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The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

jcupitt65 Re:Experimental science vs narrative science (600 comments)

Actually the smoking / cancer link is very hard to really prove. How can you conclusively link an act (smoking a cigarette) to its consequence (getting cancer) when the two are separated by perhaps 40 years of possibly related health events?

Smoking / cancer is proved by careful statistical analysis of very large studies. Or rather, you repeatedly do large studies, narrowing confidence intervals each time, until you reach a point where things seem to tip over in people's minds from "unproven" to "proven".

It's really very like climate change in many ways.

about 3 months ago
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UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming

jcupitt65 Re:Yes, it is inevitable. (987 comments)

Global cooling was NOT a big thing in the 70s, this is a myth. There was some speculation, and some chatter in the pop science magazines, but it was not scientific consensus.

Global cooling was a conjecture during the 1970s of imminent cooling of the Earth's surface and atmosphere culminating in a period of extensive glaciation. This hypothesis had little support in the scientific community, but gained temporary popular attention due to a combination of a slight downward trend of temperatures from the 1940s to the early 1970s and press reports that did not accurately reflect the full scope of the scientific climate literature

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cooling

Your two questions are good ones and the science seems to say that action could help slow or even prevent some of the worst effects.

Whether change is politically possible (or desirable) is an even tougher question and not one science can really speak to. This is where the debate should be now, I think.

about 4 months ago
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How Can Nintendo Recover?

jcupitt65 Re:exactly (559 comments)

Yes, ps4 plays DVDs and Blu-rays fine, and has been able to since launch.

about 6 months ago
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Why Does Windows Have Terrible Battery Life?

jcupitt65 Re:The (linked) Aandtech article on battery life.. (558 comments)

Read down a little further, he compares an MBA and a Surface Pro 2 running anad's wifi web browsing benchmark. The hardware is very similar, but the MBA lasts about twice as long.

about 9 months ago
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GNOME 3.10 Released

jcupitt65 Re:You're doing something wrong I think (218 comments)

There's a "suspend" item, on the top-right menu, same place as always.

You can configure what you want to happen on lid close in the power settings (press the win key, type "pow", press return).

about 10 months ago
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GNOME 3.10 Released

jcupitt65 Re:Gnome 3.10 looks good! (218 comments)

Gnome-shell is very customizable, you can use tweak tool to turn off dynamic workspaces and turn on files-on-desktop, for example. A range of nice extensions are available too.

After only a modest amount of tinkering I have a very fast, functional, attractive desktop.

about 10 months ago
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UK Government Destroys Guardian's Snowden Drives

jcupitt65 Re:Good! (508 comments)

There are safeguards. There are home office guidelines that the police must follow (they must only detain people suspected of involvement in terrorism, for example) and there's an independent reviewer who oversees the application of the law.

At least after a quick glance it seems that the police ignored (or took a very broad interpretation of) the guidelines and that the independent reviewer will be holding a triple-cunting when he meets the Metropolitan Police Service. One can hope.

Schedule 7 has been revised (no more than six hours of detention, "suspect" must have a lawyer) and the new version is going through parliament now, so that's something.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23763625

about a year ago
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VLC For iOS Returns On July 19, Rewritten and Fully Open-Sourced

jcupitt65 Re:support for remote streaming? (203 comments)

From the linked article:

Furthermore, in addition to the original feature set, VideoLAN has added more ways to synchronize media (upload over Wi-Fi, native Dropbox integration, support for third-party apps through the Share dialog, and via Web download), support for network streams, video filters, passcode lock, background audio playback, and playback speed manipulation. There is also support for subtitles (including Closed Captions and complex SSA), native support for multiple audio tracks, and playback on external screens or AirPlay.

1 year,6 days
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The Black Underbelly of Windows 8.1 'Blue'

jcupitt65 Re:Expect more of this. (608 comments)

Go around a university library and see what the students are using. Here at Cambridge it's about 50% mac, 25% win, 25% pen and paper.

MS have lost the next generation of consumers.

1 year,16 days
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CO2 Levels Reach 400ppm at Mauna Loa For First Time On Record

jcupitt65 Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (497 comments)

I don't think that's correct. If I had a range of other measurements and cherry-picked the ones that agreed with mine, thinking the others were outliers, that would be confirmation bias.

What we have here is a large set of independent measurements that all agree. Where is the bias? There is none.

about a year ago
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CO2 Levels Reach 400ppm at Mauna Loa For First Time On Record

jcupitt65 Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (497 comments)

Fortunately for science the Mauna Loa readings are in good agreement with those taken at hundreds of other sites around the globe.

Here's a great animation from NOAA showing global CO2 distribution and putting recent changes in the context of the last million years or so. It takes a few minutes to watch, but it's worth seeing to the end, in my opinion.

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/history.html

about a year ago
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Microsoft Prepares Rethink On Windows 8

jcupitt65 Re:The betting pool is now open... (536 comments)

I'm not sure you're right on the 30% stake being their interest. App stores do not make large amounts of money and MS know that.

Instead, they think the future is mobile, and that they MUST have a competitive product. A mobile product needs a good app selection, a good app selection needs a lot of developers, and developers need a market to sell to, or they'll work on another platform.

Metro is a way to create a market for phone apps without having (yet) a significant phone product. For it to work it must be thrust in the face of desktop users.

about a year ago
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Grocery Delivery Lowers Carbon Dioxide Emissions Over Individual Trips

jcupitt65 Re:It depends... (417 comments)

I do both: I get a delivery every two weeks of bulky and heavy dry goods, and I walk/cycle to the supermarket every other day to get fresh fruit and veg. It works well for our family anyway.

about a year ago
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What's Holding Back 3-D Printing

jcupitt65 use minecraft (348 comments)

A friend of a friend made this:

http://www.printcraft.org/

Make something in minecraft on this (free) server and it emails you a 3D printer file of your object when you disconnect.

about a year ago
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"Choice Blindness" Can Transform Conservatives Into Liberals - and Vice Versa

jcupitt65 Re:My observation (542 comments)

To expand on your tribal point: politics becomes part of your identity. You start to think of yourself as a republican / liberal / libertarian, not as a supporter of policy X. In fact, the specific set of policies that comes with that identity are, for many people (and many politicians lololol), rather fuzzy.

This is why it was so easy to flip people in this experiment. The experimental subjects were not asked to change their identity, just their specific policy opinions.

You can do this the other way around too. Changing someone's mind on a difficult issue like global warming or abortion is very, very difficult, because these large single issues do become part of someone's identity. They think of themselves as a "warming sceptic", or a "pro-choicer" or whatever. To make someone move on an issue like that you have to somehow make the person see themselves in a different way.

about a year ago
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Margaret Thatcher Dies At 87

jcupitt65 Re:GoodBye Maggie (539 comments)

Oh I agree, "Leftism gone mad" etc. is a very loaded and crude way to talk about the politics back then. I was responding to the [citation needed] in the dead-on-the-streets post.

about a year ago
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Margaret Thatcher Dies At 87

jcupitt65 Re:GoodBye Maggie (539 comments)

I think it's a reference to the Winter of Discontent, which I'm old enough to remember well.

This was a wave of strikes triggered by the government's cap on public sector wages in a period of high inflation. From the article above:

The most notorious action during the winter was the unofficial strike by gravediggers, members of the GMWU in Liverpool and in Tameside near Manchester. As coffins piled up, Liverpool City Council hired a factory in Speke to store them. On 1 February a persistent journalist asked the Medical Officer of Health for Liverpool, Dr Duncan Dolton, what would be done if the strike continued for months, Dolton speculated that burial at sea would be considered. Although his response was hypothetical, in the circumstances it caused great alarm. The gravediggers eventually settled for a 14% rise after a fortnight's strike.

(not a maggie fan, just providing some background)

about a year ago
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GNOME 3.8 Released Featuring New "Classic" Mode

jcupitt65 Re:So, they heard the complaints... (267 comments)

You can type any part of the description as well, you don't need to know the app name.

There's also the traditional category view. Press the win key to get the overview, click on the "Applications" button and you get a big grid of icons showing all the installed programs in alphabetical order. A set of filters down the right let you reduce the list to just "Sound & Video" (for example), or "System Tools".

about a year ago
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GNOME 3.8 Released Featuring New "Classic" Mode

jcupitt65 Re:idle curiosity (267 comments)

You can turn min and max back on with tweak-tool. You can also disable dynamic workspaces. Handy!

about a year ago

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