

Even if we humans ill-advisedly bugger around with geo-engineering things we don't understand, there will still be change. So why the drive to resist the change?

The only logical answer is: for money. The people who are profiting from the status quo, want to continue to do so. Another group of people are seeking to profit from the fear mongering.

We should be wondering why there isn't a push to come up with means of adaptation. If sea levels rise, how can we reasonably evacuate lowlands? What is the impact on power generation and how do we manage that? Will there be an impact on food production and if so, what can we do about that?

Think about that last one: which is seems more reasonable, stopping the (poorly understood) climate from changing, or the (well understood) adaptation of crops to a new climate?

Fact: whether we geo-engineer or not, the climate will change, as it has always changed. So, do you want to spend your money on trying to prevent the inevitable, or do you want to spend it on something achievable?

about a month ago

How High-Tech Temporary Tattoos Will Hack Your Skin

fygment Better yet ... (57 comments)

... what about a tatoo that attaches to your skin and is responsive to your environment? So picture a tatoo that:

changes pattern/color in response to radiation or chemical agents in the air as an early warning;
changes pattern/color in response to bluetooth signals so you could have an animated pattern transmitted from your phone or a person near you could transmit a pattern, like a virtual sig block.

Not related to the article but tatoos could be way cooler ...

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: IT Career Path After 35?

fygment Guess who decides? Your peers! (376 comments)

Why is 30 the new 50? Because your colleagues who are now managers, say so.

They are climbing the career ladder and a component of their success is making the business profitable. You don't do that by hiring 30-somethings who know what they're worth. You do it by hiring new grads who are only too happy to be employed, regardless how little they are paid.

So talk to your peers.

about 2 months ago

Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

fygment Completely Predictable .. unlike the climate (367 comments)

Of course it would come to this.
This is precisely what was wrong with politicizing climate change. Eventually, someone would want to _do_ something. Because that is precisely the kind of mindset of a person who gets involved in politics.

Unfortunately, while we may explore what it is we can _do_, the repercussions of those actions are unknown. We do not understand our climate sufficiently to predict the impact of our actions.

Need proof of that? Ask for the assumptions made in the existing crop of climate models and the sensitivity to perturbations of those assumptions.

Fact: we can't predict the climate even when we don't mess with it, why do we think we can predict what will happen when we do?

about 2 months ago

Researchers Forecast the Spread of Diseases Using Wikipedia

fygment Useless now that it's known? (61 comments)

Now that they've spread the word, will the approach start to be 'gamed' by big pharma or gov't trying to sow the seasonal flu panic?

about 2 months ago

When We Don't Like the Solution, We Deny the Problem

fygment Valid Assertion? Valid Solutions? (282 comments)

If a person can't verify the validity of the assertion, is it any wonder they will base their opinion on the proposed solutions?

A person is told the sky is falling. They can't verify it, but are told the potential consequences.
Then the person is told the 'needed' solution, say, cut off everbody's right leg.
Well the cure sounds pretty bad, and the impact of the cure on the person is very clear.
So two possibilities: one is unverifiable, the other well understood. Which one would a person choose?

Science and politcs, the former deals in speculation, the latter in tangible consequences. There should not be tangible consequences to mere speculation. That is just wrong-headed. History is replete with examples of 'scientifically supported' facts, resulting in barbaric consequences eg. the atrocities of WWII. We can look back _now_ and say 'the science was wrong', but _at the time_ the science was held up as the justification for action.

about 3 months ago

fMRI Data Reveals How Many Parallel Processes Run In the Brain

fygment Re:analog computer AND nonlinear (91 comments)

Mod parent up AND consider:

a) remember that the use of Independent Component Analysis (ICA) is appropriate for linear processes and therefore must necessarily be, to an unknown degree (until you actually know the underlying distribution), an approximation ie. the more unlinear the process, the less ICA accurately reflects the underlying processes; and

b) the actual processing methodology of the brain is unknown, heck, we do not even understand the encoding used by the brain.

So the article really rests on the assumption that the brain is composed of linear processes operating like a modern digital computer.

Ummm ... no.

about 3 months ago

Why Scientists Think Completely Unclassifiable and Undiscovered Life Forms Exist

fygment FINALLY Something Quasi-intelligent from Bio (221 comments)

It's a small step, but it is nice to see that biology, or a small subset of the community, recognises its limitations.

And also tacitly admits that it is not a science, but butterfly (or creature) collection.

Awesome would be to see biology grappling at establishing 'first principles', like physics, so that researchers would be able to theorize intelligently about biological possibilities. and this paper is a first step in that direction.

about 3 months ago

Enzymes Make Electricity From Jet Fuel Without Ignition

fygment No Smoking or Open Flame Near Fuel Cell! (78 comments)

Not only is it a 'fossi'l fuel but the JP line of fuels are highly flammable and aromatic ie. they evaporate easily ... and that vapor (surprise) ignites easily.

about 3 months ago

Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

fygment Same was said about steamships in 1838 :) (594 comments)

Back around 1838, ocean travel by steamships was considered part pipe dream, part cutting edge tech. It was commonly believed you would need a coal-mine worth of coal for the crossing plus it was dangerous. Shortly after the first successful ocean crossings, another steamship (the Moselle) wanted to show off the new tech by doing a full-speed run on the Ohio River before on-lookers lining the shoreline near Cincinatti. The boilers exploded raining body parts and blood down on the surrounding area, with ~149 killed, missing, or injured. Yeah, you can imagine the headlines ... and you also know how prominent, dominant, and safe steamships became as a mode of sea travel.

Life at the edge of tech (except for computer tech :) has risks ... and by the way, those were test pilots in Space Ship Two, persons who were willingly testing out new technology for the future benefit and safety of others.

And ... isn't it weird to see such an article in something as purportedly future thinking as Wired?

about 3 months ago

Will HP's $200 Stream 11 Make People Forget About Chromebooks?

fygment "... solid-state HP Stream..." Solid-state?! (232 comments)

Hell no! I want the vacuum tube version. Better yet, get me a steam powered version with 1.2 cycles per second pistons.

Seriously, since when is 'solid-state" anything but all-pervasive in the world of laptops?

about 3 months ago


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